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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 08, 2015 0 comments
It's been seven years since Bowers & Wilkins introduced the Zeppelin audio system. That's an eternity for this kind of product. Now the world is awash in phone-friendly compact powered speakers. Yesterday the company took the wraps off the new Zeppelin Wireless at a New York press event.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 07, 2015 0 comments
Mention wireless connectivity in consumer electronics and the first names that come up are Bluetooth, AirPlay, DLNA, Wi-Fi, and Sonos. But another player is making major inroads. That's DTS-owned Play-Fi, which spreads lossless audio through a home Wi-Fi network. Since its introduction a few years ago with a handful of modest Phorus-brand speakers, Play-Fi has expanded its partnerships to include some high-profile names in the audio industry, while expanding the functionality of its platform.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 07, 2015 19 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,399

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Nuanced, open, uncolored sonics
Stream Magic module
Auto setup imposes no room correction
Minus
Bluetooth requires adapter
A $2,400 AVR with no Dolby Atmos or DTS:X
Auto setup imposes no room correction

THE VERDICT
This receiver makes idiosyncratic audiophile choices—omitting Atmos, Bluetooth, and other features—but the revamped look and feel are great, and the sound is reliably musical.

At first glance, the cosmetic difference between Cambridge Audio’s new CXR receivers and the company’s previous Azur line is almost shocking. The older receivers were stellar performers, but their look was strictly utilitarian, even a bit dowdy. They were the consumer electronics equivalent of Queen Elizabeth II. Whatever her traditional virtues may be, she hasn’t won many beauty contests lately. What a difference a new look makes! The CXR receivers have a cleaner, sleeker front panel, with fewer controls and a generously oversized display. They’re less QEII, more Kate Middleton—who, coincidentally, is also known as the Duchess of Cambridge.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 06, 2015 1 comments
Hate your cable company? Sick of unrelenting robocalls that seem to pop up at home and on your cell at the most inopportune moments?

A federal judge fined Time Warner Cable $229,500 for robocalling a Texas woman 153 times in an attempt to dun another customer.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 02, 2015 5 comments
Over the past couple of years, I've raised the bar for new entries to my music library. I've been steadily giving up lossy audio. In other words, file formats like MP3 and iTunes-approved AAC are no longer welcome. It is time for my library to move to the next step. So long, lossy. Quoth the raven, nevermore.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 30, 2015 1 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.
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.
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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.
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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.

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