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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: Sep 10, 2012 0 comments

Even though soundbars were pioneered by midline speaker companies like Definitive Technology and Polk, TV companies such as Samsung and Vizio kinda took over the category with ~$300 self-powered models that you didn’t have to connect to a receiver.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 01, 2010 0 comments

On June 11, 2009, I lost a cherished friend: the Sony Watchman TV I'd owned for 20 years. When analog TV broadcasts went dead that day, my Watchman, along with every other portable analog mini-TV, suddenly became useless. A few portable digital TVs have since appeared to fill the gap, but because the ATSC digital-TV standard wasn't designed for mobile use, none of them can deliver the reliable roving reception of my 1980s-vintage Watchman.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 26, 2013 0 comments

Hsu Research ranks high on home theater enthusiasts' "most favored brands" list, largely because of its high-performance, low-priced subwoofers. Indeed, the HB-1 MK2 ($318/pr) seems to be designed primarily as a home theater bruiser: At 15.4 inches high, it's the largest speaker in this roundup, and its 6.5-inch, polypropylene-cone woofer gives it more bass real estate than any but the Axiom M3v3.

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: 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: Nov 14, 2012 0 comments

When I attend trade shows, I’m always reluctant to ask for a review sample of a new product. ’Cause who knows if I’ll see something cooler around the corner? But when I saw the Custom One Pro at the recent Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, I asked Beyerdynamic’s Pete Carini to send me a sample ASAP. After a quick listen to the Custom One Pro, I knew there was no way I’d find a more interesting headphone that weekend.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 27, 2011 0 comments

Speaker makers fall into two general groups: the Canadian school and the artsy school. The Great White Northerners - guided by decades of study conducted at the Canadian National Research Council in Ottawa - fuss and fuss until their speakers deliver perfect measured performance, then run test after test with trained listeners to make sure their speakers sound practically flawless.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments

"So this is a tuner headphone," our frequent West Coast listening panelist Will Huff commented when I showed him the Mad Dog Alpha. "Like tuner cars?" he suggested when he saw my quizzical look. "Like in Fast and Furious?" he asked when I gave him a shrug. Ah, finally I got it.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 06, 2011 0 comments

While on a swing through Vancouver this week to check out the vintage audio scene, I stopped by to say hi to the guys at Vancouver Audio Speaker Clinic, an old-school speaker repair shop of the type I haven’t seen since I was a kid in the 1970s trying to resurrect the shredded speakers from my

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