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The best cheap headphone deals and sales for December 2019

(Image credit: Future)

On the hunt for the absolute best headphone deals? You're in luck, there are a ton of  discounts available right now on a number of the best headphones from Apple, Beats, Jabra, Sennhseiser, Sony and many more.

We cover all the best headphones released, including over-ear headphones, noise-canceling headphones, and wireless headphones. However, friends still ask if they should buy a pair of no-brand cans they've seen piled high by the checkouts at a supermarket or clothing store. The answer is usually: probably not.

We get it. Headphones can be cheap. Like, dirt cheap. But as tempting as it is to go for those suspiciously low headphone prices. We'd advise spending just a little more, and you'll find a pair you'll love and can use for years to come.

The good news is you don't have to spend much at all. Some of the pairs we recommend below barely cost much more than a cinema ticket.

It’s with that in mind that we've narrowed down a list of headphones that not only sound good and feel good but are priced appropriately for all you cost-conscious audioholics out there.

The best headphone deals and prices

Sony WH1000XM3 NC headphones: $349 $278 at Amazon
The best headphones in the world? We think so. Sony's incredible noise-cancelling over ears are 21% off their usual RRP price for Cyber Monday at Amazon.View Deal

Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones: $349 $279 at Amazon
One of the most popular sets of headphones on the market, the QuietComfort 35 II from Bose offer powerful noise-cancelling technology and natural detailed sound. They're at a tempting price at Amazon.View Deal

Sony WH-XB900N wireless headphones: $248 now $148 at Amazon
If you're looking for a solid pair of noise-cancelling and wireless headphones that won't break the bank then these are a good choice. Made all the more appealing thanks to Amazon's discount.
View Deal

Apple AirPods with Charging Case: $159 $139 at Amazon
Always a best-selling item, the latest model Apple AirPods are on sale at just $139 ($20 off) at Amazon. Apple's truly wireless earbuds come with a charging case and provide up to three hours of talk time on a single charge.
View Deal

Apple AirPods Pro: $249.99 $234.98 at Amazon
You asked for it and we delivered: a real-life deal on AirPods Pro with delivery just before Thanksgiving. Yes, that's how limited this Cyber Monday AirPods deal is today – it sold out twice on us so far, and now it's saying the AirPods won't be delivered until January - but if you can wait, that's still a great price.View Deal

Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds: $189 $139 at Amazon
Excellent running earphones with a comfortable fit and precise sound, these true wireless buds come highly recommended. The regular non-"Active" buds are even cheaper at Amazon too.View Deal

Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones | $249.95 $199.95 at Amazon
Powerbeats Pro are available for $50 off this weekend at Amazon, and offer up to nine hours of the high quality audio you'd expect from Beats. Perfect for fitness fanatics, the Powerbeats Pro offer an adjustable ear hook design that keeps your buds firmly in place. You're also getting the Apple H1 chip, so using your earbuds with your Apple devices is smooth and simple.
View Deal

JBL Live 650 BT NC, Around-Ear Wireless Headphone with Noise Cancellation: $199.99 $99.95 on Amazon
If the idea of noise cancelling headphones resonates with you but the idea of dropping $300 doesn't, check out the JBL Live 650 BT NC that offers active noise cancellation in an around-ear pair of cans. This week only they're $100 off on Amazon.View Deal

Audio-Technica ATH-SR30BTBK over-ear headphones: $99 $69 at Amazon
Score $30 off list price for these over-ear headphones from one of personal audio's leading-most brands. Not a bad deal for 70 hours of wireless listening time on a single charge.View Deal

The best headphone deals and prices (UK)

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II: £329.95 £199 at John Lewis
These high quality headphones are renowned for their excellent audio and class-leading noise cancellation at a mid-range price tag usually reserved for less feature-packed headsets. Now at their lowest price ever, this is an outstanding Black Friday deal from John Lewis.
View Deal

Sony WH-CH700N noise-cancelling headphones: £98 £77 at Amazon
These headphones may be cheap, but they don't sound like bargain basement cans – and with £20 off, they're a steal this Black Friday.View Deal

Marshall Monitor Bluetooth Headphones: £145 £98 at Amazon
Need some wireless over-ear headphones? These Marshall cans come with the brand's iconic rock aesthetic, with leather-look earcups and gold hardware, as well as 30 hours of battery life. At £98, they're also at their lowest ever price. View Deal

Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones (Apple): £89.95 £44.95 at Amazon
Need some new running headphones? This amazing Black Friday deal sees a £45 price cut on these Bose earbuds. This is for the Apple-optimized model – if you're an Android owner, see the deal below.View Deal

