Tech Buying Guides

Our experts recommendations on the best gadgets and software, all in one place. 

Headphones

Active Noise Canceling

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The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones in 2021

Everything you need to know before buying your next pair of headphones.

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The Best Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds of 2021

There are more wireless earbuds than ever before that have active noise cancellation.

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What Makes Expensive ANC Headphones Cost So Much?

What's the difference between $100 and $500 noise-canceling headphones? We explain.

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Bose Headphones 700 vs Sony WH-1000XM4
The two best noise-canceling headphones are the Bose Headphones 700 vs Sony WH-1000XM4. But what are the differences between the two? A…
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Wireless Earbuds

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The Best Wireless Earbuds for 2021

In the market for wireless earbuds? Well, there are a lot more options than AirPods.

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5 Wireless Earbuds If You Don’t Want AirPods

Don’t own an iPhone? Or do AirPods not fit in your ears? Get these wireless earbuds.

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These Are the 11 Best Wireless Earbuds Under $100

Don't want to spend $159 on AirPods? No problem. We've rounded up the best true wireless earbuds that cost less than $100.

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The Best Wireless Earbuds for Running

It’s time to swap out your basic buds for a pair that goes the extra mile. These are the best wireless earbuds for running.

Hi-Fi Headphones

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The Best Hi-Fi Headphones Under $150

We've rounded up our favorite high-end headphones that cost $150. All are wired. All great for at-home listening.

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5 Great In-Ear Headphones for Hi-Fi Sound

When nothing but the best sound will do, turn to these magnificent buds.

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The Best Open-Back Headphones Under $500

If you're a hi-fi enthusiast or music professional, you might want to seriously consider buying open-back headphones.

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10 Expensive Headphones Still Worth Buying

With so many expensive headphones flooding the market, how do you know which pair makes sense for you?

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Home Theater

TVs

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The Most Beautiful TVs You Can Buy Are OLEDs

These are the best OLED TVs that you can actually afford.

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What’s Different Between a $500 and a $2,000 TV?

There are two 4K TVs. They are the same size, made in the same year, and have the same resolution.

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The Best 4K TVs Under $1,000

If you don’t want to break four digits on a 4K TV, you no longer have to.

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What You Need to Know Before You Mount Your TV

It's not as straightforward as hanging a picture.

TV Audio

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The Best Dolby Atmos Soundbars of 2021

It’s 2021 and more and more soundbars support Dolby Atmos and deliver a pretty epic home theater experience.

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Soundbar Versus Speakers: Which Is Best for You

The sound quality of your TV’s built-in speakers is trash. It's time to upgrade.

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The Best Soundbars Under $150

A soundbar is an easy and affordable way to get better sound out of your TV. We've rounded up the best soundbars under $150.

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The Best Home Theater Starter Kits Under $500

True surround sound, fit for your space.

Home Audio & Hi-Fi

Speakers

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The Best Active Speakers of 2021

It’s all about the speaker-and-amplifier combo.

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The Best Multi-Room Wireless Speakers of 2021

Sonos, DTS Play-Fi, Amazon Multi-Room Music, AirPlay 2 and Chromecast — what’s the difference?

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The Best Bluetooth Home Speakers

This large and in charge Bluetooth speakers are great for your living room.

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The Best Bookshelf Speakers of 2021

These are the best bookshelf speakers for your home audio setup, in a variety of price ranges.

Digital Hi-Fi

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5 Great Portable Hi-Fi Music Players Under $1,000

There is more to mobile music than your smartphone.

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The Best DAC/Amps to Supercharge Your Phone Audio

Want to better-sounding audio from your iPhone or Android?

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The Best Digital Music Streamers for Your Home

Dedicated streamers offer much better sound quality than any portable device or chip inside your Amazon Echo.

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The Best Lossless Music Streaming Services in 2021
There are more lossless music streaming services than ever: Apple, Tidal, Amazon, Tidal, Deezer and Spotify (soon). Here's what you nee…

Amplifiers

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Integrated Amplifiers Are the Future of Hi-Fi

They’re the best option for most people building a home stereo system.

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The Best Headphone Amplifiers Under $200

How many hours do you listen to Spotify at work per day?

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5 Great Bookshelf Speaker and Amplifier Pairings
We've paired some of our favorite bookshelf speakers with an amplifier that can properly drive them. If you're looking to build your ow…
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Turntables

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The Best All-in-One Turntables of 2021

When shopping for an entry-level turntable, make sure it has a built-in preamp.

