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


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


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


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.

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


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


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.

JBL enters Dolby Atmos space with Airplay 2-ready, wireless soundbar


JBL Bar 9.1
Speaker company JBL week announced this week the JBL Bar 9.1, a new soundbar with AirPlay 2 support.
Photo: JBL

CES 2020
JBL used CES this week to introduce an AirPlay 2-ready soundbar with Dolby Atmos support and a unique take on wireless rear speakers.

Instead of cables running through the room or wireless speakers plugged into the wall for power, the JBL Bar 9.1 uses wireless, battery-powered rear speakers.

Google smart displays will takeover homes in July


Google smart displays
Google Assistant can bring show and tell with smart displays, like this one from Lenovo.
Photo: Lenovo

Smart speakers are about to get upstaged at home by an arguably smarter device – smart displays.

During its I/O developers conference Tuesday, Google announced smart displays with Google Assistant would hit store shelves in July, adding yet another screen to vie for our already fractured attention.

Logitech headsets go for nearly half off, Samsung slashes $1,100 off TVs and more [Deals]


Week Deals 11.4
Prices are falling for brand-name electronics this week
Photos: Apple, Samsung

Look alive, everyone! November is finally here, and that means Black Friday is on the way. However, you won’t have to wait until the 26th to start saving. Now that Apple has unleashed its new tech lineup, prices are falling for iMacs, and refurbished Apple products are making a comeback. Logitech is even getting a headstart on Black Friday sales with an $80 discount on their premier gaming headphones.

JBL’s new Bluetooth speaker brings the features — and the price tag


The JBL Charge 2 is even better than the last one. Photo: JBL
The JBL Charge 2 is even better than the last one. Photo: JBL

When I reviewed the first-generation JBL Charge back in 2013, I called it a “colorful pill of a speaker that looks almost like, as an accessory, it leaped out of a new iPod touch commercial.” I loved it for its clear, crisp sound that was loud enough to shake most rooms: It delivered the sound volume of the Big Jambox in the original Jambox’s form factor.

If it’s not plenty clear, I loved the JBL Charge. It ended up being my go-to kitchen speaker for over a year, until I accidentally knocked it into the sink while doing my dishes. As a sign of its quality, it actually kept working, but never sounded quite the same.

Now I’ve tried out the JBL Charge 2. And I’ve got to say, if the JBL Charge was good, the Charge 2 is even better, fixing some of the first model’s oversights. It’s a solid choice if you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker that can do more than just play music.