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Rob Sabin Posted: Jul 29, 2016 0 comments
There aren’t too many to choose from, but bipole and dipole speakers are a special breed that I've long admired. Here's why.
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SV Staff Posted: Jul 29, 2016 0 comments
As you savor every moment of a summer in full swing and get ready to head out for the weekend, why not take a minute to scan our Top Picks for the month of July. More than one of ’em are road worthy. Like Optoma’s awesome micro projector that weighs less than a pound and fits in the palm of your hand or the sleek music player from Questyle that puts studio sound quality in your pocket or Mass Fidelity’s outstanding battery-powered Bluetooth speaker. Need a set of killer earphones? Check out the four-star-rated Cardas A8’s. And for when you’re back at home we offer up two very different yet very special tower speakers for your consideration—both guaranteed to bring pleasure with movies and music.
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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Jul 28, 2016 0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $1,699

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Rebooting a classic, making it better
Hand-crafted in Germany
Smoother sound than the original HD 800
Minus
Not as transparent as the very best planar headphones

THE VERDICT
The Sennheiser HD 800 S refines the original, hugely influential headphone, and makes it better than ever.

The hoopla surrounding the introduction of Sennheiser’s original HD 800 headphone in 2009 was monumental because it was such a radical upgrade over the HD 650, the previous Sennheiser flagship. So, we’re due for another flagship, but the HD 800 S is more like a reboot. What about a new flagship? As you’ll read below, it’s coming, too!

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SV Staff Posted: Jul 28, 2016 3 comments
True, the VCR has been effectively dead for years but that didn’t stop Japan-based Funai Electric from selling more than 750,000 VHS machines last year. Where they sold ’em and who bought ’em is an interesting question but none of that matters anymore as this surprising vestige of the past comes to an end.
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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 28, 2016 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q In my current system, the receiver’s subwoofer output connects to an external amp linked to a passive subwoofer via a 20-foot length of speaker wire. The speaker wire runs under the floor and is tacked to the basement floor joists, where it crosses several household electrical wires. I would like to upgrade my subwoofer, but am having trouble finding one that is not self-powered. What concerns me about using a powered sub in my current setup is that the 20-foot coaxial cable run from the receiver to the sub would be susceptible to noise and interference. Are my fears unfounded? — David C.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Jul 27, 2016 2 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $7,194 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Spacious bipole sound
Seriously full-range with powered bass section
Astounding dynamics
Minus
Big and demanding of floor space
Reflective bipolar reproduction may not suit every room, taste

THE VERDICT
A big speaker with a sound to match, Definitive Technology’s latest, Atmos-onboard, powered-tower flagship delivers the impressive imaging depth and breadth we expect from bipoles. Its response is as full-range, and its dynamic abilities as unfettered, as anything I’ve heard from a one-piece system.

Definitive Technology’s monolithic bipolar towers —which launched the brand in 1990—have been around in one form or another almost as long as that thing in 2001: A Space Odyssey. With the fourth generation bowing recently, the Baltimore-area manufacturer set us up with a full suite: BP9080x fronts, CS9080 center, a pair of smallerbut-still-huge BP9060 towers for surrounds, and the A90 elevation speakers (Dolby Atmos-enabled and compatible with DTS:X) to go on top of those surrounds; the marquee BP9080x fronts have the same elevation componentry to bounce height-channel signals off the ceiling built right into their top 5 inches.

SV Staff Posted: Jul 27, 2016 0 comments
Years of rocking out to Zeppelin and any number of other now-classic rock groups has taken its toll on the hearing acuity of a generation. Of course, we’re talking about the Baby Boomer generation. Now soundbar pioneer Zvox has developed a “smart speaker” for people who have trouble discerning dialogue from movies and TV shows.
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SV Staff Posted: Jul 27, 2016 0 comments
LeEco, a China-based online video and internet TV content provider, is acquiring Vizio for $2 billion, the companies announced yesterday. The acquisition could mean even lower TV pricing from Vizio in the future.
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John Sciacca Posted: Jul 27, 2016 0 comments
One of my favorite comedies is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a film starring the incredibly well-cast Michael Caine as a savvy, sophisticated British confidence man trying to first mentor and then ultimately compete against the boorish, uncultured, bumbling American swindler played by Steve Martin.

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Michael Antonoff Posted: Jul 26, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $50

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Private listening via mobile device
Voice search via Roku Mobile App
Quad-core processor
Minus
No motion control for games
No 4K Ultra HD support

THE VERDICT
Roku Streaming Stick offers a glut of net-sourced channels enhanced by rapid performance and tight integration with the Roku mobile app.

Roku media receivers continue to ride the tsunami of internet-delivered movies, videos, and TV channels but with fewer company-owned turfs to protect than competing products from Apple, Amazon, or Google. In so doing, Roku’s users now have more than 3,000 channel choices. Its latest device, a finger-sized Wi-Fi receiver that juts out of an input on your TV or A/V receiver, largely solves two problems that have plagued the stick-it-in-HDMI category compared with tabletop streamers—lower performance and inferior interface.

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