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The Best Turntables Under $1,000

Vinyl geeks rejoice — great sound doesn’t have to come with a four-digit price tag.

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5 Affordable Turntables That Even Audiophiles Want

Can you get a great-sounding turntable for under $500?

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Should You Buy an Automatic Turntable?

Do automatic turntables sound better, worse or the same as manual turntables?

Vinyl Records

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How to Clean and Take Care of your Vinyl Records

For the best listening experience, you want to make sure your vinyl records are in tip-top shape.

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How to Digitize Your Vinyl Records
A USB turntable works like most other turntables, but it has the added functionality of allowing you save your records as digital files…
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12 Essential Records Loved by Audio Nerds

Vinyl records have a warmth, crackle and pop that digital audio files can’t replicate.

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The Best Vinyl LPs to Show Off Your Turntable

Put on these records and they’ll sound are a million light years away from today’s sterile digital soundscapes.

Turntable Accessories

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The 8 Best Vinyl Accessories, Picked By an Expert
Peter Hahn, the co-owner of the Turntable Lab, the New York-based, go-to music shop for professional DJs, musicians and audiophiles, se…
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The Best Phono Carts to Upgrade Your Turntable

If you have a turntable, a new phono cartridge can greatly improve how your records actually sound. Here's what you need to know.

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The Best Phono Preamps Under $100

We’ve rounded up the best affordable phono preamps to upgrade your entry-level turntable.

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Smartphone Accessories

Charging & Battery Packs

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The Best Wireless Chargers for iPhone or Android
Wireless charging has come a long way in the last few years. It's faster, more reliable and way more devices support it — including mos…
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These Wall Adapters Will Fast-Charge Your iPhone
When you buy an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 it won't come with a wall adapter, meaning you'll have to use your own or buy a new one. But not…
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The Best Portable Chargers for Your Smartphone

Not all power banks are created equal, and it's worth springing for the best.

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7 Common Questions About Phone Charging, Answered

How often to charge, how much to fill up, and more.

MagSafe Accessories

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The Best MagSafe Accessories for Your New iPhone

We've rounded up all the best MagSafe accessories for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 that are available now.

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The Best MagSafe Cases for Your iPhone

We've rounded up the best smartphone cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. All support MagSafe.

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The Best MagSafe Car Mounts for Your iPhone

We've rounded up all the best car mounts that will magnetically hold your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 in place while you drive.

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The Best MagSafe Battery Packs for Your iPhone 13

Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack isn't the only option. In fact, it might not even be the best option depending on your needs.

Home Office Tech

Computer Accessories

a computer monitor
The Best External Monitors for Your WFH Setup

These are the best USB-C monitors that work with today’s newest laptops.

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The Best External Hard Drives for Your Computer

These are the best external hard drives to backup your files and free up space.

best webcam
The Best Webcams to Upgrade Your Desktop Setup

You're still taking a lot of video calls and your computer's built-in camera stinks. It's time to buy an external webcam.

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5 Great Microphones To Upgrade Your Video Calls
Whether you're podcasting, streaming or just spending too much time video conferencing, an external USB microphone is a great desktop u…

Keyboards & Mice

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The 6 Best Mechanical Keyboards to Use at Work

Contrary to popular belief, mechanical keyboards don’t have to be loud and flashy.

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The Best Wireless Mice to Upgrade Your Workstation

If you're in the market for a new wireless mouse, you've got options.

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Your Home Office Needs a Trackball. Here’s Why.

Trackballs are more more comfortable, more useful, more efficient and cooler than every alternative.

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3 Great Wireless Keyboards for Your Desktop

Fast and reliable, a wire-free life will lead to a more productive workspace.

Desk Upgrades

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The Best Desk Pads to Improve Your Workspace

Desk pads are the humblest of workspace accessories, but they can significantly improve your desktop cleanliness and organization.

best computer speakers
The Best Computer Speakers of 2021

A set of computer speakers is an easy (and relatively affordable) way of upgrading the audio quality of your desktop or laptop.

best portable chargers
The Best Portable Chargers for Your Laptop

We've rounded up the best portable batteries that can charge your laptop and are also small enough to fit in your backpack.

