Floating speaker rises above its gimmick with great sound [Reviews]

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The floating speaker part is fun, but it's the killer sound that makes it worth every penny.
The floating speaker part is fun, but it's the killer sound that makes it worth every penny.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Mars Bluetooth floating speaker by Crazybaby

The Mars Bluetooth speaker has a fairly reliable gimmick: the top part — which looks like a little UFO from an old sci-fi flick — floats above the bottom cylinder. It’s a cool visual trick managed by some fairly strong magnets, but it’s just that: a fun gimmick.

What’s surprising, though, is just how great this speaker sounds. It fills my house with deep bass thanks to the subwoofer abilities of that lower section of the speaker, and the UFO attachment flies proud while reproducing the rest of the sonic spectrum with highs and mids that don’t get lost in the bass response, but are also not too brittle.

Turn this floating speaker up and you’ve got a serious powerhouse Bluetooth speaker that just cries out to be admired by everyone at the party.

Don’t wake the baby! Use Bluetooth headphones with Apple TV

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Use Bluetooth headphones to watch Apple TV quietly.
Use Bluetooth headphones to watch Apple TV quietly.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’re anything like me, you knew that the new 4th-generation Apple TV supported Bluetooth devices like the Siri Remote, game controllers, and even keyboards, but you didn’t twig to the fact that it might also let you use Bluetooth headphones, too.

In point of fact, though, it does support them, letting you watch Netflix or game on your Apple TV without the sound of your activities waking the baby or a sleeping partner. How great is that?

Here’s how to set it up.

How to use a Bluetooth keyboard with Apple TV

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With tvOS, your newer Apple TV can work with Bluetooth keyboards.
With tvOS, your newer Apple TV can work with Bluetooth keyboards.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With this week’s release of tvOS 9.2 for Apple TV, the fourth-generation set-top box now works with Bluetooth keyboards. While the splash screen specifically calls out Apple wireless keyboards, the truth is that you might be able pair pretty much any Bluetooth external keyboard with your new Apple TV.

Here’s how. (And here’s how to upgrade to tvOS 9.2 if you haven’t already.)

Bluetooth smartlock is beyond low-key [Reviews]

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Never lose a key or forget a combination again.
Never lose a key or forget a combination again.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Noke padlock

Padlocks are essential for sheds, locker rooms and bicycles, but damn do I continue to forget my combination or lose my key.

Noke (the “e” is long, for “no key”) has this problem solved for iPhone-toting folks like me with its fantastic, easy-to-use smartlock that will never ask you for a combination again. Heck, even if your iPhone is missing, you can use Noke’s special key fob that ensures you’ll never be locked out from your gym clothes (or lawnmower) again.

Bluetooth LED makes iPhone camera even flashier [Reviews]

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iblazr-wireless-bluetooth-flash - 1 (2)
This portable Bluetooth flash is perfect for those who thrive on nightlife.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

As far as smartphone cameras have come with improved low-light shooting and intelligent LED flash, there will always be some situations in which you could use just a bit more light. This is especially true for photographers who want to make smart adjustments for their photos, or people who tend to do most of their socializing at night. So it’s worth shining a light on iblazr 2, a fantastic Bluetooth LED flash.

This successor to Concepter’s original iblazr isn’t just your ordinary wireless LED flash. It’s equipped with tons of features that let me fine-tune the way I want my photo to come out. The most important feature for me is that it works with the native camera apps on iOS and Android. In fact, according to Concepter’s website, it’s the only wireless LED flash that does.