Sony

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Pump up the volume at your next BBQ with this Sony Bluetooth speaker [60% off]

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Save 60% on a portable Sony Bluetooth speaker.
This portable Bluetooth speaker from Sony pumps out amazing audio.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Prepare to experience excellent audio with the Sony XE300 portable Bluetooth speaker. It features Sony’s unique Line-Shape Diffuser technology, which spreads sound evenly across a wide area. The innovative tech lets the speaker produce room-filling audio without sacrificing clarity.

It’s a high-end speaker that’s about the size of a tallboy, and it’s on sale now for just $79.99 (regularly $199.99). If you want to cruise through the summer with your favorite tunes blasting, you don’t want to miss this new, open-box deal.

Flagship Bose headphones make surprisingly rare appearance [Setups]

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Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones setup
You'd think we'd see top Bose headphones, like the QuietComfort Ultras shown on the right, in setups more often.
Photo: MagneticMotion@Reddit.com

When it comes to fantastic and popular over-ear noise-canceling headphones that don’t stray too far from the realm of affordability, certain brands typically leap to mind. Apple. Beats. Sony. Sennheiser. Audio-Technica. Bose. And yet we noticed how seldomly flagship cans from Bose, one of the most famous and well-regarded brands in the United States, crop up in our computer setups coverage. Take the brand’s current top dog, for example — Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones.

Today’s M2 Max MacBook Pro setup brings in a set of Bose Ultras alongside AirPods Pro 2, for when the user needs bigger audio guns with greater comfort than Apple’s top earbuds.

Does iPhone 15 Pro’s Action button really need this fix? [The CultCast]

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Is the iPhone 15 Pro
We love the iPhone 15 Pro's Action button just as it is, but hey ... upgrade away!
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: An iOS 17 update supposedly will stop the iPhone 15 Pro’s Action button from triggering in your pocket, at least in certain circumstances. Is this really a problem that needs fixing?

Also on The CultCast:

  • When it comes to upcoming Macs and Apple Watch, this week’s no news sounds like very bad news indeed.
  • Apple’s Vision Pro headset seems to be straining the necks of some pencil-necked geeks.
  • For this week’s Under Review segment, I’ve got a unique-looking charger and Erfon and Griffin bring very different sorts of cameras to the podcast’s version of show and tell.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

MacBook Pro drives massive 5K2K display plus mini monitor [Setups]

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This setup lost one of the three display in a recent move.
This setup lost one of the three display in a recent move.
Photo: designforthepeople@Redit.com

Today’s featured computer setup isn’t turning heads for its Apple gear — just a 2019 MacBook Pro — but its displays deserve a good look. The Mac goes through a Razer Thunderbolt 3 dock as it drives an “odd couple” of displays — a huge, curved LG 5K2K monitor and a tiny LG portable display.

And don’t miss the audio gear in the gear list below, either. It’s good stuff.

Vision Pro’s complex design forces Apple to make significant production cuts

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Vision Pro's ultra-high-resolution display system, with 23 million pixels across two displays, reportedly runs into manufacturing challenges.
Photo: Apple TV

Apple reportedly made hefty cuts to its production goals for the Vision Pro due to the headset’s complex design, which makes mass production a challenge.

Announced at WWDC23 in June, Apple’s mixed-reality headset will go on sale in early 2024. So the company has more than a few months to sort out these manufacturing challenges.

2 key items complete killer workstation [Setups]

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With a good iPad stand and a DAC/amp added for audio, this setup is finally done. For now.
With a good iPad stand and a DAC/amp added for audio, this setup is finally done. For now.
Photo: drhippopotato@Reddit.com

Part of the fun of covering computer setups for Cult of Mac is seeing how a setup is never “done.” Blood, sweat, tears and time may go into it, but it will always need something — whether that’s missing functionality, better decoration or the next generation of a key device.

Today’s featured M2 MacBook Air setup is a good example. Since we featured an earlier version of it just weeks ago, the user made important changes. He added two components to maximize crucial iPad functionality and pump up audio.