Marshall Minor Wireless In-Ear Headphones: £117 £68 at Amazon
If you love Marshall's rock and roll aesthetic and you need new pair of wireless earphones, check out this great deal from Amazon – this is the lowest price we've seen for these guitar amp-inspired earbuds, so snap them up while you can. View Deal

Lypertek Tevi True Wireless Earbuds: £99 £69 at Amazon
With USB-C charging, a well-balanced sound, lengthy battery life, and waterproofing, the Lypertek Tevi tick every box you could ask for, from what are basically a pair of budget true wireless earbuds. Now with £30 off, they're even more of a bargain than they were before. View Deal

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 true wireless earbuds: £150 £99.95 at Amazon
The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 are among the best true wireless earbuds you can buy if you concerned with pure audio fidelity – and with just over £50 off, they're a bargain. View Deal

RHA TrueConnect true wireless earbuds: £149.95 £99 at Amazon
These true wireless buds boast a rich and balanced sound, excellent build quality, and a decent battery life – and they're now over £50 cheaper in this great Amazon deal.View Deal

So what’s a good deal?

First have a think about whether you want in-ear, on ear or full size headphones. 

Full-size pairs are often the most comfortable, but smaller on-ear sets tend to look better and, obviously, take up less space. The sheer popularity of on-ear headphones has also led to deals just as sweet as those of some tiny in-ear buds too.  

If the budget is very restricted you may want to stay away from big glamorous brand like Beats. Lower-cost names like Skullcandy often get you similar results for much less money. And you may be surprised by how much its headphones have grown up in recent years. 

Without further ado, here are the best headphone deals we found this month.

Best headphone deals

Skullcandy Grind

Check out these killer cheap on-ear cans from Skullcandy

Headphone type: On-Ear | Weight: .53 lb | Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz | Drivers: 40mm | Connectivity: Wired | Battery life: 12

Subdued, sporty design
Stellar sound
TapTech button and mic
No volume controls

We're not sure how Skullcandy crammed such excellent-sounding drivers into such a cheap headset, but somehow, some way, it absolutely did. The Skullcandy Grind is one of our favorite wired on-ear headphones – it's cheap, sounds incredible and looks awesome. Also, while most headphones make a statement using a logo, branding on these headphones is subtle, with a small logo stamped onto each of the sidearms. While Skullcandy isn't super transparent about the specs of its headsets, the Grind offers exquisite sound quality, complete with beefy bass response and articulate delivery of mids and highs. We tried a wide variety of music samples to see if we could find a weak point in these cans and, nope, we couldn't. The only weak point here is that it doesn't have volume controls built-in. But that's not a huge bummer.

Anker SoundBuds NB10

Need a workout buddy? Check out the Anker SoundBuds NB10

Headphone type: In-Ear | Weight: .64 oz | Drivers: 12mm | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery life: 6 | Bluetooth Range: 33ft

Really good bass response
Sweat-proof
Good fit
Chunky design

When looking for a good pair of wireless in-ear headphones, We’re always on the hunt for something that sounds good (duh!), feels comfortable to wear for long periods of time and, most importantly, doesn’t fall out mid-workout. The Anker SoundBuds NB10 does all of the above perfectly. 

What you'll love most about the Anker SoundBuds NB10 is its warm sound and spectacular bass response. The low-end isn't as heavy-handed as some other in-ear headphones, but that demureness makes it great both when you’re at the gym and when it’s time to hang up the towel and head home for the night.

Optoma NuForce BE Sport3

Top-tier WIRELESS in-ear headphones for cheap

Headphone type: In-Ear | Weight: .46 oz | Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz | Drivers: 6mm | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Wireless range: 33ft | Battery life: 10 hours

Good sound
Incredible insolation
Ultra comfortable
Some known battery issues

Why should you pick the Optoma NuForce BE Sport3 instead of the Momentum In-Ear, because it's one of the cheapest (and best-sounding) in-ear headphones we've ever found. And, good news, it's usually on sale to boot. Not only are these earbuds IP55 rated, making them rain, dust and sweat resistant, but they also have really balanced sound that works well for every genre and incredible noise isolation. They're perfect for the gym because they weigh just 18 grams and don't need to connect to your phone via a dangling, easy-to-knock off cable. Optoma says the frequency response goes from 20 to 20,000Hz, and it has a sensitivity of 102dB +/-3dB at 1kHz. On the debit side, though, there are some horror stories out there of the BE Sport3's batteries being a bit difficult to work with, so keep that in mind.

