You may think it's too soon to start counting down the days until Black Friday 2019, especially if your wallet took a beating during Amazon Prime Day, but when it comes to that next big (or small) tech purchase, you really should have Black Friday in mind.
The Black Friday sales are the world's biggest shopping event and they take place in just a few months' time. Black Friday will take over every retail website and dominate every high street, with discounts on everything from TVs to headphones, toothbrushes to pet food. You name it, there'll be a Black Friday deal for it.
So, when is Black Friday 2019? What deals can you expect? And is it really worth the hype? Read on for our A-Z of Black Friday...
What is Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Black Friday began in the US but in recent years has very much become a worldwide shopping phenomena. It's regarded (and backed up by stats) as the busiest shopping day of the year – both online and in-store – and officially kicks off the holiday season.
Why is it called Black Friday? The date was traditionally the start of the Christmas shopping season, when retailers hoped to move out of the "red" (loss) and in to the "black" (profit), hence Black Friday.
The term 'Cyber Monday', meanwhile, was coined by Scott Silverman and the National Retail Federation's Ellen Davis in a bid to encourage people to take their shopping online during the Black Friday event. That was back in 2005, when people needed such encouragement! It's always the Monday after Black Friday.
Consumer electronics is unsurprisingly one of the most popular product categories, alongside groceries and clothing. Last year, the Amazon Echo Dot, Bose noise-cancelling headphones and Apple AirPods were among the best-selling tech products in the UK.
The Black Friday shopping event shows no sign of slowing down either, with online and high-street retailers promising another year of big discounts on a wide range of products.
When is Black Friday 2019?
Black Friday always takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which means this year it will fall on Friday 29th November. Most retailers will want to make the most of what will typically be the busiest 24 hours of the event, meaning we can expect deals going live at midnight and running until the end of the day.
When is Cyber Monday 2019?
Black Friday's partner in crime, Cyber Monday, will therefore fall on Monday 1st December – good news for those who don't believe in buying Christmas presents until December! Cyber Monday doesn't just see the continuation of Black Friday deals (although naturally there is a lot of that). We can expect new deals to go live at midnight and run until the end of the day.
How long will Black Friday last?
Well, Black Friday is 24 hours. And Cyber Monday is 24 hours. But like Amazon Prime day and the January sales, these events always have preliminary and aftermath offers. For one, deals will run during the weekend sandwiched in the middle of the two days. And in the days and weeks building up to them, there will be plenty of 'pre-Black Friday' savings serenading the sites.
It's worth keeping an eye (or two) out in mid-November – and especially in the week of Black Friday. Last year, for example, Amazon dropped discounts on several Sonos speakers – including £90 off the Play:5 speaker, and £50 off both the Playbase soundbase and Playbar soundbar.
It's likely some deals, stock-dependant, will spill into the rest of the Cyber Monday week, too.
Are the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals any good?
After the initial few years of excitement around Black Friday in the UK, we naturally moved to the apathy stage, as people began to question whether the offers were genuinely good deals. And it remains up for debate.
For example, it's not unusual to see discounted products rise in price in the summer months ahead of a "price cut" come Black Friday; naturally this means you're essentially just getting the original discounted price from earlier in the year. That said, there are always genuine deals to be had – it's just finding them amongst the onslaught of offers.
Luckily that's where our service will come in; we'll handpick the best TV, audio and AV deals across retailers to find the ones that are really worth your hard-earned cash.
We'd suggest having a rough idea of what you want in mind – whether that be noise-cancelling headphones under £100, a discounted 55in 4K OLED TV or a portable, outdoor-friendly Bluetooth speaker etc – but restricting yourself only to specific models will reduce your chance of being lucky in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Pick the features you fancy, then see what ticks your boxes and has the best Black Friday discount.
What Black Friday deals can you expect?
With Prime Day (and actually Black Friday 2018) still fresh in our minds, we can of course imagine the deals that will run across the weekend, not to mention the early Black Friday deals that begin in the days (weeks, even) building up to the actual date. And if previous years are anything to go by we can expect quality as well as quantity!
Last year we saw half-price Sony, Beats and AKG headphones, £250 off an Award-winning Denon amp, a 50in Philips 4K TV for £399 and 30% off Amazon Echo and Fire devices. Similar deals appeared during this year's Amazon Prime Day too, so it's likely we'll see more of the same hefty discounts on similar popular products.