Trim M2 MacBook Air rig packs stellar audio [Setups]

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At a glance, you might not think this setup has 18 items in it not including the furniture.
At a glance, you might not think this setup has 18 items in it not including the furniture.
Photo: drhippopotato@Reddit.com

We’ve seen more M2 MacBook Pro laptops lately in Setups than M2 MacBook Air machines, but today’s featured setup bucks the trend. Its M2 MacBook Air drives a 34-inch LG 4K IPS display.

But it’s the setup’s audio gear that may grab your attention. AirPods Pro (2nd gen) make the cut, as do two other sets of premium earphones, outstanding speakers and one of Sony’s super-high-end Walkman MP3 players.

Up your vlogging game with new Sony full-frame camera

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The new Sony ZV-E1 is designed for vloggers and other content creators.
The new Sony ZV-E1 is designed for vloggers and other content creators.
Photo: Sony Electronics

Sony Electronics unveiled its new full-frame 12MP ZV-E1 camera Wednesday. It takes its place at or near the top of the company’s growing ZV lineup of cameras for vloggers and other content creators.

At $2,200 it’s not cheap — a big step up from the company’s roughly $750 cameras for content creators — for but it could a key to making amateur content look professional.

Affordable new Sony headphones borrow premium cans’ tech

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The new noise-cancelling cans share the same processor with Sony's high-end headphones, but not their price.
The new noise-cancelling cans share the same processor with Sony's high-end headphones, but not their price.
Photo: Sony Electronics

Not into paying what Apple’s top-shelf noise-cancelling AirPods Max headphones cost? You have options. In fact, Sony Electronics rolled out two new mid-tier headphones Tuesday at modest price points — the over-ear WH-CH72ON and the smaller, on-ear WH-CH520.

The higher-end WH-CH72ON set, at $150, costs well under half the price of the brand’s acclaimed WH-1000XM5 noise-cancelling cans, but uses the same V1 chip. And the lower-end WH-CH520 headphones, at $60, are just downright affordable.

New Apple headset leaks make our heads explode [The CultCast]

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A manipulated image of a person wearing a virtual reality headset, used to illustrate the contents of The CultCast, our weekly Apple podcast.
Are we the only ones standing around with slack jaws wondering how Apple can make this headset desirable?
Photo: Original photo: Uriel Soberanes/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The more we hear about Apple’s upcoming AR/VR headset, the more we’re perplexed about who is actually going to buy one. We take a long, hard look at the latest leaks — and come up shaking our heads.

Also on The CultCast:

  • We might get a raft of exciting new Macs — including the first Mac Pro powered by Apple silicon — at a March event.
  • Apple’s Pro Display XDR and Studio Display get some high-end competition.
  • Sorry, voice actors. AI narrators look like the future of audiobooks (and Apple leads the charge).
  • Our final best-of-2022 picks.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

Our sponsor: Squarespace

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iPhone 15 could feature Sony’s ‘breakthrough’ camera sensor

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iPhone 14 Pro's camera module
Next year's iPhone camera could get some huge upgrades.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s 2023 iPhone 15 Pro lineup will reportedly use Sony’s new image sensor with some significant improvements. The next-gen sensor can seemingly capture more light and reduce overexposure and underexposure in challenging situations.

Sony is the primary camera sensor supplier for Apple. The change could allow the 2023 iPhones to deliver a massive leap in image quality.

‘Finally, a real student setup that’s not $8,000’ [Setups]

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This tidy setup didn't cost a fortune, but it gets the job done.
This tidy setup didn't cost a fortune, but it gets the job done.
Photo: Red__1860@Reddit.com

It’s funny when you see a student’s computer setup on social media with gear that looks like it costs a bazillion bucks. Like, what, did Elon Musk go back to college for some reason? Maybe to escape the $44 billion dumpster fire that is Twitter?

Well, today’s clean and practical MacBook Pro setup is the real thing — a starving student’s workstation cobbled together on a budget.

Let’s look at how the user saved some money.

