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.

You’ll waste 3.5 days of your life untangling Apple headphones

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EarPods aren't going wireless in 2016.
EarPods aren't going wireless in 2016.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

This one factoid is the greatest reason why Apple needs to kill the headphone: Over the course of your life, you’ll spend a total of 3.5 days untangling headphones.

Edward Aten decided to dive into the math of how much time is wasted in frustration as you endlessly untangle your Apple EarPods. Depending on your listening habits, you may spend up to 32 seconds a day solving the headphone cord puzzle, which adds up ton of wasted seconds over a 38 year span.

Ear-hugging headphones deliver good jams for your dollar

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Lust List JLAB
Sometimes what you really need is a well-built pair of inexpensive headphones. Jlab's Flex fills that bill perfectly.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Flex headphones by JLab Audio

If you are on a budget and routinely trash your headphones, JLab Audio’s Flex is just what you have been looking for: a decent pair of cans built to withstand regular abuse.

The Flex headphones come folded down compactly into their included case, and for $70 deliver pretty impressive sound quality.

Sony’s elegant glass speaker shines fresh light on portable audio

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Sony's Glass Sound Speaker shines a new light on portable audio.
Sony's Glass Sound Speaker shines a new light on portable audio.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverage LAS VEGAS — For all Sony’s talk about high-definition audio and video during its CES press conference, the company’s most intriguing new product is a weird glass speaker with LED lights that looks something like a tubular hurricane lamp.

Called the Glass Sound Speaker, it’s a refreshing twist on the ordinary Bluetooth speaker that is certain to add a unique ambiance to any room. I’m not sure how it sounds, but its soothing, candle-like glow practically screams sophistication.

Tiny audiophile earbuds deliver big, clear sound

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Small and unassuming, with incredibly clarity and tone.
Small and unassuming, with incredibly clarity and tone.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Reference X20i In-Ear Headphones by Klipsch

Have you ever wondered whether a pair of $550 earbuds is worth the price? I have, but never really had the scratch to put it to the test.

Klipsch, however, sent me a pair of their high-end earbuds, the Reference X20i In-Ear Headphones, to test. When I opened the wooden box and slid the headphones out of their leather pouch, then slipped their oval-shaped eartips into my sound holes, I went to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens soundtrack. The orchestral music seemed like a great way to see if these really expensive headphones match their price tag.