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John Sciacca Posted: Mar 01, 2017 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,499 ($4,477 as reviewed)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Fast setup/programming
Supports modern and legacy sources
Integrates with many third-party systems
AirPlay gives virtually unlimited access
Minus
NAS streaming has quirks
Native app support is fairly limited

THE VERDICT
Russound delivers whole-home audio entertainment in a single, massively expandable chassis, allowing you to enjoy legacy analog/digital sources or modern streaming.

Streaming and app-based control may be all the rage for music listening, but they ignore the fact that many people still have older, legacy gear they want to enjoy around their homes. Sometimes, whether it’s a CD player, turntable, or cable/satellite set-top box, “stream it from the cloud” isn’t a workable solution. Also, most modern wireless streaming music systems, such as Sonos and Play-Fi, eschew any type of wall-based control, relying solely on a smartphone or tablet interface.

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John Sciacca Posted: Mar 01, 2017 0 comments
The number-one service call issue at my custom installation firm used to be cable TV related—generally resolved by rebooting the cable company’s crappy set-top box. But as people increasingly “cord cut” away from traditional entertainment means, the majority of calls we receive now are internet and network related, specifically of the, “My Wi-Fi sucks. Can you fix it?” variety.
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John Sciacca Posted: Feb 01, 2017 3 comments
It surprises me how often people come into my showroom looking to improve their TV audio with still no idea how a surround system works or what it entails. Just last week, a 20-something came in saying he wanted a wireless audio system by a specific brand that he’d heard was the best. I talked to him for a few minutes, querying him on what he wanted the wireless audio system for and what his room layout was like, and it turned out that he was looking for a dedicated home theater system in the $15,000-to- $20,000 range but thought a wireless soundbar was the best place to start. I’ll be honest; I died a little inside.
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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 08, 2017 0 comments
Arcam expanded its rSeries of products with the release of the new rPhono phono stage preamplifier. The new executive-sized component resides in a stylish aluminum case with the sole function of allowing vinyl lovers to enjoy their collections regardless of hardware combination or configuration. To ensure maximum compatibility and optimal matching regardless of cartridge type, rPhono offers a huge variety of adjustments.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 08, 2017 0 comments
For the company’s 55th anniversary, KEF created the LS50 Wireless, a complete active music system sharing the acoustic features of the company’s vaunted LS50. The LS50 Wireless features so many inputs and options for enjoying your music, it is a veritable Swiss Army Knife of versatility, but with audiophile, 192kHz/24-bit performance.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 08, 2017 0 comments
Without a doubt, one of the benefits of attending CES is getting to listen to audio systems that reside way outside the realm of what is considered normal. Walking the hallways of the Venetian, it isn’t uncommon to pass suits demonstrating six-figure electronics and speaker systems. But when you enter the realm of mid-five-figure, cost-no-object, premium electrostatic headphone designs, then even the most jaded among us will stop to take a listen. Launching into this rarefied air and going after the title of “world’s ultimate headphone” is HIFIMAN’s new Shangri-La, a headphone system featuring virtual zero distortion and lightning fast response.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 08, 2017 0 comments
New in-wall speaker announcements at CES are about as dry and parched as the city’s desert air, so I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped into Paradigm’s Venetian suite and saw the company was introducing six new models across its CI Pro and CI Elite lineups. Designed for residential home theater installations, these new models are all LCR designs featuring integrated backboxes made from ¾-inch MDF to provide an optimal acoustic environment as well as keeping sound from bleeding into adjacent rooms.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 08, 2017 0 comments
Add Arcam to the growing list of companies that have joined the DTS PlayFi wireless streaming camp with the introduction of the company’s new rPlay Wireless Music Receiver. For performance minded listeners that have been looking for a way to dip their ears into the wireless listening waters, rPlay will enable adding PlayFi to any system and has a ton of features to get excited about.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 08, 2017 0 comments
Nothing completes a pool party or day at the beach like some good tunes, but many companies shy away from offering truly portable, weatherproof speaker options. Most solutions involve small, Bluetooth speakers that have thin sound and are splash-proof at best. Soundcast displayed its upcoming VG10 which will be the world’s first wireless, truly portable, weatherproof speaker to be part of the DTS PlayFi family.
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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 06, 2017 0 comments
A common talking point amongst IoT providers at CES is how they are designing products to protect against malicious Internet DDOS attacks like the Mirai botnet that recently took down the Net for millions back in September. The reality is that network security is a complex, difficult to understand concept for many people, and creating a truly secure network is simply beyond the ability of most users and their networking components. That’s where Dojo comes in, becoming your own full-time network protecting ninja!

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