If what I heard today is any indication, Kodak’s decline may be Hollywood’s gain. When Kodak dropped the naming rights to the famous theater used to host the Academy Awards, Dolby picked them up — and gave the theater a first-class technical makeover.
Since my first lengthy experience with Sonos products, I've been recommending them as a simpler, lower-cost alternative to traditional multiroom audio systems. It's just so much easier. Plug in a Sonos component, go through a simple config, and you have great-sounding music and Internet radio in any room (or many rooms) in a matter of minutes, all controlled by your smartphone or computer.
But there's one thing a Sonos system doesn't deliver: bass. Now that's fixed.
As I was going through some old trade show photos earlier this week, it dawned on me that a lot of the products I’d photographed and subsequently reviewed turned out to be quite different from what I’d been led to expect by the demo. Sometimes products that sounded amazing at a show didn’t sound so great when I actually got a real production sample into my home.
Even with so many new headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and other new personal/portable audio products debuting at last week's CES, there was still plenty of room for new introductions in traditional audio products. In fact, the Venetian Hotel was full of 'em, with exhibits spanning five floors plus some of the convention space downstairs.
LEDs have risen from their original occupation as humble indicator lamps to serving as the light source for some of today's most advanced TVs. Electronics engineers prize the LED for its brightness and cool-running efficiency. Environmentalists and utility companies tout its low power consumption. Videophiles are warming to it for the performance enhancements it facilitates.
Surely there’s never been such a vast display of headphones in the history of the universe as at CES 2012. From super-high-end models to bottom-feeder stuff, there was something for every budget and every taste.
As athletes such as Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant, and the whole New Orleans Saints defense have learned the hard way, even when you’re the best, it helps to be friendly. Big surround sound systems aren’t friendly to your décor or your pocketbook. Fortunately, in the last 2 years, we’ve seen major speaker companies put serious effort into designing compact 5.1 systems that deliver no-compromise performance. The Mini Theatre line from Bowers & Wilkins is the latest to make its way through my listening room.