Whatever your sound needs, we’ve got you covered [Deals]

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Looking to upgrade your audio game? Whatever your jam, we've got you covered.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

With all our devices, it seems like there are nearly as many ways to listen to sounds as there are sounds themselves. That’s why we’ve gathered up these deals on four of the best ways to enjoy your tunes, shows, podcasts or anything else that tickles your ears.

In this Cult of Mac Deals roundup, we’ve got top-shelf on-ear headphones, nearly invisible in-ear buds, a set of workout-ready Bluetooth earbuds and a headset that transmits sound through bone conduction (seriously).

Best List: We guarantee these things will make your life better

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I love big glass and I cannot lie. I loved the manual-focus Nikkor 180 f2.8 of my youth. A Canon f1.2 II mounted to any box is a true delight. And I have lusted after a Leica Noctulux for as long as I can remember. Now Sigma is doing some amazing things with fast glass, including the new 50mm f1.4 DG HSM, which is big on heft but comparatively light on the wallet ($949 list). Being able to mount this extraordinary picture-making machine to your digital camera for less than a grand is a real treat.

The Sigma and my black lab Cody get along better than just about any dog/lens combination I have ever used. Cody is notoriously difficult to photograph, but the whippy-fast f1.4 lens I was able to capture the little bugger in the best and worst lighting situations I could put him in, with the autofocus working near silently and grabbing about as well as can be expected, considering the subject matter.

The 50mm lens is sometimes referred to as a portrait lens, but I find using a 50mm like a “normal” lens for street photography, product photography and as a general all-arounder is much more satisfying. The Sigma lens is a delight to stalk subjects in near darkness, which is what you really should be doing with this lens. It is most satisfying when you find yourself on the edge, wondering if anything is going to work out at all. Sure, the percentage of useable frames decreases, but the frames you land are worth the risk. Long live the big glass. – Jim Merithew


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Wood works magic in Grain Audio’s amazing walnut speakers

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Grain Audio designer Chris Weir is serious about sound. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Designer Chris Weir is dismissive of products that take a Swiss Army knife approach to features. He thinks a speaker should be a speaker — and nothing else.

“It’s a speaker, not a speakerphone,” he says.

He’s talking about his Packable Wireless Speaker System, a diminutive Bluetooth speaker he designed for Grain Audio, a hot audio startup. Weir resisted all temptation to add a microphone (for phone calls) or the ability to charge phones from its internal battery. It’s just a speaker, and a surprisingly good one at that.

In a market crowded with dozens of unexceptional, me-too products, Grain Audio stands out. Not only are all of its products made of wood (solid walnut, not wood veneer), Grain’s products do one thing, and one thing well: Pump out sound.

In-Ear Headphones From Grain Audio: The Perfect Combination Of Quality Sound And Design [Deals]

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Let’s cut to the chase: these In-Ear Headphones from Grain Audio are earbuds redefined.

The In-Ear Headphones from Grain Audio deliver perfect sound and design. Owners of this product can maintain their style without sacrificing any audio quality. Cult of Mac Deals has got these sleek headphones for 15% off the regular price – just $84.99 – during this limited time offer.

Grain Audio’s Upcoming PWS Bluetooth Speaker Is Worth Getting Excited About [Preview]

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Last week, three earnest audiophiles rang my doorbell and stormed into my living room to show me a handsome Bluetooth speaker that they claimed was going to reinvent the world of Jambox-alikes and transform Bluetooth speakers into “objects of desire.”

The guys in question? Three gents from Grain Audio, an up-and-coming audio company. And the product they wanted to show me was a prototype of their upcoming Packable Wireless System, or PWS: a walnut-enclosed Bluetooth speaker with some seriously good sound for its class.

The PWS won’t be available for sale for a few months, still, but it’s a speaker worth keeping an eye on. Here’s why.