COMPUTER AUDIO REVIEWS

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John Sciacca Posted: Feb 13, 2013 0 comments

Between increasing your system’s audio channel count to 9.1 or 11.1 and upgrading to a bigger, brighter, or even higher-resolution 4K video display, there’s no shortage of ways to take your home theater to the next level. And while such improvements can certainly add excitement, the basic home theater experience still pretty much remains the same.

The thing that most home theaters can’t do is put you into the action, literally letting you feel what is happening onscreen. The sliding of gravel under the tires. The rock and sway of a boat. The thud-thud-thud of a jet being riddled with gunfire. Providing that experience is the role that D-Box fills.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 13, 2013 0 comments

I think you can file most video enthusiasts into two broad categories: Purists and Bestists.The Purists want accurate color, bit-for-bit accuracy from Blu-ray, original aspect ratios, and so on. Bestists want the image to fill their screen, and to see a picture with hyper-detail (and maybe hypercolor). Which brings us to Darbee’s Darblet video enhancer. While a Purist might dismiss the Darblet as something a Bestist would want, I couldn’t say for sure that both camps won’t be curious. It is … interesting.

John Sciacca Posted: Aug 23, 2012 0 comments

While there are multiple ways to get TV programming — broadcast, cable, satellite, telco (Verizon FiOS/AT&T U-verse), or over the Internet — I’ve received mine via cable for as long as I’ve been a member of the TV-consuming public.

John Sciacca Posted: Jul 03, 2013 0 comments

As a custom installer, I hear a lot of requests, andone of the things people ask for most is wireless audio. Sending music around the home without the hassle, cost, or mess associated with long runs of wire is the modern American audio dream.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 17, 2012 0 comments

There’s some debate among vinylphiles about whether USB phono preamps need to exist, but I for one am glad they do. When I bring home my latest haul of vinyl from Amoeba Records, I love being able to plug a laptop straight into my NAD PP 3 to make quick MP3s of albums I like so I can listen to them on my smartphone. (Sacrilege!) It’s easier than making an analog connection, and it bypasses the lousy analog-to-digital converter built into my laptop.

With the Zphono-USB, Parasound brings new versatility and features to the USB phono pre concept.

Michael Berk Posted: Nov 08, 2012 0 comments

The Blue Note label has, over the course of its history, managed to put out some of the most challenging, beloved, and genre-defining records in jazz. Now a new Blue Note app brings that rich heritage to your tablet.

James K. Willcox Posted: Aug 19, 2011 0 comments

When it comes to tubes, I guess you could say I'm, well, biased. I like the way tube amps look, I like the way they sound, I like being able to swap tubes to get different sounds, and I especially like hearing my British friends call tubes valves.

Michael Berk Posted: Sep 23, 2011 0 comments

Been looking for a portable speaker system to go along with your iOS device? iHome's long-awaited iW1 battery-powered AirPlay speaker is finally here. The iW1 was one of the first announced AirPlay speakers - and while it was slow out of the gate, it's now set to be the first available truly wireless AirPlay device.

Michael Berk Posted: May 29, 2013 0 comments

As you might have gathered from the headphone roundup we did a couple of weeks back, there's probably never been a better time to be into personal audio. With a whole new breed of enthusiast listeners out there, rabidly interested in headphones and the accessories that make 'em a better experience and willing and able to upgrade given the relatively low cost of admission, a host of audio firms new and old have been churning out new and innovative 'phones and accessories so quickly that it's been a little difficult to keep up. Taking a look at the landscape of affordable (let's say under $500), you'll find that afistful of new headphone amps and DACs are bringing once-esoteric features to the masses, at down-to-earth prices.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 14, 2013 2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,299 At a Glance: DAC, headphone amp, preamp for digital sources • Asynchronous USB input • Makes your audio files sing

The Wadia 121 calls itself a decoding computer. While the term DAC (digital-to-analog converter) also fits, Wadia understands that nomenclature is destiny. This product just may be destined to change forever the way you hear high-resolution music files, signaling a new chapter in audio history that no audiophile can afford to ignore.

Michael Berk Posted: Oct 21, 2011 0 comments

The Peel universal remote is a combo platter including a transmitter and receiver that keeps in touch with your home network via ZigBee and passes on commands to your gear via IR, operated via a free app for 

Daniel Kumin Posted: Dec 25, 2012 0 comments

Back when A/V was just “A,” Yamaha was among the first to elevate the receiver from dormroom necessity to Serious Audio Component. Brand Y then negotiated the transition to audio-plus-video smoothly, and today remains one of the leading purveyors of the all-in-one home theater centerpiece.

Daniel Kumin Posted: Sep 21, 2011 0 comments

We're still waiting for the future: the flying car; the self-cooking dinner. But the shirt-pocket recording studio is a reality – I have one here right now.

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