The Sonos One will be two years old come Black Friday, so could we finally see it slip under its best-ever price of £164? We'd eat a HDMI cable if Apple's AirPods weren't reduced, and OLED TV deals are bound to be plentiful. We could even see the ridiculous £799 price of a 55in Philips OLED TV of re-surface.
Black Friday TV deals
A handful of Philips 4K LCD and OLED TVs – both big and small – have featured in the last few online shopping events, so we'd safely bet they will pop up for Black Friday 2019.
LG OLEDs are also regularly in the spotlight – we could see lowest-ever prices on the last of 2018 OLED stock, and the 2019 models will have been around long enough to be subject to some serious discounts too.
Now that the likes of Hisense and TCL are competing in the UK with big-screen 4K TVs at dirt-cheap prices (we're talking 55in TVs for under £300), it's likely that rivalry will re-emerge. We expect anyone looking for such a telly will be rubbing their hands together come the end of November.
Can't wait? These are the best 4K TV deals available right now:
Hisense H43AE6100UK 4K Smart TV
£339 £249 at Amazon
A four-star 4K that's now even cheaper (to make you even more cheerful) than before, with surprisingly good picture quality and plenty of connectivity options – including three HDMI ports. It handles the bread and butter of everyday watching just fine.View Deal
TCL 50DP628 50in 4K HDR TV
£429 £299 at Amazon
It's all systems go for TCL with its 4K big screen tempters. You can voice control them if you have an Echo product and enjoy Freeview as well as Netflix and YouTube in 4K. It's HDR10-enabled, wi-fi-compatible and has a USB for external media playback.View Deal
Philips 50PUS6703 50in 4K TV
£599 £379 at Argos
A What Hi-Fi? Award-winner at £599, you can get £220 off the retail price of this superb Philips 50-incher and enjoy brilliant Ultra HD images, Ambilight technology and a decent smart TV platform. For £379, it's a great buy.View Deal
LG OLED55B8S 55in OLED 4K TV for
£1499 £999 at John Lewis
This fantastic TV has had a hefty £500 slashed from its price, which helps make the deep blacks and rich colours of OLED more affordable. 4K is a given but HDR is superb here as you get HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision support. There's even future-proofing with HFR support and AI built-in.View Deal
Black Friday headphone deals
Perhaps the most prolific tech category in Black Friday deals, headphones will feature in their thousands. There'll be everything from budget in-ears and on-ears to premium noise-cancellers and true wireless buds, from big brands such as Sony, Bose and Beats.
If the stars align we could see the latest Apple AirPods down to as low as £140 with a wireless charging case – which would be £60 off! A lower price on the latest AirPods with the regular (non-wireless) charging case is likely, too.
Can't wait? These are the best headphones deals available right now:
Apple AirPods (latest model) with charging case
(Not the wireless charging case version.) Technically and sonically better than before, the second generation AirPods offer unbeatable Bluetooth usability and decent sound quality. Even a fiver off is welcome!View Deal
Sony WH-CH700N wireless headphones
Want Sony sound quality plus wireless convenience and the added bonus of noise-cancelling technology? Look no further. These affordable headphones are a fine choice, thanks to a 35-hour battery life and super-fast charging.View Deal
ENACFIRE true wireless earbuds
Save a ridiculous 76%, that's £96, on these true wireless bluetooth earphones. They come with a mic, portable charging case and the promise of 18 hours of battery life.View Deal
Bose SoundLink Around-Ear wireless headphones
Bose has long been a player in the wireless headphone game, and these are one of their most affordable over-ear pairs. With NFC one-touch connectivity, a 15-hour battery life and a 4.5/5 Amazon user review rating, these cans are bargains waiting to be bagged.View Deal
- See more headphone deals
Black Friday headphone deals
You'll see the odd great hi-fi deal on the likes of Amazon, but specialist retailers such as Richer Sounds and Sevenoaks getting in on the Black Friday action will probably be where it's at for the best hi-fi deals. We'd expect £20 off here, £50 off there and perhaps even hundreds off some pricier bits of kit.
Many recognisable brands will no doubt feature, and expect to see Award winners and five-star products across the speaker, stereo amp, soundbar and DAC board too.
