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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 30, 2015 3 comments
I’ve met enough top speaker designers over the years to know that they’re all obsessive. And I mean that in a good way. To design a great speaker, you have to be obsessive. You have to be prepared to spend countless hours in the lab and in listening rooms evaluating and tweaking every conceivable variable to isolate that elusive mix of art and science that yields a speaker capable of fooling listeners into thinking they’re experiencing a live performance. A tall order, to be sure. Geoff Martin is not a designer, but as Bang & Olufsen’s tonmeister, he plays a critical role in the development of every speaker the Danish company makes. What’s a tonmeister? Read on.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 24, 2015 0 comments
Our assessment of Digital TV’s first year was not all rosy as you can see from the Digital TV Report Card published in the December 1999 issue.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 18, 2015 3 comments

Build Quality
PRICE $395

Striking design
Excellent build quality
Impressive sound
Subwoofer output (for gamers and bass hounds)
A remote control would be nice (for some applications)

The extraordinary Talisman speakers take desktop music to a new level.

The decision to feature Serene Audio’s Talisman in our Premiere Design section (November) was a no-brainer. We’ve seen lots of unusual speakers over the years but nothing quite like the squiggly lines of Sia Rezaei’s imaginative design. You might hate it, but I find it inspiring. And it’s a desktop speaker that’s only 8 inches tall. I don’t know about you, but I spend way too many hours pecking away in front of a computer, usually with Pandora playing in the background through a pair of cheap (no excuses, I know) computer speakers. The promise of great sound from visually striking desktop speakers appeals to me, so I asked Rezaei to send me a set of Talismans.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 03, 2015 0 comments
I know you don’t want to be the guy or gal who gives questionable—OK, useless— presents. Apart from the awkward head-nodding and forced smiles, the act of giving a bogus gift reflects badly on you, as in: I ran in Target a quarter to five on Christmas Eve and grabbed the first [tie/sweater/gloves/underwear] I saw. Don’t go there! We’ve already screened a dozen gifts for you at prices starting as low as 30 bucks. All you have to do is find a match for that special person(s) on your list. How hard can that be?
Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 01, 2015 1 comments
If you’re French, you don’t just build a speaker, you build a French speaker—one that takes design seriously. So seriously that you might end up with a speaker that looks nothing at all like a traditional (boring) speaker. La Boite Concept made a name for itself in Europe with the imaginative High-Fidelity Laptop Dock, a small desk featuring an integral sound system and high-quality USB DAC. The Cube is an extension of that concept that would seem to be ideally suited for small living spaces.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 19, 2015 6 comments
Nothing quite like a good old format war. Ten years ago this month we reported on Toshiba’s decision to postpone the U.S. launch of HD DVD from December 2005 to early 2006.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 13, 2015 0 comments
When Larry Hornbeck stepped up to the podium to accept an Oscar for inventing the digital micromirror device—the core technology behind DLP video projection—he held up a postage-stamp-sized DMD chip and said: “It’s hard to believe that there are more than 8 million digital micromirrors on this device. Who would ever have believed that [this invention] would change the way the world views cinema.” A couple decades later I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of 8 million microsopic mirrors tilting at precise angles and reflecting light to create stunning images at home and in movie theaters. So I reached out to Dr. Hornbeck, holder of 38 U.S. patents and winner of numerous awards and honors, to learn more about his crazy invention.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 12, 2015 0 comments
Hoping to bring Hi-Res Music to an audience beyond audiophiles, executives from Sony, Best Buy, and three major record labels gathered at Best Buy’s flagship Magnolia Design Center store on New York City’s Columbus Circle this evening to announce that Hi-Res listening stations have been installed in 79 Magnolia Design Center stores across the country.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 09, 2015 0 comments
Actually, yes. The Rufus Cuff is a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth-enabled Android OS “wrist communicator” with a 3.2-inch screen created by startup Rufus Labs.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 03, 2015 0 comments
Imagine if you could focus sound the same way you beam light from a flashlight. Think of the possibilities. You could direct sound to Bill, and Betty, who’s sitting right next to him, wouldn’t hear a thing. Sort of like headphones without…uh… the ’phones.