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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 22, 2014 0 comments
It’s getting down to the wire—stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and Santa’s helpers are desperate for an idea for that last-minute gift. The Nyrius Songo is just what Rudolph ordered for that grumpy Scrooge who hasn’t bought all the latest and greatest electronics. The Songo ($25) and Songo HiFi ($50) turn any receiver or dock into a wireless Bluetooth system. Scrooge can even use an iOS dock with an Android phone via Bluetooth, as long as the dock has an AUX input.

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 22, 2014 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m curious to know if there’s any criteria for home theater component selection based on room dimensions. I want to focus my search on equipment that’s an appropriate match for my space. —Bill King / via e-mail

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Dec 19, 2014 0 comments
There is technology to track your activity, track your diet, track your work, track your email, track your sleep, track your social life, and just about anything else you want to quantify. But there aren’t many gadgets that teach you something, and even fewer that teach you how to relax. Last year in my New Year roundup, I mentioned the development of a new meditation headband, Muse, that promised to evaluate your brain activity and coach you into a meditative state. Well, it’s finally available, and I just had to try it. Does Muse help you achieve nirvana?
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Daniel Kumin Posted: Dec 19, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,599 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Fine tonal balance with genuine deep bass
Very substantial level potential
Elegant appearance
Minus
A few operational and hookup quirks (it’s French!)
No remote-control learn/teach scheme

THE VERDICT
A 5.1-channel system in soundbar packaging that combines tonal accuracy with impressive low-frequency response and power, plus surround as effective as we’ve heard from an all-up-front affair.

As recently as a couple of years ago, anyone shopping for an “audiophile soundbar” was in danger of being laughed off the lot. The bar scene was dominated by price-driven, mass-market models sold in big-box stores, and most of these were plastic jobs from the mega-mills of the Pacific rim, with just a smattering of somewhat more upscale choices from a few more serious American and Canadian brands.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 19, 2014 5 comments
At Sound & Vision, we’re constantly looking for subwoofers that outperform the competition and rise to the top of their price class. Here’s our list of the best subwoofers you can buy with recommendations in three price categories: less than $1,000, $1,000 to $4,000, and $5,000 and up.
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Dec 18, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) doesn’t understand social media. So, when he attacks L.A.’s most powerful restaurant critic (Oliver Platt) on Twitter, their war goes viral and sinks Casper’s career. Hoping to repair the crestfallen chef’s relationship with son Percy, his loving ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) drags him to Miami. There, he buys a food truck and embarks upon a cross-country foodie road trip, which becomes a journey of self-discovery. In addition to his starring role, Favreau wrote, directed, and co-produced Chef, which probably explains why so many top stars agreed to work for scale on this indie film. The result is an intimate, endearing movie, which, with Twitter and food trucks prominently featured, is also quite timely.
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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 18, 2014 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I bought a Benq W1070 projector and plan to install it in my 22-foot long by 18-foot wide by 8.5-foot high basement. The room was pre-wired by the previous owner and there’s a ceiling mount with an electric outlet close to it. The mount is about 16 feet away from the front wall. Is that too far for this projector? I was originally planning to buy a 120 inch screen, but it appears that I would need at least a 150 to 170 inch screen for that distance.—Srikanth Athipatla

Mike Mettler Posted: Dec 17, 2014 0 comments
Performance
Sound
Peter Gabriel has made a career out of being a restless chameleon, a man perpetually interested in pushing sonic boundaries rather than remaining in stasis. The roles he’s chosen to inhabit over the last five decades are as varied and forward-thinking as they come: art school rocker. Progressive pundit. Alternative icon. Video vanguard. Electronic interpreter. World music leader. If there are new musical frontiers to discover and master, Gabriel is consistently among the first to dig into the aural dirt.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Dec 17, 2014 0 comments
Amazon Instant Video and UltraFlix now stream 4K movies and TV shows to certain UHD Smart TVs proving 4K content is beginning to trickle in through streaming. However, file size may be an issue.
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John Sciacca Posted: Dec 17, 2014 0 comments
Automation describes using control systems to operate equipment or other applications with little or no human interaction. At its simplest, home automation could be a garage door opener or a mercury-filled thermostat kicking on your HVAC system; and at its most complex, there’s virtually nothing an automation system can’t do.

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