If you find yourself with some post-holiday gift card funds and the desire to acquire a new set of wireless earphones, there’s a noteworthy deal to consider: Apple’s AirPods Pro are currently available at an all-time low of $189 on both Amazon and Walmart. In the event that stocks deplete on these platforms, alternative retailers like Target and Best Buy also offer them for just a dollar more. This deal pertains to the latest version of the AirPods Pro, complete with a USB-C charging case. For context, Apple typically prices this pair at $249, although it consistently sells for less at third-party retailers since its debut in September.
The second-generation AirPods Pro, recognized as the “best for iOS” choice in our wireless earbuds guide, received an impressive score of 88 in our September 2022 review. This USB-C model, while nearly identical to its Lightning-based counterpart, introduces slight improvements in dust resistance and offers lossless audio support for Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro headset, in addition to the new charging port. Retaining its core features, it continues to provide pleasing and warm sound, effective active noise cancellation (ANC), an excellent transparency mode, and a range of conveniences for Apple device users, such as rapid pairing, hands-free Siri, personalized virtual surround sound, and Find My tracking.
A software update released last fall introduced additional useful features, including an “Adaptive Audio” mode that automatically adjusts ANC and transparency modes based on your surroundings and lowers the volume during conversations.
While the AirPods Pro is most advantageous for iPhone owners, it’s important to note that its call quality and six-hour battery life are merely satisfactory, and its sound customization doesn’t match up to some competitors. Bose’s QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds excel in ANC, the Beats Fit Pro offers a superior fit for the gym, and Sony’s WF-1000XM5 provides a more comprehensive package overall. According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple might introduce ANC to its more affordable AirPods in 2024, with new Pros anticipated in 2025. For those who already own the Lightning-based Pros and only seek the USB-C case, it’s now available for separate purchase. Despite these considerations, at the current price point, the USB-C AirPods Pro offer solid value for devoted Apple enthusiasts seeking a premium wireless earphone upgrade.