| Cult of Mac

How to get the latest AirPods firmware update

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How to get the latest AirPods 3 firmware update
There is a firmware update out for AirPods Pro 2 and another for Apple's other wireless earbuds. Here’s how to get them.
Image: Cult of Mac

Apple has new firmware for AirPods Pro 2 as soon as these wireless earbuds reach customers Friday. The description is vague, but the update is still recommended. All other AirPods models have a small “bug fix” update available, too.

The AirPods update process is indirect, but we can steer you through it.

With new AirPods Pro 2, it’s a great time to sell your old buds

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sell your old AirPods
Earn up to $200.
Photo: Aaron Yoo CC

With the release of the new AirPods Pro 2 — which are getting rave reviews — why not trade in your old AirPods for real cash?

Cult of Mac offers good money for your old AirPods, making your next upgrade more affordable. We won’t leave you waiting weeks for your check, and we promise that none of the tech we receive will end up in landfill.

So, what are you waiting for? Get a quote for your old AirPods today.

AirPods Max’s big $120 discount is music to our ears

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Max Stand holds and charges AirPods Pro.
While pricey, you can't go wrong with the AirPods Max in the sound quality department.
Photo: Floating Pixels

Fancy buying AirPods Max but finding them too expensive? Amazon’s latest deal knocks $120 off Apple’s premium noise-canceling headphones.

After the discount, you can get AirPods Max for just $429 instead of paying the list price of $549.

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iPad Pro extends brilliant 5K display through Sidecar [Setups]

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The LG 5K display and the iPad Pro work together through Sidecar.
The LG 5K display and the iPad Pro work together through Sidecar.
Photo: Fuffret@Reddit.com

Apple has said many times it won’t produce a touch-screen Mac because that’s what iPads are for. But Sidecar functionality can make an iPad a touch-screen extension of a Mac, where you can drag and drop elements and work with them using Apple Pencil or your fingertips.

Today’s featured MacBook Pro setup mounts a big 5K display and an iPad Pro right next to each other. In the photograph, you can see the desktop wallpaper running right onto the tablet’s display through Sidecar (more on that below).

And who doesn’t love an all-Apple audio arsenal? This setup rocks paired OG HomePods, AirPods Max on a cool charging stand and AirPods, too.

This sick rig sports 9 Macs and 3 Apple displays [Setups]

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Can you picture needing 9 Macs, including 3 top-shelf machines?
Can you picture needing 9 Macs, including 3 top-shelf machines?
Photo: Dalvenjha@Reddit.com

Occasionally a computer setup displayed on social media makes you swoon. Usually it’s a combination of amazing gear, artful arrangement and exceptional photography, like something staged by a pro. But sometimes it’s just a sick amount of awesome Apple computers and displays.

Today’s featured setup, run by a consultant who “works for several companies,” relies on four high-spec Macs, five very-nice-but-not-exceptional Macs and three Apple Displays, including a Pro Display XDR — which goes for $5,000 or more by itself.

Does your wallet hurt yet? We just took ours to the ER.

‘Tower of power’ spurs cable-clutter debate over otherwise-clean rig [Setups]

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Plenty to see here, but the
Plenty to see here, but the "tower for power" in the corner drew most of the attention.
Photo: PlaZma64@Reddit.com

Some people care deeply about cable management, with nary a cord to be seen in their computer setups. Others couldn’t care less about it, leaving wire-spaghetti all over the place. And folks in the middle want to do it right, but meh, maybe next week, and maybe only somewhat.

Today’s featured MacBook Pro and iPad Pro setup stakes out much of the ground described above. Cable management is in play, but it’s done in a way that drove some neatniks crazy while others applauded the controlled mayhem.

Dual Studio Displays dole out killer color consistency [Setups]

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Two Studio Displays offer identical color consistency.
Two Studio Displays offer identical color consistency.
Photo: Onionpicklecake@Reddit.com

If there’s one thing Apple displays are known for, it’s high prices. OK — all joking aside — if there are two things they’re known for, it’s crisp, accurate colors and being worth the price for that level of quality.

After all, those who work or play with graphics, photos, video or animation need great color.

And if you go dual-display, it helps if they’re the same model. Today’s featured Mac Studio setup, for example, corrected mismatched displays and the resulting color inconsistency by adding a second Studio Display.

Mac Studio workstation makeover enhances whole room [Setups]

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In an
In an "after" picture, one larger monitor on a desk shelf instead of two on the desk opens up the space nicely.
Photo: David_Kim@Reddit.com

With so many people working from home these days, a whole lot of them spend much of their life in one room — wherever the computer setup is, that is. And that’s all the more the case in apartments and small homes. So improving the setup can have a pretty big impact.

In today’s featured Mac Studio setup, swapping out two smaller displays for one bigger one, adding a desk shelf and making a few other changes made quite a difference in enhancing the workspace.

Another set of top-shelf ANC cans takes on AirPods Max

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Could these be the ones? At $599, they better be.
Could these be the ones? At $599, they better be.
Photo: Master & Dynamic

The new Master & Dynamic MW75 over-ear headphones will undoubtedly compete with top cans from Apple, Sony, Sennheiser and others. They boast up to 28 hours of battery life and adaptive, environmentally aware active noise cancellation.

But the premium Master & Dynamic headphones actually make AirPods Max look somewhat affordable. They cost an eye-popping $599.

‘Old gamer’ goes with M1 Pro MacBook and Steam Deck [Setups]

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Two computers live here: a 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook and a Steam Deck for gaming.
Two computers live here: a 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook and a Steam Deck for gaming.
Photo: DefinitionStrong@Reddit.com

Everybody knows Macs don’t set the gaming world on fire, though Apple silicon has made some inroads. So while plenty of Mac users enjoy Apple Arcade and use Apple hardware to play games, many turn to other means. We’ve seen plenty a hybrid Mac – PC computer setups out there.

But today’s featured setup takes another course to gaming satisfaction. It’s owner, who describes himself as an “old gamer,” divides his time between work via an M1 MacBook Pro and gaming on a Valve Steam Deck.