Select a startup disk in OS X

If you need to boot to a secondary hard drive on your Mac, you can do so using several different means. For most PC systems, you will need to press F12, or another F-key, or perhaps the Escape or Delete keys when booting your system in order to select an alternative boot drive. To do this on a Apple computers, you use the Option key; however, there may be some constraints.

Generally you can start up or reboot your Mac, and simply hold the Option key once the screen goes black so that when it reboots it will show you … Read more

Griffin makes its sleek programmable PowerMate knob wireless at CES (first take)

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Griffin debuted a new version of its PowerMate device, the PowerMate Bluetooth. The programmable spinning knob can turn up the volume, scrub videos, flip through documents, scroll through Web sites, and much more on your Mac. This $59.99 device goes on sale in the summer of 2014.

The sleek aluminum knob, first introduced in 2001, gets a stunning design update in 2014. Most noticeably, the PowerMate Bluetooth has no cables or wires, instead it uses Bluetooth 4.0 to connect with your computer. One of the biggest gripes about the earlier … Read more

Review: Headphones Volume Booster won't boost your audio, but it will spam you

Headphones Volume Booster doesn't live up to its claims to raise your smartphone's audio. It makes matters worse by hitting your phone with some nasty ad packages that are sure to frustrate you. If you're looking for a way to improve your phone's sound quality, perhaps it's a better idea to look for a media player with an equalizer.

If you look closely in the fine print of this app's Google Play page, it admits to not working and being "a prank." Sure enough, Headphones Volume Booster didn't boost our headphone'… Read more

Loud speakers for those who like to rock out

Every now and then I get e-mails from readers who like to listen loud -- really loud. One recent one asked, "Can you recommend a nice pair of tower or bookshelf speakers capable of keeping the party going?" Well, there's loud, really loud, and there comes a point where it's so loud your neighbors call the police.

The guy's budget was limited to around $600 for a pair of speakers, so I immediately thought of Klipsch; its larger bookshelf and tower speakers can play really loud, and sound good while raising the roof.

I rang … Read more

Review: Pump up the volume beyond stock parameters with Easy Volume Booster

Easy Volume Booster promises to increase the media player, ringer, and alarm volume of your device, but is packed with add-ons that bring some pretty intrusive advertising. During our tests we used videos in different formats and MP3 files from different albums to test the sound increase, and there was a difference -- but not as much as we expected.

While the installation goes fairly trouble-free, there is a noticeable amount of permissions Easy Volume Booster requires. Once you install the application, you will be greeted with a message stating that a search tool, bookmark, and Web browser home page … Read more

GE's new 'silent scan' tech takes the noise out of MRIs

Want to know what a typical MRI scanner sounds like? Go to this YouTube video and turn up the volume pretty much as loud as you can and you'll get an idea. At 110 decibels, which is roughly the noise level of a rock show (I know, depends on which one) and right at the average human pain threshold, MRI scanners are pretty much daring you to keep your cool.

So GE Healthcare has been developing a new technology called Silent Scan that dramatically reduces the noise level. (Scroll down to get an idea of the difference.) The company reports this week that the tech is now commercially available and is also being more widely used in clinical settings worldwide.… Read more

Review: Sound Volume Booster enhances your audio sound volume

Sound Volume Booster makes things louder, but it's almost impossible to use thanks to the rampant ads. Half the time, you won't even be able to get through the ads to get to the actual app. It might not be worth trudging through to get to the limited amount of audio boost it gives you.

Every time you load this app, it sends more ads at you than your phone can handle. It makes you agree to Airpush and other ad agreements that slide ads on your browser, home screen, and more, as well. More often than not, … Read more

Restrict volume on iPhone, iPod, and iPad

If your kid is using an iPhone, iPod, or iPad to blast music at unsafe levels, you should consider setting a limit on their maximum volume. I mean, they'll hate you for it -- but they'll also hate having tinnitus in their 20s, right?

In the above video, I'll walk you through the steps of lowering the maximum volume limit on any iOS device, as well as locking that setting in place using a password of your choosing.

If the video doesn't appear above, try going directly to the video on CNET TV or pay a … Read more

Future iPhone could adjust its volume based on your proximity

An iPhone of the future could change its volume all on its own by detecting how near or far you are to it.

"Adjustment of acoustic properties based on proximity detection," a patent application published Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, describes how the iPhone's promixity sensor could be used to automatically change the volume or even switch between the receiver and the speaker.

Holding the iPhone to your ear would lower the volume through the receiver. Moving it slightly away from your ear would raise the volume. Putting the phone down and moving … Read more

Volume Booster 1.2 Review

Some devices are set with their speaker volume at a conservative level, which prevents wear and tear on that particular component. Other devices do not play the sound very loud when playing videos from providers such as Netflix or Hulu. The only solution available is to download a volume enhancing application such as Volume Booster. This app claims to quickly and efficiently boost the volume on any device up to 30 percent. It does change the sound but it doesn't seem to boost it by that much.

As extremely light software, Volume Booster loads instantaneously. Once the application is … Read more