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The Best USB-C Docking Stations for Remote Workers

Turn your laptop into a desktop workstation.

Smart Home Gear

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The Best Smart Home Cameras of 2021
It doesn’t matter if you’re building a smart home around Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple’s HomeKit – there’s a smart home camera that’…
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The Best Smart Thermostats: Which Is Right For Your Home?

Here’s what you need to know before buying your first smart thermostat.

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Why You Should Use Smart Bulbs and Which to Pick

Smart lights are easy to figure out.

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These Are the Best Smart Plugs of 2021

You can to control a fan, lamp or coffee maker with your voice? Get a smart plug.

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The 5 Best Smart Alarm Clocks of 2021

There's a great option for you, no matter which smart home ecosystem you live in.

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The Best Smart Alarm Systems That You Can Install Yourself

Gone are the days of mandatory multi-year contracts, wires running down widow frames, and keypads requiring home phone lines.

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The Best Apartment-Friendly Smart Home Devices

From smart speakers to smart door bells, smart lights to smart locks. All small, wireless and easily DIY installable.

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Which $100 Smart Speaker Sounds Best?
The Amazon Echo, Nest Audio and HomePod mini are all smart speakers that cost $100. But which one sounds best? We tested all three to f…
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Now Is the Time to Get Into Ikea Smart Home. Here’s How

Ikea says it’s “just getting started” in the smart home world. Here’s everything you need to know.

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How to Build a Smart Home, the Smart Way

These days, anyone can use their phone to turn on the lights.

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How to Turn Your Smart Speakers Into a Stereo Pair
You can configure two smart speakers in a stereo pair and they'll sound way better. Here's how to do it with Amazon's, Google's, Apple'…
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How to Build a Smart Home the Easy (and Cheap) Way
We’ve rounded by the best smart home devices to get you started on your journey to build an entry-level Apple, Amazon or Google smart h…

Networking, Privacy and Security

Password Managers

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Why You Need a Password Manager (And Five to Try)
Writing down passwords on a notepad, or just using the same password for everything, may have served you well so far, but these are hig…
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How to Use Google Chrome As a Password Manager
If you use Chrome as your default web browser, you can take advantage of its free feature that helps you remember you username and pass…
icloud on ipad, iphone, and macbook
The Apple Password Feature You Should Be Using

Apple's cloud-based storage service makes a good (and free) password manager. It's easy.

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How to Make Your Online Passwords Ironclad
In this digital age, cybersecurity is everything. To be better protected, we asked two experts to teach us how to create a better passw…

Online Security & Privacy

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3 Best VPN Services to Make Online Data Private

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) make going online safer by hiding your data and identity.

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10 Google Chrome Settings To Change Right Now
In the usual course of day-to-day life, you don’t need to spend much time messing around with browser settings, but if you get under th…
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How to Prevent the Internet from Tracking You

Follow these steps to completely disappear from the online world.

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Going to a Protest? Change These 7 Phone Settings First
Your smartphone is a crucial tool for communication and documenting police brutality, but it also generates evidence that can be used a…

Wi-Fi

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How to Get Great Wi-Fi, Even in Your Backyard

Need some helpful tips to improve the Wi-Fi in and around your home?

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Before Buying a Mesh Wi-Fi System, What to Know

Roughly 90-percent of homes complain of dead zones and slow Wi-Fi. A mesh system like Nest Wifi can solve that.

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Your Internet Isn’t As Fast As It Could Be
Fast, reliable internet at home has never been more important, but fast, reliable internet isn’t always what you get out of your home n…
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Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Hotspots

Safe and secure, a hotspot lets you take the Web with you.

Apps & Software

Video & Audio Streaming

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Every Free Streaming Trial You Should Know About

We cover all the most popular streaming services. From Netflix to ESPN+, Apple TV+ to Spotify, HBO Max to YouTube Premium. (And more!)

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The Best Lossless Music Streaming Services in 2021
There are more lossless music streaming services than ever: Apple, Tidal, Amazon, Tidal, Deezer and Spotify (soon). Here's what you nee…
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How to Listen to Lossless Tracks on Apple Music

In order to listen to Apple Music's lossless audio tracks, you need the proper hardware. Here's what you need to know.

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10 Spotify Tricks You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner

We’ve rounded up the best tricks of the trade to help you get the most out of your Spotify subscription.

