Amazon’s Prime-exclusive “Early Access” sales event is underway. We’ve researched and compiled a master list of all the deals actually worth your time, culled from the thousands of discounts Amazon released. It’s an event that’s a bit smaller than Amazon Prime Day, but among the deals, we’ve found some of our favorite headphones, as reviewed here at Ars Technica.
Below, we break down our top five picks, where each excels, and where you can save a few bucks in features and technology.
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Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless ANC headphones for $348 (
Sony’s WH-1000XM4 has been widely regarded as one of the best noise-canceling headphones available since its launch in 2020. We’ve recommended them in numerous gift guides and roundups throughout the past few years for their comfort, top-notch noise cancellation, and 30+ hours of battery life—even as competitors launched new models. In fact, likely in recognition of what a solid offering they are, Sony continues to sell them alongside the recently released updated version, the WH-1000XM5.
What they lack in catchy, memorable names they make up for in quality. The WH-1000XM5 moderately improves on its predecessor in just about every way. The sound is more balanced and less bass-forward (both are completely tunable), they’re a bit more comfortable, and they’re better for phone calls due to better noise cancellation and an upgraded microphone.
They still hit over 30 hours of battery life, but now a three-minute charge can net you three hours of use, as opposed to 10 minutes for five hours of use on the WH-1000XM4. This discount isn’t only the best price we’ve seen on the 5, but it also matches the current price of the 4, making this deal a particularly nice grab.
Bose QuietComfort 45 wireless ANC headphones for $229 (
$315) (also at Best Buy, Walmart)
Bose’s QuietComfort 45 is the most comfortable pair of noise-canceling headphones we’ve donned. We still give the all-around performance crown to the Sonys above, but if comfort is of utmost importance, then the QC45s are worth a look. They have a more neutral sound out of the box and physical playback buttons compared to the Sony’s bassier signature and touch controls if that’s important to you.
Sony’s WH-1000XM4/5 also do better at canceling out higher-frequency noises and chatter than the QuietComforts and have about 10 hours more battery life (30 hours versus 20). Bose’s QC45 does balance its weight better and doesn’t clamp down on your head as much as the Sony pair, though none of these headphones is uncomfortable by any stretch of the imagination. The QC45 is on sale matching its lowest price we’ve tracked.
Beats Fit Pro true wireless ANC earphones for $160 (
$195) (also at Best Buy, Walmart)
Apple’s Beats Fit Pros are another favorite of ours. In Apple’s and Beat’s joint lineup of high-quality earphones, the Fit Pro represents the most versatile and well-rounded pair. Using the same H1 wireless chip as in the original AirPods Pro, the Beats Fit Pros are compatible with “Find My” device tracking and pair quickly and easily with iPhones. They also connect with Android devices in a quicker manner than regular Bluetooth headphones, thanks to the Beats app.
IPX4 water resistance and rubber wing tips on the Fit Pro mean you can get sweaty and bop about carefree during your workouts. Transparency modes for noise cancellation also help you be more aware in situations where you’d like to be, like on an outdoor run, for instance. Six hours of continuous playback also tops the AirPods Pro’s five hours. At $160, the Beats Fit Pros are matching their lowest price tracked and delivering even more balance and value.
Jabra Elite 45h wireless on-ear headphones for $70 (
Jabra’s Elite 45h headphones offer some of the best bang for your buck in the on-ear headphone market. They lack noise cancellation but handle the fundamentals quite well. Sound quality is fantastic for the price and customizable in the Jabra app, and battery life is longer than 50 hours per charge. The earpads are soft and plush, too, but don’t expect them to drown out environmental noise like the noise-canceling offerings from Sony and Bose. Still, for the money, the 45h may be the best value of all these headphone deals.
Jabra Elite 3 true wireless earphones for $50 (
$70) ($50 at Best Buy)
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, worthwhile pair of wireless earphones for exercising or lounging around, Jabra’s Elite 3 may be the ticket. They lack noise canceling or fancy pause-when-you-take-one-out playback controls, but IP55 water resistance and EQ tuning in-app add good value. They’re bass-forward out of the box and rate at about seven hours of playback per charge, making them a solid choice for inexpensive earbuds. Matching their all-time low price today, the Jabra Elite 3 is a particularly worthy consideration for cheap earphones.