Brent Butterworth

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Dec 19, 2011 0 comments

Every year, magazine editors around the world solicit ideas from their writers for the compulsory “holiday gift guide.” Every year, we scrounge the Internet in search of items we think our editors will go for. ’Cause the more gift ideas the editors buy, the more money we make.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 20, 2013 0 comments

Two pretty big pieces of news hit the audio world this week. Jade Design, makers of Emotiva products, purchased Bob Carver LLC and has begun making his products in the U.S. at substantially lower prices.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 24, 2013 0 comments

With the vPulse in-ear monitor, Velodyne managed a trick most other headphone brands haven’t—it created a big-bass headphone that didn’t sound dull. Now the company has launched two over-ear models: the $399 vTrue, a large, audiophile-oriented model, and the $299 vFree, a relatively compact headphone equipped with Bluetooth wireless. S&V’s Michael Berk reviewed the vTrue, while I’m taking on the vFree.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Dec 20, 2009 0 comments
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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 25, 2012 0 comments

I almost did it myself. I was listening to "King Contrary Man" from The Cult's Electric, through Phonak Audéo PFE 232 in-ear headphones while sitting in a 757 somewhere over Colorado, trying to get an idea of how well Phonak's PerfectFit design blocks out airplane noise.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 17, 2012 0 comments

From a technical standpoint, speakers have hardly changed since I went to my first CES back in January 1990. Yet each CES is still jam-packed with new speaker designs. Some are merely modifications on the classic black box. Others are aesthetic flights of fancy intended to captivate those who really don’t much like audio gear.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Apr 19, 2013 0 comments

Speakers are like karate. Subwoofers are like weightlifting. The quality of a speaker is determined by subtleties: well-chosen drivers, just-right crossover points and slopes, and a perfectly tuned, solidly constructed enclosure. The quality of a subwoofer is determined mostly by its muscle: the size of the enclosure, the displacement of its driver, and the power of its amplifier.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 28, 2012 0 comments

There are speaker companies better-known than B&W, but I doubt any has a more enviable reputation. B&Ws have been a fave of audiophiles and recording engineers for decades. But the best indicator of B&W’s rep would probably be a walk through an audio show in China, where you’ll see no other speaker brand so brazenly copied.

Nowadays, though, B&W seems focused on compact and portable products, such as its Zeppelin Air and P5 and C5 headphones. Can’t blame B&W for wanting to surf the market trends, but headphones, especially, are so different from speakers that a company’s expertise in one is little indicator of skill in the other.

All three of the products I just mentioned have received rave reviews, though. That praise gives us great hope for the P3, a smaller, more portable, $100-less-expensive version of the P5.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 31, 2013 0 comments

NHT was the first speaker company I ever wrote about, way back in 1989. The company has changed hands several times since then, but its current product offerings are strikingly similar to the originals. It still focuses on compact, well-engineered speakers with gloss-black finishes.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 17, 2011 0 comments

I can tell you in one paragraph how to set up a pair of small speakers, but I could write a book about setting up subwoofers. It’s the most challenging aspect of home audio because the resonances in a room tend to stress certain bass frequencies and strangle others. The effects of those resonances change from place to place in a room, so the sound may be perfect in one seat and a mess the next chair over.

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