As the mornings break with fresh bite, chances are a new pair of headphones could do you a massive favour in the sonic motivational department for chilly commutes (assuming you're not in warmer climes than the UK or US).
In recent years, few audio components have seen such growth, expansion and improvement as the humble headphone. If you were reading this publication just five years ago, for example, the now readily-acknowledged 'true wireless headphone' category simply would not feature – manufacturers hadn't worked out how to do those yet.
Since the introduction of wireless earbuds in 2015 (to wild fanfare and eye-watering price-tags), brands like Sony and Sennheiser have been locking horns to produce truly wireless buds boasting greater endurance, evermore bijou charging cases and, latterly, noise-cancellation technology – alongside sonic performances comparable to their wired brethren. And that's the same for all manner of headphone types. Thanks to a market saturated with headphones of all shapes and sizes, you can now buy a pair for the cost of a round of drinks.
How does the deal extravaganza known as Black Friday – bleeding into Cyber Monday – fit into all of this? Well, spotting some Black Friday headphone deals won't be a problem – it's the busiest shopping day of the year - but whether you should buy a new pair is another matter. Read on for our tips on whether to take the plunge and splash the cash...
Look out for Apple, Bose and JBL wireless earbuds
Last year, Bose noise-cancelling headphones and Apple AirPods were among the best-selling tech products in the UK. Retailers will want the best possible slice of the Black Friday pie, so getting your attention with a top product will be crucial.
Add to this the fact that Apple's AirPods Pro with noise cancellation tech are finally with us and, if it's AirPods you want, you might find yourself snapping up a great deal on Apple's existing AirPods. Keep an eye on our AirPods Black Friday page for the best prices. Unsure whether to make the switch? Our Apple AirPods 2 vs AirPods Pro: which is better? advice feature could help.
When it comes to Black Friday Bose headphones, we'd be keeping an eye out for the Bose SoundSport Free true wireless sport in-ears (pictured above). We think they're ripe for a price cut and a bargain deal.
Oh, and before we forget, if you want something with a secure, run-worthy fit, the excellent JBL Reflect Flow headphones have already been reduced by £30 at Argos ahead of Black Friday. These true wireless in-ears received five stars from us, and they're currently £100 while stocks last.
What about Sony headphones on Black Friday?
It's probably too much to hope for that the What Hi-Fi? 2019 Award-winning excellent Sony WH-1000XM3, will go on sale on Black Friday, right? Not so fast. These top noise-cancelling wireless on-ears have been included in some "flash" sales from the big retailers on occasion – and what occasion could be a better fit than Black Friday, the official start of holiday gift-buying?
Remember, their slightly older five-star Sony WH-1000XM2 noise-cancelling siblings (pictured, above) are worthy of your attention too. And definitely likely to be reduced.
In the wireless earbud department, the Sony WF-1000XM3 earphones are also award-winners, but as we've seen, that doesn't mean it won't be included in the Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals.
Go back an iteration to the similarly decorated Sony WF-1000Xs (which got the nod in 2018) and you'll almost certainly see a pair of excellent true wireless Sony in-ears for little money on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Keep an eye on our Sony Black Friday deals page for the best prices.
Will AKG headphones feature in Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals?
Repeat What Hi-Fi? award-winners, the already-inexpensive AKG Y50 wired headphones have been scooping up trophies since 2015.
The Austrian firm makes them in different hues aside from black, so chances are that as long as red, teal or yellow don't bother you, there could be a saving or two during the event...