Home theater has been the best gift to audio manufacturers since Edison yelled into a horn. All of a sudden two-channel stereo systems are woefully old-fashioned. Speaker manufacturers especially have much to be thankful for - instead of two speakers per system, now they can sell at least six. What a deal!
You know what I'm talking about. You're watching your favorite TV show - well, okay, actually you're just mindlessly dozing in front of the tube (maybe even with a little drool), and then suddenly a LOUD COMMERCIAL jolts you wake! What the heck? Why are the commercials always so much louder than the programs?
So you’re a committed audiophile. You used a laser to precisely toe in your front loudspeakers. You lie awake at night worrying about that 2-dB dip at 9 kHz in your room’s frequency response. You hire Mike Mettler to hand-deliver every issue of S+V. [I aim to please —Ed.] Well, that’s great.
Photos by Tony Cordoza Take a good look at the Yamaha MusicCAST system: it just might be a glimpse into the future of home audio entertainment. The MCX-1000 server (above), essentially a CD recorder on steroids crossed with a digital music server, provides two main improvements over traditional playback devices.
Personal hovercraft. Jet-propelled backpacks. Robots that automatically prepare your meals and clean up afterwards. And everyone's favorite - weekend junkets to the orbting Hilton space station. Back in the optimistic 1950s, technology writers were confident that by the 21st century, such things would be a part of daily life.
Point the finger almost anywhere you want. After all, there's plenty of blame to go around. Cable companies didn't really support it. TV manufacturers charged extra for it. The people who designed it left out a few things. And the federal government - it started the whole mess.
This is not your father's stereo - or your iPod. The Bose Lifestyle 38 combines elements of both and adds its own share of functionality and flexibility. The Lifestyle series has been a Bose mainstay for years, offering DVD playback with 5.1-channel surround sound in an attractive, easy-to-use package.
The iPhone 4S was released last week. Of course, people were camping out at Apple stores to buy it. Of course, Apple sold a zillion of them in the first five minutes. Of course, you already have one, and you're probably reading this blog on it.