Bob Ankosko

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Oct 24, 2012 0 comments
This may well be the most regal headphone amp you’ll ever lay eyes on. Make that amps, as in a pair of Class A monoblocks—one per channel—which is how the WA-234 is sold. But its majestic looks and meticulous industrial design (60 sheets of aluminum are used to create those wavy side panels) tell only part of the story.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Oct 16, 2012 4 comments
Chesky Records aims to re-create the experience of listening to live music from the best seat in the house with its new Binaural+ Series of high-resolution 24-bit/192-kilohertz recordings. Specially calibrated microphones implanted in the ear canals of a dummy head are used to capture a “stunningly accurate and realistic” 3D representation of the soundfield. With traditional binaural recordings, which have been around for decades, distinct left and right channels are recorded as they would be heard by a pair of human ears and played back through headphones—left channel to left ear, right channel to right ear—to create the illusion of a 360-degree soundstage.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Oct 08, 2012 0 comments
German designer Helmut Brinkmann is on a never-ending quest for audio perfection, in this case with perhaps the most imperfect of music playback devices—the turntable. As he explains on the Brinkmann Audio Website, “Vinyl record playback is an exceedingly delicate and massively complex undertaking”—one he tackles with mastery in the flagship Balance turntable, which has undergone constant refinement since it was introduced 28 years ago. The goal is to achieve true high fidelity and come as close as possible to attaining the illusion of a live performance.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Oct 02, 2012 0 comments
Ever wish you could connect your smartphone to the TV in your living room while you’re lounging around so you could browse your apps on the big screen or watch that hilarious video you shot of your buddy impersonating Mitt Romney? Or maybe you’re on the road and want to kick back and stream a movie or watch a couple of crazy YouTube videos on the TV in your hotel room (assuming you’re not staying in a ’60s-era motel complete with the vintage Philco set). Or just think how cool it would be if instead of lugging your laptop to the boardroom, you could jack into the projector and run a PowerPoint presentation from your phone. If nothing else, you’d certainly impress the boss.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 26, 2012 11 comments
It’s 11:00 on a Sunday night. Your honey just went up to bed and you can’t wait to crank up your latest Blu-ray acquisition: Jimi Plays Berkeley, a long-forgotten 1970 documentary that has been restored and remixed in 5.1 surround. Seconds after Hendrix rips into the first number, the dreaded foot stomping from above begins. The party’s over before it even starts. Last time it was a cataclysmic crescendo from Inception that did you in. Frustrated, you vow to remedy the situation and, once and for all, soundproof the family room that doubles as your home theater.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 24, 2012 4 comments
I half expected an ordeal as I walked into Walmart carrying a small shopping bag with several movies, ready to take the new Disc-to-Digital service for a spin. I was directed to the electronics department where I was greeted by a large placard that read: “Access your movie collection. Any time. Any place. 3 Easy Steps...” Offered in Walmart stores across the country, the service is operated through the chain’s online streaming service, Vudu, and is intended to provide an easy way to set up a cloud-based digital movie library with DVDs and Blu-ray Discs you already own.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 17, 2012 0 comments
We tend to think of high-end video projection as the cornerstone of a larger-than-life home theater experience—you know, the kind that puts the local cinema to shame—rather than a source of creative lighting or fine art. But for SIM2 Multimedia, the Italian company known for high-style/high-performance projectors, the M.150 represents the intersection of home entertainment and interior design.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 08, 2012 0 comments
We can thank Michael Phelps for making it cool to wear over-ear headphones while on the go. In a nod to that trend, Yamaha will roll out the stylish Pro Series line of headphones at the end of the month. Good/better/ best models were previewed at CEDIA Expo: the Pro 500 ($399 in black or blue), the Pro 400 ($299 in blue or white) and the more compact Pro 300 ($199 in black, white or blue).

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 08, 2012 0 comments
Along side its impressive lineup of A/V receivers, Onkyo is demonstrating the EnvisionCinema LS3100 at CEDIA Expo, a 2.1-channel powered TV speaker package featuring two oval speakers with removable stands to accommodate wall or cabinet mounting, a wireless powered subwoofer and a low-profile 20-watt digital amplifier/control center offering SRS audio processing and Bluetooth 2.1 for wireless streaming from compatible devices. The system, which comes pre-programmed for control with most TV remotes, switches on and off with the TV and responds to volume commands. Better yet, it incorporates SRS’s TruVolume equalizer that smoothes out fluctuations in volume as you switch channels, WOW HD audio processing for a more expansive soundstage and a Dialog Mode that enhances voice intelligibility. EnvisionCinema will be available in November with a suggested retail price of $499.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 08, 2012 0 comments
The Boundary B404 speaker Leon is demonstrating at CEDIA Expo may well be the most indoor-looking outdoor speaker you’ll see (shown above in an outdoor theater setup). Available in mahogany, white or black finished with a high-gloss marine varnish that would be at home on any boat, the weatherproof speaker has two 4-inch aluminum woofers and a 1-inch aluminum/magnesium dome tweeter, specially formulated to withstand the elements. Price: $2,200 apiece.

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