If you love audio, this weekend is going to be total bliss. It’s when you can score yourself the best gear for the lowest prices. Stores and sites across North America will be discounting their stock in a big way for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We’ve rounded up the best deal in each category for 2019. Check out our full list below – we even have full buying advice if you need some extra guidance on how to get the most out of these two shopping days. By the way: all these deals are available right now. You don’t even have to wait until Friday.
What We Like: Superb sound and battery life, excellent app.
What We Don’t: Noise-canceling is second-best to Bose, cheap-feeling build.
The WH-1000XM3s are the best pair of headphones that Sony have ever made. In fact, they may be among the best headphones ever, period. They offer extraordinary sound, over 28 hours of battery life, and noise-canceling that, while second to headphones from Bose, is still ridiculously good. If you want to buy a pair of headphones that will almost certainly be the last pair you’ll ever need, the WH-1000XM3s are the ones to go for. For Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can get them for nearly $70 off, which is absolutely enormous saving...Read our in-depth review
See the Sony WH-1000XM3
Best Earbuds Deal
What We Like: Outstanding call quality and battery life, great charging case.
What We Don’t: No noise-canceling, iffy sound quality.
With the recent release of the Apple AirPods Pro, older models are undergoing massive discounts. That’s great considering the original AirPods were already outstanding. This deal gets you $25 off the price, and if you use an iPhone – or just want a pair of earbuds with insanely good call quality and battery life – then this could be an easy buy. This deal doesn’t include a wireless charging case, as some newer models do, but there are also plenty more Apple deals available. We just happen to think that this is the best one...Read our in-depth review
See the Apple AirPods with Charging Case (2nd Gen.)
Best Soundbar Deal
What We Like: Terrific sound, easy to set up and use.
What We Don't: Needs a subwoofer to get the best out of it.
We were delighted when we saw that the Sonos Beam was $80 off. That’s a huge incentive to buy what we think is one of the best soundbars ever made. Sonos already rule the world of wireless speakers, where they’re known for their good sound, and beautifully simple setup. They bring both of those aspects to the world of soundbars, and the Beam is an excellent package that will immediately improve your TV sound quality. Furthermore, you can easily expand to a full surround sound system using other Sonos speakers. If you want a soundbar this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, go with the Sonos Beam…Read our in-depth review
See the Sonos Beam
Best A/V Receiver Deal
What We Like: Great surround sound and connectivity options.
What We Don't: Not best when playing music.
A/V Receivers don’t often get big discounts - not even on Black Friday and Cyber Monday - but there are still a few around if you go digging. Fortunately, we’ve saved you the trouble and have done it for you. The Onkyo TX-NR585 is an outstanding A/V receiver, especially if you have a surround sound system or want to get one. You get access to full Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound, and the 7.2 channel TX-NR585 is a joy to use. We do think that it’s better for movies than it is for music, but using an A/V receiver for music feels like overkill anyway. And the savings here are just unreal – the $599 retail price has almost been cut in half.
See the Onkyo TX-NR585
Best Stereo Amp Deal
What We Like: Powerful and agile sound quality.
What We Don’t: DAC technology could be better.
Like A/V receivers, stereo amps usually escape the Black Friday madness. The Marantz PM7005 is one of the few exceptions. It’s an excellent stereo amp that will supply any hi-fi system with powerful and agile sound. With 60 watts of power per channel, it has more than enough grunt to power just about any speakers. We aren’t wild about the looks, and the digital audio conversion technology isn’t the best, but there’s no denying the gorgeous, thundering sound. And we defy you to find a better deal than a stereo amplifier like this for $400 off.
See the Marantz PM7005
Best DAC Deal
What We Like: One of the best portable audio solutions we’ve ever tested.
What We Don’t: Can overheat during use.
The Chord Mojo is quite something. It’s a portable headphone amp and DAC with a unique design, and it remains one of the best we’ve tested – a winner of our Editor’s Choice Award. This lightweight, compact DAC is next-level, with sound that we think is almost unbeaten in the portable space. If you want to boost the sound of your phone, tablet, or laptop, we can’t think of a better way to do so. And at $200 off, even our initial gripes about the price go right out the window. You can even transform it into a wireless solution using the accompanying Poly attachment – although we haven’t seen any deals for that, so you may want to tread carefully...Read our in-depth review
See the Chord Mojo
Best Blu-ray Player Deal
What We Like: Top-notch picture quality.
What We Don't: No streaming services.
Pioneer know how to make quality players and their UDP-LX500 is a perfect example. Although the savings here aren’t huge compared to others in the list – a mere $100 off the retail price – we think it’s worth it. That’s because the picture quality of the UDP-LX500 is some of the best we’ve seen, with rich and dynamic colors and a high level of sharpness. While you do sacrifice some features – there’s no streaming service access here – you get one of the best Blu-ray players ever made.
See the Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500
Best Wireless Speaker Deal
What We Like: Good volume, surprisingly decent bass.
What We Don't: Not portable, sound can be a little harsh.
We actually had to work quite hard to pick which wireless speaker deal was the best available, as we’ve seen plenty this year. In the end, we went with Bose – a $100 discount on their excellent Soundtouch 10 is the best deal we’ve seen. While it may not be portable, the Soundtouch 10 makes up for it by offering energetic sound. It also features a solid low-end, which is not always a given with Bose. It can also reach pretty high volumes, which is great for filling up a big room. If you want a wireless speaker that works well and won’t cost you the earth, we strongly recommend the Bose Soundtouch 10.
