Sony’s answer to AirPods boasts one big advantage

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Sony-wireless-buds
But they’re not cheap.
Photo: Sony

Sony’s new wireless earbuds are ready to take on AirPods.

The horribly named WF-1000XM3 promise the same impressive audio quality as Sony’s best-selling headphones — but in an earbud form factor. And they boast one big advantage.

Here’s why you might want to avoid Apple’s hottest accessory and pick up these instead.

AirPods top Galaxy Buds in new water test

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Galaxy buds
The Galaxy Buds are bulkier than AirPods but not as durable.
Photo: Samsung

Apple’s wireless earbuds face some new competition from Samsung’s cheaper Galaxy Buds, but a new water-damage test shows the cheaper price tag comes at a cost.

Neither AirPods or Galaxy Buds boast waterproofing but do have some water resistance. The folks at CNET pitted the two earbuds against each other in a new real-world test along with the new Powerbeats Pro and the results were pretty bad for Samsung lovers.

Powerbeats Pro will only be available in black at launch

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Powerbeats Pro
When will yours turn up?
Photo: Beats

Beats fans that are hoping to scoop up the colorful new Powerbeats Pro might be a bit disappointed with the color options when units arrive in stores in May.

Apple revealed the Powerbeats Pro wireless earbuds earlier this month with black, ivory, moss and navy color options. The ivory ones look especially sleek, but it appears that only the black ones will be available at launch.

Amazon thinks it can beat AirPods on audio quality

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AirPods 2. AirPods S, more like.
The wearables market is about to heat up.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s AirPods are about to get some fresh competition from Amazon.

The online retail giant is reportedly planning to release its own set of wireless earbuds that will be powered by its digital assistant Alexa and possibly better audio quality.

Powerbeats Pro earbuds look like AirPods for athletes

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Powerbeats Pro
When will yours turn up?
Photo: Beats

The first truly wireless Beats earbuds have finally arrived.

Beats unveiled its new Powerbeats Pro earbuds today which are a successor to the Powerbeats 3 buds that feature an over-the-ear support system. The new Powerbeats Pro feature some of the same features you’ll find on the new AirPods, only in a sporty, sweat-resistant package with more color options and a larger price tag.

Check out the teaser:

How to work when it’s really, really noisy

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Construction noise can drive you crazy.
Construction noise can drive you crazy.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

As I write this, there’s a truck outside my window using its crane to shovel molten blacktop onto the street. Its diesel engine is revving hard, and has been for the last half hour. For the past two years, there’s been an apartment building under construction across the street from my office. Starting at (and often before) 7 a.m., six days a week, I’ve enjoyed a symphony of pumped cement, circular saws screeching through thin metal sheets, over-revved forklifts, and drilling into reinforced concrete.

I mention this to tell you that I know a thing or two about writing in a noisy spot. I also know how to stop it driving you nuts.

How to clean your gross, waxy AirPods

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Cleaning your AirPods is easy, and you probably have the tools to do it already.
Cleaning your AirPods is easy, and you probably have the tools to do it already.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The other day on the metro, I pulled out my AirPods and dropped one on the floor. It bounced over dried and dirty beer stains, and who knows what other filth and bacteria traipsed in on a million passengers’ shoes (and the odd hippie’s bare feet). I gave up on listening to anything on the trip home, and slipped the rescued AirPod back into its case.

Today we’re going to see how to clean AirPods (or any other earbuds). It’s not only hippie toe jam that we have to worry about, either. Because we’re always pushing these things deep into moist holes in our heads, they crust up with earwax and whatever bacteria we have living in our earholes. Happily, cleaning and disinfecting AirPods is not only easy. It’s just about as satisfying as digging a deep-seated booger out of your nose, or picking an almost-healed scab.

Get cutting-edge gear at great prices [Deals]

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We've rounded up next generation personal audio, touch-free smart controllers, and more ultra-modern gear.
We've rounded up next generation personal audio, touch-free smart controllers, and more ultra-modern gear.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

With all the technological wonders we take for granted today, it’s easy to lose track of the cutting edge in consumer tech. So to keep that sense of wonder alive, we’ve rounded up some of the most innovative new personal gear and gadgets you can find.

Below you’ll find a solar-powered, antitheft backpack, a Bluetooth speaker that doubles as a wireless charger, a touch-free controller for IoT devices, and more. Even better, each item is massively discounted, some by more than half. Read on for more details.