BeatsX ears on: AirPods rivals bring the bass [Reviews]

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beats x wireless
The Beats X Wireless earbuds charge via Lightning.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The long wait for Apple’s new BeatsX wireless earbuds is finally over and based on our first impressions, it was totally worth it.

We got our hands on a pair of the precious new BeatsX buds today and are mighty impressed by the big sound Apple managed to pack in such a small package. Like the AirPods, the BeatsX earbuds pack a custom W1 Bluetooth chip to pump out better performance and connectivity. Unboxing the tethered buds has been love at first sight.

Let’s dive in!

$10 Milanese loop for Apple Watch rivals the original [Reviews]

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Milanese Loop
Get the look of Apple's Milanese Loop for a fraction of the price.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The internet brims with knockoff Apple Watch bands that are nearly as good as the real deal at a fraction of the price. Determining whether a knockoff is actually any good, however, is another story.

I’ve taken a look at one such band by Cambond, which mimics in appearance the popular Milanese loop by Apple. Retailing at $149, the Milanese is indeed pricey as are most of Apple’s bands whereas Cambond’s version is about 10 bucks.

Belkin Car Vent Mount is a smart, sturdy way to go hands-free [Reviews]

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Belkin Car Vent Mount
You really shouldn't be holding your smartphone while you're driving. The Belkin Car Vent Mount is here to help.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

You’ve got your car. You’ve got your iPhone. You want to use your iPhone in your car, but driving with a smartphone in your hand is supposedly dangerous — and can get pretty pricey if you get caught doing it in California and other states that mandate hands-free driving.

The Belkin Car Vent Mount is a low-cost, low-profile way to keep your phone within reach (and you on the right side of the law, depending on where you drive).

Embellish your Apple Watch with one-of-a-kind batik strap [Watch Store]

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Clessant's Blue Batik Strap is a beautiful blend of ancient Indonesian art, batik, and French leather-making.
Photo: Clessant

Make Apple’s most personal device as unique as you are with a truly distinctive, statement-making strap worthy of a double take. The exotic Batik Strap for Apple Watch from Clessant is a refreshing take on an everyday accessory. No two are ever alike. And, you can get ahold of it now in Cult of Mac’s new Watch Store!

Custom-fit Apple Watch band takes simplicity to next level [Reviews]

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The adjustable length button-stud band fits virtually all wrist sizes.
Photo: Form Function Form

Lust List: Button-Stud Apple Watch Band by Form Function Form

Making Apple’s “most personal device ever” personal to you is super-serious business for one Florida purveyor of hand-made leather goods.

Echoing the individuality of Apple Watch, Form Function Form takes customization to new levels in the design of its one-of-a-kind Button-Stud Apple Watch Band. This ingenious leather strap has 21 different size options, one of which is sure to fit even the fleshiest of wrists. If it doesn’t, the company provides free size adjustments for the entirety of your life.

AmpliFi HD’s blazing-fast Wi-Fi will spoil you rotten [Reviews]

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AmpliFi HD router
This is not your typical ugly router. An LCD touchscreen tells you what the .AmpliFi HD is up to.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

For years, “the last mile” earned the title of broadband’s biggest boogeyman. Now that most of us benefit from having a fairly fat pipe to our houses, it’s more like the last 10 feet — Wi-Fi dead spots can drive you crazy.

The AmpliFi HD System, one of a new pack of mesh systems that pave the way to our trouble-free Wi-Fi future, solves the problem. With a charming little router and a couple of mesh points, AmpliFi HD makes it possible to get a strong Wi-Fi signal to your basement, your attic or that awkward back bedroom where you can never stream anything. It also eliminates the sort of nerdy pain points typically associated with setting up and managing a home Wi-Fi network.

Stylish headphone stand kills clutter dead [Reviews]

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Just Mobile Headset Stand
A clean and elegant addition to your desk, Just Mobile's HeadStand Avant is a must-have.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Just Mobile HeadStand Avant

If you’re one of those folks who wants a designated spot to store a favorite pair of headphones, you are (oddly enough) not alone.

For about $40, Just Mobile makes a beautiful and functional space-saving stand to hang those cans, avoiding additional clutter to one’s workspace, studio or nightstand. The stand itself is sleek and minimal adding a stylish solution to storing and displaying headphones.

Mavic Pro: The coolest gadget since the original iPhone [Reviews]

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The Mavic Pro is much more than a cool flying toy.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Tiny cameras that can fly still seemed like a sci-fi dream just five years ago, but with DJI’s new Mavic Pro drone, the future has arrived ahead of schedule.

When it comes to drones, no company is killing it right now more than DJI, and the Mavic Pro is its most amazing achievement yet. Yes, some drones fly faster and shoot better video, but the Mavic Pro is the ultimate drone for people who love photography, flight and the outdoors but don’t want to be weighed down.

Best of all, you don’t need to be a practice drone pilot or tech nerd to have a blast with the Mavic Pro. Here’s why it’s our favorite drone ever.

Best iPhone accessories of 2016

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best_iphone_accessories
The ultimate companions for your iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac This year’s iPhone upgrade might have been a little dull, but we saw plenty of exciting accessories for Apple’s iconic smartphone in 2016.

From awesome new AirPods to ultraportable virtual reality headsets, they all helped make iPhone 7 more exciting. Here are our favorite iPhone accessories of the year.

Best Mac and iOS games of 2016

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best mac and ios games 2016
2016 might have sucked overall, but not for games.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac When it comes to games, Apple trails behind Microsoft and the broader PC market. Though Cupertino’s hardware often sports cutting-edge specs, the fact is that gaming was never really the intended use for Apple machines.

Why this is, and whether it should prevent top titles from gracing Mac screens, is enough for its own article. Luckily, things are changing: From sprawling strategy games to genre-bending first-person titles, 2016 gave Apple fans a harvest of great titles for Mac and iOS alike.