New Gear

Sony HAP-S1 Hi-Rez Music Player
Sony hopes to be your hi-rez music handler with the HAP-S1 music player, which stores and decodes just about any audio file. The player has an expandable 500-gigabyte hard drive and a 2 x 40-watt amplifier; hook up speakers, and you have a complete system. Also on tap: Windows- and Mac-compatible music transfer software, noise-shaping technology said to restore high frequencies lost through compression, and Sony’s Direct-Stream Digital Re-mastering Engine for upscaling to DSD quality. Audio Acronym Heaven: The player has two analog and two digital (coax and optical) inputs and supports virtually all hi-rez formats, including PCM up to 24-bit/192 kilohertz, DSD, DSF, MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, FLAC, ALAC, ATRAC Advanced Lossless, and AIFF/LPCM. A control app is available for Android and iOS devices. Price: $1,000
Sony • (877) 865-7669 • sony.com

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JBL Synchros AS700 Headphone
The AS700 is the flagship model in the new Synchros line, which is based on consumer preference research conducted by Harman International and ultimately modeled after the sound of JBL professional speakers. Large 2-inch drivers are nestled in leather-cushion ear cups made of woven fabric on an aluminum frame that connects to a steel headband. Get Real: LiveStage signal processing adds localization cues to achieve a more lifelike experience and is said to re-create the feeling of listening to music from a stage in front of you; a built-in lithium-ion battery keeps the processor running for 28 hours. The ’phones come with a carrying case and two detachable cables—one has an iOS remote/microphone, the other a universal remote/microphone. Available in black (onyx) and white (glacier). Price: $350
JBL • (800) 336-4525 • jbl.com

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Kicker Amphitheater BT2 Bluetooth Speaker
From a brand that’s synonymous with Big Bad Bass in the wild and woolly world of car audio comes the Kicker Amphitheater, a 9 x 19 x 9-inch shelf system set up for streaming from Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, tablets, and computers. Download the free KickStart app, and you can control the system from your phone and create sound presets for specific music sources. In addition to adjusting bass and treble, you can select tight or wide “spatialization” and use the eight-band EQ to fine-tune (fine-boom?) the sound. Kick It In: “Legendary Kicker bass” is promised from a square 6 x 6-inch “reflex woofer” that complements pairs of 5-inch drivers and 0.75-inch silk-dome tweeters, all powered by a 50-watt amplifier. A full-function remote is included. Price: $300
Kicker • (405) 624-8510 • kicker.com

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Triad DS700se “Invisible” Speaker System
Love music but wish you could make your speakers go away? Triad’s DS700se speakers might be for you. Instead of using traditional dome/cone drivers to produce sound, the speakers have a small transducer that vibrates a paper-skin-covered honeycomb panel that literally becomes part of the wall (it fits between studs and can be spackled over). Good Vibrations: The system comprises two panels, one for high frequencies and one for lows; both panels are 1.5 inches thick and measure 17.7 x 13.5 and 17.7 x 7.9 inches, respectively. The system is rated to play down to 50 hertz and is protected by an external high-pass filter/limiter, which helps explain the generous 10-year limited warranty. Price: $2,250 per channel
Triad Speakers • (800) 666-6316 • triadspeakers.com

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JVC DLA-X500R D-ILA Projector
JVC says it has substantially improved the image quality in its 2014 projectors. The DLA-X500R base model has a native contrast ratio rating of 60,000:1 and uses three sixth- generation D-ILA imaging devices, which offer increased brightness and a pixel gap that’s 40 percent narrower than the previous chip, which is said to produce a smoother picture. Also new is a selectable dynamic iris (Intelligent Lens Aperture) that boosts contrast and an app that turns your smartphone into a remote control. Shift Happens: In addition to upconverting 1080p signals to 4K (3840 x 2160), an upgraded version of JVC’s e-shift technology— e-shift3—now accepts native 4K signals at up to 60p via a 4K HDMI input. Price: $4,999
JVC • (800) 252-5722 • jvc.com

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COMMENTS
UltimateGuitar's picture

Seems a bit overpriced today. 500G hard drive in 2014 ? I'd want to see an SSD or at least Streaming (perhaps it has the latter, I just don't see it in the specs). But otherwise, it seems like a product which could have been popular 8 years ago.

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