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I don’t usually recommend AirPods 3, but today I changed my mind

Most of the time, I don’t recommend AirPods 3 to BGR readers. There are a few different reasons, but it pretty much boils down to the comparison between Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 and AirPods 3. They both have similar designs, but AirPods Pro 2 offer better sound quality and active noise cancelling. And since AirPods Pro 2 are always discounted and AirPods 3 are rarely on sale, spending an extra $20-$30 on the Pro model is a no-brainer.

Today, however, it’s a different story. AirPods 3 are currently on sale for $139.99, which matches the lowest price ever. They’re typically priced at $169 or $179 depending on which charging case you want. Since AirPods Pro 2 are always on sale for around $199 or less, that’s not enough of a difference. Right now, however, you can save $50 by opting for AirPods 3 over AirPods Pro 2, and that’s why I’ve changed my mind about recommending them. If you don’t care about active noise cancelling, you should definitely pick up a pair.

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BGR’s comprehensive guide on the best AirPods deals keeps tabs on all of the deepest discounts on Apple headphones. That includes all of Apple’s wireless earphones as well as AirPods Max, the first and only over-ear headphones to fall under the AirPods brand.

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But there’s one model that has been suspiciously absent from my roundup so far in 2024.

I am of course referring to AirPods 3, which haven’t gone on sale very often this year. In fact, they’ve been completely out of stock at many retailers.

Not only are AirPods 3 back in stock today, but they’re also on sale with a 17% discount for the first time in a long time. That drops Apple’s third-generation AirPods to $139.99, which is the lowest price ever for this model.

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As BGR reviewer Christian de Looper noted in his extensive AirPods 3 review, Apple’s newest mid-range model offers numerous big upgrades compared to AirPods 2. The second-generation model is also still in Apple’s AirPods lineup, mind you, and it’s on sale right now for $89.

AirPods 3 have a completely new design compared to AirPods 2. They have shorter stems and larger earbuds. Plus, AirPods 3 have silicone tips like Apple’s AirPods Pro. Third-generation AirPods don’t offer active noise cancelling, but they do isolate sound thanks to the rubber tips.

Other features include sweat and water resistance, force sensors on the stems for playback and call controls, and up to 30 hours of total listening time thanks to the charging case.

The only thing to note is that there are two versions of Apple’s AirPods 3. One comes with a wireless charging case, but the model currently on sale has a Lightning charging case. If you’d prefer the model with a MagSafe Charging Case, you can pick up a pair of renewed AirPods 3 for as little as $84.99 depending on what kind of condition you want them in (excellent, good, or acceptable).

This model retails for $179, so that’s a great price.

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In addition to AirPods 3, I’ll note that AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C are also currently on sale with a big discount. At $189.99, they’re a solid value. Anything under $200 for Apple’s latest noise-cancelling earphones is an excellent deal.

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