Apple Watch could set your iPhone to just the right volume

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Get your Apple Watch ready for the new iPhone.
Apple's clever patent turns the watch into a volume knob.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch could soon turn into an automatically adjusting volume control for your iPhone.

In a new patent filed by Apple with the USPTO, the iPhone-maker has found a way to ensure all your iPhone notifications get played at just the right volume level by using ambient audio samples from Apple Watch.

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Twist this giant knob to make your music sound better

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Twist the night away with this headphone amp's gigantic dial.
Twist the night away with this headphone amp's gigantic dial.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Lust List: The Element headphone amplifier by JDS Labs

“Take the conn, Jimmy.”

“Aye aye, Captain.”

Every single time I lay my hands on The Element’s giant, super-precise dial of sonic control, that Star Trek scene rolls through my head. Which is a little weird for me, since Captain Kirk and I have the same name, but I overlook this small snag as I dial in the perfect volume on my JDS Labs headphone amplifier.

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Voice-boosting TV speaker makes sure you never miss a word

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grace-digital-voice-enhanced-tv-speaker - 1
This TV speaker could Grace your living room or bedroom.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Grace Digital’s Voice Enhanced TV Speaker promises to enhance the sound of your television and potentially give it a volume boost. The sound was engineered with voices in mind because, more than anything when watching TV, dialogue is what you need to hear. As a bonus, a Bluetooth connection lets the speaker work with any Bluetooth-enabled computer or smartphone.

I hooked up Grace Digital’s Voice Enhanced TV Speaker to my television and gave it a whirl.

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Wearable recorder keeps your mic close at hand

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Kapture puts an omnidirectional mic on your wrist.
Kapture puts an omnidirectional mic on your wrist.
Photo: Kapture

There are people who walk this earth with a recorder and mic much the way a photographer does with a camera. Like the eye, the ear picks up rich and textured details, from the husky-voiced uncle spinning a yarn at Thanksgiving to swirly gusts of wind rousting the last leaves of fall clinging to their branches.

Whatever peeks your audio curiosity, Kapture is a discreet recorder ready at the wrist to save the ambient sound that orbits your ears.

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You’ll (One) Love this House of Marley Bluetooth speaker

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The Sport Chant is a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker with 360-degrees of sound.
The Sport Chant is a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker with 360-degrees of sound.
Photo: House of Marley

Music doesn’t always have to be tightly funneled into our ear canals for us to enjoy it. Audio companies are finding ways to bring a big sound to an open space from a portable package.

Add House of Marley to the growing list of Bluetooth, water-resistant speakers currently vying for our listening attention. The eco-friendly audio company created by the family of Reggae legend Bob Marley unveiled the Chant Sport Tuesday, a 360-degree sound chamber about the size of a water bottle.

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Save 81% on this powerful audio editing app for the non-engineers among us [Deals]

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A full-featured audio editing app that doesn't require an engineering degree to use.
A full-featured audio editing app that doesn't require an engineering degree to use.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Making sounds is something anybody can enjoy, whether it’s a beat, song, podcast, overdubs for a home movie. But the intimidating complexity of most audio editing software is enough to send someone to eBay looking for a tape recorder. TwistedWave is the audio production app for the rest of us, an intuitive way of creating full, rich recordings without extensive technical know-how, and right now you can get a copy for just $15.

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When it’s time for music, just reach for the BOTTLE

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The boomBOTTLE+ is a take-in-any-weather portable Bluetooth speaker.
The boomBOTTLE+ is a take-in-any-weather portable Bluetooth speaker.
Photo: SCOSCHE Industries

Don’t let the bottle in the name fool you. The boomBOTTLE+ by SCOSCHE Industries is no place for a beverage. But your ears will quickly realize it is filled with sound.

The boomBOTTLE, rolled out today on the SCOSCHE website, is a portable Bluetooth speaker that has the height and girth of the common water bottle, thus fitting in a drink holder on a bike, boat or camping chair.

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If you think Apple’s packaging is good, wait until you see these

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Apple doesn't have anything on the packaging for these products.
Apple doesn't have anything on the packaging for these products.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Opening a new Apple product for the first time is pretty close to a holy experience. Part of that is because Apple spends so much time perfecting product packaging so it’s simple, elegant and secure without compromising on intuitiveness.

However, it’s a mistake to think Apple is the only company that pours thought and care into something as basic as a box. In light of the recent rumor that Apple will be working with third-party accessory makers to co-design packaging for their products in Apple retail stores, it’s clear many other companies care as well. It’s about being eye-catching without straying from uniformity, it’s about being simple yet still adorned.

With this spirit in mind, take a look at some of the other electronic companies out there getting extremely creative with their product packaging. The goal for these seems to be making the boxes as gorgeous as the products themselves – and they succeed.

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3 easy ways to record Beats 1 audio onto your Mac

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beats-1-radio-shows-day-one - 1

Screen: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Beats 1 is live 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it’s a fantastic way to get your dose of what’s happening right now in urban music.

Problem is, just like the terrestrial radio that it uses as its model, Beats 1 doesn’t have an archived recording of its shows. If you want to hear a specific DJ or interview, you have to tune in.

There are ways, however, of recording the audio stream with varying degrees of “free” and “easy.” Two of them involve some technical know how while the third will require you to drop some cash. Check it out.

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