Q I have an Integra DHC-80.3 preamp/processor with Audyssey MultEQ XT32. Reading the manual, I learned that I should set the speaker crossover to 80 Hz because “Audyssey recommends that speakers are ALWAYS set to Small when there is a subwoofer in the system.” This apparently allows for proper bass management and more headroom in the receiver or amplifier.
So here are my questions. My speaker system is based around full-range B&W CM10 towers (powered by 250-watt mono amps) and includes a single subwoofer. Do I still need to choose an 80 Hz crossover point for my setup? Also, is there a point in upgrading to speakers with more powerful bass if I do cross them over at 80 Hz? —Bill Wong / via email
Figuring out how to watch TV while I’m out of my house has always been a challenge. I got a black-and-white Sony Watchman as a gift for Christmas in 1985 that worked pretty well for the time; I took it to the pool to watch Mets baseball and to my son’s basketball games to watch Jets football.
I'm trying to get my holiday shopping done early this year. I have my wife, my kids, and the gang at work to shop for, so I need to make sure everyone gets exactly what they need. My 18-year-old is probably the easiest. He's the one away at college (I wrote about him in November), so for him, I'll get the Slingbox 500 ($300).
I remember preparing for a flight to Los Angeles in the late ’90s. I was packing my carry-on and laboring over what books to bring. I didn’t want to carry more than two. Then I packed my portable DVD player. I also packed an extra-bulky battery because the one that the DVD player came with only lasted 2 hours. Finally, I threw in a pile of magazines.
Do you ever sit around and daydream about inventions that could make your life easier? Whenever I get in my car for the 45-minute ride home from work and I’m feeling exhausted, I imagine roads where magnetic strips are built into the ground to guide my ride so that I can just plug in my destination, drift off, and wake up when I get to the driveway. Think about how great that’s gonna be!
I've been working in radio for close to 30 years now, and I have access to all kinds of recording equipment, including some great microphones. Most of the gear I can get my hands on is pretty high-end stuff that uses XLR connectors and would require elaborate equipment that I just don't have at home. So I was really interested when the MXL Studio 1 USB microphone ($130) landed on my desk. It's a portable condenser microphone that connects to your computer via USB. MXL boasts that it's plug-and-play, and that's not a joke: No installation discs. No drivers. No preamps, mixers, or extra gear. Nice.
When I was a teenager, I had these giant Koss headphones. You know the kind. They covered both ears with these giant cups. They sounded great. I remember listening to Blows Against the Empire, the 1970 album by Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship, with them. Music would bounce back and forth from the left channel to the right and back in glorious stereo.
My wife and I sent our oldest son off to college this fall. On the ride up, she and I laughed as we told him that when we first went to campus back in 1979, there was no Internet, no cellphones, no e-mail, no fax machines, and Federal Express was an overnight service strictly for businesses and rich people.
Logitech is a cool company. It took all of the top aspects of its best-selling universal remote control and made it so that you could control your TV, set-top boxes, music systems, and other home gear on your iPhone or iPad. My kinda thing.
The iPhone has clearly infiltrated our culture. Its owners are rabidly loyal, and they’ll tell you that every other phone is inferior to theirs. Alas, the many people out there still devoted to BlackBerry can only look longingly at the iPhone, wishing for some of those cool features that Apple has become famous for.