Marshall Major II Bluetooth

Wireless on-ear headphones that take the show on the road

Headphone type: Over-Ear | Weight: 7.13 oz | Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz | Drivers: 40mm | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Bluetooth range: 10m | Battery life: 30 hours

Iconic styling
Excellent coiled cable
Long battery life
Cheap build

You may know Marshall for its guitar amplifiers, often used on stage by rock stars and amateurs alike, but the company does way more than just amps. In the past few years, Marshall's produced several lines of headphones, a Bluetooth speaker or two and even a smartphone. Marshall's headphones have been universally solid offerings that target the fashion-conscious more than the audiophile. Its latest offering, the Marshall Major II Bluetooth, is the company's first wireless headphones and it continues Marshall's trend for focusing on fashion and fun rather than pristine sound quality and a great build.

AKG K92

Want over-ear headphones on the cheap? AKG has you covered

Headphone type: Over-Ear | Weight: 1.2 lb | Frequency response: 16Hz-20KHz | Drivers: 40mm | Connectivity: Wired

Great sounding
Comfortable to wear
Budget plastic construction
No detachable cable

When it comes to headphones, the general consensus is that you very much get what you pay for. But with AKG's K92, what you're getting is so much more. These headphones offer a level of sound quality that far outstrip their budget price tag. That being said, these are some of the largest cans you might ever find, and therefore might not be the best choice for anyone out there who has a petite noggin. Specs-wise, however, it's all good. The K92's professional 40mm drivers offer an extended 16 - 20,000Hz frequency response with a 113 dB SPL/V sensitivity level. It has a cable length of about 9 feet (3 meters) and weighs around 200 grams. 

Plantronics BackBeat Sense

Street-wise wireless headphones with smart features

Headphone type: Over-Ear | Weight: 4.8 oz | Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz | Drivers: 40mm | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Bluetooth range: 100m | Battery life: 18 hours

Attractive design
Lightweight
Universal controls
Ear cups don't fold

When the BackBeat Sense first launched a few years ago, it was way too expensive for the everyday audio listener. Sure, these headphones are good, but were they $200/£150 good? Probably not. Thankfully, it’s possible to find them for a much more reasonable price if you shop around. The design yields comfort and appeal. Its sound performance, battery life and features all deliver without a hitch. There are one or two problems here, but for a sweet set of headphones at this low of a price point we can't be harsh on 'em. These cans are worth every penny for someone looking to leap for a classy-looking set of wireless headphones.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Echo Buds

Alexa powered earbuds

Weight: 7.6 grams | Battery Life: 5 hours | Connection: Wireless | Bluetooth: 5.0 | Noise Cancellation: Yes | IPX rating: IPX4 (earbuds only)

Built-in Alexa voice assistant
Active noise cancellation by Bose
Cheaper than AirPods 

The Amazon Echo Buds were released this past September with an affordable starting price of $129.99. The earbuds include Active Noise Reduction technology that was developed by Bose and feature an advanced microphone that allows you hands-free access to Amazon Alexa. The Alexa-enabled earbuds allow you to skip songs, adjust the volume, ask questions, and more completely hands-free. The sweat-resistant earbuds provide up to five hours of battery life and come in three different sizes for a secure and comfortable fit.

Apple AirPods

Apple's true wireless earbuds are now available at a discount!

Headphone type: In-Ear | Weight: .14 oz | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Bluetooth range: 10m | Battery life: 5 hours **Battery life (charging case):** 24 hours

Battery life is exceptional
Sound is great
One-size-fits-all design
Don't lose them! 

There’s a lot about the AirPods that we like. They sound great, their battery life and charging speeds run laps around the competition, and it’s hard to overstate just how seamless the pairing process is. Unfortunately, they can be rather expensive if you don't get them on sale. Considering the holidays are right around the corner, we expect to see these awesome wireless in-ears on sale sooner rather than later. Don't miss them! 

Beats Solo3 Wireless

Expensive, but good-sounding name brand headphones

Excellent wireless stability
Energetic, punchy sound
Firm headband pressure
Lack of fidelity for price

The Beats Solo 3 Wireless ace their wireless tech, with very solid Bluetooth, good range and class-leading battery life. There’s a huge difference here compared with often-flaky cheap Bluetooth sets. Their bass response is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, too – it’s not meant to be neutral or accurate, but by providing meaty thuds without major boominess, the Solo 3 Wireless do what Beats headphones should.