Wake up to the sound of music videos on your iPhone

Ringtones are passé; why not wake up to the sound of a music video in the morning? You’ll be the envy of everyone who hears your alarm go off with this neat iOS 9 feature. Here’s how to enable it. First off, you’ll need some music videos. The best way is to head into iTunes […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Wake up to the sound of music videos on your iPhone

Bluetooth speakers that light up your ears and party space

If music is one of the lights of your life, then shouldn’t your speakers shine, too? Acoustic Research introduced a new line of wireless speakers that offer quality sound, a design attractive indoors and out and a customizable, multi-color LED light to fit the mood of your music and social scene. Acoustic Research debuted the […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Bluetooth speakers that light up your ears and party space

Apple Adds $800 Lightning Adapter ‘Audeze EL-8’ Headphones to Online Store

Apple today introduced a new pair of headphones onto its online storefront that support an iPhone’s Lightning connector in lieu of a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack (via The Verge). The „Audeze EL-8 Titanium Closed-Back Headphones“ will run users $799.95 and are being touted by Audeze as the „world’s first headphones with a fully integrated Apple Lightning cable.“

The included Lightning cable streams a complete 24-bit digital signal from the iOS device to the speakers in the headset through a high quality DSP and 28-bit DAC, giving the headphones „superior performance“ for not only music but voice calls as well. The company has also created a companion app that allows users to customize specific sound presets for the device, and the built-in microphone used for making phone calls also supports Siri.

The EL-8 model gives you a lifelike listening experience with an extended frequency response that opens up a new breadth of sound. Its driver is four times larger than most other headphones and gives excellent bass response along with extremely low distortion. To match the EL-8’s impressive audio, its industrial design is by BMW’s DesignWorks. And durable aluminum construction ensures that you’ll have lasting enjoyment.

The EL-8’s „Cypher Cable,“ which maximizes and enhances the sound quality of the iPhone’s playback, is one of the added costs of the headphone’s top-tier pricing, as pointed out by The Verge, resulting in a $100 premium over the standard EL-8 headphones. Still, in comparison to Audeze’s LCD collection of headphones, its Apple MFi certified EL-8 lineup debuting today is somewhat of a bargain. Most LCD models range between $900 and $1,500, but the most expensive reaches nearly $4,000.

Those interested can purchase the Audeze EL-8 Titanium Closed-Back Headphones for $799.95 on the Apple online store beginning today. Shipping sits at about 2-3 business days at the time of writing, but anyone close to an Apple store could opt-in for personal pick-up instead.

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Apple Adds $800 Lightning Adapter ‘Audeze EL-8’ Headphones to Online Store

Apple now sells Lightning headphones that are super expensive

For a company which keeps its future plans on the down-low, Apple sure is serious about getting us to believe the rumors that it’s ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack for future generations of iPhone. At least, that’s going by the fact that Apple has just started selling $800 Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones — at both […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple now sells Lightning headphones that are super expensive

iPad was 2015’s most popular Twitter tech hashtag

Given its slowing sales and the continued record smashing of its iPhone brethren, it’s easy to think of the iPad as the “also ran” of Apple’s iOS devices. In fact, people continue to talk about the iPad an enormous amount — more than any other topic in tech, if you believe Twitter’s freshly-released list of 2015’s […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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iPad was 2015’s most popular Twitter tech hashtag

This Amazon Hack Will Make Online Shopping So Much Easier

Let’s face it: Online shopping is amazing. Given the choice of shopping from home while relaxing in their PJs or fighting crowds and dodging overbearing salespeople, we bet most people will choose to shop online. But shopping online has some drawbacks as well. Mainly, those drawbacks come in the form of having to sift through […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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This Amazon Hack Will Make Online Shopping So Much Easier

UE Boom 2 Review: Ultimate Ears’ Rugged Bluetooth Speaker Gets a Nice Upgrade

Back in mid-September, Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand rolled out the UE Boom 2, an upgraded version of its popular mid-level Bluetooth portable speaker. With Apple adding the new speaker to its online store and retail locations a few weeks ago, we decided to take a look at the new and improved speaker.

Priced at $200, the UE Boom 2 isn’t the cheapest Bluetooth speaker on the market, but its feature set will be appealing to many. The rugged, waterproof design is extremely portable, puts out a lot of sound, and keeps things simple for those who want to just toss a speaker in a bag and go. It’s roughly the size of a water bottle, so you can also easily put it in a cup holder or water bottle holder when you’re out and about.

