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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.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 23, 2009 0 comments
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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 03, 2012 0 comments

The Consumer Electronics Show begins next Tuesday in Las Vegas. Starting Monday — press day — you’ll be barraged with news of the latest gadgets and gizmos. But what gadget bloggers and TV talking heads are likely to miss in their search for sexy baubles is all the stuff that’s going on in audio.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 28, 2012 0 comments

Even in a tech-packed place like the January Consumer Electronics Show, the Edifier Spinnaker stood out like a. . . well, like a pair of red rhinoceros horns at an electronics trade show. I noticed it from about 70 feet away and rushed right over to see it. These days, you see lots of crazy designs for audio systems, but the Spinnaker looked crazy-cool, not crazy-silly. I demanded a review sample right then and there.

The Short Form
$9,574 (as tested) / MARTINLOGAN.COM
The Short Form
The Zvox Z-Base 500 is the best solution to date for simple home theater sound - one that everyone in the family can easily use and enjoy
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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 04, 2013 0 comments

It's kind of amazing that a component that hasn't changed much outwardly for 20+ years can change so much internally in the course of just a couple of years. I'm talking about Pioneer's surround-sound receivers, which I first encountered in 1989 ... and which still looked almost exactly the same when I walked into the demo room at the company's Long Beach, Calif., headquarters last week to check out its four new affordable models.

But they don't work the same. The new receviers, priced from $249 to $599, are even more packed with technology than the generation they replace. Fortunately, though, Pioneer's taking some steps to help consumers deal with all that complexity.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 11, 2010 0 comments
Key Features
• iQ50 tower speaker ($450 each): 51?4-in woofer, 51?4-in mid/woofer, 3?4-in tweeter; 32 in high; 221?2 lb
• iQ60C center speaker ($550): (2) 51?4-in woofers, 51?4-in mid/woofer, 3?4-in tweeter; 201?8 in wide; 193?8 lb
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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 27, 2012 0 comments

WHEN I FIRST SAW the Sennheiser HD598’s beige-and-brown color scheme, woodgrain accents, and air-cushioned headband, images of all sorts of 1970s products fl ooded through my head: Kustom guitar amps with “tuck and roll” covering, lacquered driftwood furniture, waterbeds, Roger Dean posters.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 29, 2012 0 comments

Like wine, sushi, and plumbers, headphones can get a lot more expensive than most people realize. At Sound+Vision, we focus on under-$500 models. But when Dr. Fang Bian, the visionary entrepreneur behind the HiFiMan headphone company, asked if I’d like to try the company’s top-of-the-line, $1,299 HE-6 headphone and its new $1,599 EF-6 headphone amplifier, I thought it’d be a great chance to give our usual listening panel a sample of what only the most devoted and/or wealthy headphone aficionados usually get to hear.


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