M1 MacBook Pro and custom PC split dual gaming displays [Setups]

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The owner tried to set this whole thing up to roll into another room.
The owner tried to set this whole thing up to roll into another room.
Photo: cjeffe10

Some computer setups will make you green with envy, considering their gear’s quantity as well as quality. Take today’s featured setup, a delight for both gamers and podcasters.

It sports not just a new M1 MacBook, but also a powerful custom gaming PC. It boasts not just a solid 27-inch full HD display, but a monster 49-inch super-ultra-wide screen. And it relies on not just a good webcam, but a premium mirrorless digital camera.

And the list goes on, extending to audio and even a new mechanical keyboard. Read on.

Full-on ‘Dark Mode’ brings creativity into focus [Setups]

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The setup proper in
The setup proper in "Dark Mode." Atmospheric, eh? It's a space dedicated to creativity, but it also helps with focus.
Photo: Chris Denbow

Photographer and writer Chris Denbow puts an interesting twist on his computer setup. He credits its “Dark Mode” — which is obvious in the photographs of the desk and the room, but extends to the machines and the software he uses — for boosting his focus and creativity. He said the dark theme gives him a “space dedicated to creativity.”

“Introducing ‘Dark Mode,’ a minimal, monochromatic home office/workspace that helps eliminate distractions, [and] allows focus and productivity,” Denbow told Cult of Mac.

Sony pushes comfort with its new lightweight LinkBuds S earbuds

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Sony's new lightweight LinkBuds S with ANC cost $199.99.
Sony's new lightweight LinkBuds S with ANC cost $199.99.
Photo: Sony

Sony brought out its latest earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC) Wednesday, the $199.99 LinkBuds S. The consumer electronics giant appears to be going for “Goldilocks” buds here, fitting a super-lightweight option for comfortable, long-term wear just below its flagship WF-1000XM4 ANC earbuds in both price and quality level.

Sony makes its flagship over-ear headphones even better

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The new Sony flagship cans improve on their predecessors and cost about $50 more.
The new Sony flagship cans improve on their predecessors and cost about $50 more.
Photo: Sony

Few would dispute that Sony’s flagship wireless WH-1000XM4 active noise-canceling (ANC) headphones have been among the best on the market since they came out in August 2020. But Sony has improved upon them, offering its fifth-generation WH-1000XM5 headphones on Thursday.

The redesigned cans flaunt several impressive improvements over the previous model, making the XM5s an even worthier competitor to AirPods Max and other premium headphones.

Leak of Sony’s next flagship headphones shows sleek design, longer battery life

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Sony's next top headphones may have a sleek new design.
Sony's next top headphones may have a sleek new design.
Photo: Nils Ahrensmeier/TechnikNews

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 over-ear noise-cancelling wireless headphones are considered one of the best sets of cans in the business. Now a new leak shows what may be in store for the audio giant’s next version, the WH-1000XM5, in terms of a sleek new design and key specs.

Next Macs and iPhones: Whose bump will be bigger? [The CultCast]

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CultCast 541: M2 Macs and iPhone 14: Which gets a bigger bump? The CultCast episode 541
Looks like 2022 is gonna be bumpin'!
Image: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: It sounds like Apple is planning nearly a dozen new Macs with a next-gen M2 processor. The question is, just how big of a speed bump will that new chip bring? And then there’s iPhone 14, which sounds like it might come with a very big bump indeed — and not the kind you might be hoping for.

Also on The CultCast:

  • The original HomePod never ceases to surprise.
  • iPhone 14 could be the ultimate smartphone for narcissists.
  • Apple might be prepping an ingenious hybrid device to take over your living room.
  • When you’re tired of wearing earbuds, you’ve got options. Very strange options.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like what you hear.) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.

Our sponsor: Squarespace

Special thanks to this week’s sponsor, Squarespace. Get all the tools you need to set up your very own website and commence selling anything online. Start your free website trial today at squarespace.com/cultcast (no credit card required). Save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain with code cultcast at checkout.

Sony rolls out new Walkmans for audiophiles. The cheap one is $1,600.

