Bigfoot may get the majority of the media’s attention, especially after his stint on The Six Million Dollar Man. But the real star in the half-man/half-bear/monkey/gorilla arena is the Yeti. While Bigfoot is out stomping his footprint into mud, the Blue Microphone Yeti (shown left at very close to its actual size) is doing a bang-up job recording your podcasts, band practices, and events. Pretty good for a mythical creature--er, an affordably priced USB mic.
There was a time when listening to music meant sitting in front of a stereo and popping in your favorite CD--or maybe even an actual vinyl record. But these days, we do most of our listening via iPods or from our Mac at our desk. Which is fine, except for the fact that most computer speakers suck. But these speakers from Bowers & Wilkins are so good, you should just stop reading this review now and start earning some of the 500 bucks you’ll need to pay for them.
iHome’s new iA5 is billed as an “app-enhanced” alarm clock. In plain English, that means you can augment this standalone clock and speaker dock by downloading the free iHome+Sleep app for your iPhone or iPod touch to unlock additional functionality.
Guitar amplifiers have been going through an identity crisis lately. For years, one amp with a good sound was all fine and dandy, but then digital technology figured out how to capture and cram the sounds of many amps into one program--and who doesn’t like choice? Now the realm of digital amp emulation comes to Apple’s handhelds with AmpliTube, aided and abetted by the iRig adapter, and the results are rocktacular.
Shure’s new SE115m+ headset for the iPhone 3GS does its darnedest to become the next big thing for your iPhone. The “m+” in the name refers to the remote and mic attached to the cable below the right earbud. Like the headphones that shipped with your 3GS, the inline remote controls the volume and makes all the fancy track- and playlist-skipping moves we’ve grown accustomed to. The remote’s volume buttons protrude a bit more than the middle button, which makes it easy to navigate without looking. And its placement and mic sensitivity meant we didn’t have to do the whole “holding the wire up to our mouth to talk” bit. Overall, the headset worked fine for making calls on our phone.
Internet trolls and obnoxious PC owners know that the quickest way to annoy a Mac user is to claim that the only reason people buy Apple stuff is because they “want to look cool.” And smart Mac fans dismiss this criticism as quickly as it comes, easily recognizing it as little more than baiting. We love our Apple gear for tons of reasons, most having to do with functionality and ease of use. But it’s true that Apple designs great-looking devices, and that’s certainly part of the appeal--it’s not our fault that the other guys insist on making such ugly stuff. So it’s no wonder that we often gravitate toward equally good-looking accessories.
Created by San Francisco–based designer Joey Roth, the simply named Ceramic Speakers are exactly that: speakers built from handmade ceramic enclosures, cork, and wood.
Dr. Dre’s been known for crafting party-starting beats since the mid-1980s when he was part of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru. While the Cru’s break-dance tracks and electro slow-jams would later be eclipsed by his work with N.W.A. and as a solo artist, there’s no doubt that Dre’s been rocking our headphones since the days of the Walkman. And now we get a chance rock his ’phones.
I’ve resisted buying a Bluetooth headset because I’m not down with cyborg fashion. But as the Borg used to say on Star Trek: The Next Generation, resistance is futile--especially now that many states are adopting laws requiring the use of hands-free devices while driving. Sure, you could use a wired headset, but wires are cumbersome--and besides, it’s 2010. In that spirit, we called in three intriguing new Bluetooth headsets and put them through their paces.
Your MacBook’s built-in speakers are fine for the odd YouTube clip of dogs jumping in slow motion or for listening to NPR streams. But when it comes to bringing the rock to your desktop, they’re pretty weak sauce. Twelvesouth aims to improve your audio situation with its BassJump, a USB subwoofer built to boost the beats coming out of your MacBook.
“’80s coke dealer.” That’s how one Mac|Life staffer libeled the Rotaliana Diva when trying to describe its visual statement. True enough, this multitalented iPod dock--brazenly slick and swoopy, unapologetic in its design flamboyance--does look like the kind of thing that Tony “Scarface” Montana might place on an end table in his Miami mansion. Are the Diva’s lines too over the top? That’s for you to decide. What we can tell you is that a host of interesting features make this ostentatious obelisk a compelling bundle of functionality.