Mobile Productivity

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The Best Email Apps to Use With Your Gmail Account

These alternative apps can help supercharge your Gmail account.

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The Best Note-Taking Apps of 2021

There are a lot of different note-taking apps out there, but they're far from all the same.

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The 21 Best Productivity Apps of 2021
From calendar apps to to-do-list apps, project management apps to note-taking apps, these are our favorite productivity apps to help yo…
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5 Apps That Turn Your Phone Into a Doc Scanner

Think you need a physical scanner? Odds are you don't.

Desktop Productivity

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12 Chrome Extensions That Will Make You a Power User
These extensions help you get around the web faster, add extra security for your online travels, change the look of your browser and mu…
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How to Use Slack: 5 Simple Tricks to Boost Productivity and Keep You Sane

If Slack is your new cyber-office, it’s worth taking some time to get everything set up right.

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5 Ways to Get The Most Out of the Dock on macOS

You should definitely customize one of the most important parts of your Mac.

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The Best Calendar Apps to Keep Your Life Organized

Whether it's your work or personal life, a calendar app is a vital tool for staying organized, productive and on schedule.

Wearables & Health Tech

Smartwatches & Wearables

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The Best Smartwatches of 2021

Before buying a smartwatch, there are few vital things to know as well. We've also rounded up the best smartwatches to buy.

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Which to Buy: Smartwatch or Fitness Tracker?

In the past, there has been a clear divide between what was a fitness tracker and what was a smartwatch.

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Luxury Smartwatches vs. the Premium Apple Watch

Is traditional watchmaking compatible with wearable tech?

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You'd Never Guess That These Are Smartwatches

Smartwatch functionality and mechanical watch looks combine in these hybrid timepieces that offer the best of both worlds.

Apple Watch

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The Best Accessories for Your Apple Watch

We've rounded up the best chargers, protective cases and accessories for your Apple Watch.

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The Best Sleep Apps for Apple Watch


Apple finally has a sleep-tracking app for the Apple Watch. But there are some great third-party alternatives, too.

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How to Master Your Apple Watch's Activity Rings
No matter which Apple Watch you have, they all display your fitness data in pretty much the same way — with Activity Rings. Here's what…
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The Best Apple Watch Bands You Can Buy Right Now

The universe of Apple Watch bands is vast — and that's a good thing.

Fitness & Wellness Tech

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The Best Fitness Apps of 2021

Countless apps strive to help make you fitter, stronger and leaner than ever before. Here are our favorites.

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How to Get the Most Out of the iPhone's Health App

Are you using the Health app on your iPhone? If not, you should be.

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Can New Technology Help You Get Fitter at Home?
At a time when home fitness is especially relevant, two new products promise to help you sweat without crowding your house. Our testers…
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Waste Too Much Time on Your Phone? These Apps Can Help

Get a handle on your screen time with apps that help you track your usage, and even limit it.

Photography

Film Cameras

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26 Great Vintage Cameras You Can Still Buy

Vintage shooters from every era still worth adding to your collection.

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The Best Instant Cameras That Embrace Nostalgia

Capture Summer ’21 like it’s Summer ’97.

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The Best 35mm Cameras to Use in 2021

These still-great bits of kit are a great way to get (or stay) into film.

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Dead Camera Brands (And Cameras You Can Still Buy)

Many brands did not survive the transition to digital, but their cameras are still around.

Film & Development

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The Best 35mm Film for Vintage Cameras

So you’ve finally come back to film photography.

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What You Need to Develop Film, And Why to Try It

It's easier than you might think.

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5 Great Reasons You Should Be Shooting Film

It's not just hipster nonsense. There are terrific practical reasons for any photographer to shoot a roll or two.

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Developing Film Is Easier than You Think
What shooting film lacks in instant gratification, it makes up for in satisfaction, especially if you learn to process and scan your ow…

Camera Accessories

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Terrific Tripods to Take Your Photography to the Next Level

A tripod might be the signal most important tool for photographers and videographers.

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The 17 Best Outdoor Photography Accessories, According to the Pros

Savannah Cummins, Jef Johnson and Chris Burkard share their favorite accessories for outdoor photography.

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The Best Photography Accessories Under $25

We've round up the best camera accessories and gadgets, all under $25, that deserve a place in your camera bag.

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The Best Camera Backpacks of 2021

The best bags to haul and protect your photography equipment around town or into the mountains.