Tech

Best Black Friday deals today: Beats, AirPods, Hulu and more on sale

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

Black Friday is tomorrow — but also today. Major retailers from Target to Amazon to Best Buy to Walmart are already offering big discounts. Lots of these Black Friday 2021 offers can be had right now at the best prices of the week, and they won’t get cheaper once Thanksgiving is over. We’ve been scouring the deals and gathering the best Black Friday savings from Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and a ton of other retailers and manufacturers right here, so you can see exactly what’s worth your money and what you should avoid.

So let’s jump right in — here’s our roundup of the best deals available right now.

Top 9 deals overall

David Carnoy/CNET

With the arrival of Beats new Fit Pro earbuds, I assumed we’d see some nice discounts on the earlier and less feature-rich Beats Studio Buds, which list for $150, or only $50 less than the new $200 Beats Fit Pro. I predicted we might see their price dip to $100 and sure enough, that’s what their price is (and a new low).

The Beats Studio Buds look a lot like the rumored stemless AirPods that people were talking about but never materialized — as AirPods anyway. Geared toward both iOS and Android users, they’re missing a few key features on the Apple side of things (there’s no H1 or W1 chip), but they’re small, lightweight earbuds that are comfortable to wear and offer good sound. They fit most ears securely, including mine — I run with them without a problem — but others may find a better fit with the Beats Fit Pro and their integrated wing tips.

They’re a Black Friday deal of the day at Best Buy, Amazon and Walmart, but Amazon is one-upping its competitors by also offering a $10 Amazon gift card at check out with the code BYZPPJADUODB at checkout. The deal is set to expire at the end of the day.

Read Beats Studio Buds review.

 

Angela Lang/CNET

Hulu’s Black Friday deal returns, and it’s open to nearly everyone — new subscribers and anyone who’s been away for more than a month. Get the ad-supported Hulu plan for 99 cents per month for 12 months, after which the price returns to its normal $7 per month (you can cancel anytime after that). That’s an 85% savings. (Anyone who came in on last year’s Black Friday $1.99 deal is excluded.) 

David Carnoy/CNET

Amazon has Apple’s newest AirPods, the AirPods 3, on sale for just $150. That’s $30 less than the Apple Store and their lowest price to date. Note that at Amazon, you get an extra $5 off at checkout — it’s listed in green under the larger red price. If you don’t see “Save $5 at checkout,” the deal has expired. The AirPods 3 have been in and out of stock at this price.

Apple’s AirPods Pro were briefly as low as $169 at Walmart and $170 at Amazon for Black Friday 2020. More recently, the wireless headphones have been ping-ponging between $180 and $200. Right now, the new model — with the MagSafe case — is available for $159 at Walmart, a new all-time low. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Google’s second-gen Nest Hub smart display offers a 7-inch display that you can watch videos on, read recipes, host video chats and so much more. You can ask Google Assistant to help with math problems, conversions, to tell you the weather each day, and even to help with controlling your smart home gear. At this price, you may want to just grab two of them since you’re going to want them around the house.

David Katzmaier/CNET

The TCL 6-Series Roku TV is the best TV for the money overall that we’ve tested, and every size in the series is down to its lowest price of the year. The 6-Series features excellent picture quality thanks to mini-LED backlight technology, QLED color and full-array local dimming. Though this TV technically debuted in 2020, the 6-Series is still a current model for 2021. 

All three sizes are on sale but the largest savings is on the 65-inch model.

Read our TCL 6-Series Roku TV review.

 

Bose

The newest addition to the QuietComfort line, the QC45, are now on sale for the lowest price yet. These headphones haven’t been out for long, and they’re rated among the best headphones you can get by CNET’s David Carnoy.

Amazon last refreshed the Fire HD 8 tablet in 2020 by doubling the on-board storage, enhancing the processor inside and adding USB-C charging instead of Micro-USB. It comes in four different colors and if you want to upgrade to the 64GB model you can for an extra $30.

Kasa

This smart bulb from Kasa can be controlled using the free Kasa Home app on your phone or by using your voice with Alexa or Google Assistant. It’s a color bulb so you can set it to a bunch of different options, and even automate it to turn it on or off at certain times of the day without you doing anything.

Best Black Friday deals at Target

The official Target Black Friday deals are live now and will run until Saturday, Nov. 27. Here are the best deals you can take advantage of right now.

KitchenAid

This KitchenAid Professional Series stand mixer offers a lot of power and versatility in a compact package. It features 10 speed settings and a bowl-lift design that is perfect for larger batches and dense ingredients. It comes with a set of whisks, flat beaters and a dough hook, but there are over 10 additional attachments available to help you get even more out of this mixer without sacrificing more counter space.

