The JBL name is among the most revered in the audio marketplace. Since its founding in 1946 by James Bullough (love that middle name) Lansing, the brand consistently stood for excellence in the pro market. The company has been part of the Harman constellation for 40 years, and expanded into the consumer market, but its reputation has held fast. Now, JBL is pressing hard in the portable speaker and dock markets. Does the red square still stand for quality?
Audiophiles laughed when the CD was first marketed as "Perfect sound forever." They rejected the notion that digital was better than analog, or that the CD sounded better than the LP. Today, it's generally accepted that 44.1-kHz, 16-bit files (with modern improvements such as noise shaping) can challenge the ability of most listeners to detect aural format flaws.
How many times has this happened to you? You’re rounding the Warsteiner-Kurve at the Nürburgring at about 3 lateral Gs and your iPad Mini flies out the window of your Porsche 997 GT2 and lands on a hausfrau’s schnitzel, and she exclaims, “Mein Gott in Himmel!”
Beginning as barely a trickle, it is now becoming a steady stream as more and more "universal" optical-disc players reach store shelves. The latest models can play DVD-Video discs (and home-burned DVD-R/RWs recorded in the DVD-Video format), DVD-Audio discs, CDs (including CD-R/RW discs and those with MP3 files), and Super Audio CDs.
Oh, boy. Another tremendous battle is brewing. It will be the mother of all battles - as well as the father, the son, and the daughter. More than likely, it will be the family pet of all battles, too. It's nothing less than warfare for world domination. Once and for all, it will settle the question: Who makes the coolest toys?
There is probably more diversity in the audio/video market than in the Amazon rainforest. Dealer's shelves (and Amazon.com's Web pages) are filled with a seemingly endless variety of DVD players, A/V receivers, speakers, and complete home theater systems.
For a century we've been industriously broadcasting radio programs all across the globe, with the great majority of programs received free of charge. After light bulbs, radios are probably the most ubiquitous electrical devices on earth. Radio is cool. Life is good.