Aside from the speaker grille wrapping nearly entirely around the cylindrical body of the UE Boom 2, the dominating feature of the device is its pair of oversized buttons along a rubber strip on the side that make it easy to adjust the volume with a quick grab.

Smaller buttons on the top of the speaker handle power and syncing, while the bottom includes a 3.5mm audio-in jack and a microUSB port for charging, both with flaps to keep water out. A small fold-down ring on the bottom lets you hang the UE Boom 2 up or clip it to a bag, and unscrewing the ring reveals a standard tripod mount.

Compared to the original UE Boom, the Boom 2 includes a number of improvements such as a 25 percent increase in volume output to 90 decibels and a doubled 100-foot wireless range, both of which are welcome improvements for those looking to roam a little further from their speaker during a day at the beach or park or out in the yard.

The UE Boom 2 is shock-resistant, with Ultimate Ears calling it „drop-proof“ to a height of five feet, and it did indeed survive several drop tests onto various surfaces from heights approaching that stated limits. A new IPX7-rated waterproof design also protects against immersion in water up to one-meter deep for up to 30 minutes. While I didn’t push the full limits for water resistance, I did fully immerse it for several minutes with no ill effects and took it in the shower where it held up fine to copious amounts of splashing while sitting on the shower floor.

Also new in the UE Boom 2 is an accelerometer that lets you perform basic controls just by tapping the device. Picking up the UE Boom 2 and tapping the top of it once will play or pause music, while a double-tap skips to the next song.

The UE Boom 2 offers up to 15 hours of battery life, with an included adapter and microUSB cable making it easy to recharge.

As with most Bluetooth devices, setup is easy and requires simply pressing the small sync button on the top of the speaker to enter pairing mode, and then heading to the Bluetooth section of the Settings app on your iOS device, finding the speaker, and pairing with it. Once paired, you can easily change between your device’s internal speaker and the UE Boom 2 through the AirPlay menu in Control Center on your iOS device.

Another handy feature of the UE Boom 2 and other Ultimate Ears speakers is Double Up mode, which lets you synchronize two UE speakers (including the original Boom, the Megaboom, and the Roll) for even more sound. A „Double Up Lock“ mode allows you to have your speakers automatically enter Double Up mode when they are turned on together.

Ultimate Ears has a handy UE Boom app [Direct Link] for iOS and Android that makes it easy to manage the Boom 2 for such tasks as walking through the setup for Double Up, managing custom and preset equalizer settings, monitoring battery level, setting alarms, and applying software updates that allow Ultimate Ears to add new features over time.

One of those features recently added with a software update is a Block Party mode that lets up to three people connect to the speaker simultaneously and take turns playing music. The Block Party is managed by one host who then has the ability to manage the members of the party, changing which device is currently playing to the speaker, adjusting volume, and even kicking out other devices to let new users join.

Overall, the UE Boom 2 is an excellent Bluetooth speaker with a rugged design that can stand up to day-to-day abuse. Its $200 price tag puts it well above many other options on the market, including Ultimate Ears’ own well-regarded UE Roll at half the price, which may give some potential customers pause. But the long battery life, strong wireless range, and nearly 360-degree sound combined with water, dust, and drop resistance make it worthy of consideration for those looking for a durable speaker for use on the go.

The UE Boom 2 speaker is priced at $199.99 through Ultimate Ears and is available in six colors: Cherrybomb (red), Tropical (orange), Yeti (white), Phantom (black), GreenMachine (green), and BrainFreeze (blue). Apple carries the blue and black options both in stores and online at essentially the same price point.

Tags: review, Ultimate Ears, UE Boom 2
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UE Boom 2 Review: Ultimate Ears’ Rugged Bluetooth Speaker Gets a Nice Upgrade

Pro Tip: Get your Apple TV sounding just right

You know that Apple TV is a great set-top box that allows you to play games, watch TV shows and movies, and even listen to Apple Music streams. What you may not have known is that you can connect Bluetooth speakers so that you don’t bother your roommates or family when you’re watching, enhance dialogue, […]

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Pro Tip: Get your Apple TV sounding just right

Unique keyboard app turns your boring messages into music

SoundKey is a clever idea developed by two French students who wanted to incorporate music directly into iPhone’s daily use and the keyboard happens to fit perfectly within our daily usage habits. The result is a keyboard app that plays instruments as you type to create melodies from your words. Different keys get assigned different notes, so every time you […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Unique keyboard app turns your boring messages into music