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Lauren Dragan Posted: Mar 19, 2016 Published: Mar 18, 2016 7 comments
Over the last few years, Audeze, known for their acclaimed LCD series headphones, have expanded their lineups of entry level enthusiast-grade headphones. In 2015, they released the EL-8, a line of portable planar-magnetic over-ear headphones. This year at CES, Audeze announced the launch of not only their most affordable, but most wearable offering yet: the Sine; lightweight, closed-backed, on-ear, planar magnetic headphones. Additionally, the Sine are available with Cipher: a lightning cable with remote, mic, and, oh yeah... an integrated amp, DSP and DAC. Needless to say, I needed to get these on my noggin as soon as possible.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Mar 11, 2016 0 comments
After CES, about a dozen people forwarded me some version of this story concerning a pair of headphones that claim to make you feel psychologically and physically better just by listening to them. Okay, technically, most of the articles stated the headphones “get you high,” but that’s more or less the same concept. Needless to say, I was initially convinced that Lirpa Labs was somehow involved.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jan 29, 2016 4 comments
It has recently come to my attention that certain members of the audio-enthusiast community are concerned by the home audio purchasing choices made by millennials. Specifically, the findings by the NPD Group that 66% of 18-34 year olds use soundbars to listen to music in addition to watching TV. The diehard floorstanding- and tower-speaker fans see this statistic as a harbinger of the impending death of good taste, and prematurely blame the under-40 set for ruining the audio market altogether. I’m here to not only refute that assumption, but to also defend the purchase and use of small audio.
Lauren Dragan Posted: Jan 23, 2016 2 comments
Following the success of their portable Bluetooth speaker, the Turbo X, Riva has decided to go even more compact with their latest introduction, the S. Smaller, lighter, and complete with a ballistic nylon carrying case, the S is just as attractive as the X; made for on the go. But Riva’s S has more up it’s sleeve than just being the Turbo X’s little brother.
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Lauren Dragan Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 20, 2015 12 comments
One of the fun parts of this job is that we get to check out all sorts of weird and wonderful gear. Most of the time, things that seem crazy, are crazy. But every so often, something crazy is actually crazy good. These are the things that fit into that latter category.

So here are the top gifts we’d love to give this holiday season… if we only knew someone who we could give them to.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Dec 12, 2015 1 comments
It’s the holiday season! Time to read every A/V site’s gear guide, round out your wish list, and snag the perfect present for that hard-to-buy-for friend. But if you’re anything like me, after the Black Friday frenzy dies down, you start to feel as though you want to do a little more. If the holidays put you in a giving mood, I’d like to offer you a different sort of gift list: Charities that appeal to the audio/video/tech enthusiast’s heart. Ready to have your heart grow three sizes? Read on!
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Nov 13, 2015 1 comments
Looking for a gift for that hard-to-please person? Want to give a present that says, “I know you care about excellent audio?” Is spending $55,000 no big deal to you? Then, pull out your black card, and give the gift of the newest Sennheiser Orpheus. Preferably, to me. (What? It can’t hurt to ask.)

Yup, Orpheus is back, and better than ever. After ten-years-plus in development, and countless rumors, Sennheiser finally has polished all the details from the prototypes and is ready to release Orpheus their final version early next year. I got to hear a pair while sipping some tea in a concrete loft overlooking Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park Lake. Get your favorite beverage and I’ll fill you in.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Oct 27, 2015 3 comments
The moment I sat in the limo, I should have known: I am no longer in the driver’s seat. Two women in yellow, two aspects of the same character, sit forehead to forehead, motionless save their unified breathing. The limo door shuts, and we are in motion. Music plays through the sound system, and the women begin to sing. They writhe around each other, occasionally splitting apart only to meet again.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Oct 02, 2015 10 comments
This past Wednesday I attended my second Luxury Technology Show in Los Angeles and it was, as the year before it, a study in making the ordinary opulent, and the expensive ridiculously expensive. The LED-message-displaying-booze was flowing and I put on my cocktail attire to see what’s new just for you. Here’s some highlights from what I learned:

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Sep 11, 2015 3 comments
Hailing from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Fluance is a new-enough home-theater speaker company that it isn't yet widely known in the HT community. The company proclaims to “pride [itself] on pushing cutting edge technology to its limits and using high grade parts in the construction of its speaker systems”.. while offering “products at prices well below those of its main competitors.” So when I got to test their newest Bluetooth bookshelf-sized speaker, the Fi50, and saw that it was retailing for around $200, I was curious to see if it would live up to Fluance’s ambitious mission statement.

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