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Sony's new Walkman models for 2022 are for audiophiles.
Sony's new Walkman models for 2022 are for audiophiles.
Photo: Sony

Following up on high-end Walkman models released several years ago, Sony recently introduced two new Walkman digital audio players it reportedly plans to start selling in April for $1,600 and at least $3,200.

The pricier one is gold-plated. Just thought you should know, in case you were already reaching for your incredibly fat wallet.

Drool-worthy gear: Former PC gamer goes all-in on Mac conversion [Setups]

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You don't see two Pro Display XDRs in one setup very often.
You don't see two Pro Display XDRs in one setup very often.
Photo: UncreativeWhale@Reddit.com

When a software engineering manager who works from home decided to leave PC gaming behind, he went all-in on his Mac conversion. In part he did it for work. He slings a lot of native code for macOS in building HR recruitment software. But, working and playing from home full time, in part he did it for himself.

So why wouldn’t he buy a super-tricked out 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro, not one but two Apple Pro Display XDRs and pretty much top-shelf everything else?

Would you pay $178 for Sony’s strange new earbuds?

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The new Sony LinkBuds feature an unusual, perhaps even unique, open design.
The new Sony LinkBuds feature an unusual, perhaps even unique, open design.
Photo: Sony

For some time now, the wireless earbud market has grown toward the bursting point, with all sorts of options for active noise canceling buds with wireless charging, long battery life, solid waterproofing and other features for prices between $75 and $150.

But if you’re sick and tired of paying less for more, Sony has something new for you. You can pay $178 for earbuds without ANC or wireless charging, plus pedestrian battery life and minimal waterproofing. Meet the all-new Sony LinkBuds Truly Wireless Earbuds!

What do you get for that price? Sony’s reputation, plus an interesting new compact, lightweight, open-style design that might work great for at least some people.

Before and after: Out with (some of) the old, in with (the best of) the new [Setups]

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In the after photo, a new LG 4K monitor replaces the Cinema Display.
In the after photo, a new LG 4K monitor replaces the Cinema Display, among other key changes.
Photo: jonyoungmusic@Reddit.com

When you spend a third or more of your waking hours all but chained to a computer setup, you might as well make it a pleasant place to spend time. That’s what most of Cult of Mac‘s Setups coverage is all about, really — glorifying both the high-tech performance and the stylish comfort that ease your enslavement to whatever it is you do with tech.

Today’s 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro-based featured setup shows a “before and after” transition. Musician and Salesforce consultant Jon Young said a revamp of his wife’s “nicer and more spacious” work area inspired his changes. “Mine just has more gadgets lol,” he said.

Say cheese: Albert Einstein, Dr. Fauci and RBG welcome new M1 Pro MacBook [Setups]

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That's not just any webcam perched above the monitor.
That's not just any webcam perched above the monitor.
Photo: PunctiliousCasuist@Reddit.com

On Fridays it’s fun to focus on computer setups with entertaining features whenever possible. Sometimes it’s seriously vintage gear. Or it could be wacky decor. Once in a while, an exotic location pops up. Today we found one where a brand new M1 Pro MacBook meets a kooky crew of bobbleheads and other figures under a really over-the-top camera rig used as a webcam.

Think you can’t afford a soundbar and subwoofer with surround sound? Sony disagrees.

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Sony's new soundbar and subwoofer combo add surround sound to your TV for $300.
Sony's new soundbar and subwoofer combo add surround sound to your TV for $300.
Photo: Sony

Hot on the heels of Denon’s launch of a soundbar-and-subwoofer combo with Dolby Atmos for just $449, Sony said Thursday it will offer its own affordable surround-sound rig for only $300. It’s the HT-S400 2.1ch Soundbar, set for launch in April.

At that price, Sony’s new soundbar looks like a solid budget-friendly option for stellar TV audio. Pumping out 330W of sound, it comes with a wireless subwoofer, easy connectivity to the company’s newest TVs and an OLED heads-up display.

Judging by the Denon and Sony launches, it appears an era of high-quality, affordable TV audio solutions is upon us. After all, just months ago, companies raced to put out similar gear that cost many hundreds of dollars more, in many cases.