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Don’t worry if you missed on the last good AirPods Pro deal — it’s back. Staples is selling Apple’s higher-end true wireless earbuds for $199, a full $50 off the usual price. The AirPods Pro haven’t seen a discount this large at Staples since July, and it’s rare that you’ll see them on sale like this anywhere else. Apple’s regular AirPods with a wireless charging case are also on sale for $164 (down from $199) if you don’t crave noise cancellation, while the no-frills AirPods are down to $129 (from $159).
The AirPods Pro are clearly the best Apple-branded earbuds. Active noise cancelling and a significantly improved fit not only help with sound quality, but make the Pro buds considerably better choices for exercise. You shouldn’t have distractions or a loose earpiece interrupting your workouts. The IPX4 water resistance also makes them considerably better at handling sweat.
More importantly, they’re about to become considerably more useful. An upcoming software update will let the AirPods Pro automatically switch between Apple devices, so you won’t have to go through hassles just to finish listening to a podcast on your iPhone after starting it on your Mac. Apple is also promising spatial audio for more immersive movie watching.
The same caveats apply. The physical controls can be awkward, and settings for features like ANC are tucked deeply into iOS. These are the best-sounding AirPods you can get, but you might prefer the sound of alternatives like Sony’s WF-1000XM3. And it won’t surprise you to hear that AirPods are still best-suited to people who live in the Apple ecosystem — you can use them with Android phones and Windows PCs, but you lose many of the conveniences. If those aren’t obstacles, though, this is a tremendous deal.
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