It’s been a few months since the newest AirPods hit the market, and we suspect even Apple is surprised at just how well-received its AirPods Pro have been. We were certainly surprised by just how good they are. But all of those rave reviews have come at a cost for consumers looking to get a set as a gift for themselves or a loved one this holiday season: AirPods Pro were already in very short supply and the combination of Black Friday/Cyber Monday diminished that supply even further.
Most online storesare showing zero in their inventory, with wait times ranging from one week to four weeks, which is a real problem for that all-important December 25 deadline. But that doesn’t mean you can’t buy the AirPods Pro, it just means you’re going to have to get creative.
Even though the big players are sold out, some alternative sources might still have stock. Until a few days ago, Verizon Wireless — not normally a retailer we’d think of for true wireless earbuds — still had some, but now its site says it can’t ship until after Christmas.
If an online retailer is showing no supply, check to see if they’re going to be getting more soon. B&H Photo, which is obviously too long, but Best Buy says — which will be cutting it incredibly close. Still, that’s better than .
Just because the AirPods Pro are showing up as out-of-stock when shopping online doesn’t mean that all of the individual stores are sold out. Try calling your nearest electronics retailer and see if they’ll put a set aside for you so you can swing by and pick them up in person. Often times, you can still find the latest accessories, iPhones, and Apple Watches at your nearest Apple store if you can’t find them anywhere online in time.
Another strategy is to go online and use the “change location” feature to see if a store a little farther away (but still within a reasonable distance) has some stock. For instance, as of December 18, Apple’s website is showing that a few of its Pensylvania and Michigan stores still have them in stock.
We know you probably have your heart set on a pair of AirPods Pro, but they’re far from the only terrific true wireless earbuds on the market. Big brands like Sony, Jabra, and even Amazon have some very good AirPods alternatives if you don’t mind straying from the path of Apple. Here are a few models we think are worth your consideration.
- Sony WF-1000XM3: These are a superb set of true wireless earbuds featuring class-leading sound quality, active noise-cancellation, and battery life. They’re slightly bigger than the AirPods Pro, but given that they deliver six hours of battery life with ANC on, and a whopping eight hours with it off, you might be just fine with that small trade-off.
- Jabra Elite 65t: Another strong contender, these have been topping our list of the best true wireless earbuds for a while now. At the Cyber Week price of just $110, they’re an excellent buy. We think most people will find their physical buttons easier to use than some of the earbuds with touch-sensitive controls.
- Amazon Echo Buds: These true wireless buds from Amazon don’t sound quite as good as the AirPods Pro, but they’re incredibly affordable given that they have active noise reduction from Bose, as well as the ability to work with all three major voice assistants including Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Looking to find even more Apple products? If so, we’ve also hunted down the best iPhone deals on the market.
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