AirPods Pro 2

EarFun’s new hi-res wireless earbuds are a steal at $50 [Review] ★★★★☆

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EarFun Air 2 True Wireless Earbuds★★★★☆
For $50, you can't go wrong with EarFun Air 2 earbuds.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Released Monday, EarFun’s new Air 2 wireless earbuds are damned good for $50, even without noise cancellation. It’s a testament to how far earbuds have come that you can get Hi-Res Audio-certified wireless buds for so little money.

That said, I wouldn’t throw away your AirPods Pro 2 buds just yet.

Day or night, you can’t go wrong with stereo HomePods [Setups]

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Dual HomePod MacBook Pro setup
The daytime photograph shows the treasured HomePods clearly.
Photo: aleksiralda@Reddit.com

Paired for stereo sound, two full-size HomePod smart speakers — the original or second generation — are a thing of auditory beauty. And they don’t just sound great, they look good, too. Yet we don’t see paired HomePods much in computer setups (HomePod minis yes, the big ones, no).

Today’s MacBook Pro setup takes full advantage of Apple audio, however, and the user couldn’t be happier. Well, except with Siri, that is. Check out their setup’s cheerful day version (above) and moody night version (below).

User trades 4K display for a second MacBook Pro [Setups]

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Dual MacBook setup
This setup traded a vertical 32-inch display for an M2 Max MacBook Pro, among other changes.
Photo: MagneticMotion@Reddit.com

For the second time in as many weeks we’ve come across someone ditching a nice external display and keeping just one — and this time it’s to add a second powerful MacBook Pro used as both a computer and a secondary display. In fact, now it’s triple-display setup, but two of them are laptops on stands.

Matrix Ultimate charges your gadgets at home and on the go [Review] ★★★★

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Alogic Matrix Ultimate★★★★
Matrix Ultimate fast-charges MagSafe iPhones and Apple Watch while also juicing up AirPods
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

If you only want one charger for your smaller gadgets, Alogic’s new Matrix Ultimate is nearly ideal. You can use the 3-in-1 charger for iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch at home or easily take it with you on trips.

That’s because the solidly built folding portable charger has a removable power bank and Apple Watch charging puck, plus a very nice felt carrying case. And it comes with a power adapter and USB-C cable. It’s not cheap, but it’s quite useful.

New Sennheiser wireless earbuds measure heart rate and body temperature

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Sennheiser Momentum Sport earbuds olive
These new sport buds will track your heart rate and body temperature.
Photo: Sennheiser

Sennheiser unveiled three new earphones at CES 2024 that will compete with various AirPods, including Momentum Sport wireless earbuds that track heart rate and body temperature. Those kinds of sensors were expected in AirPods Pro (2nd generation), launched in September 2022, but didn’t show up.

In addition, Momentum True Wireless 4 earbuds become the venerable brand’s new flagship buds for sound quality and Accentum Plus bring top-shelf features to relatively affordable over-ear headphones.  

When it’s time to swap MacBook Pro for Mac Studio [Setups]

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When you work in 3D, you need a lot of computing power. And four screens, apparently.
When you work in 3D, you need a lot of computing power. And four screens, apparently.
Photo: b19ddw@Reddit.com

Today’s featured setup sports a powerful M2 Ultra Mac Studio desktop computer and four screens, three of them with sparkling 4K resolution. But until recently it was an M2 Max MacBook Pro setup upgraded from an M1 MacBook Pro.

Why the switch to Mac Studio? Hey, sometimes you just need a more badass computer. Especially when you work in 3D rendering and you rarely take the laptop off its dock anyway.

AirPods Pro 2 software update will bring awesome new features

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AirPods Pro 2 internal view
An AirPods Pro 2 software upgrade will add important new audio features. And all Apple wireless earbuds are getting some enhancements.
Photo: Apple
WWDC23

An upcoming software update will add multiple new listening modes to AirPods Pro 2. These are designed to make it easier for the user to listen to music while also hearing what’s going on around them.

Apple also announced at WWDC23 that all AirPods will get better at switching connections between devices, plus a change intended to make conference calls easier.

