| Cult of Mac

Beats Pill+ speaker returns from the dead for skull-encrusted encore

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The limited-edition Beats Pill+ features a skull-and-bones design.
The limited-edition Beats Pill+ features a skull-and-bones design.
Photo: Study

In a crowded Bluetooth speaker market a few months ago, Apple and its subsidiary Beats by Dre discontinued the Beats Pill+ portable speaker. They gave no word of a replacement. But now, suddenly, it arises from the dead for what appears to be one last encore. And it’s all dressed up in skulls.

The limited-edition speaker crawls from the grave on Friday at the clothing brand Stüssy’s website. But it’s a limited-time offer.

Get Amazon’s biggest discount yet on Beats Studio Buds

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Beats Studio Buds come in white, red and black.
Get yours for just $129.95.
Photo: Apple

Amazon just dropped its biggest discount yet on Beats Studio Buds, saving you more than $40, right after Apple rolled out a rather juicy firmware update.

Get yours with active noise cancellation and a water-resistant design for less than $110 before the deal ends.

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Beats Studio Buds get instant pairing over iCloud and new controls

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Beats Studio Buds come in white, red and black.
You now have one-tap pairing across all Apple devices.
Photo: Beats

Apple this week rolled out a new firmware update for its Beats Studio Buds that adds a couple of handy new features and controls — including instant pairing for all your Apple devices over iCloud.

Instant pairing, which was already available on AirPods, means users no longer have to connect Beats Studio Buds to all their Apple devices individually.

Get Beats Fit Pro at their lowest price yet after a $46 discount

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Beats Fit Pro in black
Now just $153.11 — down from $199.99 — for a limited time.
Photo: Apple

Beats Fit Pro headphones, which made their debut last November, pack spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, the Apple H1 chip for quick and easy pairing, and active noise cancellation. Get yours at their lowest price to date.

The black models are currently available from Amazon for just $153.11 for a limited time. That’s $46.88 off the usual price.

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Furby-loving animator trades 3-monitor PC gaming rig for cozy Mac station [Setups]

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That's a refurbished Furby in the center.
That's a refurbished Furby in the center.
Photo: Jazinity@Reddit.com

Gamer and 3D animator Jazinity said she’d been a Windows user for most of her life before M1 Macs caught her eye and she made a nearly wholesale switch, going from a tri-display PC gaming station to a “cozy but productive” M1 MacBook Air situation.

The refurbished Furby in the center of the photo may or may not have been in the previous computer setup, but not much else. She has another Furby at her desk at the office, though she’s working at home for the time being, like many people these days.

Beats Pill+ speaker drops out of Apple’s lineup with no replacement

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Beats Pill+
See ya!
Image: Apple

Apple has discontinued the Beats Pill+ wireless speaker — one of the first brand-new products it launched after acquiring Beats in 2014. It was the only speaker available under the Beats brand, and there is no replacement.

You can still buy a Pill+ from third-party retailers while stocks last. However, you won’t find one in the Apple Store.

Two secrets of super-clean desktops [Setups]

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Dual, mounted monitors and an M1 hidden Mac mini make for a clean desktop.
Dual, mounted monitors and an M1 hidden Mac mini make for a clean desktop.
Photo: kurtvdpoel@Reddit.com

We keep coming across two great secrets of super-clean desktops when it comes to computer setups. As shown in today’s featured setup, they’re both about creating significant amounts of open desk space in different ways — without losing any access to your gear or forfeiting any computing power.

And we’re not just talking about clearing away basic clutter, or even cable clutter, although that always helps. We’re talking about how you can get some of your main equipment up and off the desk so you have room in front of you. Redditor kurtvdpoel demonstrates the two excellent methods in his post, “Home office with Mac mini Apple M1.”

6 brilliant but affordable AirPods alternatives

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AirPods might just be the best wireless buds you can pair with Apple devices, but they’re also pretty expensive. Plenty of more affordable options that deliver stellar sound and reliable connectivity in a neat design are available.

So, if you’re buying on a budget this holiday season, skip the Apple Store and check out these six brilliant but more affordable alternatives to AirPods.

Beats Fit Pro with active noise cancellation available now for $199.99

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Beats Fit Pro in black
Get yours in one of four color options.
Photo: Beats

Apple’s new Beats Fit Pro wireless headphones, which were last month spilled by Kim Kardashian, are now available to order in four color options. The new buds pack active noise cancellation and the Apple H1 chip for $199.99.

They also support spatial audio with with dynamic head tracking, like AirPods Pro. And like the more affordable Beats Studio Buds that launched back in June, they work just as well with Android as they do with Apple devices.