| Cult of Mac

You can control JBL’s new ANC earbuds with their touchscreen case

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If you bring the charging case with you, you can control the buds without having to use the app on your smartphone.
If you bring the charging case with you, you can control the buds without having to use the app on your smartphone.
Photo: JBL

JBL revealed several new wireless earbud models Wednesday, including the new flagship Tour Pro 2 with a touchscreen for additional control via the “smart case.”

“The world’s first smart charging case,” as the company called it, features a 1.45-inch LED touchscreen that lets you control music, noise cancellation, calls and notifications. That gets you out of turning to an app on your smartphone — as long as you keep the case at hand.

Selling a house got him this Mac-based music studio [Setups]

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A Mac Studio, two Studio Displays and a whole lot of audio gear and guitars make up this music setup. The Audient iD44 audio interface on the stand in the center of the photograph got replaced with an Apollo X Twin Heritage audio interface.
A Mac Studio, two Studio Displays and a whole lot of audio gear and guitars make up this music setup. The Audient iD44 audio interface on the stand in the center of the photograph got replaced with an Apollo X Twin Heritage audio interface.
Photo: frankjunior@Reddit.com

“These go to 11,” says lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel about his specially modded guitar amplifiers in music mockumentary classic This Is Spinal Tap. And today’s featured computer setup probably rocks just about that hard, too.

The Mac Studio, dual Studio Displays and array of killer audio gear in the home-basement setup belong to a working New York City-area rocker. Check out details about his chest-thumping rig, below.

We dropped the price on these JBL earbuds well ahead of Black Friday

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Grab some JBL NC+ wireless earbuds for an Early Black Friday price.
Get an early Black Friday price drop on JBL noise-canceling earbuds.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you’re shopping for wireless earbuds, normally, you’d have to drop a pretty penny on a pair that pulls the trifecta of great sound, long battery life and a comfortable fit. Instead, you could grab a pair that’s on sale for its Black Friday price long before other sales go live. This pair of JBL Live Free NC+ Wireless Earbuds are on sale for $49.99.

M1 MacBook Pro with Studio Display excels at intensive gaming [Setups]

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A powerful M1 Max MacBook and Studio Display have no trouble with World of Warcraft.
A powerful M1 Max MacBook and Studio Display have no trouble with World of Warcraft.
Photo: Ursureiks@Reddit.com

Who says Macs aren’t good for gaming? M1 Macs seem to be improving Apple’s reputation on that front, as shown in today’s featured M1 Max MacBook Pro computer setup.

With Apple’s most powerful laptop driving a stunning 5K Studio Display, this player is in gaming paradise. And he digs the display’s sound, too.

Listen to these AirPods Pro alternatives and try to hear a difference

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These JBL Earbuds are a great AirPods alternative.
Finally, a viable AirPods Pro alternative. JBL's Live Free NC+ earbuds are on sale during Deal Days.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Wireless earbud technology improves year by year, even as prices get lower and standards justifiably get higher. If you’re looking for an affordable AirPods Pro alternative, these JBL Live Free NC+ wireless earbuds may be just the thing.

Especially now, because they’re on sale for just $65.99 (regularly $149) during our Deal Days Sale. No coupon is needed, but this sales ends Thursday.

JBL noise-canceling earbuds: An affordable AirPods Pro alternative

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These JBL noise-cancelling earbuds sound fantastic.
These JBL wireless earbuds pack a big sound -- and active noise cancellation -- for a small price.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Every year, the standard for wireless earbuds gets higher while the price gets lower and lower. A few years ago, it was hard to find anything even close to competing with AirPods Pro, but now you can pick up a pair of affordable wireless earbuds with many of the same refined features.

JBL Live Free NC+ in-ear noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones are on sale for only $74.99 (regularly $149) — and it’s amazing what they can do.

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

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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

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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.

Nice rig. Here are 28 ways to make it better. [Setups]

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If you want suggestions for how to improve a computer setup, just ask.
If you want suggestions for how to improve a computer setup, just ask.
Photo: No-Top-5065@Reddit

To be fair, when Redditor No-Top-5065 posted pics of their MacBook Air-based computer setup, they asked for suggestions on how to improve it.

“Any recommendation on how can I improve my desk setup? Not into gaming, work and study most of the time,” said the post’s headline.

CES 2020 trends: AirPower alternatives, rise of 5G, tasty TVs

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CES-2020-trends
It's shaping up to be an exciting year for tech.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

CES 2020The post-holiday tech fest that is CES shutters its doors today for another year. This week’s event has been as weird and as wonderful as any other, giving us a glimpse of all kinds of innovative gadgets on the way in 2020.

Better AirPods alternatives. Wireless chargers that achieve what Apple couldn’t. iPhone cases you can throw on the compost heap when they’re no longer needed. Here are the biggest trends from CES 2020.