Totallee’s new cases add premium feel to your AirPods

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They give your AirPods Pro 2 or AirPods Pro 3 cases a new look and more protection.
They give your AirPods Pro 2 or AirPods Pro 3 cases a new look and more protection.
Photo: Totallee

Totallee, known for its minimalistic iPhone cases, rolled out new cases Tuesday for AirPods Pro (2nd generation) and AirPods 3.

They’re “on brand” for Totallee in that they’re lightweight, protective and branding-free. And they’re also made of 100% recycled plastic, the company said.

AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C case could launch as early as this spring

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Ken Pillonel modded an AirPods Pro charging case and now offers a 3D-printed replacement case.
AirPods Pro 2 will supposedly get on the USB-C bandwagon soon.
Photo: Ken Pillonel

The mystery AirPods referenced in iOS 16.4 are a new version of AirPods Pro 2 with a USB-C case, according to a reliable Apple tipster. And the product could be out in the next few months.

If true, these will be a significant step in transitioning the iPhone ecosystem away from Lightning and to USB-C.

Excellent deal knocks AirPods Pro 2 down by $49

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AirPods Pro 2 in hand with case opened
Save big on the AirPods Pro 2.
Source: Unsplash

If you are in the market for a new pair of wireless earbuds for your iPhone, it is hard to beat the AirPods Pro 2. If you find them expensive at $249, take advantage of Amazon’s latest deal to grab them for $199.99.

This is the maximum discount we have tracked on the AirPods Pro 2 so far. It was available for the same price during last year’s Black Friday.

Keep AirPods Pro on lockdown with Laut’s cool carabiner case

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The case is shockproof and comes with a carabiner and lariat.
The case is shockproof, drop-tested and comes with a carabiner and lariat.
Photo: Laut

Imagine pulling out your AirPods Pro in their case and seeing them slip out of your hand. As they go bouncing down the stairs or into the street, you may try to recall if you bought Apple Care. But with Laut’s tough Zentry case, you might not need it, actually.

The tough Laut Zentry AirPods Pro Case for first and second-gen AirPods is drop-tested and comes with a handy carabiner and lariat that make it easy to hold onto your earbuds.

Apple unveils special ‘Year of the Rabbit’ AirPods Pro for Chinese New Year

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Special-edition AirPods Pro with the Year of the Rabbit graphics.
Apple is selling a special edition AirPods Pro to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Photo: Apple

Ahead of the Chinese New Year on January 22, 2023, Apple has released a limited-edition AirPods Pro in the country. The charging case of the earbuds features a Year of the Rabbit engraving.

Besides the engraving, the special edition AirPods Pro retail box features the Year of the Rabbit graphics.

Don’t make the same mistake I did with new AirPods

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Why isn't that case festooned with hilarious emojis? Foolish me.
Why isn't that case festooned with hilarious emojis? Foolish me.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

As soon as AirPods Pro (2nd generation) launched, I ordered them. I got them into the shipping queue so fast, in fact, I skipped any option that looked like it might take extra time or add expense. That included “Personalize them for free,” which would have done neither.

Apple has been letting users monogram AirPods cases with letters and numbers since 2019. It added emojis the following year. Now you can even choose your own Memoji via the Apple Store app.

What I didn’t realize at the time is that whatever you have etched on the case shows up on your devices wherever your earbuds are indicated, like when you pair them. Now I wish I’d monogrammed mine because it’s so much easier to identify your own personal AirPods.

Choose the best AirPods for holiday giving

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AirPods Pro 2 look pretty much the same as the original, but they're better in nearly every way.
AirPods Pro 2 look pretty much the same as the original, but they're better in nearly every way.
Photo: Apple

Which AirPods should you buy as gifts for family and friends this holiday season (or just for your greedy self)? It all comes down to which features you want and how much you want to spend.

Earbuds are a tough gift item because how they sound and how they fit is super-subjective. Everybody’s different.

But our guide will help you decide among the four Apple AirPods models on sale in December 2022: AirPods (2nd gen), AirPods (3rd gen), AirPods Pro (2nd gen) and AirPods Max.

