LATEST ADDITIONS

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 12, 2015 5 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Dolby Atmos-capable
New Dolby Surround upmixer
D3 amplification
Minus
Confusing back-panel nomenclature
No HDCP 2.2 digital rights management

THE VERDICT
This Class D receiver is just the kind of nine-channel powerhouse needed for Dolby Atmos 5.2.4—and the built-in USB DAC is a cool bonus.

You probably know by now that Dolby Atmos is the next generation of surround sound in both theaters and home theaters. This object-oriented technology lets movie mixers place any sound, almost anywhere they want, in an immersive dome-like soundfield, with height effects that transcend the flat horizontal plane of 5.1- or 7.1-channel surround. With the first generation of Atmos gear now arriving, the technology has been covered in print evaluations of Denon and Definitive Technology products (by ace reviewer Daniel Kumin), on the Web (by editor-in-chief Rob Sabin, video editor Tom Norton, and columnists Ken Pohlmann and John Sciacca), and in my own Test Report in this issue on the Pioneer Elite SP-EBS73-LR Atmos-enabled speaker system.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 12, 2015 0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $2,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Dolby Atmos–enabled monitors
Laser-like focus from coaxial driver array
Minus
Just-average subwoofer performance

THE VERDICT
Andrew Jones’ excellent Atmos-enabled speakers are equally at home in a 5.1-channel footprint as they are transforming surround sound as we know it.

Dolby Atmos bids to change the landscape of surround sound at home. One thing it has already changed is my mind.

I am that 5.1 guy. I’ve spent much of my tech-writing career promoting the standard 5.1-channel speaker configuration and defending it against all comers. This has pitted me against two-channel loyalists who mistakenly believe there is no such thing as a surround audiophile. But I’ve also opposed what I deem to be useless additions to 5.1.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Feb 11, 2015 2 comments
Don Felder has found his groove. The former lead guitarist of the Eagles is now flourishing as a solo artist, having found his sea legs on record with the broad reach of Road to Forever (INgrooves/Forever Road Music) — only his second solo album in 30-odd years, following 1983’s Airborne — and a quite muscular live set, which features Eagles favorites and deep cuts alike, ranging from “Life in the Fast Lane” to “Those Shoes,” all interspersed between powerful readings of solo favorites like “You Don’t Have Me” and “Heavy Metal.” Before heading out on his winter solo tour, Felder, 67, and I got together to discuss his thoughts on sound quality, the very mystique of California itself, and how he came to create the acoustic intro that turned the already indelible “Hotel California” into a revamped classic. Ah, such a lovely place.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 11, 2015 0 comments
Canada’s Classé built its first amplifier way back in 1980 and has been perfecting the art ever since, adding preamp/processors and other components along the way. In 2001, the company became a part of the vaunted B&W Group—a meeting of minds that made perfect sense given their shared dedication to uncompromised audio fidelity and design elegance. The Classé story continues with the introduction of the Sigma Series, which includes the $5,000 7.1-channel Sigma SSP surround preamp/processor and the companion AMP5 power amp, also $5,000. (As it turns out, naming products is not one of the company’s strong suits, but I digress.)
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Al Griffin Posted: Feb 11, 2015 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m planning on buying an Epson 5030UB projector. My sofa will be 14.5 feet from the screen. The room has controllable dimmers, and there will be some room light when I watch games. What screen size and type would you recommend? — Lou Gutierrez / via e-mail

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Feb 10, 2015 0 comments
The numbers don't lie. One look at sales figures will verify that Apple and Samsung rule the world of high-end smartphones. Every new phone is eagerly anticipated, and phone companies compete for first dibs on new models. Apple and Samsung - when it comes to smartphones, those are the names you think of. Sony - not so much. That is truly unfortunate, because in some ways, Sony is making far better phones.

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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Feb 09, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Son of a corrupt Russian general, suspected Chechen terrorist Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) illegally sneaks into Hamburg and, with the help of his lawyer (Rachel McAdams), seeks to recover his father’s ill-gotten fortune from banker Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe). American counterterrorism spies led by Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright) plan to seize him, but German intelligence agent Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his team have other ideas, hoping to use Karpov’s inheritance to help catch a prominent Muslim who, Bachmann believes, is secretly funneling money to terrorists. Inspired acting and insightful direction flatter John le Carré’s espionage thriller.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Feb 09, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
In this family affair—both in subject and moviemaking— Zach Braff directs and stars while co-writing and co-producing with his brother Adam. Together they’ve created a gently comic, small, oddball drama that, like Braff’s Garden State, often feels lightweight and silly but somehow manages to deal profoundly with the biggest questions and challenges of people’s lives in a resonating and moving manner. The family is that of Aidan Bloom, an immature, 35-year-old, out-of-work L.A. actor trying to live his passionate dream while holding his family together. The crisis comes to a head when he must remove his two children from their school because Aidan’s unforgivingly judgmental, sarcastically (and funnily) scathing father Gabe (Mandy Patinkin)—who was staking the kids’ education so long as it was in a Yeshiva school—needs the money for experimental cancer treatment, forcing Aidan to half-assedly home-teach his kids.
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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Feb 09, 2015 0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $300

AT A GLANCE
Plus
The best noise-canceler, period!
Headphones can play after batteries are drained
Light and very comfortable
Minus
Sound quality isn’t stellar

THE VERDICT
"The QC25 widens Bose's significant lead in noise-canceling technology, though it trails some other competitive 'phones on sound quality."

The QuietComfort 25 (QC25) is the latest model to join Bose’s massively popular noise-canceling headphone lineup; it replaces the QuietComfort 15, the best noise-canceling headphone I’ve heard, till now.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 09, 2015 1 comments
Onkyo today announced it is bringing its e-onkyo hi-resolution music download service to the U.S. The service, which has been operating in Japan since 2005, will operate under the “onkyo music” name and provide download access to hundreds of thousands of 24-bit/44.1kHz to 192kHz high-res tracks and millions of 16-bit CD-quality FLAC files, according to the company.

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