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GRACE NOTES

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jul 03, 2012 0 comments

By any measure, Disney’s enjoyable Mars epic John Carter was a fiscal fiasco, netting only $72 million in the US and $282.4 million total worldwide, barely clearing its $250 million price tag. Ouch.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 10, 2011 0 comments

A few weeks ago, the blogosphere was abuzz with commentary on Netflix's impetuous decision to split into two companies: Netflix for streaming TV shows and movies, and Qwikster for home delivery of DVD and Blu-ray movies. Seems that Netflix thought better of it too.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 15, 2013 0 comments

Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording is a series of videos available on DVD, online streaming, or download that offer a fascinating look into the recording industry, hosted by legendary producer, engineer and performer Alan Parsons. With years of experience at Abbey Road Studios and credits including Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Parsons is an eminently qualified host.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 28, 2014 0 comments
It’s possible that you’ve never heard of Bayan Audio. The company is better known in the UK, where it has built a solid reputation. Now, Bayan is bringing two new products to North America. The Soundbook and Soundbook X3 are portable Bluetooth speakers packed with some very cool features in very impressive packages. Can they make the jump over the pond and land with a big enough splash in an already crowded speaker market?

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 14, 2014 0 comments
As someone whose life seems to revolve around the outdoors, I’m all ears whenever I hear about a new “active” piece of electronics gear. The new BlueAnt PUMP HD wireless waterproof sportbud promised to deliver audiophile-grade performance in a rugged, IP67-waterproof rated Bluetooth-compatible package.As soon as it arrived, I charged it up and hit my favorite bike trail.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 05, 2012 0 comments

The iFrogz Boost is a small, very portable speaker that claims to magically boost the sound from an iPhone, or any smartphone or other device with an external speaker. I have to be skeptical of any product that uses the word "magical" on their packaging - unless it's a "As Seen on TV" product, which everyone knows are all magical.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 30, 2013 0 comments
Every morning, my inbox is filled with press release after press release announcing some new Bluetooth wireless speaker. Everybody seems to be making them, and every company is trying to find an edge—some way to elevate themselves above the fray. Different shapes, multiple colors, small or large, they all do the same thing. But the Lyrix Duo caught my eye as something different, something unique. I needed to find out if different is also good.

Filed under
SV Staff Posted: Aug 14, 2013 0 comments
Can a high-end headphone manufacturer appeal to mainstream listeners? Oh yeah!
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Leslie Shapiro Posted: May 07, 2013 0 comments

To cut through the clutter of Bluetooth-enabled wireless speakers on the market these days, one would need a stiletto. Or at least a pair of stiletto heels.  The Stellé Audio Couture Pillar is making its way through the crowd with a difference. The Pillar (in fact, the entire Stellé Audio Couture product line) is being targeted and marketed to women, with a sense of style and fashion blended with good quality products.  

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 03, 2012 0 comments

Last month we explored ways to break up with your cable provider.  But what if you’re in a long-term, loving relationship with your cable box? Or your satellite dish? So in love, in fact, that you can’t stand to be apart from it? The Vulkano Flow ($99) lets you view the output of your cable set-top box or satellite receiver over the internet, on your laptop PC, Mac, or smartphone, from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Never be away from the one you love!

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Mar 24, 2014 9 comments
There are lots of ways to get television content into your home, and everyone makes it seem like it’s a simple matter of literally cutting the cord. Get your entertainment from online streaming, and use a pair of rabbit ears to get your local news fix. Easy, right? If you live in or near a big city, that may be true. But having recently left urbania for smalltown USA, I can attest that it’s not so easy after all when the nearest TV towers are miles and miles away. When Winegard announced FlatWave, a new line of flat, passive or powered HDTV antennas, I was all ears.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 09, 2013 3 comments
“When Britain first, at heaven's command, arose from out the azure main, this was the charter, the charter of the land, and guardian angels sang this strain: Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the waves!”

Those lyrics, set to rousing music by James Thomson in 1740, declared that Great Britain was the emerging world superpower. Fulfilling the patriotic acclaim of the song, Britain did indeed soon rule the waves, and in fact, the sun never set on the British Empire. Similarly, Sony Corporation ruled the waves of consumer electronics....

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 14, 2013 0 comments
We love our devices. Love ‘em! When we first get them, we baby them. But the reality is, sooner or later, life happens. Phones slip through our fingers, fall out of pockets, and drop into water or worse. And heaven help them from the atrocities inflicted by active folks—rain-soaked armbands, sweaty bike jersey pockets, damp backpacks, and the occasional boogie board ride in the Atlantic. One solution is to encase them. Thus “protective covers” abound. Unfortunately, those cases often muffle or kill the features we use the most. What to do?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 13, 2011 0 comments

The beaches are deserted, the kids are back in school, and I just finished driving home across the country at the end of my summer vacation. Sad, I know. Luckily, I had my trusty travel companion - my SiriusXM radio blasting away in my car. But was I alone in my adoration of those satellites?

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 20, 2014 1 comments
The new Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear headphone takes everything I loved about the original Momentum over-ear headphone and puts it in a smaller, infinitely more stylish and affordable package. Coming in a range of colors, and at a lower price, this headphone retains the sound quality and voice of the original but makes it more accessible to more people.

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