Sony’s brilliant AirPods Pro alternatives are now even cheaper — save $52

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Sony WF-1000XM3 wireless buds
The best wireless buds not made by Apple?
Photo: Sony

Sony’s terrific WF-1000XM3 earbuds are widely regarded as the best alternatives to AirPods Pro. Some say they’re even better, despite their silly name. Bag yours today for a mere $178 — down from $229.99.

The buds offer up to 24 hours of playback with their included charging case, plus active noise cancellation, built-in Amazon Alexa, and terrific sound.

2020 Powerbeats Pro may have scored FCC approval

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This might be the 2020 Powerbeats Pro next to the 2019 one
2020 Powerbeats Pro look familiar in FCC filings.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple got approval to release a pair of “totally wireless high-performance earphones” from the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday. But the company didn’t release this product, so exactly what they’ll offer is a mystery.

That said, information buried in the FCC filing shows these will be very similar to last year’s Powerbeats Pro. They might be the successor.

Apple slashes HomePod price in half for employees

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Apple debuts HomePod in India at its cheapest price yet
Is a new HomePod on the way?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple is hooking up its employees with some huge discounts on a few of its audio products this week.

It’s unclear whether it’s being done to help employees be entertained while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic or an effort to move surplus units during a sales lull.

Apple’s unreleased over-the-ear headphones spotted in iOS 14 code

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airpods-max
Apple's making its own headphones to rival Beats.
Photo: 9to5Mac

The clearest look yet at Apple’s upcoming over-the-ear headphones was unearthed from an early build of iOS 14 this week.

Icons for Apple’s unreleased over-the-ear headphones were spotted by 9to5Mac, revealing a few features about the headphones’ design as well as a possible timeframe on when they might launch to the public.

These great wireless headphones sport an even better price tag [Deals]

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Riot Headphones
These headphones deliver strong bass and clear audio for any Bluetooth-enabled device.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The best way to listen to music or podcasts is without external distractions. So if you’re looking for new headphones, wireless, over-ear cans are the way to go. Even better if you don’t have to break the bank in the process.

Marshall brings active noise cancellation and USB-C to over-the-ear headphones

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Marshall
These are some of the best looking headphones we've seen.
Photo: Marshall

Marshall’s best over-the-ear headphones finally gained active noise cancellation (ANC) with a big update that pushes the vintage-inspired cans into the modern age.

The new Monitor II ANC headphones were revealed by Marshall this morning and along with adding ANC to put them on par with AirPods Pro, the headphones also have a nifty multi-directional control knob that lets you easily control music and phone functions without touching your phone.

Dig into Presidents Day discounts on gear, gadgets and apps [Deals]

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Prez Day Sale
Ring in Presidents Day with some of our favorite deals on wireless chargers, headphones, disk utilities and more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Any day that you can save on great digital goodies is a holiday to us. So these Presidents Day deals on gear, gadgets and apps deserve double celebration. They include deals as high as 99% on VPN protection, noise-canceling headphones, iOS coding training and more.

Jump on Presidents Day deals on gear and gadgets [Deals]

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Gear Gadgets Roundup
Score deals on wireless headphones, wireless power banks, even a charging case that doubles as a gaming console.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

These days, any distraction from politics is a welcome thing. So take this Presidents Day to swoop up some awesome deals on gear and gadgets. That includes VPN subscriptions, noise-canceling headphones, a 3-in-1 wireless power bank, even a phone case that doubles as a gaming console.

Kuo: Apple’s huge lineup of products for early 2020 includes AirPower alternative

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AirPower
Apple hasn't given up on wireless charging pads.
Photo: Apple

Apple is planning a huge lineup of products for early 2020, including a brand-new AirPower alternative, according to reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Fans can also look forward to a low-cost iPhone, upgrades to iPad Pro and the MacBook lineup, high-end headphones, and more before the summer, he reported.

Prepare your wallets for one hell of a beating!

Pro Tip: Your Apple USB-C headphone adapter works anywhere

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USB-C headphone adapter
The dongle works pretty much anywhere.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip: This to-do list hack turns your tasks into questions If you own a 2018 iPad Pro, you probably also bought Apple’s USB-C-to-3.5mm headphone jack adapter, just so you can plug headphones into your $1,000-plus computer. But what if you want to do something totally crazy like, I don’t know, listen to music and charge the iPad at the same time? Or, given that this a pro machine, maybe you want to hook up a MIDI piano keyboard, or other gear, and use headphones at the same time?

Tough luck, right? No! If you have any old USB-C hub or dock, you can plug Apple’s cheap little dongle into the hub itself. Check it out.