Sonoro is a German audio manufacturer. The company recently commissioned a survey on the listening habits of 560 consumers. Thirty-nine percent of them named FM radio as their number one audio entertainment source, beating iPods and other MP3 players at 23 percent. That was interesting, but when I visited the Sonoro site, I found something even more interesting: the Cubo system.
Getting Sirius got a little easier last week with the announcement that the Sonos Digital Music System would support the internet version of Sirius satellite radio. Connect your Sonos system to the net and you can get 80 Sirius channels--for a fee, of course.
Olympica is a new speaker line from Sonus Faber, whose speakers have always been luxurious in both build and looks. A 1.1-inch silk dome tweeter and six-inch paper-composite woofer are built into a curved enclosure that is asymmetrical and built in mirror-imaged pairs. This allows the slot ports, located toward the rear of the side panels, to interact with the room in different ways, so if you audition these, you'll want to experiment with positioning, facing the port inward or outward. Available in light walnut and dark graphite veneer finishes, these were easily the most beautiful products we've seen on the first day of CEDIA 2013, and we suspect we won't see anything finer. Pricing is $6500/pair, shipping now. A matching center model is also available.
You'll probably read some blogs from our two-channel colleagues about The Sonus Faber, a fridge-size floorstander selling for $200,000/pair in a limited production run of 30 pieces. Playing a solo cello recording, TSF mustered some of the best sound at the show. But there were also brand new home theater worthy models at Sonus Faber's suite in the Venetian, namely the Toy Monitor Grand (center) and Toy Wall (upper righthand corner). They're sold in pairs, for $2,000 in both cases, but you can add the Toy Center for $995/each.
Sonus Faber seems incapable of producing a speaker that sounds anything less than fabulous and the new Venere line is no exception. The line includes the 2.0 monitor (shown, $1700/pair), the 1.5 monitor ($1200/pair), 3.0 tower ($3500/pair), the 2.5 tower ($2500/pair), an on-wall model called The Wall, ($700/each), and a center called The Center ($800). Features include a new silk dome tweeter, combination polypropylene and fiberglass woofers, an enclosure that mimics the shape of $120,000 Aida floorstander, and a new Italian walnut finish in addition to gloss white and black. Add a sub from REL, another Fine Sounds brand, and you're good to go.
Sony's new BDP-S470 and BDP-S570 Blu-ray players "will be fully capable of 3D playback of Full HD 1080p for each eye," company spokesperson Greg Belloni has told Engadget HD. And yet these players are nominally HDMI 1.3 compatible, as opposed to 1.4, which is supposed to be the 3D version.
Sony has issued a spirited rebuttal to a recent LG-commissioned study claiming 80 percent of consumers prefer passive 3D.
In emails sent to the editors of TWICE, Sony's Mike Abary, home division senior VP, and Samsung's John Revie, senior VP, both pointed out that 3D based on active shutter glasses is outselling 3D based on passive glasses.
A major advantage of HD DVD over Blu-ray has diminished with Sony's announcement yesterday of the BDP-S300 at $599. True, it's still not quite as good a deal as the Toshiba HD-XA2 at $499. Moreover, the lowered price is not unprecedented. Sony has already been offering Blu-ray via the PS3 consoles for $499 and $599. But for non-gamers with an achingly empty space in the component rack, the new Blu-ray player costs significantly less than the BDP-S1 at $999. And, unlike the pricier player, the BDP-S300 plays CDs. Sony's latest move puts Blu-ray in a better position, building on the title-releasing momentum that may enable Blu-ray to surpass HD DVD's software sales this year.