Smart gifts for the college students on your list

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Mini Jambox pumps out the jams. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
From music to MacBooks, these gifts will resonate with students. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You might think college students are tricky to shop for, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since they’re constantly swamped with homework and simultaneously managing a busy social life, all they want is stuff that makes their lives easier and more fun.

If you’re stressing about what to get the student in your life this holiday season, never fear. We’ve collected some great gift ideas, handpicked by college students for college students:

Yves vs. Ive: 10 of the best product designs not from Cupertino

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As Apple gets into the smart home market, they'll need to take a look at August Smart Lock, which Behar designed to be safe, secure, and social. You can program it on the flay and remotely from your iOS device, letting people in with a one-time pass or on a timed basis. It may not have shipped yet, but boy is it gorgeous and functional.
As Apple gets into the smart home market, they'll need to take a look at August Smart Lock, which Behar designed to be safe, secure, and social. You can program it on the flay and remotely from your iOS device, letting people in with a one-time pass or on a timed basis. It may not have shipped yet, but boy is it gorgeous and functional.

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Protective Jambox Is Like A Leather Jacket On A Rhinoceros

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Back when I wrote at Wired, I called Waterfield’s keyboard case a “signal of the end of civilization.” Who needs a coddling cover for a keyboard that is so tough it can keep working even after you have a tantrum and smash it on a marble topped table? Repeatedly? (Like a friend of mine did one time).

Now I actually use that same cover whenever I travel, so I’m a little more accepting of the new “CitySlicker for the Jawbone Mini Jambox,” a case for the toughest little speaker on the market.

Mini Jambox Cuts Down On Size But Not On Sound

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Despite the fact that the new Bluetooth speaker looks like it is little more than a regular JamBox that has been sliced lengthwise down the middle, the Mini Jambox a whole new thing. Built like the unibody MacBooks, the new Mini Jambox is carved from a single block of aluminum. This means that despite its diminutive size, it still sounds a lot bigger than it looks.

One Ruggedized UE BOOM Bluetooth Speaker is Cool, But Two Gets You Stereo Sound

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It’s unlikely that the Jawbone Jambox will be shoved off its throne anytime soon; not necessarily because it’s the best-sounding portable Bluetooth speaker out there, but because it was here first, and it made a huge splash (in part because, yes, it sounds pretty good).

But I were to bet on a challenger, I might put my money on the smart new UE Boom. Not only is it ruggedized against drops and splashes, but it’s armed with two very unusual tricks.

The JBL Charge Kicks The Jambox’s Teeth In [Review]

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We’ve reviewed a lot of Bluetooth speakers here at Cult of Mac, and yet to this day, the easiest one to recommend is still the speaker that launched the category: the venerable Jawbone Jambox.

Well, Jambox, move over: there’s a new king in town. We’ll be hard pressed to recommend you anymore after getting our hands on the JBL Flip, a Bluetooth speaker that has better (and louder) sound than the Jambox, at a cheaper price, and a killer trick up its sleeve: it’s also an external battery pack, capable of charging your iPhone on the go!

Get A Big Jambox Bluetooth Speaker For Half-Off Retail Price [Deals]

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The Big Jambox is pretty much the rockingest portable Bluetooth speaker you can get, but at $299, it’s not cheap. If you don’t mind a couple of minor aesthetic blemishes, though, you can now get a Big Jambox for about the price of the regular Jambox: around $158.

The deal is being made over at All4Cellular, which is offering the Big Jambox speaker (refurbished) for about half off in Graphite Hex and White Wave colors. They might come with a few dents and scratches, but they’ll sound just the same and come fully covered with a 90 day warranty.

We’ve previously reviewed the Big Jambox and loved it, with one caveat: it’s best when you’re cranking everything up to 11.

Source: All4Cellular

Sound Cylinder Is A Portable Speaker With A Very Neat Trick [Review]

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Sound Cylinder sits atop your Macbook's screen... like a boss.
Sound Cylinder sits atop your Macbook's screen... like a boss.

Rechargeable, portable, and built to live on or under your Mac or iDevice, the Sound Cylinder (SC) speaker is a first from audio maker Definitive Technology (DT), who usually focuses their acoustic talents on high-end home theater equipment.

Sound Cylinder by Definitive Technology
Category: Wireless Speakers
Works With: iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac, or anything with Bluetooth
Price: $200

But can Definitive Technology, with its years of experience engineering coveted boutique audio, create a portable speaker that usurps the top spot of the much-loved and most-excellent sounding Jawbone Jambox?