Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 30, 2015 0 comments
The demand for mass-market audio products is moving deeper into wireless territory and the smart money is moving with it. Bose, perhaps the epitome of smart money, is moving in that direction too. The key point of yesterday's press event was not so much the introduction of a new product—though there was one—but the development and extension of the Bose wireless strategy.
Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 30, 2015 0 comments
Music services like Pandora generate musical recommendations based on your listening habits. Will the next step be to recommend music based on your brain type? In a study called “Musical Preferences Are Linked to Cognitive Styles,” researchers at the University of Cambridge asked 4,000 participants to fill out questionnaires and rate several pieces of music. Their goal was to classify listeners according to the E-S (empathizingsystemizing) theory.
Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 25, 2015 2 comments
Major TV manufacturers are collaborating in field tests that would bring a new ATSC 3.0 television broadcast standard, which would include a new IP-based Ultra HD video standard and a broadcast- and streaming-friendly surround standard.
Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 23, 2015 0 comments
Once a soundbar is mounted on the wall below the TV, a lot of folks are tempted to use it for music. An NPD Group survey found that 55 percent of soundbar owners use it for such things as podcasts and radio (though probably not vinyl). That makes sense, since more than 80 percent of bars have Bluetooth capability to communicate with mobile devices. Among 18-to-34-year-olds, 66 percent use the bar for music. As soundbars wax, other product categories wane. Forty-five percent of soundbar owners retired a home theater in a box system and 35 percent retired an A/V receiver.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 17, 2015 0 comments

RP-150M Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value
R-110SW Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $2,399 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Titanium-dome tweeters in 90x90 Tractrix horns
Tractrix-shaped rear ports
Wireless sub option
Minus
Sacrifices some warmth for analytic detail
Sub subdued

THE VERDICT
Klipsch’s Reference Premiere achieves high resolution at a low price, though it can be too revealing for some content.

Klipsch is built on concepts so fundamental that they have transcended changes in audio fashion and even ownership. Chief among them is the concept of horn-loading, promulgated by the legendary Paul W. Klipsch (1904–2002) and marketed by him, his family, and their successors. It enables reasonably priced speakers to play louder, and to many listeners sound clearer, with less power. Klipsch speakers also look like no one else’s, thanks to the tangerine/copper color of the woofers, another of the brand’s 20th-century traditions.

Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 15, 2015 0 comments
Pay-TV bundles bulging with never-watched channels have been the bane of consumer groups. They’ve long supported the concept of à la carte cable, which would let subscribers buy just the channels they want. Verizon’s FiOS Custom TV package isn’t exactly à la carte—but it does put the typical pay-TV bundle on a drastic diet. And that “skinny” package, as some call it, is making some networks very unhappy.
Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 04, 2015 9 comments
What's in a name? At times, not a whole lot of sense. The consumer electronics industry has a genius for giving dopey names to things: unintentionally misleading names, deliberately misleading names, duplicative names, redundant names, outright laughable names. Here are just a few:

Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 03, 2015 10 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $600

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Bluetooth
MHL on front and rear
Google Cast, Spotify Connect
Minus
Confusing A.F.D., HD-D.C.S. terminology

THE VERDICT
If you can do without Dolby Atmos in this seven-channel AVR, Sony’s well-thought-out wireless functionality and sweet, golden sound are an unbeatable combination.

Let me say this up front: The Sony STR-DN1060 doesn’t do Dolby Atmos. Whether this is a serious omission in a seven-channel receiver today is debatable—but I’d say not. Most of the first-generation Atmos receivers have shortcomings of their own. For one thing, they lack the forthcoming DTS:X, the other flavor of object-oriented, height-enabled surround sound. More critically, seven-channel models can offer only Atmos 5.1.2, with two height channels in front or directly above the listener but none in back. That is at best a limited version of the Atmos experience because it doesn’t create the full dome-shaped soundfield of 5.1.4.

Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 01, 2015 0 comments
HDMI 2.0a is almost upon us. But why? Didn’t A/V manufacturers just assimilate HDMI 2.0?

The answer is that HDMI 2.0a will further improve picture quality, firming up 2.0’s Ultra HD support with complementary HDR (high dynamic range) technology. Does that mean 2.0a will transmit video in a new way?

Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 28, 2015 3 comments
The average cable subscriber is staggering under constant rate hikes. But don’t expect any help from the Federal Communications Commission. It has just issued a ruling saying cable operators are presumed to face “effective competition.” That will make it harder for local governments to petition for regulation of skyrocketing cable rates.

Pages