Apple throws in free AirPods when you buy a Mac for college

You can upgrade to AirPods Pro for $90.

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Chris Velazco/Engadget

We don’t know what the next academic year will look like, but that’s not stopping Apple from discounting back-to-school gear. Its educational pricing and back-to-school promotion is now live in the US. This year, you can get free AirPods (with wired charging) when you buy a Mac or iPad for college.

Shop Apple's back-to-school promotions

The deal applies to the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, iPad Pro or iPad Air. You can upgrade to AirPods with a wireless charging case for an additional $40, or if you’d rather have the AirPods Pro, those are available for an extra $90. Apple’s back to school promotions change every year, and this year’s offer is a great deal for anyone who’s wanted AirPods and who needs a new Mac or iPad for the upcoming semester. 

We gave the AirPods a score of 80 when we reviewed them a few years ago. They’re easy to set up, Siri and calling work well and they have a solid battery life. They could come in especially handy if you’re participating in video calls, conferences and classes. We did score the AirPods Pro slightly higher (87) for improved audio, a comfortable fit, refined design and an IPX4 rating that means they’re water resistant, so it may be worth spending an extra $90 to upgrade.

Some of Apple’s other back-to-school discounts include education pricing on accessories like the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. Plus, you’ll get one year of Apple TV+ for free and three free months of Apple Music when you purchase an Apple device.

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