Sony’s answer to AirPods boasts one big advantage

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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.

Apple Watch’s new Noise app is unbelievably accurate

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Apple Watch Noise app
The new Noise app helps you maintain healthy hearing.
Photo: Apple

One of the new health features baked into watchOS 6 is a Noise app that will tell you when the environment around you is too loud. But just how accurately can a wearable device with a tiny microphone measure noise?

You’ll be surprised. A comparison with an actual decibel meter proves Apple Watch does an unbelievably good job.

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.

Protect your drive, upgrade your productivity, and more [Week’s best deals]

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This week's best deals include powerful drive maintenance tools, productivity aids, and more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Welcome to another week of great new deals at the Cult of Mac Store. This time around we’ve got awesome noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones, and an app for staying on top of any project. There’s also a powerful VPN for safe and anonymous browsing, and an award-winning tool for protecting and repairing your computer’s drive. Everything is discounted by well over half, read on for more details:

iPhone 5 ‘Low Light Boost Mode’ Optional For Third-Party Apps

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The iPhone 5 takes great pictures in low light. This is thanks to a “boost mode” which amps up the signal from the chip to grab back detail from the shadows. This comes at the expense of extra noise (it’s effectively upping the ISO of certain sections of the image), and presumably getting some extra noise-reduction to even things up.

However, right now you’ll only find it in the native camera app. But not for long.