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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jun 30, 2015 0 comments
Many of the age-old audio problems have been solved, or at least beaten into submission. Ever since Edison recited “Mary had a little lamb,” countless audio engineers have poked and prodded, pulled all-nighters, made minor adjustments, had genius-caliber brainstorms, and generally worked far above their pay grade to lift audio technology to a very high state of the art.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Jun 29, 2015 2 comments
Shootout TVs, left to right: Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, LG

LG Electronic’s organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology has taken the top spot at Value Electronic’s annual HDTV shootout for the second year in a row.

The event, now 11 years running and typically held at Value’s Scarsdale, NY retail outlet, puts each year’s most advanced displays against one another in controlled conditions and asks attendees to vote on different aspects of the contenders’ image quality. This year’s Shootout was held in New York City as part of the CE Week trade event, with show attendees participating in a series of 1.5 hour presentations over the course of two days.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Jun 29, 2015 0 comments
Do amplifiers really sound different? These do…
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jun 26, 2015 0 comments
Most of the time, when I get headphones in to review, it’s a pretty standard experience: unbox, burn in, listen, evaluate. While I still get excited when a headphone sounds really fantastic, it’s rare that I get jazzed before I even open the box. Modular tube amp fans will know what I mean; that giddy glee like a new box of LEGOs on Christmas morning: a feeling of potential and playtime. Something to open, adjust, and make your own. And I miss it. So as I grabbed my kitchen shears to crack open the shipping box for the new Torque Audio t402v (customizable headphones several years in the making), I was surprised to find I was smiling, and giggled to myself. Holy crap, I’m actually excited to play with some headphones! Don’t worry, I did well in kindergarten. I’ll share.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 26, 2015 2 comments
If the advent of Dolby Atmos in home surround gear has pricked up your ears, you may be interested to hear that object-oriented surround will also be part of the forthcoming ATSC 3.0 broadcast TV standard. That doesn’t mean Atmos itself is hitting the airwaves. Instead, other surround encoding systems will be tested this summer from Dolby, DTS, and a consortium of other companies.
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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Jun 26, 2015 0 comments

Build Quality
PRICE $150

Big on comfort
Lifetime warranty
Timbrally rich
Lacks mic and phone controls

The Koss Pro4s doesn’t sound like your daddy’s Koss, not by a long shot. It’s the best new Koss in ages.

Koss was founded in 1958, so it’s as old-school American hi-fi as you can get, and I’d bet lots of older audiophiles have fond memories of their Pro4AA headphones from back in the day. Koss still makes that headphone, and sound-wise, it’s about as subtle as a 1970 Chevelle SS 396 muscle car. As for this new Pro4S, it’s closer to a new Camaro—the sound is far more refined. The sharply sculpted, cast-aluminum ear cups are the first clues; the handsome design has a contemporary look and feel.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 25, 2015 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q I’m in the market for a new 7.1 home theater receiver but have been told that many lower-end models do not pass HDMI audio signals from an Apple TV box or Blu-ray player to their Zone 2 or Speaker B outputs. Is this true? I don't want to invest in a new receiver if I can't play Internet radio from my Apple TV, or Pandora from my Blu-ray Player, to the speakers on my patio. Is there a way to identify receivers that do or do not support this? —James Goar

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SV Staff Posted: Jun 25, 2015 0 comments
Amazon announced that episodes of its original series will be available in high dynamic range (HDR) format at no additional cost to its Prime members starting with the debut season of Mozart in the Jungle. Netflix was expected to be the first content provider to deliver HDR content before Amazon’s surprise announcement.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Jun 25, 2015 Published: Jun 24, 2015 0 comments
Jac Holzman, the founder of Elektra Records, believes the key to The Doors' sound lies in how the band and its ace production team — producer Paul A. Rothchild and engineer Bruce Botnick — all pulled together to make sure the integrity of the band’s sound was preserved on record. “We made albums so carefully,” Holzman notes. “I think the attention to the detail and the fussing over getting everything just right and not letting it go out otherwise are some of the reasons The Doors have held up over time. We had it right to begin with.” I rang Botnick up in California to discuss how he helped orchestrate The Doors’ formidable sonic legacy, how he translated said legacy into surround sound, and why he also still digs vinyl. Their music is your special friend, until the end.
Daniel Kumin Posted: Jun 23, 2015 20 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
PRICE $2,499

Dirac Live speaker/room EQ
Highly flexible setup and automation options
Division I sound quality
Async-USB DAC input for streaming playback
Only one Dirac curve-set at a time can be loaded
Requires personal computer for setup; no onboard auto calibration

A noteworthy addition to the high-end preamp/processor ranks, with Dirac Live a fascinating, must-hear plus.

Talar du svenska? Emotiva does. Enough Swedish, at any rate, for the Tennessee tenderer of direct-to-consumer A/V gear to bake Swedish firm Dirac’s speaker/room-correction DSP into its new preamp/processor, the long-awaited XMC-1.

If you’ll forgive a Miller analogy, Dirac is to Uppsala University as Audyssey is to USC: Dirac, too, evolved out of original academic electroacoustics research—although USC’s weather is better, and I’m pretty sure the Trojans could take the Swedes on the gridiron.


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