If you're itching for a new pair of AirPods but have strict holiday-shopping budget to stick to, you're in luck. You can pick up the second-generation AirPods for only $90 right now at Amazon, which is 43 percent off their normal price. While we did see them $10 cheaper during Amazon's October Prime Day, this remains a great sale price that doesn't come around very often.
These buds are a bit old at this point, but any AirPods are hard to beat if you live within the Apple ecosystem. The second-gen buds pair almost instantly with your iPhone during setup, and then they'll switch seamlessly between other Apple devices as you use them. That means you can go from taking a call on your iPhone to listening to music from your MacBook without any hiccups. Apple's H1 chip inside the AirPods also enables hands-free Siri access, allowing you to call upon the virtual assistant to answer questions, send messages and do other tasks without touching your AirPods at all.
Unlike the AirPods Pro, the standard AirPods have a fit that's akin to Apple's old-school EarPods, so if you always liked those that used to come with new iPhones, you'll probably like the fit of these buds, too. Sound quality is decent and wireless connectivity has been improved since the original versions of the buds. As far as battery life goes, you'll get five hours of listening time on a single charge, and a total of 24 hours of use when you employ the charging case that comes with the buds. Just keep in mind that these AirPods do not come with a wireless charging case, so you'll have to power them up with a Lightning cable.
The most compelling reason to pick up the second-gen AirPods is their sale price. They're the cheapest Apple earbuds you can get right now — but if you're willing to spend a bit more, you'll get a lot more in return. Apple's third-gen AirPods are currently on sale for $160, and they provide much better audio quality, Adaptive EQ, spatial audio, six hours of battery life on a single charge and up to 30 hours of use overall. And if you want active noise cancellation, a more custom fit and a wireless charging case, you'll have to spring for the AirPods Pro, which are currently on sale for $230.