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AirPods 3: Apple's 2021 wireless headphones are missing a few big features – CNET

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The third-gen Apple AirPods.


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Apple’s third-gen AirPods were a highlight of Apple’s October “Unleashed” event, which also saw the debut of a redesigned MacBook Pro line that brings back multiple ports and higher-end M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. The $179 (£169, AU$279) AirPods 3 aims for the middle ground between the $129 second-gen AirPods, which will remain for sale, and the $249 AirPods Pro. It includes Spatial Audio support with head tracking, sweat- and water-resistance, a MagSafe-compatible wireless charging case and a six-hour battery life that outranks previous generations and the AirPods Pro.

Yet $179 is still a lot of money for wireless headphones, and when you look outside of Apple you can easily find headphones with comparable features — often for less money. While Apple’s AirPods connect seamlessly to Apple devices, you may want to consider alternatives if you’re splitting your headphone time between an iPhone and a non-Apple device such as a Windows PC or a Nintendo Switch. Other manufacturers can give you better support for those devices.

Let’s highlight some features you should keep in mind when trying to decide if you should buy the new AirPods 3.

Colors

The third-gen AirPods come in one color: white. It’s the same color that the second-gen AirPods and the AirPods Pro come in, but Apple lately has been pushing color throughout its product line. The $549 AirPods Max comes in five colors (space gray, silver, pink, green and sky blue), and the 2021 iMac line comes in seven colors depending on the version you want.

Apple made a big deal of releasing the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini in purple in the spring, and its Beats Studio Buds come in black, white and red.

As a result it’s a little strange that Apple isn’t following suit with its 2021 wireless headphones. Meanwhile if color is particularly important to you, Samsung’s various Galaxy Buds headphones seem to come in almost every color. Depending on the model, you can find them in shades of red, blue, purple, green, gray, black and white.

That said, it’s likely that this generation of AirPods will spend years on the market, and perhaps Apple could later offer them in shades like the iPhone 13’s pink, blue, midnight and Product Red.

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The AirPods Max come in several colors, but the new AirPods only come in white.

Lower price

While $179 is cheaper than the AirPods Pro, it’s actually more expensive than the $159 starting price of the second-gen AirPods. While that latter headphone has been knocked down to $129 and still includes core features like seamless pairing to Apple devices, the $50 difference throws in many technical improvements to the listening experience as well as the magnetic charging case.

However it’s when you look outside of Apple’s headphone realm that $179 starts to feel expensive for what these features bring. The $130 Anker Liberty Air 2 Pro includes many of the AirPods Pro’s highlight features, such as active noise canceling, transparency modes, water-resistance and a wireless charging case. Ditto for the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, which costs $150.

When Apple first launched the AirPods back in 2017, it kickstarted a huge wireless headphone market, but that market is now filled with comparable competition. Apple can maintain a variety of exclusive software enhancements like fast pairing to Apple devices and head-tracking enhancements to Spatial Audio, but few of these features should be enough to stop you from considering a cheaper alternative.

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The Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro are available now for $130.


David Carnoy/CNET

Multipoint Bluetooth connections to non-Apple devices

The AirPods line does let you seamlessly switch between an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, MacBook and nearly any other Apple device. But throw in a Windows PC or a Nintendo Switch, and suddenly you are back to navigating Bluetooth menus. Headphones that support multipoint Bluetooth pairing alleviate that, generally by always pairing to two (or more) devices at the same time, regardless of manufacturer.

I recently bought the Wyze headphones for around $60, following a recommendation from CNET’s Cheapskate Emeritus Rick Broida, and it made me realize that this feature was way more useful than I’d previously assumed. When I’m at work, my headphones are usually connected to a MacBook Pro, but when a call comes in, my computer’s music pauses while the headphones swap to the phone. Then after the call, it switches back to the computer. Then once I’m back home, I can sync my headphones to the Lenovo Chromebook Duet or any other device. 

The Jabra Elite 75t wireless headphones, which can usually be found for around $150, include this feature. You’ll want it if you expect to jump between multiple devices. Otherwise, multipoint Bluetooth is more common in over-ear headphones such as the aforementioned Wyze up through the higher-end Sony WH-1000XM4 (it lists for $350 but sometimes gets a price drop by $100 to around $250). The Sony headphones were called “nearly flawless” by CNET Executive Editor David Carnoy, but if you’re shopping in the $250 range, you may be better off comparing them to the AirPods Pro than the new AirPods.

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The Jabra Elite 75t can connect to multiple devices at once, whether they are Apple devices or not.

What do you think about the third-gen AirPods? And are there features you wish they included? Let us know in the comments.

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Nothing Earbuds Join The Dark Side | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

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The Nothing Ear (1) earbuds, which launched this year as the first product from Carl Pei’s Nothing Inc., now come in black after being available in only white for months. The new colorway keeps the price tag and features unchanged and will be available later this month.

