If you’re in the market for the best earbuds right now, you’re in luck as Labor Day is just around the corner – arriving on September 4th this year – and that means there are some serious sales brewing. This holiday, which signifies the return of the school year and the beginning of Fall for many of us, is also a major day for deals.
Don’t worry if you missed the buying frenzy around the last one or two shopping holidays. Unlike Amazon Prime Day, Labor Day deals aren’t limited to one outlet. While Amazon Labor Day sales are a given as the retailer is never one to miss a sale, other retailers are joining in so you have more choices. If, for instance, you prefer to pick your item up in-store, the Best Buy Labor Day sales are sure to pique your interest.
Regardless of what retailer you go with, this is the time to take advantage of all these sales. After all, the best earbuds are generally not that cheap, setting you back anywhere from $100 to $300 (or more in some cases). Especially if you want certain features like active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency mode or fast charging, you want to avoid the bargain basement options even if they’re just a little more accessible price-wise.
With these sales, you can also stretch your purchasing power just a little more to get something a little better or feature-filled than you would usually. Or, at least save some money.
Look up any top earbuds list, ask any reviewer, and chances are that it won’t take long for the Sony WF-1000XM4 to make an appearance. There’s a reason they top our list of best earbuds and garnered a five-star review from us. There are several actually.
They’re very near the top of the list when it comes to noise-cancelling, only beaten out by such luminaries as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 mentioned below. They sound fantastic, especially for wireless earbuds, offering a balanced yet engaging sound that lends itself to any type of audio.
The fit and comfort is first rate as well, not to mention the company’s fully-featured app. The WF-1000XM4 also works with three different voice assistants so you can easily interact with them whether you have an Apple or Android phone. And, the call quality is fairly impressive as well. Basically, what makes these so good is that they do everything well, even when there’s another model out there that is better in one particular aspect.
Of course, for such a quality pair of earbuds, there’s going to be a somewhat hefty price tag. While you can certainly pay more than the Sony WF-1000XM4’s going rate of $279.99 / £250 / AU$449.95 on earbuds, that’s certainly not cheap. However, now that Sony WF-1000XM5 has been released, this older model is sure to see discounts if only to move old stock. Yet, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are still incredible earbuds and worth keeping on your wishlist as Labor Day comes around. They’re sure to see some great sales.
You don’t have to break the bank to get excellent earbuds. And, the Sony WF-C700N are proof. However, you do have to make some sacrifices. As we discussed in our five-star review of the Sony WF-C700N, they’re incredible for the price.
You’ll miss out on certain audiophile-codecs like LDAC and there’s no on-ear volume control, but if you’re looking at more budget-friendly options, that doesn’t really matter. Plus, if you just use Spotify to listen to music, something like LDAC or DSEE upscaling support doesn’t even enter the picture.
What makes these earbuds so special then is that, even without that Hi-Fi support, they sound great. They’re exuberant yet meaty, giving enough space for the music to come alive. Plus, they support Sony 360 Reality Audio, a spatial audio feature, that will take your listening immersion to the next level.
Comfort is also a selling point as these earbuds are on the smaller side allowing for an easy fit that won’t feel like you’re stuffing your ears. And, while not market-leading, solid ANC and Ambient (aka transparency) modes are on hand.
The price for the Sony WF-C700N is already very reasonable going for $119 / £99 / AU$199 , but considering they got discounted over $20 on Prime Day, they’re sure to a good price slash for Labor Day.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2
When it comes to which headphones are the absolute best, there are a small number of models that vie for that top spot like the aforementioned Sony WF-1000XM4 and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, which also received a stellar five-star review. The differences are often just a matter of degrees and the one’s that’s actually better might just come down to your own preferences.
If ANC is your biggest priority, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 are the ones to beat. Not only is the ANC best-in-class, but it doesn’t affect the sound quality of your audio either. It’s also adaptive and can be personalized via the app to accommodate how sound passes through an individual’s ear canal.
Since this 2nd-gen model is a redesign of the original, it’s smaller and more comfortable to wear. Plus, where the original lacked in low-end response, this newer version rectifies that with a very balanced sound that works with all sorts of music, whether it’s heavy on the bass or the treble.
Of course, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 aren’t quite as stellar across the board as the Sony WF-1000XM4 as the battery life and call quality aren’t anything to write home about, not to mention there’s no support for high definition codecs. But, those are minor, especially considering how good that ANC is.
Just like those other earbuds I keep comparing these to, the price tag is on the higher side, coming in at $299 / £279 / AU$429. However, these earbuds have been available for just about a year and Bose tends to discount them whenever a sales holiday comes around, getting as low as $229 during this past Christmas.
Jabra Elite 7 Active
If there’s a brand that manages to balance excellent performance with price, it’s Jabra. The Jabra Elite 7 Active are fantastic for the price. While the ANC is just ok and the audio quality is not quite that balanced, audiophile-like listening experience, they still sound pretty good.
More importantly, they offer an incredibly secure and comfortable fit that, when paired with its IP57 rating, make these an ideal companion for a good workout at the gym or on the trail. There’s also solid battery life with the earbuds getting 8 hours (30 total with the case) as well as an intuitive app to finetune sound, controls, and ANC / HearThrough (transparency mode) to your liking.
While you’ll also find some cool features like wireless charging, it’s really the price that makes the Jabra Elite 7 Active, like many of Jabra’s offerings, so interesting. While its regular price tag of $179 / £169 / AU$279 looks good if not I-need-to-buy-it-right-now good, Jabra has never seen a sale it didn’t like. You’ll find it on sale very regularly, including some ridiculous discounts, such as last December when it was available for just $89.99 on Amazon. It even got down to $110 just this last month.