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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 28, 2016 0 comments
LG has added a new HDR standard to the two it already supports.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 21, 2016 0 comments
Phones, tablets, computers, and cameras using the up-and-coming USB Type-C port won’t need a dongle or dock to convert the new standard’s DisplayPort video signals to HDMI.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 15, 2016 0 comments

RED
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value

BLACK
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $199 (Red), $99 (Black)

AT A GLANCE (RED)
Plus
Step-up USB amp/DAC
For computers and smartphones
Digital volume control on chip
Minus
No bit rates above 96 kHz
No DSD

AT A GLANCE (BLACK)
Plus
Affordable USB amp/DAC
For computers and smartphones
Analog volume control
Minus
No bit rates above 96 kHz
No DSD

THE VERDICT
Among AudioQuest’s latest round of compact USB amplifier/DACs for headphones, the Red has more fine-grained premium sound, while the Black is a superb under-$100 hi-res entry point.

Having made tons of money as one of the pioneers of the premium cable industry, AudioQuest has little left to prove. So it came as a surprise four years ago when the company turned its attention to signal sources and developed the compact DragonFly USB headphone amplifier/DAC with respected audio designer Gordon Rankin. But the move made sense for AudioQuest, whose very existence rides on the proposition that sweating the details can make an audible difference.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 14, 2016 0 comments
The latest pay-TV operator to offer a reduced-priced “skinny” bundle is the Dish Network. The Flex Pack offers more than 50 channels including AMC, CNN, and other favorites for $29.99/month. The base price includes dish, receiver, free installation, and a two-year price guarantee for new subscribers. For another $4 to $10 a month, you can also get one of eight themed packages, which include local, regional, national, or kids’ channels. Another $10 a month will get you an upgrade to the Hopper 3 DVR with ad-skipping AutoHop (partly disabled to settle a lawsuit from the TV networks).
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 12, 2016 0 comments
Is the FCC doing enough to stop payrelated channel blackouts on cable and satellite systems? The commission says yes. The American Cable Association says no.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 07, 2016 2 comments
Pay-TV subscribers love watching programs but hate searching for them, according to Evolution Digital.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 06, 2016 0 comments
For years, CEDIA has been promoting the term custom integrator over the older term custom installer—even though the latter is more or less embedded in its full name, the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association. But the trade group has changed its tune.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 02, 2016 3 comments
If you have a limited amount of money to spend on audio gear, should you spend it on hi-fi or head-fi? In recent years head-fi has been gaining ground as sales of traditional audio components flatlined and sales of headphones and associate gear skyrocketed. Companies with long track records in hi-fi (and mass market audio) have conjured new headphone lines out of thin air. Companies with long track records in head-fi are making hay.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 23, 2016 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $700

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Built-in noise cancellation for supplied earbuds
Selectable DSD rolloff filter
Up to 70 hours per charge
Minus
No MQA
Challenging headphones will need more power

THE VERDICT
The Sony Walkman NW-ZX100HN delivers beautifully balanced and transparent sound in a not-too-bulky form factor with excellent ergonomics and the unique plus of built-in noise cancellation, but only for its proprietary earbuds.

With the iPod classic gone, smartphones in almost universal use, and streams elbowing out downloads, is the dedicated music player obsolete? Or could it possibly be a retro survivor that mocks its replacement, the way the resurging turntable mocks the CD player? With emerging specialists like Astell & Kern, FiiO, and Questyle being joined in the market by old-school manufacturers like Onkyo and Sony, there seems to be growing interest in building high-quality players that do a better job of delivering highresolution audio than a phone does.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 09, 2016 0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $499 pr

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Flexibility of stand or speaker-top use
Strongly defined height effects
Horn-loaded tweeter
Minus
Potential timbre-matching issues
Footprint too large for some speakers
Requires flat or nearly flat speaker top

THE VERDICT
If you like your Dolby Atmos and DTS:X height effects well defined, the Klipsch RP-140SA and its horn-loaded tweeter do the ceiling bounce with vivid results.

Progress is great, except when it’s not. By now, you’ve probably read a lot about Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the nextgeneration object-oriented surround standards, and pondered what they mean for your system. But maybe the news that height-enriched surround sound has finally come of age is bittersweet to you. What if you love your existing speakers and don’t want to let go of them? Which matters more: upgrading to the latest and greatest or holding onto the tried and true? You might prefer to stick with your existing 5.1- to 7.1-channel system and tell progress to take a hike.

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