Nothing has been teasing a new color option for the new earbuds for days now following a leak last week. It finally took the wraps off a black version of the earbuds which, frankly speaking, looks a lot cooler.

RELATED: Do AirPods 3 Have Noise-Canceling? Read This Before Buying

The black version of the earbuds comes in a case with a smoky finish, but it still retains its transparency. The earbuds themselves have a matte silicone tip and a carbon-black stem. The UK-based electronics brand will be selling a limited edition of the black version of the Nothing Ear (1) earbuds soon. There will be 100 units available and each pair will be engraved with a number between 1 – 100. Those who want the limited edition will be able to purchase it on December 4 at a pop-up kiosk in London. There will also be in-store drops with global partner retailers on December 8. The non-engraved version of the Ear (1) black will be available for purchase at 11 AM GMT on December 13 from the Nothing online store.

Nothing Goes Carbon Neutral

Nothing ear (1) in white and black

The Nothing Ear (1) earbuds are now carbon neutral as seen from a logo on the purchase page. What this means is that Nothing has achieved a balance between emitted carbon and absorbing carbon emissions from carbon sinks. The earbuds have a Carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2e value of 1.78 kilograms.

Nothing launched as a startup last year following Carl Pei’s exit from OnePlus, the phone company he co-founded with Pete Lau. The Nothing Ear (1) earbuds are its first product, and for $99, they offer a lot of features. Each earbud has an 11.6mm speaker driver with the sound tuned by Teenage Engineering. Like a lot of premium earbuds, they also have active noise cancellation and a transparent mode that lets environmental noise in. This mode can be useful when having a conversation with someone or when at the airport or train station. The Nothing earbuds have a battery life of 5 hours, and that goes up to 34 hours with the case which charges via USB-C and also supports wireless charging. Other features of the earbuds include support for gestures, Find My Earbud, Google Fast Pair, and the ability to customize equalizers using the companion app that is available for both Android and iOS devices.

NEXT: Get A Look Inside Apple’s True Wireless Earbuds With This AirPods Prototype

Source: Nothing

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Galaxy A13 5G Release Date: When You Can Buy Samsung’s Cheapest 5G Phone


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Battlefield 2042 is getting a Santa Claus skin and players hate it – Eurogamer.net

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Santa’s in a F-35.

To say Battlefield 2042 had a rough launch would be an understatement.

DICE has been scrambling to patch the game after it arrived riddled with bugs. But just as it has started to quell the community’s frustration with the game, the EA developer has kicked off a set of new frustrations.

Today’s update included a range of cosmetic items that seem to have been accidentally revealed too early, although this does explain why the update is a meaty 5GB in size (on the PlayStation 5).

Players haven’t taken too kindly to the hidden cosmetics, which one fan described as “Fortnite skins” (sorry, Fortnite fans).

But one particular skin has been seen as particularly offensive to the hardcore Battlefield community: the legendary “Father Winter”.

Available for the specialist Pyotr Boris Guskovsky, the sentry operator dons a red-hooded jacket that perfectly complements Boris’ lush beard.

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The main gripe players have is the creative decision by DICE to move away from the dark and gritty tone the franchise is known for to something more akin to the likes of Fortnite, which is continuously monetised through the addition of new cosmetics.

“DICE expects me to be able to take the game seriously with literal santa claus running around shooting people in what’s supposed to be a world where billions are displaced, natural disasters are destroying the planet, and there’s about to be a massive world proxy war,” questioned one Reddit commenter. “And we’re supposed to take all that into account with santa fucking claus running around on the battlefield.”

Similar issue has been taken with the post-match quips, which seem out of place in a game where players actively slaughter each other.

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DICE has yet to comment on the fan reaction to these latest additions.

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Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge Specifications Emerge Online Ahead of Its Launch – LatestLY

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Xiaomi, the Chinese phone maker, is tipped to launch the 11i Hypercharge smartphone in India soon. The device is said to be launched as a rebadged Redmi Note 11 Pro+ that was unveiled along with the Redmi Note 11 and Redmi Note 11 Pro smartphones in China this October. Ahead of its launch, tipster Ishan Agrawal in collaboration with 91Mobiles has leaked a few key specifications of Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge. Redmi Note 11 Pro, Note 11 Pro+ Likely To Be Launched in India as Xiaomi 11i, Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge: Report.

According to the tipster, the handset will be launched in India in a single variant i.e. 8GB RAM + 128GB internal storage. It will be offered in two colours – Stealth Black and Camo Green. As mentioned earlier, Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge will be a rebadged Redmi Note 11 Pro+ phone. So it will carry similar specifications as that of the China model.

The smartphone will feature a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz. The handset will be powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. For optics, it will sport a 108MP primary camera and come packed with a 4,500mAh battery with 120W fast charging support. Moreover, Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge will get JBL stereo speakers with Doby Atmos and Hi-Res support.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 01, 2021 05:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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