See the Bose Soundtouch 10
Best Smart Speaker Deal
What We Like: Great design and features, works superbly when controlling other speakers.
What We Don't: The Alexa smart assistant is still terrible.
The third generation of the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker feels like an apex - aside from the fact that the Alexa smart assistant still sucks in comparison to others. But get past that, and you’ll find a supremely useful little smart speaker, with a handy clock, and surprisingly good sound for the tiny size. It’s also absolutely brilliant at controlling other speakers, meaning you can take command of your music with your voice. It’s also available for $15 off this weekend...Read our in-depth review
See the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
Best Bookshelf Speakers Deal
What We Like: Gorgeous sound, beautiful design.
What We Don’t: Frustrating setup, cheap-feeling remote.
The KEF LSX are among our favorite bookshelf speakers ever. We love the design, which is visually and texturally distinct from other bookshelf speakers, and we adore the sound. The airy, open audio quality is further boosted by an app that lets you fine-tune it to your heart’s content, even to the extent of selecting whether the LSX are on a stand or a shelf. They are $200 off right now, and if you want a pair of wireless stereo speakers that more than deliver on their promise, we strongly recommend them. They are epic...Read our in-depth review
See the KEF LSX
Best Headphone Amp Deal
What We Like: Ridiculously good headphone amp, solid design.
What We Don’t: Chunky wall-wart power supply.
The Schiit Magni is the best headphone amp you can buy right now. Yes, we know that there are four-figure tube-laded ultra-powered beasts available. But for a combination of great sound, sleek looks, solid build, and unbeatable bang-for-buck, the Magni is the only amp you need. It can power just about any pair of headphones, and we have no hesitation in recommending it. Schiit are the kind of company who may even draw you a little cartoon in the box - something we can’t see Bose or Sony doing. The Magni won an Editor’s Choice Award from us, and with good reason. FYI: this is the third generation of the Magni, and is sometimes known as the Magni 3...Read our in-depth review
See the Schiit Magni
- What are Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
- When are Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019?
- How Good are the Deals?
- Discounts on Older Products
- Returning Products
This Thursday, Americans will engage in their most proud tradition: stuffing themselves with a truckload of delicious food while surrounded by family, then passing out during the football game. This Friday, they will engage in their second most proud tradition: shopping. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year, and the days when all products – not just audio ones, as featured here – are heavily discounted.
If you believe in origin stories: Black Friday was named as such because, when retailers first began these sales, they became famous for pushing companies “into the black” on their balance sheets. We can’t confirm whether or not that’s true – the reality is slightly more tortured – but what we can say is that Black Friday is absolutely the best day of the year to score yourself some deals. It’s followed closely by Cyber Monday, which is named for the best online sales, and both celebrations tend to stretch out over the week before Thanksgiving and after.
This year, Black Friday is on 29 November and Cyber Monday is on 2 December. In reality, most of the deals you’ll see – including every deal on this page – is available for the week leading up to Cyber Monday. You can buy anything you want right now. Different retailers have different start dates, but the closer you get to Black Friday, the more deals there are. And on the day itself, of course, there’s a tidal wave of them.
That largely depends on where you shop and what you’re looking for. We’ve got some extraordinary deals in our list above, ranging from small discounts on cheap items, like $15 off the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen), to stupendous discounts like the amazing Onkyo TX-NR585 A/V receiver, which is just over half the price from its full retail numbers.
If we were to list every available audio deal for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019, this piece would be one of the longest we’ve ever written. It’s why we’ve broken down our list above into the best picks for each category. The reality is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for determining whether the deals you get on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are ‘good’. Obviously, you’ll want to look for the highest discount on the original price, but you might want to do a little more research before buying, in case newer models are even cheaper. Before buying that Onkyo receiver, for example, you may want to check out our list of the best A/V receivers to find alternatives. Not all of these are discounted, of course, but it will give you plenty to choose from.
As a general rule: the older a product, the more likely it is to be discounted. A perfect example of this is the Apple AirPods with Charging Case (2nd Gen.), which are $25 off this week. They are discounted because the Apple AirPods Pro have just been released with even more advanced features. That doesn’t mean that the original AirPods aren’t worth looking at, so we recommend checking that deal out if you want to score a great discount on an already-great pair of earbuds.
Let’s say you’ve bought a product that you’ve since changed your mind on, or you bought a product that was the incorrect version. You’ll need to return it, or cancel the transaction. Fortunately, there are many ways of doing so. In the case of online stores, as long as your order hasn’t shipped, it’s very easy to cancel. We won’t go into all the various processes for different retailers here, but as long as your product hasn’t shipped yet, you should be able to cancel it quite easily using the retailer’s website – Amazon, for example, has a very easy cancellation process. If you’re on Prime, you can even return certain products for free.
Things get more complicated once your product is shipped out to you. Different retailers have different policies, so it’s well worth being aware of these before you buy. Also, here’s a huge tip: while the Federal Trade Commission does mandate a three day cooling off period for any purchase, this absolutely does not apply to online orders. If you decide to cancel after three days, you may run into trouble. If the worst comes to the worst, and you really feel hard done by, you can always go via your state’s Consumer Protection Office.
One last warning: generally, headphones and earbuds can’t be returned, for hygeine reasons. You should still be able to cancel the shipment before it leaves the warehouse however!