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.

Gorgeous headphone amp isn’t just ear candy

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Lust List Oppo Amp
The Oppo headphone amplifier is almost as beautiful as the iPhone you're going to connect it to.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Oppo HA-2 portable headphone amplifier and DAC

What kind of audiophile nerd do you have to be to shell out 300 clams to “improve” your iPhone audio? Well, that’s what it is going to cost you to convert your digital audio into analog goodness with style.

You can find cheaper options than the Oppo HA-2 portable headphone amplifier, but few as elegant and sleek.

Apple now sells Lightning headphones that are super-expensive

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The Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones are great quality. But they'll cost ya!
Photo: Apple

For a company which keeps its future plans on the down-low, Apple sure is serious about getting us to believe the rumors that it’s ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack for future generations of iPhone.

At least, that’s going by the fact that Apple has just started selling $800 Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones — at both its online Apple Store and select brick-and-mortar retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada.

Will Apple alienate iPhone fans by ditching the headphone jack?

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FNF2
Apple could be about to kill another technology.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has famously killed popular technologies when it believes they’re past their best — and it could be gearing up to kill one more. According to recent rumors, next year’s iPhone 7 will ship without the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of a thinner form factor.

Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2Understandably, a lot of fans are unhappy about that prospect, which would mean all our existing headphones wouldn’t be compatible with the next iPhone — at least not without a (pricey) adapter. But could it be a move that pays off in the long run? Are there pros that outweigh the cons?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight between Cult of Android and Cult of Mac as we battle it out over these questions and more!