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Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones will dazzle your ears and your eyes

Bowers&Wilkins P7 headphones. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones sound as sexy as they look. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

It’s ludicrous but true: How headphones look can be nearly as important as how they sound. Luckily for anybody who slides a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P7s over their ears, these high-end headphones do double duty. They will bamboozle your ears as well as your eyes.

With a stylish design and sturdy construction of gleaming metal and luxurious sheepskin leather, these aren’t a pair of big, cartoon-like plastic puffballs for your head. The P7s whisper quiet refinement rather than screaming “look at me.” If Beats Electronics’ brightly colored models are like those candy-colored iMac G3s from the ’90s, the P7s are like this year’s stunning iMac with Retina 5K display.

But really, looks are only skin deep. When it comes to music at its most intimate — when the sounds are piped straight from the source and directly penetrate your ear canals — it’s the quality of the audio that matters most.

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Powder-ready gifts for ski lovers

Colorado is getting the early season powder but the cloud full. Photo: Jakob Schiller/Cult of Mac

These gifts will get any skier ready for the powder. Photo: Jakob Schiller/Cult of Mac

Here in Northern California we’re still awaiting our first real snow dump of the year.

And while we have our fingers crossed and have been diligently doing our plyometric exercises, we’re still left with plenty of time to build up a big old lust for some new 2014 ski schwag.

Cult of Mac has put together a gift guide for that special fresh-powder chaser on your list. Or, you know, for yourself.

Here’s to a knee-deep powder year for all of us.

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Smart gifts for the college students on your list

Mini Jambox pumps out the jams. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

From music to MacBooks, these gifts will resonate with students. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You might think college students are tricky to shop for, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since they’re constantly swamped with homework and simultaneously managing a busy social life, all they want is stuff that makes their lives easier and more fun.

If you’re stressing about what to get the student in your life this holiday season, never fear. We’ve collected some great gift ideas, handpicked by college students for college students:

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Trek-worthy gifts for outdoor adventurers

Hit the outdoors with these gift ideas. Photo: Christian Arballo

Hit the outdoors with these gift ideas. Photo: Christian Arballo/Flickr CC

Going gear-shopping for your favorite outdoors-loving friend or family member can be harder than trekking up Mount St. Helens as she’s about to blow. There are so many options, but so much crap.

To help you out with your holiday shopping, Cult of Mac waded through the endless lists of camping and hiking gear and gadgets to find the stuff your special someone will love.

Whether you’re looking for something for an adventuring buddy, or picking a present for someone you’d never want to be trapped in a tent with, we’ve found gifts for everyone. From hiking clothes to campsite gadgets, we’ve got you covered.

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Release your inner iPhone 6 artist with Paper Camera app

Paper Camera is just plain fun. Plenty of photo apps let you apply filters after the fact, but this one performs its manipulative magic inside your camera, transforming your images in real-time before your dazzled eyes.

The filters are robust, offering a nice variety of cartoon- and painting-style choices to help make even the most uninteresting photographic situations colorful, graphic or both. And Paper Camera supports the same wacky filter set for videos you shoot.

We love the fact that the app saves both the original file and the filtered version to our library so we can do what we want with the original.

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Great gifts for the wonderful women in your life

Ogio Hampton bag. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Looking for some gift inspiration? We can help you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Whether you’re shopping for your sweetie or trying to find something for your mum, picking presents for the important women in your life can prove daunting. Cult of Mac is here to help with this list of the top 10 gifts we’ll be buying for the fairer sex this year.

From clothes to quirky tech, we’ve got you covered.

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Slim Wallet is a spacious leather billfold that eliminates the pocket bulge

The Slim Wallet's a stunner. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The Slim Wallet’s a stunner. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

I’m really picky when it comes to buying new wallets. I don’t carry many cards and, much like the Queen of England, I rarely carry cash, so I hate anything that unnecessarily puts a big bulge in my back pocket.

With the Slim Wallet from Danny P, I’ve found a beautiful leather billfold that carries up to eight cards and a fistful of notes without ever getting too bulky.

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5 classic Universal monster movies you’ll love and 4 you should run away from

Universal has a lock on classic monster films, but will the new action-adventure ones be as good as the originals? Photo: Universal Studios

Universal has a lock on monster films, but will the new action-adventure ones be as “classic” as the originals? Photo: Universal Studios

Now that Universal Studios has decided to go the Marvel route and create its own cinematic universe built around its classic monsters like Frankenstein and The Wolf Man, we thought it might be a good time to reach back into the archives and re-watch the originals.

As the new Universal monster movies will likely be more action-adventure-oriented, it’s good to look back to see what made the original features so great, and which of the old oeuvre were just stinky cash-grabs meant to pad the studio’s bottom line.

With that, let’s get into the best and worst of the genre.

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Glorious gifts for the gamer in your life

Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Gamers need gifts! Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Shopping for the gamer in your life can be more difficult than beating your way to the end of Battletoads or collecting all 121 stars in Super Mario Galaxy.

To make the holiday shopping season a little simpler, Cult of Mac searched far and wide for the best gaming gear, trying out all the major platforms and accessories.

What follows is our roundup of the finest gamer gifts, from consoles and handhelds to peripherals. And we’ve even tossed in a few must-play game recommendations.

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Gorgeous Swiss timepiece will cure your Apple Watch envy

Photo: Luke Dormehl/Cult of Mac

Photo: Luke Dormehl/Cult of Mac

Having not worn a watch regularly since my high school days, I recently took the plunge and bought my first “adult” watch, a self-winding automatic Swiss timepiece.

I had several criteria I wanted to meet. Firstly I wanted a self-winding automatic, because I liked the idea of owning a Swiss watch and I wanted one that, at least in theory, has a longer lifespan than a battery-powered quartz timepiece. Secondly, I wanted to keep my purchase sub-$2,000. Thirdly, as a watch novice, I was looking for something that would be as multipurpose as possible.

After some research, I settled on a watch from the Longines Master Collection – buying it in a dedicated brick-and-mortar store rather than online, so that I could try it out in person before buying.

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