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Black Friday headphone deal: Excellent AirPods Pro alternative is only $53 today at Amazon (Update: Expired)

Prime members can grab the upgraded version of the Mpow X3, one of the best budget noise-canceling true-wireless earbuds, for its lowest price in a Black Friday sale.

The Mpow X3 is one of the better budget true-wireless earbuds options.
David Carnoy/CNET

This story is part of Gift Guide, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

Update, Nov. 27: Good to their promise, this was a one-day deal for Thursday that is now out of stock. Check our Black Friday headphone deals list for the best headphone deals right now.

The Mpow X3 true-wireless earbuds sound shockingly good for the price. They have good clarity and powerful bass -- they play loud -- and they even have active noise cancellation that's fairly effective. (No, it's not as good as the AirPods Pro's but it's not bad.) They've been on our list of the best cheap true-wireless earbuds for a while. Now there's a new white version that costs more than the black version and is actually upgraded in significant ways. The new X3 has better battery life, a new transparency mode and improved connectivity. The controls have also been improved.

Amazon Prime members can get it for $52.79, its lowest price yet. It's usually around $56 while the black version is $50. You can compare the "old" black version to the new white version by flipping back and forth between their product pages on Amazon. Presumably, the upgraded version will eventually be available in black, but for now it's available only in white. 

Read more: Best Black Friday headphone deals

The earbuds fit me comfortably and securely, and I got a tight seal from one of the XL ear tips. They're fully waterproof (IPX8) and get up to 10 hours of battery life (it's about 7 or 8 with ANC on) at moderate volume levels with USB-C charging. (The charging case looks like a fat version of the standard AirPods case.) Call quality is good -- they have a sidetone feature that lets you hear your voice in the buds -- but I've used other models with better noise reduction during calls. I also noticed a touch of audio lag when I streamed a YouTube video, but I had no issues when streaming iTunes movies.

Read more: Top AirPods alternatives for $100 or less

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