Save a sweet $15 on the recently launched AirPods Pro 2

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AirPods Pro 2 look pretty much the same as the original, but they're better in nearly every way.
AirPods Pro 2 is available with a nice discount on Amazon.
Photo: Apple

Looking to gift your loved ones the second-generation AirPods Pro this holiday season? Amazon is taking a sweet 6% off the latest AirPods Pro, bringing their price down to $234.

You can get Apple’s latest wireless earbuds by next week in most states in the US, ahead of Black Friday and Thanksgiving.

Scary-good deals for Halloween: 15% off all Elago accessories

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Elago's R1 strap is perfect for your new AirPods Pro 2 charging case.
Elago's R1 strap is perfect for your new AirPods Pro 2 charging case.
Photo: Elago

Halloween is the time for kooky costumes, candy-induced belly aches and frighteningly good deals on Apple accessories in Cult of Mac‘s Super Sweet Deals sale. You can get anything made by Elago for 15% off this week.

Just head to the Cult of Mac Store to take 15% off all Elago accessories. That’s 162 products that go along with pretty much everything Apple. See some highlights below.

Sorry, looks like original AirPods Pro won’t get Adaptive Transparency mode

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AirPods Pro 2 internal view
The original AirPods Pro don't have the hardware for Adaptive Transparency.
Photo: Apple

The hopes of AirPods Pro users were raised recently when evidence pointed to the original version of these wireless earbuds getting Adaptive Transparency, one of best features of the second-generation model. Turns out it’s probably just a mistake.

If you’re really missing the feature, perhaps the best option is to sell your old AirPods for cash to upgrade.

Apple crammed larger batteries into AirPods Pro 2

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Apple crammed larger battery into AirPods Pro 2
AirPods Pro 2 aren't larger than their predecessor, but they do have bigger batteries.
Image: Apple

Apple promises that AirPods Pro 2 offer a longer battery life that the original version, and now we know part of the way this is accomplished. The 2022 version uses batteries with 16% more capacity.

But the truly wireless headphones manage to pull off a 33% increase in time between changes.

Protect AirPods Pro 2 with a durable case and strap

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Elago's silicone case and strap help protect AirPods Pro 2 from loss or damage.
Elago's silicone case and strap help protect AirPods Pro 2 from loss or damage.
Photo: Elago

If you bought or plan to buy Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro, now’s the time to protect your fabulous wireless noise-cancelling earbuds. Elago’s got new clear or colorful cases — in clear polyurethane or colorful silicone — plus a handy strap to help you protect your buds against damage or loss.

The strap and four cases, two with a metal clip and two without, are all super-affordable right now in the Cult of Mac Store.

Iffy AirPods Pro 2 fit? Alternative ear tips can make all the difference.

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A poor AirPods Pro 2 fit is troubling, but it's not hard to fix with after-market ear tips.
A poor AirPods Pro 2 fit is troubling, but it's not hard to fix with after-market ear tips.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

No one wants to spend $250 on a set of outstanding wireless noise-cancelling earbuds — let’s say, second-generation AirPods Pro — only to find they don’t fit well, even with a choice of ear tip sizes.

But unfortunately, it can happen. It happened to me, actually. But once I explored after-market ear tips (the part that goes into your ear canal), I quickly solved the problem at minimal expense.

AirPods Pro 2 can use ear tips from the original version

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AirPods Pro 2 can use ear tips from the original version
AirPods Pro ear tips are compatible with AirPods Pro 2.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

AirPods Pro 2 is now reaching customers and they confirm what everyone hoped: ear tips designed for the original version fit the new one.

But that’s not the whole story – Apple doesn’t recommend moving tips between the two versions of its earbuds. Here’s why.

AirPods Pro 2 review roundup: Better in almost every way

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AirPods Pro 2 look pretty much the same as the original, but they're better in nearly every way.
AirPods Pro 2 look pretty much the same as the original, but they're better in nearly every way.
Photo: Apple

Reviews of Apple’s new AirPods Pro 2 wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC) are rolling in. The overwhelming consensus? The design is only slightly changed from the first-generation buds, but almost everything else is improved, with a few minor caveats.

They’re better than the original where it counts most: Higher sound quality, stronger ANC, more controls, longer battery life and an improved wireless charging case.

In short, given that the wildly popular AirPods Pro launched way back in 2019, it’s time for an upgrade for most people.