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Brent Butterworth

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 21, 2012 0 comments

When B&W launched the Zeppelin back in 2007, it created a whole new category: the high-end lifestyle audio system. The Zeppelin cost a whopping $599, but it sounded much better than the other iPod docks of its time, it looked like no other audio product in history, and it sold like crazy.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments

Cutting the cable” is a fashionable trend, but Monster is doing it in a different sense: It’s now just going by Monster instead of Monster Cable. True to its new moniker, the company didn’t even mention cable in its CES press conference today. But given the onslaught of cool new products the company introduced, nobody seemed to notice.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 24, 2011 0 comments

The Internet has come alive with cheers of audiophiles and jeers of audiophobes since CNN.com reported unconfirmed rumors that download services such as iTunes and Amazon MP3 would soon begin offering music files with 24-bit resolution. Technically, this is a step up from the 16-bit resolution available in most downloads. But predictably, non-audiophiles are criticizing this move as little more than a naked marketing ploy.

Brent Butterworth Posted: May 28, 2013 0 comments

Hey, who decided we should adjust volume by pushing buttons instead of turning a knob? Whether you have to push the button repeatedly, or push, hold, and wait to hit the right volume, is that really easier than twisting a knob? No, it's not. Unfortunately, I know of only one Bluetooth speaker maker who realizes this: Native Union.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Apr 23, 2010 0 comments

Like panthers or hamsters or bats, video projectors do the bulk of their business in the dark. But darkness makes most humans uncomfortable, which may be why front projection has never made it into the mainstream — in order to get a good picture, you have to turn most, and preferably all, of the lights off.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Apr 29, 2013 0 comments

Speaker Standouts
An old-school category sees surprising innovation

One could argue that this spring will see as much innovation in the speaker category as in headphones. But when you think about it, that’s not really so surprising. After all, speakers can be almost any size, almost any shape, almost any weight, while headphones will always have to be small and light enough to fit on your head.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 01, 2012 0 comments

When I first encountered the Exodus from House of Marley, during our test last fall of celebrity-branded headphones, I didn’t expect much. I assumed the company had put all its effort into the Exodus’ stunning styling, and little into sound quality.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 11, 2013 0 comments

B&W's $4,000 mid-line flagship: The CM10 is the new top-of-the-line model in the company's mid-priced CM line. It's the only model in the CM line that features the same "tweeter on top" technology found in the company's higher-end 800 series.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 01, 2012 0 comments

In the last year, we’ve seen lots of super-compact audio systems that sound surprisingly good: the Jawbone Jambox, the Q2 Internet Radio, and the Soundmatters FoxLv2 are three great examples. But the NuForce Cube comes in at just a fraction of their size: The enclosure measures less than 2.5 inches on all its sides. One look at the Cube and it’s hard to imagine you’d want to listen to it for long.

But behind the Cube’s grille hides what may be the most serious attempt at a 1-inch full-range driver I’ve ever seen.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 16, 2011 0 comments

I would never do what SVS did with its new subwoofer, the SB13-Plus. The company originally sent me a review sample last fall, but despite the fact that it sounded (and measured) great, SVS asked me to hold the review while its engineers tweaked the sub’s Sledge STA-1000D amplifier. It took months for the new amplifier to arrive.

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