The record-setting Black Friday price drop on Apple's AirPods Pro 2 is causing reverberations around the internet. But whilst the saving is certainly significant in itself, the question we're left asking is whether this discount also bequeaths Apple the title of best value headphones for cycling...?
First, you have to set your parameters: there's something of an ideological divide between earbuds (to block out sound) and bone conduction (to do the opposite). If you're training indoors, shutting out the drone of your fan is a sweet relief. But if you're riding outdoors, you should stay alert to your surroundings and traffic - we would always advise using only one earbud or bone conducting headphones. So, with the ground set, what is best value right now?
Apple AirPods Pro 2
The AirPods Pro Gen 2 has two bits of tech that really impressed us for cycling use: 'Adaptive Transparency’ allows ambient noise such as from traffic in, and 'Active Noise Cancellation' which lets less outside noise in when you really need to focus on hitting your target in an indoor interval workout.
I'll split this up by region to make it simpler. In the USA the Apple AirPods Pro 2 are reduced to $169.00. That's still a fair chunk more expensive than Samsung's Galaxy Buds2 Pro, which are currently reduced from $229.99 down to $124.80 - a whopping 46% reduction compared to 32% for Apple.
Walmart is the clear price leader right now, with its 32% discount. But Amazon and BestBuy are just behind at 24% off. We're tracking all sites and will flag any price drops
Our friends at Tech Radar were similarly impressed by the noise cancelling capabilities of the Galaxy Buds2 Pro when they had them on review. So for the difference in price, it really boils down to whether you are an Apple user or Android: you get the benefits Apple's seamless ecosystem experience with the AirPods - but if you're on Android you might as well make the most of the greater savings right now.
Or you could eschew the proposition of earbuds entirely - in which case I'd recommend checking out Haylou PurFree's bone conduction headphones, currently much cheaper than Shokz for near identical performance.
Over in the UK...
Many retailers have now matched Amazon's 13% discount. We're keeping all the sites tracked and will flag here if any drops theirs prices lower.
It's a very similar story. With the Apple AirPods Pro 2 not seeing a similarly meaty discount, down from £229.00 to now £199.00 at Amazon, the 31% saving on the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro, down to £149.00 at Curry's is all the stronger. Again, really it comes down to whether you're an Apple user and willing to pay the premium for the best experience, or if you're more concerned with the price your paying for performance.
Andy Turner is a regular contributor to Cycling Weekly and reviewed the AirPods Pro Gen 2 earlier this year. He concluded: "The sound quality is superb, whilst the noise cancellation and transparency mode are useful features in a range of environments."
Andy is a Sport & Exercise Scientist, fully qualified and experienced cycling coach, personal trainer and gym instructor. He spent 3 years on the road riding for a UCI cycling team and 7 years as a BC Elite rider.
"The sound quality is excellent for when Zwift-ing or for riding out on the road. The noise cancelling means you can block out the sound from the smart indoor bike trainer or fan when indoor training, whilst the transparency mode and having just one earbud in at a time means you can listen to music or podcasts out on the road without compromising hearing at all.
"The range of the AirPods was really very impressive. Stopping mid-ride and climbing two floors up to the other side of the house, my music continued to play without a problem - which I really wasn’t expecting!"
With this category-leading tech, the AirPod Pros certainly come highly recommended as one of the best headphones for cycling.
It's not only Apple's earbuds that have been heavily discounted this Black Friday - we're been rounding up the best headphone deals for cycling over here.
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