Advanced wireless earphones, 8K VR and more [Crowdfund Roundup]

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Freecube Crowdfund Roundup
The modular command center.
Photo: Freecube

Crowdfund Roundup bugBuild your ultimate command center and have easy access to power outlets, USB ports, Bluetooth audio, and more at any time with Freecube.

It’s just one of the awesome ideas in this week’s Crowdfund Roundup. We also have smart bike lights that’ll keep you safe on the road, advanced wireless earphones, an ultra-immersive virtual reality headset, and more!

Best wireless Bluetooth headphones for iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus

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AirPods
Maybe the best thing Apple has invented in years.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Updated: May 11, 2017

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are Apple’s first iPhones to drop the headphone jack. And while you can keep using your old headphones by plugging them into the adapter that comes in the box, that gets old as soon as you discover you left the little dongle at home connected to a speaker, and you can’t listen to any music.

You’ve got two options. One, stick with a cable and buy some Lightning headphones. That’s fine, but then you can only use them with recent-vintage iOS devices, and you can’t charge your device while you use them. Or two, go wireless. That means Bluetooth, either the vanilla kind, or Apple’s augmented Bluetooth headphones, with the special W1 chip added to make pairing easier.

Best List: These ‘social’ headphones let you share your music [Review]

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Wearhaus Arc Headphones
The Wearhaus Arc headphones are the first 'social' headphones that allow music sharing between headsets.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Best List: Wearhaus’ Arc ‘social’ headphones

Wearing headphones tends to cut you off from the world, but Wearhaus’ Arc headphones are more sociable.

The wireless Arc headphones allow multiple headsets to stream audio from the same source. Think silent disco, watching a movie together, or sharing tunes with your BFF.

Beats X are better than AirPods in almost every way [Reviews]

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Beats earphones
The Beats X are worth listening to.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

I’ve never been a fan of Beats headphones. Whenever I’ve given them a go, I’ve found the sound quality to be less than stellar, with far too much bass. So when Apple unveiled Beats X wireless headphones alongside the AirPods last fall, the weird-looking white ones grabbed my attention.

Now that I’ve had a chance to try them both, it’s clear I got that backward. I give you all the details on Beats X versus AirPods in my Beats X review below.

BeatsX ears on: AirPods rivals bring the bass [Reviews]

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beatsx wireless
The BeatsX Wireless earbuds charge via Lightning.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The long wait for Apple’s new BeatsX wireless earbuds is finally over and based on our first impressions, it was totally worth it.

We got our hands on a pair of the precious new BeatsX buds today and are mighty impressed by the big sound Apple managed to pack in such a small package. Like the AirPods, the BeatsX earbuds pack a custom W1 Bluetooth chip to pump out better performance and connectivity. Unboxing the tethered buds has been love at first sight.

Let’s dive in!

BeatsX wireless earphones are finally available to buy

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Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 13.59.39
Finally they're here!
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new BeatsX earphones are finally available for customers to buy, both in brick-and-mortar Apple stores and online.

The $149.95 earphones are available in four colors — black, white, gray and blue — although you’ll have to wait 7 to 10 business days to receive the latter two colors.

Long-awaited BeatsX earphones finally arriving this week

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Save big on a pair of BeatsX
Coming this Friday to an Apple store near you.
Photo: Apple

After leaving us hanging for five months, Apple’s new BeatsX headphones will finally go on sale this Friday, according to a new report.

The $150 wireless headphones will be available in white and black, as well as previously unannounced gray and blue options — although these will ship further down the line.

AirPods haven’t taken the headphone market by storm … yet

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AirPods sales
Apple's AirPods were super-rare upon their launch.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook has called the AirPods a “runaway success,” but what this means in terms of wireless headphone market share remains to be seen.

A previous report from Slice Analytics claimed that Apple’s new headphones captured a whopping 26 percent for wireless headphone sales in December. However, analysts at NDP Group think the real number is significantly lower — like, in the 2 percent to 3 percent range.

Why the difference?