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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: Aug 17, 2011 0 comments

For anyone into ultra-low-budget home theater, yesterday was one of the greatest days ever. That’s because Optoma announced the HD33, which cuts the minimum price for a 3D home theater projector by 67%.

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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.

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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: 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: Sep 25, 2008 0 comments

Many A/V enthusiasts dream of having a custom theater designed by home theater pioneer and Sound & Vision columnist Theo Kalomirakis. But mystery novelists Jonathan and Faye Kellerman (Capital Crimes, When the Bough Breaks) have something twice as nice: two theaters designed by Theo.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 07, 2011 0 comments

One could argue that it’s silly to make a subwoofer look nice. Most subs get shoved into out-of-the-way places where even the most exotic wenge veneer, doused in seven coats of hand-rubbed lacquer and applied to gracefully arcing side panels, won’t really look any better than the cheapest black vinyl wrap glued over a plain rectangular box.

Those who find ugliness a virtue in subwoofers will love SVS’ new $769 PB12-NSD, which is about as plain as subwoofers get.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 09, 2012 0 comments

The original Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker has won raves from us and seemingly everyone else who reviews portable audio gear. That’s partly because of the Jambox’s great sound, partly because of its cool industrial design, and partly because of its flashy programmable features. But even the most shameless marketing guy wouldn’t say the Jambox’s 1.25-inch drivers rock.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Dec 25, 2012 0 comments

To reviewers, accusations of bias are just part of the gig. Commenting readers have insisted we're biased against certain brands, biased against in-ear monitors, biased against headphones with lots of bass, biased against headphones with flat bass, even biased against headphones from non-California companies.

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