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Updated: 30 Jun 2022

Best Apple AirPods and wireless earbud deals in the sales

The best Apple AirPods and wireless earbuds deals from the sales as chosen by Which? tech experts, including Android rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds
Oliver Trebilcock
Best wireless earbuds deals

Looking for a cheap deal on a pair of Apple AirPods? We’ve rounded up some of the best offers you can find in the sales right now, along with some cheaper alternatives that are worth considering.

Thanks to being truly wireless earbuds, Apple AirPods are both compact and save you from the daily untangling of wires. However, even when discounted they're not exactly cheap. If you're willing to look elsewhere, there are plenty of wireless earbuds from rival manufacturers that often get bigger discounts and still perform well.

We've scoured the market for the best deals at the moment. The deals we’ve covered here were all available on 30th June 2022, but please be aware that deals won’t necessarily last the full month.

Just looking for a decent set of headphones that won't break the bank? Check out our best cheap headphones for 2022

Best Apple AirPods deals for July 2022

Apple AirPods (2019) – £109

Apple AirPods batteries
  • Truly wireless headphones (earbuds)
  • Designed for Apple iOS devices (basic functions work on Android devices)
  • Five hours claimed battery life
  • 24 hours total claimed battery life with top-ups from charging case

We like: Comfortable

We don’t like: Quite a bit of sound leaks to your surroundings

With the launch of the third-generation Apple AirPods in October last year, the price of this second-generation model (which launched in 2019) has fallen, making it a good time to buy. The cheapest we can find them at this month is £109, which is about £10 less than their typical price.

Find out whether they’re still a good choice in our Apple AirPods (2nd Gen) review.   

Buy for £109 from Amazon, AO and Currys or Boots.

Apple AirPods (2021) – £149

Apple AirPods wireless earbuds
  • Truly wireless headphones (earbuds)
  • Designed for Apple iOS devices (basic functions work on Android devices)
  • Offers wireless charging (with a Qi wireless charging mat, not included)
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance

We like: Comfortable, easy to use

We don’t like: Can be hard to maintain phone call conversations in noisy places

This latest version of the Apple AirPods have an RRP of £169, but the best price we found this month is £159.

Find out if they’re right for you in our Apple AirPods review.  

Buy for £149 from Laptops Direct.

Apple AirPods Pro – £184

Apple AirPods Pro wireless earbuds
  • Truly wireless headphones (in-ear with flexible eartips)
  • Active noise-cancelling
  • Designed for Apple iOS (basic functions and noise cancelling work on Android devices)
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance

We like: Easy to use, water resistant, offers wireless charging

We didn’t like: Limited functionality on Android devices, no equaliser to adjust sound preferences

Normally selling for around £200 in the main high-street retailers, a reasonable discount can be had on the AirPods Pro by turning to online sellers at the moment. 

Find out whether they’re the best option for you in our Apple AirPods Pro review, or buy now for £184 from Amazon.

Best deals on Apple AirPods alternatives for July 2022

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 - from £89

  • Truly wireless headphones (in-ear with flexible eartips)
  • Active noise-cancelling
  • Designed for Android devices (basic functions and noise cancelling work on Apple devices)
  • Compact charging case

We like: Comfortable, good build quality

We didn't Like: App is Android-only

Samsung's answer to the Apple AirPods Pro, the Galaxy Buds 2 are wireless, in-ear headphones with active noise cancelling, and they're designed for use with Android devices.

The earpieces are waterproof and they come with a small charging case, so you can charge the battery when you're not using them.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review or buy them for £89 in white from Laptops Direct, or for £99 in black from Amazon.

Sony WF-1000XM3 - £98

  • Truly wireless headphones (in-ear with flexible eartips)
  • Active Noise-cancelling
  • Full compatibility on both Apple iOS and Android devices
  • Well-featured accompanying app

We like: Over 6 hours of battery life

We Don't Like: Sound quality isn't great when making calls inside

These headphones come with noise cancelling, helping to block out unwanted background sounds. They also come with a charging case which will give you 24 hours of listening. They're normally on sale for £129, but you can currently pick them up for under £100.

Find out whether they're a match for your ears by reading our expert Sony WF-1000XM3 review or buy them for £98 from John LewisBoots or Amazon, or £99 from Currys.

Huawei Freebuds 4i - £45

Huawei Freebuds 4i wireless earbuds
  • Truly wireless headphones (in-ear with flexible eartips)
  • Look similar to Apple AirPods
  • Active Noise-cancelling
  • Designed for Android devices (basic functions and noise-cancelling work on Apple devices)

We like: Comfortable, affordable

We didn't like: App only available for Android devices

There are zillions of Apple AirPods lookalikes out there, but this Huawei pair has proved to be incredibly popular and very widely available at retailers. They're intended for Android device users tempted by the Apple AirPods-style design - and the price difference is remarkable compared to Apple's pair - even more so considering these offer active noise-cancelling to remove unwanted noises around you.

