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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.

Updated Sennheiser flagship earbuds boast improved features and lower price

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The Sennheiser Momentum 3 wireless buds have a sleeker design, better ANC and a wireless charging case.
The Sennheiser Momentum 3 wireless earbuds have a sleeker design, better ANC and a wireless charging case.
Photo: Sennheiser

Sennheiser first put out its top-tier Momentum True Wireless earbuds in 2018 to rave reviews about sound quality. Next came a 2020 update and now, with a new release, we see a substantial redesign with the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds.

They offer substantial upgrades at a lower-than-expected price, compared to the starting price of their predecessors.

The German maker released the new flagship buds along with its new Sport True Wireless earbuds for athletic types who want to filter out the sound of their own huffing and puffing.

Leak of flagship Sennheiser ANC earbuds reveals upgrades and price

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Sennheiser's new Momentum 3 True Wireless Earbuds popped up on a shopping site early.
Sennheiser's new Momentum 3 True Wireless earbuds popped up on a shopping site early.
Photo: Sennheiser/Lufthansa WorldShop

A while back, German audio powerhouse Sennheiser began teasing the April release of its new, top-tier Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds. But then retailer Lufthansa WorldShop went ahead and (briefly) posted a detailed listing for the new buds ahead of Sennheiser’s official, and yet to come, release.

So now we know a bunch of the new buds’ specs as well as pricing details.

Would you pay $178 for Sony’s strange new earbuds?

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The new Sony LinkBuds feature an unusual, perhaps even unique, open design.
The new Sony LinkBuds feature an unusual, perhaps even unique, open design.
Photo: Sony

For some time now, the wireless earbud market has grown toward the bursting point, with all sorts of options for active noise canceling buds with wireless charging, long battery life, solid waterproofing and other features for prices between $75 and $150.

But if you’re sick and tired of paying less for more, Sony has something new for you. You can pay $178 for earbuds without ANC or wireless charging, plus pedestrian battery life and minimal waterproofing. Meet the all-new Sony LinkBuds Truly Wireless Earbuds!

What do you get for that price? Sony’s reputation, plus an interesting new compact, lightweight, open-style design that might work great for at least some people.

Give the gift of a lifetime of language learning and a pair of AI wireless earbuds for less than $50 

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This award-winning language learning app and earbud bundle is less than $50 today.
Grab award-winning language courses plus AI-powered wireless earbuds.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

How’s this for a seriously awesome gift this holiday season? You can snag a lifetime subscription to a top-rated language-learning service, plus AI-powered noise-canceling wireless earbuds to use with it. They’re on sale together in the Lifetime Language Learning Bundle featuring uTalk and xFyro for just $49.99. That’s an 85% discount off their regular price of $334.

These earbuds check all the boxes for less than $100 [Review]

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EarFun's Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds offer a comfortable fit and good sound at an affordable price point.
EarFun's Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds offer a comfortable fit and good sound at an affordable price point.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

In my recent review of Earfun’s Air Pro 2 wireless active noise cancellation (ANC) earbuds, I said they packed good enough features — sound quality, active noise cancellation, comfortable fit —  to be worth their affordable price tag. With the new EarFun Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds, that’s even more the case. Especially because the same high quality comes in an even smaller package.

Jabra Elite 7 Pro ANC earbuds are worth top dollar but cost less [Review]

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At $199, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro ANC earbuds offer great sound, customization and comfort.
At $199, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro ANC earbuds offer great sound, customization and comfort.
Photo: David Snow / Culf of Mac

With the new Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbuds, I seem to have found near-ideal audio with active noise cancellation (ANC) for both music and phone calls. The compact earbuds offer surprisingly expansive sound and are incredibly comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

These great AirPods alternatives are on sale for less than $40 

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These Groundbreaking Earphones Feature Up to 3 Hours of Active Noise Cancellation, HiFi Sound & Bluetooth 5.1
You don't have to pay top dollar for quality wireless earbuds.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

There are a lot of things to love about AirPods: In fact, they’re one of the best Apple accessories out there. But one thing that’s not so hot about them? The $159 price tag (which goes up to $199 if you want a wireless charging case).

The price is especially forbidding considering how easily the little buds can be lost, dropped or stolen.

These AI-powered earbuds deliver optimized sound for 100 hours

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wireless earbuds
Noise cancellation when you need it. Premium audio at all times.
Photo: xFyro

We get it: You probably use your earbuds for everything from zoning in on a deadline to powering through the last few minutes of your morning run.

Unfortunately, immersive sound (where you can barely hear your surroundings) might seem good in theory. But just wait until your co-worker tries to flag you down in the office or you narrowly avoid a car during your morning walk.

Enjoy your music while staying active with these sporty AirPods alternatives

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earbuds
These sweatproof and waterproof earbuds can stand up to your active lifestyle.
Photo: Skullcandy

While wired, over-the-ear headphones can make you feel like you’re in an actual music studio, wireless earbuds offer something no pair of headphones can: freedom. The freedom to listen to your favorite songs anywhere during any activity is what makes ditching the wire so appealing. And that’s exactly what sets apart the Skullcandy Push Ultra True Wireless Earbuds.