HomePod is finally on its way to Japan

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HomePod market share
It will be on sale “this summer.”
Photo: Apple

Apple is gearing up to launch HomePod in Japan — more than two years after the device got its first unveiling.

Smart speaker shoppers will be able to pick one up in the coming weeks for 32,800 yen (approx. $301). HomePod will then be available in a total of 11 countries.

Epic promises audio improvements for Fortnite 8.01

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Fortnite
Listen out for the sound improvements this week.
Photo: Epic Games

Fortnite fans are still enjoying last week’s massive season eight update, but many will have noticed that certain things need fixing. One of those is the audio for a bunch of weapons and items, which Epic Games is already working on fixing.

Seth Weedin, Fortnite’s technical sound designer, has detailed a number of big audio improvements that will roll out in a version 8.01 patch.

Bassgate: Did software update sap HomePod audio?

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Don't take a chance on a bricked HomePod.
HomePod isn't as bass-heavy as it once was.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s software update released yesterday for the new HomePod may have altered the sound quality on its smart speaker.

Many angry HomePod owners that installed the update yesterday have taken to Twitter and Reddit claiming Apple’s fine-tuning of the speaker with the update has totally ruined how some songs sound.

Listen to the iPhone X’s exclusive new ringtone

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iPhone X
Did you get lucky?
Photo: Apple

Apple fans that purchase the iPhone X will get an extra tree when devices finally start arriving later this week: an exclusive ringtone.

Bundled inside the software for the iPhone X is an all-new ringtone called “Reflection.” The song has a melody that is somewhat similar to the iconic “Marimba” ringtone that launched with the original iPhone.

Take a listen:

Expel water from your iPhone speaker grille using only sound

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iPhone 7 soaked in water
A crafty Redditor discovers a simple and free way to clear trapped water from your iPhone 7's speaker grille.
Photo: Apple

Apple touts the new iPhone 7 as being water-resistant enough to take into the shower. There’s really no good reason to bathe with your smartphone, but the point is that iPhone 7 owners don’t need to worry about a little rain or spilled tea.

Naturally, some people waltzed into their shower stalls with their expensive new phones in hand — just cuz — and some found a weakness in the iPhone 7’s water-resistance. Luckily for foolhardy iPhone owners everywhere, a Redditor discovered a simple hack for getting the water out.

Tiny preamp will solve your biggest audio problems

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beachtek dxa-slr ultra
Filming Leander for his Kahney's Korner videos is always a challenge, but thanks to the DXA SLR Ultra, now there's no need for a hissy fit.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: Beachtek DXA-SLR Ultra preamplifier

Hssssssssss.

Hssssssssss.

I told one of my favorite photographers, Mike Kepka, that I was trying to shoot a little video, but that my audio sounded horrid. He happens to be pretty decent videographer. And a little bit of a gearhead (at least in comparison to me).

“Get a Beachtek,” said Mike.

“What is the hell is that?” I said. “And do you have one?”