AirPods 3 drop back to their lowest price ever

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AirPods 3 drop back to their lowest price ever
AirPods 3 are brilliant… and on sale!
Photo: Apple

Amazon has an answer for what to do with that gift card you received over the holidays. The recently released AirPods 3 are once again selling for their lowest price ever: $139.99.

And there are significant deals on AirPods Pro and AirPods 2 as well.

Apple’s hardware plans for 2022 sound positively intoxicating [The CultCast]

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Apple's hardware plans for 2022 sound intoxicating [The CultCast]
This year's looking good!
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Even more details surface about Apple’s hardware plans for 2022. If last year was “modest” (LOL), this year looks jam-packed with major updates. We’re talking redesigned AirPods Pro, a new Apple monitor, even-more-impressive MacBook Airs and … an iPhone? You gotta be kidding us.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Apple hits $3 trillion market cap, albeit briefly.
  • A giveaway that features a great-looking charger from Journey.
  • The most interesting products out of this year’s big CES trade show in Las Vegas.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.

Apple suppliers gear up to deliver AirPods Pro 2 in 2022

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Next-gen AirPods Pro concept
They could look a little like this.
Concept: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple suppliers have began preparing shipments of second-generation AirPods Pro ahead of their introduction later this year, according to a new report.

AirPods Pro 2 are expected to come with a revised design that does away with stems, as well as improved audio quality — including support for lossless Apple Music tracks. They could also be a lot easier to find when they go missing.

Belkin seriously challenges AirPods Pro with its new ANC earbuds

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Belkin's new ANC earbuds look like they match up pretty well with AirPods Pro.
Belkin's new ANC earbuds look like they match up pretty well with AirPods Pro.
Photo: Belkin

Building on other versions of ANC earbuds released in 2021, Belkin rolled out its new SoundForm Immerse Noise Cancelling Earbuds in Las Vegas this week — and they promptly became a CES Innovation Award 2022 Honoree.

The new buds challenge aging champ AirPods Pro, due for a revamp, not only with hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC) with Hear-Thru mode, but they work with Apple’s vast Find My network. And they flaunt a number of premium features.

Belkin introduced other products at CES, too, of course.

Redesigned AirPods Pro 2 will support high-quality lossless audio

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AirPods Pro bring Active Noise Cancellation with superior sound to the AirPods family.
The current AirPods Pro will stay around for a while, but a replacement is reportedly on the way with some interesting new features.
Photo: Apple

Apple will launch a second generation of AirPods Pro in the fall, according to an analyst who’s also a reliable tipster. The upgraded earbuds allegedly will offer better sound than the current version, via support for lossless audio. And there reportedly will be other changes, too, including a new design.

Long before the launch, AirPods of all kinds are shipping like crazy, thanks to Apple’s lowering the cost, according to the same analyst.

Need to exchange a holiday gift? Compare top Apple and Beats earbuds

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AirPods Pro are still Apple's flagship earbud, but the others featured in the tables below make for stiff competition.
AirPods Pro are still Apple's flagship earbud, but the others featured in the tables below make for stiff competition.
Photo: Apple

In gift-giving season, sometimes you get something you already have or something that isn’t quite what you wanted. So, if you can exchange the item for something you truly covet — like a killer pair of Apple AirPods or Beats earbuds — you probably should.

But how do you choose between earbuds made by Apple and earbuds made by Apple subsidiary Beats by Dre? We’ve laid out the specs for four popular sets of buds, below, pitting AirPods Pro against Beats Fit Pro and the new AirPods (3rd gen) against Beats Studio Buds. But all the specs listed in each chart are the same, so it’s not difficult to compare and contrast all four.

4 screens, an ‘OG’ HomePod and a Lego Porsche 911 [Setups]

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That's a sweet ride in the center, there, under the 32-inch LG monitor.
That's a sweet ride in the center, there, under the 32-inch LG monitor.
Photo: zatargoat@Reddit.com

It’s Christmas Eve, and all we want for the holiday is a Porsche 911. It could be a gleaming new one, with a base price of a mere $99,200. It could be super-cool vintage one. Or it could even be a Lego one like the one featured in today’s MacBook Pro and iPad Pro-driven setup.

OK, given our paltry income, who are we kidding — we’d even take a die-cast 911, like the Matchbox cars of our youth.

How to use your iPhone and AirPods to spy on people

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How to use your iPhone and AirPods to spy on people
Here’s how to do an iPhone spying trick. Use it for fun, not evil.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

An iPhone and AirPods can be used to listen to conversations without people knowing. Such iPhone spying is really just a tricky use of the Live Listen feature built into iOS.

And, even if you’re not a budding James Bond, knowing about this trick could keep someone from eavesdropping on you. Here’s what to do if you want to use your iPhone to spy on someone. (Or what to watch out for if you don’t want to fall victim to iPhone spying.)

AirPods Pro are ready for battle with this ultra-rugged Military Bumper

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Elkson Military Bumper for AirPods Pro
Get yours for just $13.99.
Photo: Elkson

It’s unlikely the average AirPods Pro owner would be wearing their buds into a real battle to listen to some banging tunes. But if they were, they would protect them with Elkson’s ultra-rugged Military Bumper case.

With its tough exoskeleton design, made from a mixture of flexible polyurethane and sturdy polycarbonate, the Military Bumper is all you need to keep your favorite wireless headphones in top condition. It’s also surprisingly affordable.