Should you buy headphones on Black Friday or wait for Cyber Monday?

Black Friday is a great time to pick up some headphones, but the fear of missing out makes some of us worry about clicking on that ‘checkout now’ button. So, let’s consider whether it’s worth waiting until Cyber Monday and look at some great headphone deals available now.

Should you buy headphones on Black Friday?

While Cyber Monday will likely have a lot of the same headphone deals as Black Friday, you’re better off not waiting for Cyber Monday to pick a deal up. The truth is, you aren’t likely to fund much better deals, if at all, so it’s best to grab the Black Friday headphone deals that you like rather than potentially missing out by waiting. Plus, if you find a great Cyber Monday deal, you should be in the Black Friday refund window, where you can get your money back and buy the newer and better deal.

Our 5 Favorite Black Friday headphone deals

Sony WH-CH710N — $68, was $150

Sony WH-CH710N on sale at Best Buy

While many folks may be familiar with Sony due to the Playstation consoles, many may not realize that Sony is also a massive player in the audio industry, including headphones. Take these Sony WH-CH710N; while they’re mid-range headphones at bargain-bin prices, their audio quality is surprisingly good. Granted, it’s not going to be as good as higher-end headsets, but it’s not meant to be, especially since it costs less than a quarter of their price. That’s to say; it’s dependable audio across the board that you won’t regret. Surprisingly, you even get Artificial Intelligence Noise Cancellation (AINC), a lower-end version of Active Noise Cancellation technology (ANC). It works for what it is, but it’s not going to block out more jarring sounds like your neighbor drilling into your shared wall.

Beats Solo3 — $115, was $200

The Beats brand has been controversial over the years, and the Beats Solo3 doesn’t dispel all of it. Let’s first get the bad parts out of the way: the bass isn’t great, and the fit is very tight, which might fatigue you after a while, especially if you have a bigger head. As for the audio, it’s made for the mass market, so it’s mid-driven to provide that audio quality for things like vocals, making it not as great for things that are jazzier and more bassy, which isn’t the end of the world. On the flip side, the battery life is excellent, with 40 hours worth making it a great option for podcasts or if you don’t want to charge them often.

Bose QuietComfort 45 — $249, was $329

A woman wearing the Bose QuietComfort 45 around her neck.

With the Bose QuietComfort 45, we have started entering the higher-end consumer market, as the QC 45 is often compared with the Sony WH-1000XM4. The sound quality on the QC 45 is, in a word, superb; it’s bright, it’s high-energy, with a subtle base that’s there but not overwhelming, and it’s great if you like Bose’s beautification on their other products. One thing that was a big issue when the QC 45 first came out was the lack of any form of EQ, but that’s been added recently, bringing them back up a notch. ANC is also excellent and on par with Sony, which is saying something since the latter has an industry-leading ANC. As for the fit, it’s comfortable, and with roughly 24 hours of battery life, you might never want to take them off.

Sony WH-1000XM5 — $348, was $400

Woman wearing Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 is the creme-de-la-creme of consumer headphones, at least if you don’t include the Airpods Max in the list. That’s not an indictment of the Sony WH-1000XM5, more that these two are very much on the same level. The sound is excellent, with a responsive bass and an open and airy soundstage that doesn’t trash music and audio like with some lower-end headphones that can’t handle the subtleties. Of course, that also means you get excellent call quality and some of the best-in-class ANC, which is great if you have zero interest in the outside world. All that said, we’d encourage you to take a look at our breakdown between the Sony WH-1000XM5 vs. XM4 and see if that extra $100 or so is worth it for you or if you’d rather stick with the QC 45 since its very similar to the XM4.

Apple AirPods Max — $449, was $549

Woman wearing Apple Airpods Max.

If you’re an Apple fan and want to get some of their best audio, then the Apple AirPods Max is the way to do it. Much like the XM5, it has the best-in-class ANC, although given the XM5 is newer, it’s slightly better but not noticeable in day-to-day usage. As for the audio quality, you can thank the Apple H1 chip for some of the best you’ll find. It even includes things like Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos, which aren’t targeted more for films and shows but still offer an interesting listening experience. When it comes to battery life, you’ll get about 20 hours out of it, maybe a bit more if you’re conservative with volume and the extra frills you turn on. Either way, the Apple Airpods Max easily competes with some of the best headphones on the market.

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