| Cult of Mac

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.

Best iPhone game controllers this holiday season

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Old school Xbox gaming on the RiotPWR Controller.
An iPhone game controller can make a great gift.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

If you are overstraining your brain trying to come up with the right gift for an iPhone fan, consider a clip-on game controller. Mobile gamers can appreciate that physical buttons, sticks and triggers make play a lot more fun for many types of games.

I’ve reviewed all the top iPhone game controllers. Here are my recommendations.

Best Apple Watch Ultra bands: Rugged and ready for adventure

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If you have a tough timepiece like Apple Watch Ultra, you need a rugged band to go with it.
If you have a tough timepiece like Apple Watch Ultra, you need a rugged band to go with it.
Photo: Apple

From the three bands Apple designed especially for the chunky Apple Watch Ultra to several other worthy options, you have plenty to choose from when it comes to a rugged band that can handle whatever you throw at it and Apple’s toughest timepiece.

In our roundup below, we cover Apple’s best options for bands to pair with the high-performance Apple Watch Ultra. Plus, we found other great (and more-affordable) choices from brands like Carterjett, Kordiz, Mifa, Nomad, Pinnacle and Spigen.

Best monitors for Mac Studio (and other Macs) in 2022

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The Studio Display, Pro Display XDR, iMac 24″ and 16″ MacBook Pro.
From left to right: The 16-inch MacBook Pro, the 24-inch iMac, the Studio Display and Pro Display XDR.
Photo: Apple

The introduction of a brand-new desktop called the Mac Studio brought new life to the Mac, and it deserves a great monitor to match. But the Mac Studio is only part of the story. You may want a desktop monitor when you’re at home with your MacBook Pro, a display for your Mac mini, or a second display for your iMac. Or, maybe you’re jumping in on the headless MacBook Pro bandwagon. What’s the best monitor for your Mac?

Apple introduced its own Studio Display alongside the Mac Studio, and it seems reasonably priced compared to Apple’s other offerings. But what does the broader market for midrange displays look like?

Here’s a display buying guide to help you find an appropriate monitor to go with your Mac.

What you need to know when buying a new TV

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This TV shopping guide will give you info on screen resolution and other key features.
Hint: This is not a cutting-edge TV.
Photo: AlexAntropov86/Pixabay CC

By Allison Martin

You walk into the store expecting to choose a television in record time. But while that may sound appealing, the TV-buying process is often more complex. With so many sizes and features to choose from, finding the perfect set can be overwhelming — but don’t fret.

From resolutions to refresh rates, we tell you about the key factors to consider when buying a new TV.

September is the perfect time to buy these 9 things

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september sales
If you're looking for certain Apple gear, and other popular products, September could be the time to land a great deal.
Photo: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay CC

September is an exciting month for bargain hunters. Not only does it bring us one step closer to the holiday season — which is the best time of year for many big-ticket items — but this month is also a great time to stock up on a variety of items, thanks to a small overlap in Labor Day, summer clearance, and back-to-school sales.

While the end of summer may be upon us, the best deals of the year are only now just beginning. Check out our guide below for tips on the best things to buy in September. (Unfortunately, it’s not a good time to score a deal on the iPhone 7 or an iPad, but other Apple items should be on sale.)