Apple’s new AirPods (3rd generation) may pique your interest. Still, an early Black Friday 2021 promotion has slashed the price of the second-generation AirPods to their lowest level ever, albeit that’s not the only incentive to take advantage of the sale. Normally, a pair of AirPods (2nd generation) costs $129 from Apple, but one merchant sells them for only $89.
That’s a $40 discount, and it takes the AirPods’ price to its lowest point since Apple released the second-generation device in early 2019. However, there are, as you might guess, certain cautions to keep in mind.
To begin, these are the AirPods 2nd Generation with the normal charging case. The earphones with the Qi wireless charging case, however, are not included. To top up the case, you’ll need to put in a Lightning wire, though Walmart’s price includes that cord in the package as well.
Another factor to consider is the form. With the third-generation AirPods, which Apple debuted earlier this year, Apple turned to a new design for its non-noise-cancelling AirPods. The lengthy stems and narrow earbud tips were replaced with considerably shorter stems inspired by the AirPods Pro and a bigger, redesigned head.
Apple claims that the new AirPods‘ larger head allows for a better fit in the typical ear. Although neither the second- or third-generation models will completely block out all ambient noise (for that, you’ll need AirPods Pro), the newest earbuds are designed to fit your ear more securely.
That is, if you have an “average” ear, as determined by Apple’s study. When I reviewed the AirPods (3rd generation), I discovered that I preferred the way their predecessors suited my ears. So it all boils down to personal preference.
There are, of course, certain additional factors to consider. For example, the second-generation AirPods lack spatial audio capabilities, aren’t water-resistant to IPX4, and lack the new skin recognition in-ear sensor, which claims to distinguish between the earbud being in situ vs on a table or in a pocket. The maximum battery life is also five hours, compared to six hours for the third-generation AirPods.
Still, those newest earphones will set you back $179, which is more than double the price of Walmart’s AirPods Black Friday 2021 bargain. While those looking for active noise cancellation or a more secure fit for workouts should seek elsewhere – in that case, I recommend Beats’ Fit Pro, which I prefer to Apple’s AirPods Pro – you’re getting a lot for $89.