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Bob Ankosko

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Bob Ankosko Posted: May 19, 2014 0 comments

Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 18 Wireless Speaker System

About that headline...It’s inspired by the sheepish “Immaculate Wireless Sound” moniker Bang & Olufsen uses for the wireless system integrated into the stunning BeoLab 18 tower speaker. Actually, the phrase is code for WiSA, the standard that makes it possible to for speakers to receive uncompressed 24-bit/96 kHz audio over the air from B&O’s stand-alone transmitter or one built into the BeoVision 11 TV. We asked Senior Vice President of Product Creation Lou Schreurs to tell us about this impressive speaker.

S&V: How did the BeoLab 18 come into being? What led to the desire to “go wireless?”
Lou Schreurs: We felt the need to rejuvenate our iconic BeoLab 8000 from a design perspective and, at the same time, wanted to bring the speaker into the 21st Century by making it wireless and digital, using our proprietary Digital Signal Processing (DSP) capabilities. The integration of a high-quality wireless system was driven by the desire for convenience without sacrificing audio quality. In some of our customers’ homes, it was not easy to run cables in a neat way, particularly rear speakers, limiting their ability to experience true surround sound...

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 14, 2013 1 comments
Video projectors that reside in the ceiling have long been a fixture of high-end home theaters and are usually accompanied by a screen that retracts into a wall-mounted sleeve or disappears behind a curtain—everything controlled by remote control. Flat-panel TVs can benefit from the same sort of crafty concealment.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 28, 2013 0 comments
Walking into the GoldenEar Technology demo room at CEDIA 2013 was like stepping into an intimate jazz club. The mellifluous voice of Jane Monheit accompanied by guitarist extraordinaire John Pizzarelli filled the room. I immediately thought, Wow, those new tower speakers sound damn good. Little did I know until the demo ended that I was actually listening to Invisa HTR 7000 speakers—mounted in the ceiling. As GoldenEar founder Sandy Gross explained, “That’s the idea.” A mind blowing experience.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 11, 2013 0 comments
JBL has continued to refine the design and performance of the flagship Project Everest DD66000 speaker it introduced six years, culminating in the $75,000-a-pair DD67000 unveiled at CES. Upgrades include a refined crossover network and extended frequency response thanks to new cast-aluminum-frame woofers, featuring three-layer laminated cone construction and 4-inch voice coils, a mid/high-frequency compression driver with a 4-inch beryllium diaphragm, and an ultrahigh-frequency compression driver with a 1-inch beryllium diaphragm and 2-inch neodymium magnet. Both compression drivers are mounted in JBL’s computer-optimized Bi-Radial horns, made from acoustically inert SonoGlass to eliminate unwanted colorations and shaped to optimize dispersion.

Available in rosewood or maple, the furniture-grade cabinet retains the curved and angled surfaces of its predecessor, including the signature flared horn, and introduces a carbon-fiber baffle trim panel. The speakers will be available in February.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 09, 2013 0 comments
Just what the world needs: another wireless music system. Klipsch agrees, which is why it put audio quality first in the high-performance Stadium Music Center debuting at CES. The all-in-one system gets high marks for supporting connectivity via AirPlay, Wi-Fi, DLNA and the CD-quality aptX version of Bluetooth in a package that looks bold and sounds even bolder.

An on-the-fly demo with Red Hot Chili Peppers, featuring Flea’s muscular bass lines front and center, was impressive and had me looking around for a separate subwoofer. Not needed. The ring between the Stadium’s speaker modules joins a pair of 5.25-inch woofers that produce surprisingly deep bass to complement the rich sound delivered by pairs of horn-loaded 1-inch tweeters and 3-inch midrange drivers. The point of the system: You don’t have to sacrifice sound quality for convenience, according to Mark Casavant, senior vice president of product development. He’s not kidding.

Available this summer for $2,000, the system is housed in a brushed-aluminum cabinet with grille covers that come in several lifestyle colors.

Purposely resembling a mini band shell in a nod to the full-size Klipsch Music Center in the company’s home state of Indiana, the smaller Music Center KMC 3 will be available this spring for $400 in several bright colors. The system produces robust sound through a pair of 2-inch drivers and a 5.25-inch woofer, supports aptX Bluetooth and has a USB charging port and auxiliary input on its back panel.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 28, 2013 0 comments
Knoll Systems used CEDIA 2013 to introduce the Q450 digital multiroom amplifier that accommodates four sources and uses fully balanced input plates to combat noise and interference for music sources in distant rooms. The 4 x 50-watt amp comes in two versions: one with simple keypad control and one based on RS232 that can be controlled by iOS and Android smart devices and whole-home controllers. A four-zone kit with in-wall keypads will be available in October for $1,200.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Apr 18, 2014 1 comments
Korg is well known among musicians for its electronic keyboards but recently introduced a high-resolution audio playback system comprising its proprietary AudioGate 3 software and one of two USB digital-to-analog converters, the retro-styled DS-DAC-100 ($600) or the ultracompact DS-DAC-100m ($350).
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 08, 2012 0 comments
The Boundary B404 speaker Leon is demonstrating at CEDIA Expo may well be the most indoor-looking outdoor speaker you’ll see (shown above in an outdoor theater setup). Available in mahogany, white or black finished with a high-gloss marine varnish that would be at home on any boat, the weatherproof speaker has two 4-inch aluminum woofers and a 1-inch aluminum/magnesium dome tweeter, specially formulated to withstand the elements. Price: $2,200 apiece.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 11, 2014 0 comments
In Japanese, “oto” means “sound.” At Leon Speakers, Horizon OTO is the name of the company’s latest soundbar, which is custom tailored to match the finish and width of any TV between 38 and 65 inches. Introduced at 2014 CES, OTO finesses six drivers—four 3-inch aluminum woofers and two cloth-dome tweeters—in a svelte MDF cabinet less than 2 inches deep; the drivers are arranged in left- and right-channel woofer-tweeter-woofer complements and powered by a 2 x 50-watt amplifier.

In addition to onboard Dolby Digital processing, OTO has a front-panel touch screen for easy control, optical and stereo analog inputs, and a wireless subwoofer output. OTO is priced at $2,895 or you can pair it with the optional Aaros A8-400 wireless subwoofer, featuring an 8-inch woofer and 400 watts of power, for $4,000.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 13, 2013 0 comments
In a world increasingly populated by horizontal soundbars, Artison has taken a different approach with the high-performance Masterpiece LCR DualMono MK2 speaker system, which produces three front channels from two cabinets flanking the TV.

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