Are they as good as their popularity suggests, or is there something to watch out for? Find out in our expert Huawei Freebuds 4i review or buy them now for £45 from AO or Boots.

How we select the best headphone deals

Be aware that not all price cuts are as good as they seem. Even if a retailer promotes a big price cut, it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t find the headphones cheaper elsewhere, or that the pair is good enough to justify even a rock-bottom price.

We only feature deals on headphones that score pretty well in our tests, though they’re not all Best Buys. You can make sure that the headphones you have your eye on deliver where it matters to you – be that sound quality, comfort, ease of use or battery life – by clicking on the links to our full reviews.

When and where are the best headphones on sale?

Some headphones are cheap all year, while pricier sets from big-brand names such as Sony and Bose get their prices slashed at certain times of year. 

However, just because the price tag highlights a huge saving, it doesn’t mean the offer is as special as is claimed. Retailers use all sorts of tricks to try to convince you to buy, such as:  

  • Making something seem like a ‘hot’ product by flagging how many people are viewing the product around the same time as you, which can give a sense of urgency and make you feel it’s popular.
  • Giving low stock warnings, which can also encourage a hasty purchase. 

It’s worth stepping back from these messages and ensuring the product really is a good deal, as it could just be one being heavily marketed at that time.

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the most popular retailers to buy headphones from, and what to watch out for to identify a genuinely great deal. 

Apple Store headphones deals

Apple headphones, such as the AirPods, are very popular, but the Apple Store is usually not the place to go if you’re looking for the best price, as Apple rarely cuts its prices when selling direct. 

You’d be better off keeping an eye on big tech retailers such as Amazon and Currys PC World. These often offer considerable savings over the recommended retail price of Apple products to tempt your custom their way.

Click on the links below to head to these key retailers’ dedicated AirPods pages and see what they have to offer right now:

Amazon headphones deals

Amazon can be a great place to compare prices and snap up a bargain on headphones from big name brands such as Bose, Sennheiser or Sony – and it offers some particularly good deals around Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and other promotional periods. 

What to watch out for

Search for headphones on Amazon.co.uk and you’ll also find loads of very cheap pairs for sale, including many brands you’ve probably never heard of – names that crop up regularly include Anker, Mpow and Enacfire. Many of them will have hundreds, or even thousands, of positive reviews. 

If you’re tempted by the low prices of lesser-known brands, proceed with caution. Just because you haven’t heard of a brand doesn’t automatically make the headphones a bad buy, and we’ve found some great cheap headphones in our testing. However, we’ve also found many that have disappointed our lab experts, despite the apparently endless number of rave reviews.

Which? investigations repeatedly show that product reviews on online marketplaces such as Amazon can’t always be trusted, and a huge numbers of positive reviews for budget-priced products is something to be sceptical about.

The only way to make fully considered comparisons is to check out our headphone reviews. There are so many pairs on Amazon we don’t test them all, but we do review some of the most popular models from brands that regularly feature in Amazon's bestsellers charts, such as Anker, Mpow and Enacfire.

Argos headphones deals

Argos is a popular place to buy small consumer electronics such as headphones. The retailer often has handy outlets in larger Sainsbury’s stores too.  

Argos often has good deals on individual headphones, so it can be worth checking the Argos website on occasion to see what new pairs it's promoting heavily.

Argos also has a clearance section. It’s worth keeping an eye on, as clearance deals at Argos are often genuine discounts on stock that it’s trying to get rid of. 

What to watch out for

Be wary of headphones marked with a ‘WOW’; Argos uses this to pull your attention to a product (often its own-brand Bush range), and it doesn’t always mean that the headphones are a good deal. 

Also watch for ‘Great new price’ labels, as that is no guarantee the price is better than the old one.

Currys headphones deals and ‘clearance’ sales

While Currys can offer some genuinely great headphone deals on its dedicated clearance deals page, it’s worth scrutinising the small print.

What to watch out for

Many Currys deals aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. The retailer sometimes puts headphones on sale at an inflated price, before suddenly dropping the price to a more appropriate level just a few weeks later. This can make the saving seem bigger than it actually is – and doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t find the same headphones cheaper elsewhere.   

The ‘clearance’ page at certain times of year is packed with headphones. However, whatever the term ‘clearance’ might suggest, discounts on these models can be very small or, in some cases, nothing at all. Currys may want to shift stock, but it doesn’t guarantee it’s a good deal.

Are headphone recycling and trade-in schemes a good deal?

Some headphone manufacturers such as Jabra also offer trade-in schemes for the headphones, where you send back your current pair for a discount on a newer model, and they responsibly recycle your old pair.

This can be a good way to get an even better deal on your new pair of headphones, although the manufacturer’s discount will often be on the standard retail price rather than any lower price commonly offered by other retailers, so the discount can seem larger than it actually is.

Alternatively, you can recycle your old headphones along with other small electrical items.

Head over to our best headphones guide to find more about how to buy the ideal pair of headphones for you.