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Apple’s Airpods are the premium choice for people trying to balance incredible features with ease of use. The only problem is the dang things can be expensive. A brand new set of Airpods will set you back $159 with a normal charging case. If you want the wireless charging model, that number jumps to $199. Are they worth that much of a premium? Airpods are great, sure, but cheap Airpods are better.
For budget-minded people, that leaves two options. First, you can check out some of the incredible Airpod alternatives. Or you can try and hunt down discounted official Airpods. While Apple isn’t fond of discounting their products, that doesn’t mean you can’t find deals. You’ll just have to embrace the wonderful world of refurbished products.
Refurbished Airpods are Airpods that have broken once and been repaired by a certified Apple technician. That means even though they’re used, they’re as good as new. Apple-certified refurbished products are generally in incredible condition. For some users that risk may be too great; they are welcome to buy Airpods are full price. We’re here to save.
Here are the best places to find official, cheap Airpods.
How to find discounted and cheaper Airpods
Buying refurbished Apple Airpods from Amazon may seem a little dangerous at first. They don’t have a deal with Apple, so you won’t be able to get Apple Care on your devices. However, all Amazon refurbished products come with a 90-day Amazon Renewed Guarantee. These “Renewed” Airpods have not been repaired by Apple-certified technicians. Instead, they’ve been looked at by Amazon-qualified suppliers. For folks on a budget, these readily available Airpods are the most common affordable option. But make sure you read the fine print.
Amazon Renewed products promise to have minimal wear and tear, with no visible cosmetic imperfections. At least, when you hold them 12 inches away from your face. And the batteries are only promised to come with at the very least 80 percent capacity relative to a brand new set. These issues might not be worth saving $20, but when you’re on a budget every penny counts.
Best Buy’s Geek Squad has been the go-to big box repair center for suburban tech users for decades. Now they’re fixing up Airpods too. But frankly, the discount on Best Buy’s Airpods is not that impressive and you can find cheaper Airpods elsewhere. You only get a $16 discount for buying used, which feels like the sort of money even the most penny-pinching music fan could easily raise. However, they do good work fixing up the refurbished Airpods, with a vast majority of product reviewers on Best Buy’s site gushing about a positive experience. If Best Buy is your only option, we’d say just pay full price and get new ones. If you really want to support your local retailer and value an easy experience, pick up a pair there and do so with confidence.
Unlike the other entries on this list, this option is only available a few times a year, but it’s worth looking when you’re in the market. Groupon isn’t just for vampire facelifts and skydiving vacations anymore, it’s also a massive online shopping destination, offering price cuts on everything from makeup to yes, discount Airpods. When you can find them, Groupon sells Airpods for $130. At first, that may not seem like a great deal, but you can add two-years of accidental damage protection to your purchase for just $29.99 through Consumer Priority Service. TrustPilot.com gives its warranties a five-star ranking for easy setup and returns. We wish Groupon would get into the discount Airpod business year-round, but for now, the random deals will do.
Newegg is a beloved resource for anyone trying to do a home computer build or repair. Part online retailer, part storefront for brick and mortar repair shops, Newegg offers a wide range of options. Unfortunately, Newegg itself doesn’t sell refurbished, Airpods, but some of its independent shops do. Prices range from $129 to $189, so obviously do your research to figure out if you’re actually getting a deal. The biggest downside of buying these refurbished, cheaper Airpods off Newegg is the lack of guarantees. You can’t get a warranty and you don’t know who is certifying the repairs. This feels like a truly risky buy, which is strange given how much we genuinely love Newegg. Still, for some people, a discount is a discount. Just be careful.
John-Michael Bond is a tech reporter and culture writer for Daily Dot. A longtime cord-cutter and early adopter, he's an expert on streaming services (Hulu with Live TV), devices (Roku, Amazon Fire), and anime. A former staff writer for TUAW, he's knowledgeable on all things Apple and Android. You can also also find him regularly performing standup comedy in Los Angeles.