| Cult of Mac

6 must-have iPhone and iPad accessories for musicians [Reviews]


The iPhone and iPad are great companions on and off the stage with the help of these amazing accessories.
The iPhone and iPad are great companions on and off the stage with the help of these amazing accessories.
Photo: Austin Prock/Unsplash

app-factor-logo-thumbnail iPhones and iPads have become more than just media-consumption devices in so many ways. From using an iPad as a virtual cookbook to using it as a portable way to develop a website, the iPad and iPhone are extremely useful in everyday life. One of the biggest categories where these devices have made a huge difference is music.

Make your technology a force for musical expression with this digital guitar [Deals]


The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Computers, tablets, even iPhones have grown into powerful tools for music making, but for many who play guitar the bridge from analog instrument to digital devices can be an intimidating one. The Jamstik Wireless Smart Guitar is a great way to cross the digital divide, a MIDI controlling guitar with frets and strings that feel familiar to any guitarist’s fingers. It’s also cheaper than most keyboard controllers (and certainly guitars), available right now for just $149.99.

Audiophile Wireless Receiver For AirPlay [Kickstarter]



Pssst! You there, the one just about to buy that Airport Express for your AirPlay setup. Don’t waste your $99 on that plastic wall-wart. Come over here and I’ll sell you this nice white plastic AirPlay brick instead. How much? Well, seeing as it’s you, just $199, although it normally goes for $275.

Oh, by the way. It’s called the playGo AP1. You’re welcome.

The Best Mac and iPhone Speakers [Best Of]



Our iPhones, iPad and Macs all come equipped to pump out music and movies, and yet the built-in speakers are merely adequate. Depending on whether you travel or stay at home, whether you use a Mac or an iPod to listen to your music, or whether you live in the countryside or cooped up with easy-to-rile neighbors, there is a speaker just for you. And here’s our list of the best.

SRS iWOW-U, A Dongle To Make Your Headphones Sound Better


This is the biggest photo SRS could find for its product page. Seriously.

I’m not a big fan of music processing. As a child of the 1980s, I spent more time tweaking graphic equalizers than I did listening to actual music. And now, I figure if my iPad can’t manage to make an over-compressed MP3 sound good, then not much will help.

But those who prefer their music to be all big bass and punchy highs might find the SRS iWOW-U to be a compelling purchase. The dongle dangles between your iDevice’s jack socket and your headphones, and “will make you say ‘WOW’ within 10 seconds of turning it on,” according to the blurb. Then again, that same blurb also claims that the iWOW-U offers “an amazing HD-quality listening experience,” so take from that what you will.

Jean Michel Jarre’s iPad Speaker Dock Is More Spectacular Than His Light Shows




Jean Michel Jarre might be laying off the lasers, the lightshows and the spectacular outdoor concerts, but he’s not letting his 63 years catch up with him: he has simply switched his ostentatious attentions to high-end iPhone and iPad docks.

The latest is the AeroPad Two, a 30-pin dock connector-equipped behemoth of a home stereo which could probably shake your house to pieces.

Audio Cubes: Cute Little Pocket-Sized Speakers For Your iPhone


The Audio Cube really is a go-anywhere Bluetooth speaker

Way back in the dark days of the 1990s, when smartphones had styluses and mobile apps were made from Java, I yearned for a way to stream music from my Sony Ericsson P900 to my stereo via Bluetooth. At the time, it was impossible.

Fast forward to the present day (by drilling down through several hard-to-navigate menus and hitting the tiny “skip” button with the tip of the stylus) and there is an embarrassment of choice. These days I’d rather pick up my JamBox and carry it into the living room rather than fire up the proper stereo that’s already in there.

Joining this wealth of wirelessness is the Audio Cube from Satechi, an inexpensive, pocket-sized Bluetooth speaker with all of the features you’d expect.

How The Mysterious Boost Connection-Less Speaker Works [Review]



A few weeks ago, I wrote about the iFrogz Boost, a magic box which amplifies the sound from an iPhone or other device just by being close. You put the iPhone on top and the battery-powered iBoost speaker goes to work, making everything louder.

The technology used is called near field audio, or NFA, but nobody would tell me how it works. Luckily, the iFrogz folks sent me one, so I took it apart to see what’s inside.