In cinema, would-be cautionary tales of our current environmental crisis tend to be heavy-handed, and they frequently fall flat as a result. Maybe the secret to an effective global wakeup call is to tuck it neatly into a slapstick romantic comedy about modern-day merpeople.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Very powerful on music
Outstanding build quality
Tepid output at the very bottom
One of the most musical subwoofers I’ve ever auditioned, and it’s damn pretty, too!
Founded in 1972 in Ontario, PSB Speakers has grown from one man’s passion for audio into an international speaker company with more than 50 distributors and approximately 1,000 dealers. Paul Barton got his start in audio when he was just 11 years old, making speakers with his father. As he became more confident with his designs when he was in high school, he started to sell his speakers to college students at the nearby University of Waterloo. From the beginning, Barton’s goal was to create high-performance, highvalue loudspeakers for music and, eventually, for home cinema applications.
Elvis Presley would have loved to have taken advantage of today’s meticulous recording standards. Fact is, The King was very much a stickler in the studio. Elvis also had an affinity for orchestral arrangements, something his estate was able to realize last year with If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RCA/Legacy), which has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide to date. A worthy sequel, The Wonder of You: Elvis Presley With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, has just been released. I reached out across The Pond to get album producers Don Reedman and Nick Patrick’s takes on the sonic differences between the two albums, how a certain mantra guided their respective hands and ears, and what aspects of modern recording Elvis would have embraced.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Top-notch build quality
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi streaming up to 192 kHz/24 bit
Remarkably full sound from a compact speaker
Can sound a tad bright
Oppo’s Sonica is an elegant and versatile wireless speaker whose superb sound belies its small footprint.
As I waited in anticipation for Sonica to arrive, I was reminded of an old ad slogan: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” It’s kinda that way with Oppo. Over the past 12 years, the Silicon Valley–based company has built a stellar reputation with its best-in-class Blu-ray players and Top Pick–designated headphones and amp/DACs. I couldn’t wait to see if Oppo had extended its golden touch to wireless speakers—a category with more than its fair share of duds. My expectations were high.
Q For years, I used iTunes to rip my CDs in the Apple Lossless Audio Compression (ALAC) format and load them onto a 160-gigabyte iPod classic. Now that iPods are no more, I would like to switch to one of the new hi-res-capable portable players but want to avoid having to rip all of my CDs again. Do any of the new players support ALAC so I can continue using iTunes? Also, is there some way to use iTunes to load files from my computer to a new portable player? —Mark Hoornstra / Maryland
At a recent CES Unveiled press event in New York, Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), singled out five tech trends to keep an eye on at the upcoming CES 2017 show, which opens in Las Vegas on January 5.
Thirty-four years ago this week, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs asks McIntosh Labs for rights to use “Macintosh” as the brand name of a computer it was developing, a year after settling a trademark infringement suit brought by The Beatles’ holding company Apple Corps.