TECH2

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 18, 2011 0 comments

Maybe back in the 1920s, when Sound + Vision was called Superheterodyne Journal, we might have reviewed some giant tube amplifier that put out 2 watts at full blast. But other than perhaps some forgotten device from audio's days of yore, this storied publication has never tested an amplifier so small, so weak, so limited in utility as the Qinpu Q-2.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 01, 2012 0 comments

With so many audio connection technologies available now, it's gotta be tough to be an audio product manager. Smartphone fans want to connect via Bluetooth. iTunes enthusiasts want AirPlay. Computer audio nuts expect a USB connection. A few old-schoolers demand a hardware dock for an iPod. And there's that one guy who still owns a Zune and needs an analog input.

What to do? If you're Samsung and you're trying to make a "statement" product, you throw it all in. The $699 DA-E750 includes all of the above technologies - plus DLNA, plus a fold-out "dual dock" that works with Samsung Galaxy phones as well as iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 15, 2013 0 comments

I can't recall a game in recent memory that so embodied corporate hubris, a distaste and distrust of fans, or a launch so bungled that it was the story not the game.

Which is too bad, because underneath all the noise and hate are pieces of a great game, one that I've played a lot over the last two weeks.

But you know what? Don't buy it.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 24, 2011 0 comments

Sleep is not a topic much discussed around these parts. After all, "Sound" and "Vision" are two things not usually conducive to slumber. 

But the company AcousticSheep has come up with an interesting product: SleepPhones, a soft fleece headband with embedded headphones, meant for comfortable listening while slumbering.

With the above picture in mind, how could we not review?

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jan 02, 2012 0 comments

Initially, the Tablet S was supposed to be part of our big tablet roundup. Requests for review samples repeatedly ignored, so we went ahead and forgot about them. 

Well you’d never guess, but comments like “if you’re looking for the perfect tablet, you have two choices” tend to get to get a company’s attention. At least, when that company isn’t one of those two choices. 

Shiny new Tablet S in hand mere days later, I set off to find out if it could be a worthy contender against the Fire and iPad.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Apr 23, 2013 0 comments

Soundmatters didn’t invent the Bluetooth speaker, but it definitely invented the good, compact Bluetooth speaker: the FoxL. The FoxL’s guts became the basis for the much cuter and more broadly marketed Jawbone Jambox. The look and general driver layout of the Jambox were then copied—sometimes subtly, sometimes shamelessly—by practically every audio ODM in China.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 19, 2011 0 comments

I was up till 3AM again last night playing this game. A brilliant mix of humor, progression, and addictive gameplay guarantees the "just one more mission" mentality of epic late-night gaming sessions.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 21, 2011 0 comments

It's difficult to review an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game. They are so complex, deep, and involve so many hours of play it's hard to get a feel for them without extensive "testing."

But after hours playing the beta, and a week's worth of pre-launch play, I'm comfortable making an opinion about BioWare's ambitious and much-awaited Star Wars MMO.

The short version: unbelievably, staggeringly, awesome.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Apr 19, 2013 0 comments

Speakers are like karate. Subwoofers are like weightlifting. The quality of a speaker is determined by subtleties: well-chosen drivers, just-right crossover points and slopes, and a perfectly tuned, solidly constructed enclosure. The quality of a subwoofer is determined mostly by its muscle: the size of the enclosure, the displacement of its driver, and the power of its amplifier.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 16, 2012 0 comments

It’s hard to believe Team Fortress 2 is 5 years old. I remember waiting breathlessly for the Orange box to come out, unable to decide which game I’d play first: TF2 or Episode Two of Half-Life. There was also some puzzle game included as a bonus, but puzzle games are lame.

Three days of nothing but the amazing Portal have since proved that last thought incorrect, but over time I came to love Team Fortress 2. I was shocked, in preparation for this review, that I hadn’t played in almost a year. Thanks Steam for making the passage of time so blatant.

Last summer Team Fortress 2 went free to play, and to mix things up (and get some players back, no doubt), they’ve added a new mode: Mann vs. Machine. It’s pretty awesome.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 12, 2013 0 comments

When testing headphones with multiple listeners-our standard practice at S+V-I've learned that perceptions of a headphone's tonal balance can differ among listeners. Of course, individual taste in sound varies, too.

One solution to this problem is a headphone that can be tuned to the user's taste, a feature we've encountered on in-ear monitors from AKG and Phonak. Both have interchangeable filters that can alter the headphone's tonal balance. But the former costs $1,299, and the latter uses extremely tiny filters that require a special tool to change.

A new company named Torque Audio has what looks like a more practical approach.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 29, 2011 0 comments

"Style your hair for best sound." Already done, V-MODA. Already done.

Located on a wraparound removable sticker on the left earcup, this statement is my first introduction to the new Crossfade M-80 headphones. I'll forgive them for being baldists.

The right earcup sticker: "Red for right side." You'd think a simple "R" would suffice, but such banal lettering would presumably foul the stylish design.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jan 20, 2012 0 comments

It’s rare for any company to discuss a health problem associated with their industry. This makes V-MODA’s new line of Fader earplugs a welcome curiosity.

They claim to be “designed and tuned by professional DJs, producers and doctors.” As in, not the hard high-end cut offered by foam earplugs.

Ok, sounds like something I’d like, but where to test them. . .

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 09, 2012 0 comments

I have to admit, I didn't think I'd get into this game. I like my action games actiony, and my strategy games real-time. A turn-based action game? What kind of unholy chimera is that?

I never played the original X-COM (the 1994 version had a hyphen, and an incredible following), so the excitement surrounding this remake was lost on me.

Once I tried it, though. . . wow is it easy to get sucked in.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Oct 17, 2013 0 comments
Let me start by saying, I know headphones. I have reviewed a lot, I own a lot, and my ears have endured a lot. Generally speaking, function comes before form in my recommendations. Do they sound good? Are they comfortable? How much do they cost?

Only after these questions are positively answered do I then I allow myself to get excited over how pretty they are. Rarely am I able to reach that glorious final stage. To be frank: most tech that focuses on form ends up lacking in function (I’m looking at you, Beats). But every once in a while, my inner geek gets her day, and today it’s thanks to the British company RHA’s 750i. Now, knowing the substance is there, just look at them. Sigh...Sexy, no?

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