LATEST ADDITIONS

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jul 02, 2015 0 comments
“An individualist in an age when it was possible to establish individuality, Chris fearlessly staked out a whole protectorate of bass playing in which he was lord and master.” —Bill Bruford

Jon Davison called him “the Jimi Hendrix of the Bass Guitar.” Perfect. It had been years since I listened to Fragile but on a recent cross-country road trip I hit play and reveled in this remarkable work, struck once again by the complex, driving bass lines that defined the sound of Yes. Chris Squire was unique and is irreplaceable. I can’t imagine the band—in any form—going on without him.

Yes fan or not, find time to sit down and listen to Fragile as a complete work, from start to finish, on a good system. Play it loud. Be inspired. R.I.P, Chris.

Band mates remember Chris…

Kris Deering Posted: Jun 30, 2015 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Performance close to higher-end models
Excellent dynamic iris
Minus
HDMI slow to lock onto signals
Annoying gamma tracking after 100 hours

THE VERDICT
The combination of the DLA-X500R’s performance and value make it a favored pick in JVC’s current line.

Last year, I went to the 2014 CEDIA EXPO hoping to see some new native 4K projector options from JVC, but unfortunately, I came away disappointed. For the first time in recent memory, JVC decided to skip the annual model refresh and stick with their already superb 1080p projector offerings. This is understandable, given the embryonic state of the 4K market (and other variables that I’ll talk about below). But the line’s extra longevity did give me the chance to review what I believe to be the best overall option in JVC’s current family, the DLA-X500R. This projector may not have all the bells and whistles of its higher-priced brethren, but it does have what some would call “all the right junk, in all the right places.”

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Darren Ankosko Posted: Jun 30, 2015 0 comments
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $70

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Comfortable in and out of the water
Impressive sound while swimming (with some limitations)
1-year warranty
Minus
So-so sound above water

THE VERDICT
The Swimbuds Sport headphone gets the job done in the water but falls somewhat short in its quest to provide a high-quality, multi-sport solution.

I was pleasantly surprised when my audition of the Swimbuds Sport Waterproof headphone began with a familiar voice. After discarding multiple plastic baggies and opening the mesh pouch and zipper case, I was greeted by a card with an access code for a downloadable 30-minute swim workout guided by Rebecca Soni. Her staggering career accomplishments—including eight world records and, for Team U.S.A. at the Olympics, three gold medals and three silver—were severely understated here with a title that read: Olympic Medalist. I trained with Rebecca at the Scarlet Aquatics Club in New Jersey from the late 1990s through 2005, and so welcomed the excuse to pick up the phone and call an old friend.

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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 3 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 1 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

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $150

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Big on comfort
Lifetime warranty
Timbrally rich
Minus
Lacks mic and phone controls

THE VERDICT
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 5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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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