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The Best Vinyl Accessories to Jazz Up Your Analog Audio

The Best Vinyl Accessories to Jazz Up Your Analog Audio

Whether you’ve just started spinning analog audio or you’ve been building a collection for years, good vinyl accessories can take your enjoyment—and your records’ longevity—to the next level. I’ve spent the better part of the past decade messing with some of the most lauded tools for cleaning, setting up, and maintaining record players, and these are my favorites. Plenty of these accessories are affordable, and they make great gifts too.

Before you dive deeper, I recommend watching this video on proper turntable setup. Many of the accessories below are meant to aid you in making sure you’re getting the most out of your gear. For more, check out our Best Turntables guide and our how-to article on upgrading your home audio.

Updated May 2022: We’ve added sound isolation pads for turntables.

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Omega and Swatch’s $260 MoonSwatch Looks Out of This World

Omega and Swatch’s $260 MoonSwatch Looks Out of This World

Speaking to WIRED, Raynald Aeschlimann, Omega CEO and president, reveals that the collaboration was first considered back in 2020. “But the challenges of the last two years meant a shift in priorities,” he said. “So we rescheduled for early 2022. The process from initial designs to collection launch has taken around 12 months. The timing seemed right because of the change in storytelling through social media channels and the shift towards e-commerce.”

“It was very time consuming, since we wanted to create a Swatch with Speedmaster DNA. Therefore, we did spend a lot of time and energy on the designs, and we wanted to ensure that the watches functioned well, with fully operating subdials, and all possible Speedmaster details,” Aeschlimann said.

But will the creation of an inexpensive Moonwatch, one which even comes in black, be damaging to the Omega version, or do the benefits of bringing a younger generation to the brand outweigh such concerns? “I’m aware there will be critics,” Aeschlimann says. “But there is a vast space between a genuine Speedmaster Moonwatch and this Swatch. There is really no crossover in any true sense, apart from the look. Yes, there is a model in black and perhaps it could pass as the real thing in certain light, but it is in Bioceramic, which makes it unique, different. It’s important to keep it in perspective. It’s a fun project and adds some light to an industry that can take itself too seriously.”

Looking to get one this Saturday? In the UK, the MoonSwatch watches will be landing in the Carnaby Street, Oxford Circus, and Covent Garden stores in London, and also in Edinburgh. In the US, you can get the watches in King of Prussia, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. A full list of cities is available here. 

No doubt anticipating the popularity of these budget bio Moonwatches, Swatch is limiting buyers to two watches from the collection per customer.

And as for if we will see other Omega models, such as the Seamaster, follow suit in another Swatch collaboration, Aeschlimann is noncommittal. “We have no plans as yet,” he says. “And we certainly don’t want to overdo it. The Speedmaster was the obvious choice as it’s such a collectable.”


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22 Great Wireless Chargers to Refuel Your Phone (or Watch)

22 Great Wireless Chargers to Refuel Your Phone (or Watch)

Does my phone support wireless charging?

Not all phones support wireless charging, but most brands have models that do, so look up your phone model first. You’ll usually see “Qi wireless charging” (the default standard) or simply “wireless charging” if it does.

Do wireless chargers work if you have a phone case?

Yes, most wireless chargers can charge through cases, unless it’s a particularly thick case. Check the product listing—there’s usually a case thickness limit in millimeters. Phones can get hot when charging wirelessly, so don’t worry if your phone is really warm when you pick it up. Most smartphones have limits to stop accepting a charge if they get too hot.

Yes, cords will charge your phone faster

Some manufacturers like Apple and OnePlus make wireless chargers that recharge their respective phones faster than others, but if you’re looking for speed, you’re better off sticking with a cord. Wireless charging is best for desks or nightstands when you’re not really using your phone or in a rush to recharge it.

What’s a fast wireless charging speed?

We said this at the beginning of our guide, but you’ll see “Compatible with iPhones and Android phones” under each slide, and that means the charger has a standard charging speed of 7.5 watts for iPhones or 10 watts for Android phones (including Samsung Galaxy phones). If a charger or phone combination has more watts, like 15, it will charge faster, though be sure to stick to high quality chargers.

Is wireless charging safe to use?

There’s no evidence that it’s harmful. You may worry the phone’s battery might degrade faster with wireless charging, but there’s no evidence of that. Manufacturers set safe limits for phone batteries, stipulating how much a battery can be charged and how far it can discharge. Regardless of the charging source you use, whether you plug into a wall adapter or use a wireless charging pad, these limits can’t be overridden. There’s no risk of overcharging your phone by leaving it on a wireless charger all night.

How do I keep my phone’s battery healthy?

However, try to keep your battery between 50 and 80 percent for optimum battery health. Keeping your phone fully charged or fully discharging the battery will degrade it slightly faster, and regularly swinging between full and empty will shorten its life. Battery technology has improved in recent years, and phone batteries are more reliable than ever. If you switch phones every two to three years or don’t mind paying a modest fee for a battery replacement on that timescale, it’s not worth worrying too much about how often or when you charge your phone.

The Best iPhone 13 Cases and Accessories

The Best iPhone 13 Cases and Accessories

You did it. You got the new iPhone 13. But it doesn’t matter if you have the Mini or the Pro, it’s still a glass sandwich that will shatter when it inevitably escapes your hands. That’s totally not your fault. That’s why we highly recommend you use a case with your expensive new smartphone. It’s not guaranteed to protect your device, but it can help! We’ve tested dozens and whittled them down to our favorites below. That also includes other accessories such as cables, charging adapters, MagSafe gear, and power banks, many of which we tested for the iPhone 12 range (so you’ll see some duplicates here).  

Be sure to check out our other buying guides, like the Best iPhone, Best MagSafe Accessories, Best iPad Accessories, and the Best iPhone 13 Deals.

Updated December 2021: We’ve added new cases from Pivet, Totallee, Twelve South, and Bluebonnet, along with new accessories from Anker, Moment, Mophie, and Belkin.

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A Note on iPhone 13 Cases

We’ve tested these cases on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Unlike last year, cases that fit the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 will not fit the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro. That’s because the camera system on the standard Pro is significantly larger. Some case manufacturers didn’t learn of this until the iPhones were announced, so you might run into some compatibility issues. It’s something to keep an eye on as you shop. 

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The Best MagSafe Accessories for Your New iPhone

The Best MagSafe Accessories for Your New iPhone

Magnets are one of those things that always remain wondrous. As a kid, I used to chase a broken magnet with its repelling end and pretend it was a cop car chasing a robber. Now, it’s similarly satisfying to slap magnetic accessories to the back of my iPhone. It just clicks into place! No wires, screws, or clamps to deal with. It’s wonderful. 

MagSafe is the name of Apple’s accessory system integrated into the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 range. A ring of magnets on the back of the phone (and in MagSafe-enabled cases) lets you attach various magnetic accessories, like a battery pack that recharges the iPhone wirelessly so you don’t need to hold it or carry a cable. We’ve collected a great many cases in our Best iPhone 13 Cases and Best iPhone 12 Cases guides, but we’ve highlighted our favorite MagSafe accessories here. 

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more. Please also consider subscribing to WIRED