Spring is in the air. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, bunnies are multiplying and so are Bluetooth speakers. Doesn’t it seem that there is a new Bluetooth speaker hitting the market almost daily? One of the latest is the Jam Xterior Max, and it’s ready for any and all of your spring-time endeavours.
Toward the end of last year, Ultimate Ears updated their flagship monitor to include their proprietary True Tone drivers. The result, the UE 18+ Pro, is now available for anyone who wants to get the best of what Ultimate Ears has to offer in custom monitors. But is going custom worth it for an audio fan who isn’t a touring musician? I took a pair of the 18+ Pro for a spin to find out.
If The Band didn’t slow down and get off the road—and get off the road soon—they were going to wind up killing themselves, to a man. “It’s a goddamn impossible way of life,” says Band leader/guitarist/chief songwriter Robbie Robertson of being stuck on the wheel of a crushing, never-ending tour cycle. That urgent “stop the road, I want to get off” mentality was one of the main driving forces behind The Band masterminding a farewell concert for the ages at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco during Thanksgiving 1976, dubbed from the get-go-then-get-gone as The Last Waltz.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Sumptuous build quality
Best Bowers & Wilkins headphone yet
Comes with an Apple
Brown is the only color
With the P9 Signature, Bowers & Wilkins enters the higher echelons of the crowded audiophile headphone market with a real contender.
Unlike nearly every other speaker company that jumped into the headphone market with a complete line, Bowers & Wilkins has released just one (or two) headphones at a time. The P5 on-ear was first out of the gate in 2010; then the C5 in-ear and P3 on-ear; the Series 2 versions of those headphones followed; next came the over-the-ear P7; more recently the wireless P5 and P7; and now the all-new flagship P9 Signature. Thanks to the slow and steady approach, the sound for all of B&W’s headphones has been consistently chocolatey-rich. The P9 Signature is similar, but the sound is more evolved.
Forget all the hyperbole about an all-female cast and man-hating: Is this Ghostbusters reboot any good simply based on merit? Yes and no. The movie retreads familiar ground and tries too hard to emulate its predecessor but has fantastic special effects. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones are a group of paranormal hunters. McCarthy and Wiig play longtime pals once estranged from each other, reunited when Wiig is fired from her position at Columbia University due to McCarthy’s publishing of a book they wrote years earlier expounding on the existence of ghosts.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Audyssey MultEQ XT Pro room equalization
Variable-axis soft-dome tweeters on surrounds
All speakers are biamped
Status LEDs on amplifier are bright and can’t be dimmed
Requires professional installation
When it comes to the evolution of loudspeakers, Phase Technology has an enviable pedigree filled with innovation. The company’s newest dARTS speaker/amp package is a spectacular achievement that mitigates the effects of room acoustics and creates a highly theatrical, intensely musical experience that’s extremely rare.
One day last summer, I found myself grumbling more than usual as I stood staring at 550 pounds of speakers and amps that Phase Technology had shipped to my house. (Actually, because the gravel road I live on is very unfriendly to tractor-trailers, I had to drive to the depot, load a couple of pallets of heavy boxes into two vehicles, drive home, and then unload it all.) The gear makes up the top-of-the-line version of the company’s new, second-generation dARTS system.