More great deals at Target:

Best Black Friday deals at Walmart

The first inventory drops for the Xbox and PS5 sold out immediately, but Walmart has plenty more deals. Walmart is going all-out with its Black Friday sale, which lasts until Nov. 28. Here are some of the best Walmart Black Friday deals that are available right now.

César Salza / CNET

It’s not the newest model on the market, but it’s definitely one of the best Fitbit fitness trackers at this price point. The newer Charge 5 is about double the price, and comparing this to the Inspire 2, which is $10 less, you get a few big features that are useful for tracking runs and more.

More great deals at Walmart:

Best Black Friday deals at Best Buy

It seems we finally know when Best Buy’s Black Friday event is happening — pretty much right now. The retailer just released another big wave of deals, along with some details about what we can expect next week. There will be a few more items added in the coming days (some scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 24, and Thursday, Nov. 25) including $150 off the MacBook Air and $280 off KitchenAid stand mixers (already available at Target), but the bulk of the deals are happening already.

Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

The Apple Watch SE has been a hot item this holiday season, and Best Buy is the first major retailer to have it on sale. The $219 price is for the 40mm mode, but the 44mm model is $60 off as well (selling for $249). These watches come in lots of cool color combinations, but are selling out quickly (some colors are already gone), so we recommend moving fast on this deal. They also have a free six-month subscription to Apple Fitness Plus.

iRobot

With the Roomba i3 Plus, the most work you’ll have to do is set it up. Its sensors can distinguish between carpet and hardwood, and can even detect the dirtiest part of your home, so it knows where to concentrate its efforts. It will even empty itself, so you hardly have to think about it.

More great deals at Best Buy:

Best Black Friday deals at Amazon

This year, Amazon’s Black Friday deal press release was much more vague than it usually is, so we don’t have a great idea of what exactly the online retail giant plans to do this week. The company offered up some generic outlines of deals, like select percentages off of various brands, but not specific pricing on specific items. In the meantime, however, the online megaretailer has already slashed prices on Amazon devices, which are on sale now.

Samsung

The Galaxy Watch has been giving the Apple Watch a run for its money in recent years. The Samsung smart watch combines the wellness tracking of a Fitbit with all the connectivity of your phone. Track your heart rate and sleep patterns as well as field calls and texts easily. Released only earlier this year, this is the lowest price we’ve seen on the Galaxy Watch 4.

Big savings on Amazon devices:

More great deals at Amazon:

Best Black Friday headphone deals

You can always find headphones on sale during Black Friday events, but finding the right balance between a good deal and a good set of headphones can be a challenge. Here’s a selection of what we’ve found so far.

David Carnoy/CNET

 

More great headphone deals:

Read moreBest early Black Friday 2021 headphones deals available right now: Sony, Bose, Jabra and more

Best Black Friday TV deals

Televisions frequently fill out Black Friday sale pages, but it’s not always easy to tell which sales are actually worthwhile. Here are some deals on good TVs worth adding to your shopping cart.

David Katzmaier/CNET

LG’s C1 OLED TV is currently CNET’s pick for the best TV for high-end shoppers. It offers ridiculously deep black levels and punchy contrast that even the best LCD and QLED TVs can’t match, as well as cutting-edge gaming features such as G-Sync and FreeSync VRR, 4K/120Hz input and an all-new Game Optimizer mode with numerous extra settings. It’s also our favorite gaming TV to pair with an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 (or both).

Read our LG C1 OLED TV review.

 

David Katzmaier/CNET

This midrange TV is pretty much the baseline for very good image quality. It’s one of the least expensive TVs with full-array local dimming, which lets it serve up good-looking high dynamic range video, and also has variable refresh rate for gaming. We didn’t like it as much as the TCL 6-Series in our side-by-side comparison, but it does cost less.

With the exception of the 65-inch size, which remains scarce, all other sizes are back down to their lowest prices of the year.

Read our Vizio M7-Series Quantum review.

 

David Katzmaier/CNET

Speaking of high-end TVs, Samsung’s QN90A TV is another one of our favorites that just got a Black Friday price cut. This TV uses QLED TV tech augmented by mini-LED for a brighter image than any OLED TV. The spectacular contrast of OLED still won out in our side-by-side tests, so we still recommend the LG C1 overall, but the QN90A comes closer than ever. And in the 85-inch size, this Samsung costs a lot less than the 83-inch C1.

Read our Samsung QN90A QLED TV review.

 

Drew Evans/CNET

Samsung’s The Frame looks like no other TV. Its ultrathin screen can double as a place to display digital art and measures just 24.9mm thick, similar to a typical picture frame. By subscribing to Samsung’s Art Store for $5 per month, you can access over 1,400 pieces of art to show on the screen. The Frame TV comes in a wide range of sizes — from 32 to 75 inches — and each model has large discounts at Amazon and elsewhere. 

