| Cult of Mac

JBL has a new party in a box and lots of other big plans for your ears


The JBL PartyBox Encore is a 100W speaker with a Lightshow and two microphones.
The JBL PartyBox Encore is a 100W speaker with a Lightshow and two microphones.
Photo: JBL

Every year Samsung subsidiary JBL rolls out a tempting raft of updated or new audio products at CES, but you can’t get them right away. CES 2022, held in Las Vegas earlier this month, was no different. The company showed its new JBL PartyBox Encore and a slew of other Bluetooth speakers, earbuds and headphones. We’ll round them up below. Some are coming in spring and others in summer.

6 brilliant but affordable AirPods alternatives


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


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.

Ex-HTC design chief works on next-gen Beats headphones


Apple Beats PowerBeats in red
A new head of design means Apple will offer plenty more headphones to follow these Beats PowerBeats.
Photo: Apple

The reports of Beats’ death are (reportedly) greatly exaggerated. Rather than phasing out the brand, as had been rumored, Apple put Scott Croyle, the former head of product design at phone-maker HTC, in charge of crafting new Beats headphones, according to an unconfirmed report.

11 deals on AirPods Pro alternatives to fill the void left by phantom Apple event


Take your pick of some of the best AirPods Pro alternatives out there.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Like most Apple fans, you’re probably disappointed that the rumored March 23 date for Apple’s upcoming event might have been a ploy to uncover leakers within the company. If you were eagerly awaiting big news about new products and redesigns, it looks like you’ll be waiting until April.

But perhaps a hot deal on top-rated Bluetooth headphones will satisfy your feelings of rejection. For your convenience, we rounded up the 11 best AirPods Pro alternatives that won’t break the bank.

Save $51 on Sony’s brilliant AirPods Pro alternatives


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 just $178 — down from $229.99 — for a limited time only.

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

Beats Solo3 headphones offer premium audio quality, and they’re on sale


Beats Solo3
Treat your ears to some solid headphones.
Photo: Beats

If you’re an audio enthusiast, you know that some headphones don’t fare well with age. When you factor in hours of listening time and the advent of the latest and greatest features on newer models, your tried-and-true pair might not have the same allure they did before.

That’s not the case with Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones. These award-winning headphones have stood the test of time well, with fast charging, exceptionally long battery life and Apple’s proprietary W1 chip.

Save $100 on Sony’s terrific noise-canceling wireless headphones


Sony WHXB900N headphones
Bag yours before the discount disappears.
Photo: Sony

If you want headphones that offer noise cancellation and outstanding sound quality, but you don’t want to pay AirPods Max prices, check out Sony’s brilliant WHXB900N. They look great, have Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant built-in, and are now $100 off on Amazon.

Get yours before the discount disappears!

Wireless headphones make a great gift—these just dropped for Black Friday


Best headphones deals for the holidays

Whether you’re reliant on music to get you through a workout or require a great set of headphones to help you concentrate at work, it’s pretty much always a good time to upgrade your audio equipment. From earbuds to over-ear headphones and from sweatproof to cushiony, we’ve rounded up the most noteworthy headphones for the holidays. These make the perfect gift for yourself or friends and family — and with coupon code BFSAVE20, you can get early Black Friday access and save an additional 20% off the sale price.

Brilliant deals on Beats, Bose and Sony headphones for those who don’t like AirPods


A whole bunch of options to choose from!
Image: Cult of Mac

If your ears just don’t get along with AirPods, check out these awesome deals on headphones from Beats, Bose, and Sony instead. You can save up to $119 on some of the hottest models for a limited time only.

There are both in-ear and on-ear options to choose from — as well as wireless speakers, if you prefer.