Good news: if you're after the cheapest AirPods prices, you're in the right place. Right now there may be a bit of a lack of online deals, sales, price cuts and other words for 'deals' on Apple AirPods or AirPods Pro, but there are some, and they are sure to show up in the Black Friday deals at the end of November.
The newer AirPods – sometimes known as AirPods 2, AirPods (2019) or AirPods gen 2 – have slightly better battery life than the first gen and the ability to summon Siri with voice alone, where the first version required a tap of your ear.
Some models come with a wireless charging case, which is also compatible with all other AirPods. Other than that, it is very hard to tell the difference between the first and second generation AirPods. That's why it's worth looking out for deals on remaining stocks of them.
The even newer AirPods Pro are a different kettle of, um, true wireless buds. They sound way, way better because they fit so much more firmly in your ear, and have better drivers. They also add noise cancellation, 'adaptive' EQ and the ability to read texts out to you. AirPods Pro come with wireless charging as standard rather than as an option.
BLACK FRIDAY AIRPODS DEALS: WHAT WE EXPECT TO SEE
Apple's default RRP for the AirPods 2 with wired charging case is £159/$159 (£199/$199 for the model with the wireless plinth charging facility). AirPods Pro cost £249/$249 – so whatever you do, don't pay any more than that. If stock starts to run out, you'll possibly see some retailers charge more in the price comparison chart above, but we'd urge you to hold on till Black Friday.
Last year, some of the biggest sellers at Black Friday time were AirPods discounted by 20-or-so £s or $s. It's unlikely we'll see deeper price cuts than that, but we will flag up deals on refurbished AirPods, which are often way cheaper.
It's not impossible that AirPods Pro will see a Black Friday deals price cut at some retailers, but we wouldn't hold your breath, if we were you. At the moment there are certainly no deals on them, but you can pay full price from Apple…
The standard Apple AirPods come in two variants, one with a charging case that charges via Lightning to USB and the more expensive Wireless Charging Case which charges via a wireless (Qi-compatible) charging mat or Lightning connector. Both cases are capable of holding multiple charges for the headphones. In general you'll get 5 hours of use from a fully charged brace of AirPods, and the case has enough power in it to get you through a full 24 hours in total. The AirPods don't need to be inside while the case charges.
AirPods Pro only come with a wireless charging case, and also only come in white.
• T3's Apple AirPods review
Other iPhone friendly options
If the prices above are still a bit much, check out our picks for the Best Apple AirPods alternatives or maybe take a look at some other iPhone friendly options in our Beats headphone deals and Best Bose deals pages.
Apple AirPods are a perfect match for the iPhone, and designed to sync instantly and allow easy control of Siri and Apple Music.
However, at the end of the day, they're a pair of Bluetooth true wireless buds, and as such will pair with plenty of other phones and laptops. You could even pair them with an Android phone but note that they won't sync automatically as they would with an iPhone, you'll have to manually pair them, the old fashioned way. And obviously they won't give you access to Siri. Aww.