Best wireless Bluetooth headphones for iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus

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AirPods
Maybe the best thing Apple has invented in years.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Updated: May 11, 2017

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are Apple’s first iPhones to drop the headphone jack. And while you can keep using your old headphones by plugging them into the adapter that comes in the box, that gets old as soon as you discover you left the little dongle at home connected to a speaker, and you can’t listen to any music.

You’ve got two options. One, stick with a cable and buy some Lightning headphones. That’s fine, but then you can only use them with recent-vintage iOS devices, and you can’t charge your device while you use them. Or two, go wireless. That means Bluetooth, either the vanilla kind, or Apple’s augmented Bluetooth headphones, with the special W1 chip added to make pairing easier.

Will Apple’s Siri smart speaker suck? Catch the discussion on The CultCast

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Would you want a Siri-powered smart speaker?
Would you want a Siri-powered smart speaker?
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This week on The CultCast: Apple’s secret Siri speaker is just around the corner — we’ll tell you everything (we think) we know about it. Plus: Why AirPods are the best product Apple’s made in years; and why Microsoft’s MacBook clone is actually great for Apple fans.

Finally, we’ll deconstruct and decode Tim Cook’s mysterious and quickly deleted accidental tweet, and you’ll be shocked at the truth!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace.com website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off any hosting plan.

The Apple Watch business is way bigger than you think

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apple watch bands
Apple's wearables raked in $5 billion over the last year.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch gets a lot of stick for being a “me-too” product, and people who don’t see the need for a smartwatch assume the business is a bust. There’s this crazy perception that Apple Watch is just not selling — but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Apple Watch, alongside other Apple wearables, is now raking in billions of dollars every year. The business is huge. So huge, in fact, that it would be a Fortune 500 company all by itself, outselling supposed smash hits like Microsoft’s Surface tablets and the Amazon Echo.

Here’s why Apple Watch isn’t the flop you think it is.

Trouble in China, iPhone slump and other Apple earnings surprises

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How will investors respond to Apple's relatively flat earnings?
How will investors respond to Apple's relatively flat earnings?
Photo: Ste Smith

Apple’s Q2 earnings report for 2017 just barely beat Wall Street’s expectations when the numbers were revealed this afternoon, but there are plenty of reasons to still be optimistic about AAPL.

During the company’s call with investors today, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri discussed some of the struggles the company experienced last quarter, from slumping iPhone sales to economic headwinds in China.

Here are the biggest takeaways:

Liveblog: Just how good (or bad) was Apple’s Q2?

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apple earnings
Apple's money-making machine is on a new level.
Photo: Steve Smith

Apple beats expectations in Q2 2017 earnings report

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Apple is raking in the cash.
Apple is raking in the cash.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple just posted its earnings for Q2 2017 and while the numbers aren’t as monstrous as last quarter’s, there’s a lot to love in the new report.

With revenues hitting $52.9 billion, Apple returned to growth for the second straight quarter with $11 billion in profit. iPhone sales were down year-over-year, but Apple CEO Tim Cook says demand for the iPhone 7 Plus is still high.

iPhone 8 could be last to include headphone jack adapter

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AirPods
Apple should include free AirPods instead.
Photo: Ste Smith

Apple’s mission to kill the use of headphone jacks on the iPhone may be completed by 2018, according to a new report from Barclays.

In a note to investors today, the research bank says the three new iPhone models Apple introduces this year will all come with a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter, but this could be the last time buyers get a free dongle.

Why I still love Beats X, Apple’s world-beating wireless earbuds [Reviews]

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Beats X Earphones
Sleek, light and compact, Beats X Earphones are the perfect wireless companion.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

I’ve racked up dozens of hours wearing Beats X wireless earphones over the past month, and I still think they blow away the competition — even Apple’s AirPods.

For Cult of Mac’s latest video review, I’ve put together a definitive list of my thoughts on the innovative earpods.