Cutting the cable is still a dream for most gear addicts. The interior decorator in your household might be more accepting of new gadgets if you can also get rid of the wire clutter. Thankfully, my household is a bit different, because we’re both technology freaks, which makes reducing wires even more critical for us. As promised a few weeks ago, and still in pursuit of the perfect wireless transmission system for my oh-so challenging concrete house, I had a chance to review the Nyrius Aries Pro Wireless HDMI system.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Excellent UHD performance
Solid build quality
Limited streaming apps
Less-than-perfect 4K upconversion
It’s not without minor flaws, but the second UHD Blu-ray player on the U.S. market delivers a stellar picture from UHD discs at an attractive price.
The launch of Ultra HD Blu-ray players has now progressed from a slow drip to a trickle. Samsung was first with the UBD-K8500 (reviewed in our June issue and also available at soundandvision.com). At CEDIA, Sony showed its upscale UBP-X1000ES but won’t have it out till next spring and hasn’t announced pricing. Oppo’s new player is expected sometime this fall. And Panasonic’s own high-end DMP-UB900, at $700, became available in late September as we were going to press (watch for a future review).
AT A GLANCE Plus
Built-in noise cancellation for supplied earbuds
Selectable DSD rolloff filter
Up to 70 hours per charge
Challenging headphones will need more power
The Sony Walkman NW-ZX100HN delivers beautifully balanced and transparent sound in a not-too-bulky form factor with excellent ergonomics and the unique plus of built-in noise cancellation, but only for its proprietary earbuds.
With the iPod classic gone, smartphones in almost universal use, and streams elbowing out downloads, is the dedicated music player obsolete? Or could it possibly be a retro survivor that mocks its replacement, the way the resurging turntable mocks the CD player? With emerging specialists like Astell & Kern, FiiO, and Questyle being joined in the market by old-school manufacturers like Onkyo and Sony, there seems to be growing interest in building high-quality players that do a better job of delivering highresolution audio than a phone does.
When you stop and think how tech-infused our lives have become, it’s no wonder electronic gadgets are the most popular holiday gifts. Technology is cool. Technology enriches our lives. Technology… (add your declaration here). As the holiday shopping season gets under way, we’ve sifted through dozens of potential gifts and settled on 12 at prices ranging from $20 to $800. Approach these pages with an eye toward matching one or more of these gems with friends and loved ones on your list. Or maybe you’ll be inspired to put one or two on your wish list. I don’t know about you, but my family is always asking me what I want for Christmas. I now have a better idea…
Q Should I use the quartz lock feature on my Audio-Technica AT-LP120 turntable? I don't see or hear any difference when I press the quartz lock button. Same thing when I press the +10 /+20 pitch control button. FYI, I usually play records with the +10 pitch option selected. —Josh Rosenthal