Tuesday marks the start of Amazon Prime Day, Amazon’s annual Black-Friday-style sales event for members of its Prime subscription service. Though it arrives a few months later than usual after pandemic-related complications, Prime Day remains at once a manufactured celebration of an increasingly problematic giant and a nice perk for 150 million people looking to save a few bucks on nice things.
However you slice it, Prime Day is also one of the rare occasions where we see several good deals on Apple devices. We can safely rule out instant discounts on the just-announced iPhone 12 lineup, and in general, it’s entirely possible that Black Friday will bring better offers. That said, we are seeing a few good prices on AirPods, iPads, MacBooks, and various third-party accessories for Apple devices.
So because significant sales on these devices are uncommon, and because we know many would-be shoppers are specifically looking for Apple hardware this holiday season, we’ve rounded up those top Prime Day Apple deals below. We’ll be sure to keep this post updated as more discounts become available. As a reminder, most offers are only open to users of Amazon’s Prime membership service, and Prime Day itself will last until 12am PT on October 14. For a complete rundown of deals, we’re maintaining a more general roundup as well.
Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.
Prime Day brings the best we’ve seen to date on Apple’s hit true wireless earbuds, as the AirPods are currently $45 off Apple’s MSRP and about $20 off the street price we’ve usually seen online in recent months. You likely know the score with the base model AirPods by now: they’re neither the best-sounding nor the longest-lasting headphones at their price point, and they don’t fit everyone well, but they’re exceptionally lightweight and easy to use with other Apple devices. There have been reports that Apple will introduce new AirPods sometime next year, but for now, this is a good value if you’re sold on the AirPods pitch.
If you’re willing to pony up a bit more, though, the AirPods Pro represent a near-total upgrade over the base model. Currently priced at $199, they bring a more universal fit, a tighter in-ear seal, a more dynamic sound profile, a nifty “transparency” mode that lets you hear outside noises without muting your music, and active noise-cancellation that ranks among the best for true wireless headphones. This deal matches the best price we’ve seen from a reputable retailer, and it’s not limited to Prime members, so anyone can take advantage.
- Apple AirPods true wireless earbuds for $114.99 (normally $135).
- Apple AirPods Pro true wireless noise-cancelling headphones for $199 (normally $230).
Beats headphones deals
If you aren’t a fan of the AirPods aesthetic, recent headphones from Apple subsidiary Beats can get you much of the same convenience and Apple-friendly functionality, since they utilize the same Apple wireless chips. The Powerbeats Pro have been a favorite of ours, for instance, for bringing the easy pairing and rock-solid connectivity as the AirPods in a stabler, more exercise-friendly design. They dwarf both AirPods models when it comes to battery life, too, lasting roughly 11 hours a charge. The main downside is the enormous size of their carrying case, but if you can deal with that, today’s Prime Day deal marks another all-time low price.
The Solo Pro, meanwhile, are a solid pair of noise-cancelling on-ear headphones. They’re aren’t quite best-in-class, but they’re equipped with Apple’s H1 wireless chip, which helps them pair painlessly with other Apple devices. The noise cancellation here isn’t on par with something like Sony’s WH-1000XM4 (which is also on sale for Prime Day), but it’s good, and it’s complemented by a “transparency” mode much like that of the AirPods Pro. They sound nice, too, with a healthy but not overdone bass bump. The caveat here is that the on-ear design isn’t for everyone and may be tight for those with larger heads (like yours truly). Regardless, Prime Day drops the headphones to their lowest price to date.