They might look exactly like the first-gen model, but Apple’s second-gen AirPods Pro sound better and have noticeably improved active noise cancellation. In short, they’re the ones you should get if you’re in the market for AirPods. And right now, Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart have them available with a small $20 off discount. At $229, this is as good as it gets for now. It’s anyone’s guess if Black Friday and Cyber Monday will bring a better price.
Beyond the audio improvements that I already mentioned, it’s possible to adjust the volume by touching the earbuds (you’d be surprised how many wireless earbuds don’t let you do this!). The charging case included with this newer AirPods Pro model got a few upgrades, too. It has a built-in speaker, a loop for a lanyard, and better location tracking. Read our review.
Apple’s latest AirPods Pro take after the last-gen model but include swipe controls and a new H2 chip that allows for improved noise cancellation. They also come with a water-resistant charging case that offers support for Apple’s robust Find My network.
If buying a Nintendo Switch OLED is on your to-do list, I’d recommend buying one from Dell’s online store, where you can get a $75 Dell digital gift card when you purchase the console at its normal $349.99 price. Price cuts for this model are essentially nonexistent, and you can use the gift card’s value on a game or to pay for most of the cost of a second set of Joy-Con controllers. The console has a vivid seven-inch OLED screen, an improved kickstand, 64GB of storage, and a redesigned dock, but it is otherwise similar in terms of functionality and power to the $299 model. Read our review.
Looking forward to Black Friday, that should be a great opportunity to pick up some discounted games. And if you plan to stock up on digital games instead of buying physical cartridges, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a high-capacity microSD card to store them on. This 512GB model from Samsung that costs $44.99 at Amazon will hold dozens of games.
Using virtual reality without wires is a big reason why the Meta Quest 2 is so great. But if you’re willing to entertain a deal on a tethered VR headset for PC, we’ve got you covered. The HP Reverb G2 headset, designed in collaboration with Valve and Microsoft, is just $299 at HP — $100 cheaper than the base Quest 2 model and $300 off its original $599 price. Keep in mind, however, that if you want to play the latest and most demanding Steam VR games, like Bonelab, Half-Life: Alyx, and more, you’ll need a PC with a fairly powerful graphics card.
We haven’t checked out this model, but my colleague Adi Robertson took a dive into the specs, features, and similarities to Valve’s pricier Index headset in this news post.
The Reverb G2 offers more pixels per eye than Valve’s Index (2160 x 2160 versus 1440 x 1600), though it tops out at 90Hz refresh rate. It’s field of view is also a little smaller at 114 degrees (compared to 130 degrees). It’s a perk, however, that its inside-out tracking means you won’t need to install tracking sensors.
A couple of deals that won’t cost you as much
- Per this post on Slickdeals, you can grab a remote to control your Xbox Series X / S or Xbox One console for just $10 at GameStop. It looks like a fairly low-frills remote, but it seems to offer a lot for the price. It’s thin, and it has a motion-activated backlight for the buttons, as well as volume controls and Xbox inputs to help you get around the console’s interface without a controller.
- At Best Buy, you can get Roku’s Streambar soundbar for $79.99 (originally $129.99). This is a cool option if you want a small soundbar that will almost certainly provide better audio than what your TV’s speakers are capable of doing. This model stands out also because it can double as a streaming box, with 4K HDR support over HDMI when connected to your TV.