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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 15, 2016 0 comments
PRO Audio Technology brought things down a notch from their normal spectacularly over-the-top demos by showing off an all in-wall/in-ceiling (except for the subs) 9.2.4 Dolby Atmos system that’s slightly more affordable—but still “over the top”. The system consisted of three SCRS-26im “invisible mount loudspeakers”, with each one incorporating two 6-inch woofers and a one-inch compression driver mounted on an elliptical constant directivity horn. The side and rear channels used six SCRS-6im in-wall speakers with the same drivers as the front channels but with a single woofer instead of two. Pro Audio says the SCRS-26im loudspeakers are capable of 114 dB maximum output. The SCRS-6im loudspeakers are capable of a max output of 116 dB.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 15, 2016 0 comments
You can always expect to find something you didn’t expect to find at CEDIA. This year, for me, it was a better mousetrap—a Z-Wave-enabled mousetrap, as a matter of fact. Dome took top honors in the unexpected category with the company’s announcement of the Mouser, “the first ever smart mouse trap…designed to humanely eliminate mice and other rodents with an electric jolt and send a notification that the trap is ready to be emptied.” No, I’m not joking. And no, it’s something that’ll actually be useful for people who suffer from an overabundance of mice...
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 14, 2016 5 comments
Moulus Media Systems announced a “revolutionary media hub” that’s almost too good to be true. Imagine putting a Kaleidescape server with a Roku 4, and then wrapping the combo in a TiVo DVR—and that description still doesn’t come close to describing the Modulus M1.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 14, 2016 0 comments
As has become standard practice, architectural speaker company, Origin Acoustics, announced a slew of new products and initiatives at this afternoon’s press conference, including a preview of products that will be part of an exclusive, co-branded line of architectural speakers with Bang & Olufsen. Rather than attempt to make architectural speakers invisible, the new Origin Acoustics/B&O speakers will incorporate extremely attractive, specially designed grilles that match the typical aesthetics found in traditional B&O products.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 14, 2016 0 comments
Smart home device maker, iDevices, is adding several new smart devices that include Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa integration. Unlike the other devices in the company’s lineup, the new gadgets require a more involved installation rather than being simple plug-and-play designs. The new smart devices are designed to physically replace electric outlets, light switches, and dimmers.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2016 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,497 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Requires no modifications to internal wall structure
Adjustable-width grille
Minus
Passive system
Needs a subwoofer

THE VERDICT
If you like simplicity and hate seeing speakers, but demand high performance for music and movies, these SoundWalls may be what you’ve been waiting for.

I could start this review by making a comparison between Morel, the loudspeaker company, and morel, the type of mushroom. But someone would no doubt castigate me (or worse) for not referring to morchella, the more technically correct name for morel mushrooms—and therefore, that same someone would deem my comparison to be a mighty poor excuse for an introduction to a Test Report. So, I’ll simply say that Morel is an unusual speaker company, in many ways.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2016 0 comments
Sound & Vision's coverage of CEDIA 2016 kicks off on Wednesday. As usual, our hard-working, no-time-for-partying crew will be posting daily so be sure to check back here as often as you can so you don’t miss any of the excitement.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Aug 31, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $15/month

AT A GLANCE
Plus
16 built-in tuners
Supports Netflix 4K UHD content
Minus
Non-backlit remote

THE VERDICT
In one simple-to-operate device, the Hopper 3 combines the best of satellite TV—including 4K support—with the most compelling aspects of internet streaming. When you also consider its extensive multiroom distribution capabilities, there’s not another home entertainment device that can match the category-bending Hopper 3.

If the new satellite receiver/DVR from Dish, the Hopper 3, were indeed merely a new satellite receiver/DVR, the chances of us reviewing it would be between slim and you’ve got to be kidding me. After all, this is the age of internet streaming and cord cutting—and linear TV is just soooo last century. Since this is actually a genuine review of the Hopper 3, I guess it’s not a spoiler to say that there’s more to this third-generation, whole-home satellite DVR from Dish than time-shifting network broadcasts.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Aug 11, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,700

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Dolby Atmos and (via future upgrade) DTS: X
MusicCast, AirPlay, Bluetooth (both in and out), and Wi-Fi for music streaming
Minus
Larger than most soundbars
Remote control isn’t backlit

THE VERDICT
It’s pricey, but outstanding sonic performance and an impressive list of useful features makes the Yamaha YSP-5600 one of the best overall soundbar values on the market.

It had to happen: Somebody took Dolby Atmos and superglued it to a soundbar. It looks like Dolby Atmos in a Bar (DAIB) is the new Home Theater in a Box (HTIB). Oh, joy of joys.

I jest, of course. I’ve reviewed some really great soundbars—and Yamaha, the company behind this groundbreaking Atmos-enabled model, is no slouch when it comes to all-in-one theater systems. At $1,700, the new YSP-5600 is the most expensive, and most extensively featured, soundbar in Yamaha’s lineup. Measuring in at 43.25 inches wide x 8.38 high x 3.63 deep (without its stand), it looks to be the largest, too. From the size, heft (almost 26 pounds), and quality of construction (including a metal—not cloth—grille), it should be obvious to even the most unshakable soundbar skeptic that this aspires to be a serious speaker system, with or without the Atmos-enabling bits.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 20, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,499 ea

AT A GLANCE
Plus
2.5-way crossover
Excellent build quality
Amazing soundstage
Minus
Gloss finish needs careful handling

THE VERDICT
Paradigm achieves affordable high-end in the Prestige 75F towers thanks to a beautiful design with furniture-grade finish and reference-quality sound.

With its tall-and-narrow rectangular cabinet, front-mounted drivers, rear-firing port, and cloth grille, Paradigm’s Prestige 75F is the quintessential tower loudspeaker. Fans of new driver types, exotic cabinet designs, the rarest of rare-earth metals, and de rigueur built-in powered woofers might be tempted to pass by (especially when the grille is attached), much as I did figuratively when a pair of the towers arrived.

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