Should you buy AirPods before Black Friday?

should you buy airpods before black friday
(Image credit: Future)

Black Friday AirPods deals are some of the most sought-after offers on the shelves come November, but with so many retailers launching early discounts, it's easy to wonder if you should buy AirPods before Black Friday itself and when the official sales kick-off. That impulse is even harder to fight off right now, with a new set of third-generation buds hitting the market, and a mid-cycle refresh to the AirPods Pros appearing as well. 

There's been a lot of movement in the world of AirPods recently. Not only are the new releases now available, but their effects on previous iterations' prices are a little strange. We're seeing AirPods Pro prices, for example, rising ahead of the November sales, which means you'll have to be particularly careful when browsing for deals ahead of Black Friday. 

So, when should you buy AirPods before Black Friday, and when should you hold the line? We're looking back through years of price history and using our experience tracking holiday sales on Apple's premium buds to show you which early offers to jump on and which to pass up. 

Should you buy AirPods before Black Friday?

AirPods 2019

(Image credit: Future)
  • Yes, if: prices drop below $89 / £89

The second generation AirPods Pros are predicted to hit prices of between $79.99 and $89.99 / £89 - £99 this year, which means we certainly wouldn't buy before Black Friday if you haven't spotted a discount close to this cost. As it stands, we've seen the record $79.99 / £99.99 rates a couple of times this year, in October across the US and July in the UK. That means we could well see similar savings appear before Black Friday itself. If this is the case in the US we'd recommend moving fast before stock is snapped up. In the UK, we'd consider holding out for an additional £10 off in November if you're waiting for a new record breaker (which could easily happen). 

Should you buy AirPods 3 before Black Friday

AirPods third generation

(Image credit: Future)
  • Yes, if: prices return to $149 / £135

While we have seen a handful of discounts on the AirPods third generation, savings generally don't happen too often in the US. We'd definitely wait to pick these up, at least until Thanksgiving week. The biggest flash sales will likely go down around Black Friday itself, though at $169 these are going to a popular mid-way point between the second generation and AirPods Pro. That means stock could run out fast, with shipping times stretching further and further into the distance should a particularly strong discount hit. 

We've seen additional discounts push these buds down to $149 in the past, but that was only during major sales events. We don't expect to see such a cost until the Black Friday weekend, which means holding out hope for a $30 discount until then. In the UK, things have been a little looser, but that £135 is still exceedingly rare - we've only spotted it once before. If you're happy spending a little more to avoid the rush, we'd at least wait for a discount to £149, which feels far more likely over the next few weeks. 

Should you buy AirPods Pro before Black Friday?

AirPods Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • No, unless: prices dip early to at least $219 / £219

We've got a brand new set of AirPods Pro on the market now, which means we've started the life cycle all over again. Whereas you could pick up the previous generation for around $169 / £159 towards the end of its time on the shelves, this $239 / £249 release has only ever seen $5 off its price tag. That means we'd absolutely wait until Black Friday rolls around. 

We may well see those costs kick down to $219 / £219 when the heat is on. If such a record breaking discount should occur before the holiday window, though, it's well worth getting your eye in. This is going to be a particularly competitive deal once the crowds descend, so if you're looking to buy AirPods before Black Friday you might have a better shot at securing your pair. 

If you're after something a little more gaming-focused, check out all the best Black Friday gaming headset deals we're expecting to see this year. We're also rounding up all our expectations for Black Friday PS5 headset deals and Black Friday Xbox headset deals as well. Or, to stay within the Apple ecosystem, take a look at the Black Friday iPad deals we're watching in 2021. 

For more inspiration, check out all the best gaming headsets on the market right now, and all the latest AirPods Pro deals for more discounts. 

Tabitha Baker
Managing Editor - Hardware

Managing Editor of Hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards and mice that come with them), and tracking everything that suggests VR is about to take over our lives.