| Cult of Mac

AirPods Pro 2: A must-have for Apple users and a solid choice for anyone [Review] ★★★★

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At a glance, they could be AirPods Pro, but they're AirPods Pro 2, with many internal upgrades.★★★★
At a glance, they could be AirPods Pro, but they're AirPods Pro 2, with many internal upgrades.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Cupertino’s second-generation AirPods Pro, which went on sale Friday in stores, look almost exactly like the original model released in 2019. But they’re upgraded in every way that matters most, thanks mainly to the new H2 processor.

Apple may not have gone as far as it could have in some ways, but the new AirPods Pro are among the best earbuds on the market and a worthy upgrade for almost anyone. They’re particularly great for those who use lots of Apple gear and love how seamlessly their devices can work together.

Let’s take a look at, and a listen to, the second-gen AirPods Pro, aka AirPods Pro 2.

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.

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.

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.

Universal Control brings M2 MacBook Air and M1 iPad Air together [Setups]

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No external display? No problem!
No external display? No problem!
Photo: slindner1995@Reddit.com

Who says you need an external display in your computer setup? Some people get by just fine without some big, expensive monitor and whatever hub and cables it might require. Instead, they rely on their devices’ built-in screens.

And doing that, the owner of today’s featured setup takes advantage of Universal Control. That helps him work seamlessly across an M2 MacBook Air and an M1 iPad Air mounted on stands.

‘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.

How to stop Siri from activating all the damn time

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An Apple Watch with Siri Activated and the caption:
Siri always interrupts at the wrong time.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Ever since it was introduced in 2011, Apple’s Siri voice assistant can often drive you mad. As if Siri’s unhelpful answers were not irritating enough when you actually want them, Siri often interrupts a conversation, meeting or TV show when you haven’t asked for anything at all. How do you stop Siri from randomly activating?

Apple commits to revealing what’s in AirPods firmware updates

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Today in Apple history: They looked weird at first, but now it's impossible to remember a world without AirPods.
AIrPods firmware updates are about to get a lot less mysterious.
Photo: Dagny Reese/Unsplash License

AirPods users will soon be able to discover what’s new in each firmware update. The current iOS 16 beta includes a link to a description of the current firmware on Apple’s website.

That’s a notable change from iOS 15 and before, where firmware updates for these wireless earbuds are an almost complete mystery.

When downsizing your display is not downgrading [Setups]

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The Studio Display replaced a 34-inch ultra-wide monitor.
The Studio Display replaced a 34-inch ultra-wide monitor.
Photo: dawiyo@reddit.com

We’ve seen a few computer setups lately where the owner switches from one or more large monitors to something smaller. But they don’t necessarily see losing the screen real estate as a “downgrade.”

That’s the case with today’s featured M1 Pro MacBook-centered setup. It went from a 34-inch ultra-wide 4K monitor to a new 27-inch Studio Display.

Essentially it boils down to “size isn’t everything.” When it comes to displays, there’s actually a lot more to the picture.