LATEST ADDITIONS

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 28, 2016 1 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Compatible with DSD and 32-bit PCM
Streams to and from other devices
Extraordinary build quality
Minus
Breathtakingly high priced
32-bit capability is irrelevant to non-professionals

THE VERDICT
Astell & Kern’s AK380 offers copious network audio features and the unique plus of native 32-bit playback—but is it worth the high price to consumers?

Shock lead of the year: Astell & Kern’s AK380 music player retails for $3,499. That’s an awful lot to pay for a pocketful of music. But it seems unjust to start a review of such a product by carping over its price before evaluating its merits. After all, not many people muster moral outrage over the price tags on Porsches, Patek Philippe watches, or 99-point offerings in Wine Spectator. Why should high-end audio units—including the Pono, a comparative bargain at $400— be the only perfectionist products to face puritan scorn? No, as a consumer, I wouldn’t pay $3,499 for a music player. But as a critic, I’m willing to consider cost-noobject items on their own terms.

SV Staff Posted: Jan 28, 2016 2 comments
Sure to stand out among the sea of wireless speakers, Fluance today introduced a most unusual looking Bluetooth speaker, the Fi70.
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SV Staff Posted: Jan 28, 2016 6 comments
Circuity City, once the nation’s top electronics retailer until it went belly up in the late 2000’s and closed the last of its stores in 2009, may be making a comeback, according to TWICE.
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SV Staff Posted: Jan 28, 2016 0 comments
Stereo Exchange, one of New York City’s oldest audio/video and home theater retailers, is hosting a vinyl listening event/record release party and live in-store performance tomorrow, Friday, January 29th, at 7 p.m.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 27, 2016 7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a Denon A/V receiver hooked up to a 5.1-channel speaker system. The setup works fine for movies, but every now and then I want to listen to good ol’ stereo recordings ( I have a modest collection of CDs stored as Apple lossless audio files).  I am tempted to purchase a high-end integrated amp for just this purpose. Which gets me to my question: Can I hook both my receiver and the integrated amp to my front L/R speakers? —Nick Gruin

Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 27, 2016 2 comments
When I picked up Pioneer’s SE-MASTER1 headphone at CEDIA Expo in October, I knew it was special. Substantial yet lightweight and exceptionally well crafted with scrupulous attention to detail, right down to the contoured ear cushions and engraved serial number. (Sorry, S/N 00001 is already spoken for.) If you were to crack open the ear cups, you’d find the same commitment to excellence in the form of a highly refined ceramic-coated aluminum diaphragm surrounded by a ribbed ring, designed to reduce distortion, all framed in a sturdy aluminum alloy to minimize resonance.
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SV Staff Posted: Jan 27, 2016 0 comments
In a CES press release, one-time TV market leader RCA says it’s committed to delivering the latest technology. “Staying true to the RCA brand means staying on top of market trends, so HDR is a big focus, because it’s what consumers want this year,” said Patrick Deighan of Activeon, which sells RCA under license from Technicolor.

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SV Staff Posted: Jan 27, 2016 0 comments
Entrepreneurs never sit still. Even in the face of defeat. Witness Aereo founder Chet Kanojia whose ingenious Internet-based TV delivery scheme was deemed illegal last year by the Supreme Court.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 26, 2016 1 comments
Spotify has made a name for itself as one of the leading streaming music services and this week will add video to its Android and iPhone apps. Officially, video will roll out on the Android app first, followed by an update to the iPhone app in the coming weeks.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 26, 2016 18 comments
We’re only a couple of months away from the scheduled introduction of Ultra HD Blu-ray players and the UHD discs to play on them. At CES both Samsung and Philips announced players due in March, and 17 titles are currently listed on Amazon for release March 1.

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