Even with the sale prices you’ll pay a steep premium for The Frame’s unique look, but for design-conscious buyers it might be worth it. 

We haven’t reviewed The Frame but we expect picture quality to be similar to the Samsung QN60A series.

Read more about Samsung The Frame TV.

 

Amazon

With Fire TV built right into this 55-inch 4K TV, streaming your favorite movies just got even easier. The Alexa Voice Remote makes navigating the interface a breeze, and the 4K display will have all of your shows looking their absolute best.

More great TV deals:

Read more: Best TV deals for Black Friday 2021 so far

Best Black Friday laptop deals

Dan Ackerman/CNET

I often call the MacBook Air the most universally useful laptop you can buy. The latest version swaps out Intel CPUs with Apple’s own M1 chip, but it’ll be a transparent transition for most. After all, MacBook Air users are usually looking for a sleek, reasonably priced machine that just works. The system is also finally truly fanless, replacing the cooling fans with an aluminum heat spreader inside, as well as taking advantage of the highly efficient M1 chip. For a base price of $999, and often on sale for at least $100 less, it’s a great value, considering these tank-like laptops can last for years. 

Samsung

The Galaxy Book Pro 360 boasts some pretty impressive specs for a combination laptop-tablet. It features 16GB of RAM and a full terabyte of storage, as well as a dazzling 15.6-inch AMOLED display with vibrant color. And with 20 hours of battery life and weighing barely over 3 pounds, it’s plenty portable.

More great laptop deals:

Best Black Friday tablet deals

It’s never hard to find a cheap tablet, but it can occasionally be challenging to find a good tablet at a reasonable price. Here are all of the worthwhile tablet deals we’ve found for early Black Friday.

Sarah Tew/CNET

With 256GB of storage and a dazzling 12.3-inch touchscreen, the Surface Pro 7 gives you the best features of both a laptop and a tablet. While the Surface Pro 8 recently stepped onto the scene, at $800 this previous model still delivers a pretty unbeatable value.

Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 7 review.

 

More great tablet deals:

Best Black Friday smart home deals

Amazon

The third-gen Echo Dot has spent the better part of the last year selling for around $50 and more recently dropped down to closer to $30 on its own. Right now, you can bundle the smart speaker with a color smart bulb for just $20, which is the same price Amazon is offering just the Echo Dot for during Black Friday. These bundles tend to sell out fast, so be sure to grab one now.

David Priest/CNET

With support for 2K resolution and night vision, plus a built-in siren and spotlight, the weather-resistant Arlo Pro 4 is our top-rated outdoor security camera of 2021 — but it’s typically expensive to buy in. This Black Friday early-bird special knocks $200 off of the price of a three-pack, bringing the cost down to $400.

Amazon

Amazon’s smallest smart display has just a 5.5-inch screen, but comes with all of Alexa’s best features. It has a 2-megapixel camera with a physical shutter, and you can get it in glacier white, charcoal or the newest option, deep sea blue (pictured above). For 47% off, this is the all-time lowest price we’ve seen.

Read our Echo Show 5 (2nd gen) review.

 

Best Black Friday networking deals

Linksys

Wi-Fi 6E is a brand new designation for current-gen Wi-Fi 6 routers, which are equipped to transmit data over the newly opened 6GHz band — something routers couldn’t do before an FCC vote last year. That 6GHz band is extra-wide and free from interference from earlier-gen Wi-Fi devices, so it’s sort of like Wi-Fi’s new VIP section.

It’s still early days for Wi-Fi 6E, with only a handful of devices that support it, but if you want to take advantage of it at home (or future-proof your home network for devices yet to come), then you’re going to need a Wi-Fi 6E router. All of the ones available so far are expensive and tough to recommend outside of the earliest of early adopters — but now, one of those routers is on sale for half off, bringing the cost down to $250.

The router in question is the Linksys Hydra Pro, an AXE6600 Wi-Fi 6E tri-band router that can connect on the 2.4, 5 and 6GHz bands. $250 for it is downright reasonable, and the first good Wi-Fi 6E sale that we’ve seen this year.

Ry Crist/CNET

The TP-Link Archer AX21 is an entry-level Wi-Fi 6 router that typically costs about $100 or so, but right now, for Black Friday week, you can find it for $25 off, bringing the cost down to $75. Among all of the Wi-Fi 6 budget picks we’ve tested, it performed the best, with fast, reliable speeds and an easy-to-use app that makes it a cinch to set the thing up and manage your home network settings. All of that made it an easy Editors’ Choice-winner here on CNET. 

It’s likely that most of the new Wi-Fi devices you’ll be buying in the next year will support Wi-Fi 6, so if you want to take advantage of that faster, more efficient level of performance at home, you’ll need a router to match. This deal gets you there with a capable router at a terrific price.