Can't wait? These are the best hi-fi deals available right now:
Denon DM41 micro system
£279 £199 at Peter Tyson
This darling of the micro system world continues to impress us with its detailed, musical and rhythmic prowess, and the addition of Bluetooth along with its CD player and radio will appeal to many. Just add speakers.View Deal
Arcam irDAC II for
£499 £275 at Richer Sounds
Save well over £200 on this talented and capable DAC. Featuring RCA analogue, optical and coaxial inputs, and 24bit/384kHz hi-res and DSD128 files through USB, it's a great little addition to your hi-fi system. Sound-wise, it has a spacious, smooth and even-toned character with bags of detail.View Deal
Pure Evoke H2
£100 £65 at eBay
This looks just like Pure's Evoke D2, but has less distortion in lower frequencies. It adds up to an Award-winning radio, with a clean midrange, textured bass and a beautifully detailed sound.View Deal
Black Friday home cinema deals
Sony UBP-X800 4K Blu-ray player
£399 £199 at Amazon
This Sony 4K Blu-ray player supports stunning Atmos and DTS:X sound, plus HDR images with BT.2020 colour. High resolution music is also supported, plus you can stream wireless music to your Bluetooth headphones for private listening. Winner.View Deal
Denon AVR-X2500H 7.2ch AV receiver
£549 £349 at Sevenoaks
Denon's entry-level amp sounds fantastic for the money. You won't be short of features either, with eight HDMI inputs, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support and streaming from Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and Amazon.View Deal
Q Acoustics M2 soundbase
£299 £169 at Amazon
Q Acoustics can now add ‘soundbase’ to its list of successes. We said the M2 was fantastic value for money at its original price, so the fact it's now almost half price is unbelievable value.View Deal
Deal as above but with more affordable speaker package and smaller discount too. There's no Atmos as a result but the DX2s are still award winners in their own right. So, that's two WHF big hitters in one single bundle. Quids in.View Deal
Black Friday Sonos deals
Black Friday is not only a great time of the year to find a Sonos deal but one of the only times! The multi-room mogul has a bigger catalogue of speakers, soundbars and other audio products than ever, and we can predict deals across individual and bundle products. They'll likely be small savings – 10 per cent off here, 20 per cent off there – but any discount on Sonos kit is welcome.
Can't wait? These are the best Sonos deals available right now:
Sonos One smart speaker
£199 £169 at Richer Sounds
After ironing out some of the initial software bugs, and adding features such as Alexa control of Spotify and AirPlay 2, the Sonos One cements its place as one of the best smart speakers on the market.View Deal
Sonos Playbase soundbase
£699 £499 at Peter Tyson
If you prefer a soundbase to a soundbar, then the Playbase is your only option where Sonos is concerned. Luckily, it's a pretty good. It creates a big, broad soundstage and a solid, natural bass. A £200 discount.View Deal
- See more Sonos deals
Black Friday Apple deals
Almost as rare as Sonos deals: Apple deals. For Black Friday 2018 we had discounted iPhones, AirPods, iPads, MacBooks Apple Watch, and the HomePod, as well as free gift cards with some purchases. Naturally we're expecting more of that this year.
Can't wait? These are the best Apple deals available right now:
Apple AirPods (latest model) with charging case
Technically and sonically better than before, the second generation AirPods offer unbeatable Bluetooth usability and decent sound quality. Even a fiver off is welcome!View Deal
- See more Apple deals
Where to get the best Black Friday deals?
4K TVs, smart and Bluetooth speakers and wireless headphones will almost guaranteed be on offer at pretty much every electronics retailer, and those looking to buy into, or build upon, an Alexa ecosystem will surely be able to save money on Fire streamer or tablet or Echo speaker.
The dominant names on the high street, such as Argos, Currys and John Lewis, will always go big on games console bundles ahead of Christmas, and as OLED continues to be such a buzzword (and beginning to drop under £1000 in the key shopping sales) some cheap OLED TV deals are as sure as night follows day.
We're confident the specialist AV retailers such as Richer Sounds and Sevenoaks will deliver some hi-fi and home cinema bargains – last year's What Hi-Fi? Award-winners are a good place to start when it comes to finding a price reduction. The likes of Amazon, Argos, eBay, Currys and AO.com will be competing in the bun fight to offer the lowest prices on audio and video too – which is only good news for the consumer.