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Brent Butterworth

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 27, 2012 0 comments

IT MAY BE ONLY 4 YEARS OLD, but the HiFiMan brand has had a major impact on the growing world of portable audiophilia. The new HE-300, which uses conventional dynamic drivers, is the company’s most affordable over-ear headphone yet. With its solid, mostly metal construction and audiophile-grade detachable cables, it sure doesn’t look like it costs $249. You even get an elegant hardshell case in the deal.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 29, 2010 0 comments

Back in the days when a decent TV cost $4,000, I never hesitated to recommend spending $300 or so on professional calibration. But now you can get a pretty good set for less than $1,000. Far be it from me to tell you what your priorities should be, but to me, spending three bills to have a $900 TV calibrated seems as silly installing a $10,000 Viking range a 30,000 mobile home. Does this harsh nancial reality leave TV bargain hunters at the mercy of the factory calibration?

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 09, 2011 0 comments

Do you trust your ears? I don’t. By that I mean I don’t trust my ears. Frankly, though, I don’t trust anybody’s. I’ve heard laymen enthuse about systems that had little more to offer than a few notes of booming bass. I’ve heard audio veterans trash impeccably engineered speakers — and praise speakers that showed glaring technical flaws.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 26, 2013 0 comments

Hsu Research ranks high on home theater enthusiasts' "most favored brands" list, largely because of its high-performance, low-priced subwoofers. Indeed, the HB-1 MK2 ($318/pr) seems to be designed primarily as a home theater bruiser: At 15.4 inches high, it's the largest speaker in this roundup, and its 6.5-inch, polypropylene-cone woofer gives it more bass real estate than any but the Axiom M3v3.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments

I didn't expect to find any high-end tower speakers amongst the car audio stuff in the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center -- until I stumbled upon this new model from Hybrid Audio Technologies.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 31, 2013 0 comments

IMAX already enjoys a rep as more or less the ultimate cinematic experience. Now it wants to be known for the ultimate home theater experience. The company's new Private Theatre program creates a 4K 3D theater in your home, with 7.1 sound and a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling screen.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 19, 2011 0 comments

Last year, an audio dealer named Gordon Sauck called to get my permission to use a 1997 article of mine on his website. As I chatted with him, I realized there was a huge emerging trend to which I and most of the other guys who write about audio have been largely oblivious.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 10, 2014 Published: Jan 11, 2014 1 comments

While Infinity's been a successful brand in factory car audio for decades, Harman International's enthusiasm for the marque on home products has waxed and waned over the years. With the new Reference Series, Infinity's trying to re-establish its cred in the living room.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 04, 2010 0 comments

Just when you think they're all done adding more channels to sound systems, they add a couple more. The June 18 premiere of Toy Story 3 also marked the premiere of Dolby Surround 7.1, a technology that allows a commercial cinema to add two additional channels of sound to the 5.1 channels they already have. The existing left, center, right, left surround, right surround, and low-frequency effects channels have been augmented with left back surround and right back surround channels.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 24, 2012 0 comments

What do you want to hear when you listen to music? Do you want a lower-fidelity version of what the artists, engineers, and producers heard in the studio? Or would you prefer to hear exactly what they heard in the studio?

Of course, you'd prefer the latter. But you're probably getting the former - unless, that is, you're listening to high-resolution downloads from HDtracks. If you're listening to CDs, MP3s, or even vinyl records, what you're hearing is not a precise copy of the original digital recording or analog tape. It's downconverted. If it's on CD, the digital resolution has been reduced. If it's on vinyl, the audio has been remastered and the record you're listening to is actually a third-generation mechanical copy.

Sure, it might sound ok. But it's not the best fidelity you can get. HDtracks is. And HDtracks and Sound+Vision have put together an introductory sampler to show you just how good high-resolution listening can be.

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