Netgear

If you’re looking for a Wi-Fi 6 router with a little more oomph than our best budget picks, then you’ll want to consider this deal on the Netgear Nighthawk RAX48, an AX5200 router with full support for Wi-Fi 6. Capable of hitting speeds of up to 3Gbps, the RAX48 is a nice step up from the entry-level models, and it’s currently on sale for half off, bringing the cost all the way down to $150. 

Ry Crist/CNET

The Eero Pro 6 is the higher-end version of Amazon’s mesh router, adding a second 5GHz band into the mix to serve as a dedicated wireless backhaul between the main router and its satellite extenders. That, along with support for faster Wi-Fi 6 speeds, is the key to unlocking top-tier mesh performance, and sure enough, the Eero Pro 6 is one of our top-recommended mesh routers, and an Editors’ Choice-winner from last year.

The Eero Pro 6 usually sells in a three-pack for $599, but for Black Friday week, Amazon has it marked down to $449, saving you $150. That’s a great deal on a top-performing mesh router capable of spreading a fast, reliable signal throughout the entirety of a large-sized home.

Best Black Friday kitchen deals

Kitchen tech can totally change the way you cook, and a great sale on kitchen tech makes that exploration even more enjoyable. Here are the best Black Friday kitchen deals we’ve found. 

Ninja

This 8-quart deluxe pressure cooker features a stainless steel finish and an enhanced user interface from older models. With new technology, this Pressure Cooker takes frozen chicken and turns it crispy in as little as 20 minutes. Able to steam, broil or “TenderCrisp” up to eight chicken breasts at once, this is a great addition to your kitchen if you regularly need to feed a lot of people. And it’s also dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze.

More great kitchen and home deals:

Best Black Friday fitness deals

With New Year’s Day inching ever closer, those fitness resolutions can start to feel daunting. But not if you’ve got the right equipment. Here are the best Black Friday fitness deals we’ve found.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Get a jump on those New Year’s resolutions with $34 off the Fitbit Sense. With a heart-rate monitor, sleep-cycle tracker and temperature sensor, this smartwatch can help ensure you’re in tip-top shape to hit all your fitness goals.

Read our Fitbit Sense review.

 

Garmin

Garmin’s Instinct Solar has a built-in solar panel to keep your watch charging while you’re out being active, which means less time you have to keep it attached to the wall so you can use it. The watch does heart rate monitoring, has a GPS, Pulse Ox, sleep tracking and much more.

More great fitness deals:

Best Black Friday streaming device deals

Sarah Tew/CNET

This is the best deal in streaming devices we’ve found. The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is currently on sale for less than the Roku Express 4K Plus, our favorite overall streaming device. The two are basically identical so we recommend buying whichever one costs less.

The Streaming Stick 4K offers support for Dolby Vision HDR, while the Express 4K Plus does not. The other main difference between the two is the Streaming Stick 4K’s narrow rectangular design, which plugs directly into an HDMI slot in the back of the TV. Both streamers offer a voice remote, 4K HDR streaming and Roku’s excellent interface, which we like better than Fire TV or Google TV

Read our Roku Streaming Stick 4K review.

 

Amazon

The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is new this year, and it sits just above the Fire TV Stick 4K in Amazon’s lineup. It’s $10 more than the regular Fire TV Stick 4K, but for the extra $10 you get 40% more power (which means faster app loads and better overall navigation), as well as Wi-Fi 6 support for faster streaming. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

A combination soundbar and 4K HDR streamer, Roku Streambar is an excellent way to “smartify” a bedroom TV with improved sound and streaming in one fell swoop. This compact speaker will outperform the sound in just about any television, and is especially good at elevating hard-to-understand dialogue. Even if you don’t need the (excellent) streamer, the soundbar itself is a great deal at this price.

Read our Roku Streambar review.

 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Amazon Fire TV Stick can transform any television with an HDMI input into a smart TV with a simple plug-in. Instantly, you’ll have access to all the shows and movies you love in crisp 4K (on supporting televisions). Its remote even comes with a voice control feature to make browsing a breeze.

Read our Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review.

 

Roku

The Roku LE is the cheapest streamer we’ve ever seen. It’s a small dongle that connects to your TV and via an included HDMI cable, comes with a basic infrared remote and streams in HD (1080p) resolution. It’s basically identical to the Roku Express except that it’s white, not black. The LE is cheap, but we think it’s still worth paying a bit more for a 4K Roku with a better remote.

This device is exclusive to Walmart and only appears as part of the retailer’s Black Friday sale. The Roku LE goes on sale on Nov. 24, while stocks last.

Best Black Friday deals under $50

More great Black Friday deals

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