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Michael Berk

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Michael Berk Posted: Oct 03, 2012 0 comments

The big box threw me for a second. Some weeks back I'd seen an early prototype of the Aperion Aris, the first Windows 8 Play To certified wireless speaker, and I recalled it being a pretty compact desktop unit. What gives?

Well, it turns out that the manufacturer is so confident in their new product that they sent it to us along with a leading wireless speaker we'd reviewed quite positively, the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air, along with an A/B switcher and a Sansa Clip full of tunes.

Gauntlet thrown! But we'll get to that in a minute.

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Michael Berk Posted: Oct 02, 2012 0 comments

If you've been keeping up with our headphone coverage, you know that the S+V team can come down a little hard on celebrity-branded models - too often, the name attached means nothing more than price-inflating licensing fees paid for showing up at a few press appearances.

Michael Berk Posted: Sep 28, 2012 0 comments

You might have noticed that we were very enthusiastic about the Paradigm MilleniaOne speaker system - it did, after all, end up as our Product of the Year for 2011. Well, Paradigm's continued on developing that line, applying the MilleniaOne's tech to a couple of 2.1 systems (dubbed CT for "Compact Theater") meant to answer the challenge of the current crop of soundbars. And we've gotten our hands on one of them - the Paradigm Millenia CT - to give away to one of you lucky readers.

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Michael Berk Posted: Sep 24, 2012 0 comments

It's no secret that we're big fans of Oppo's line of universal players; in fact, we suggested last year that the company's BDP-93 would likely be the last disc player you'd ever need to buy.

Well, we were wrong. The just-announced BDP-103 ($499) and BDP-105 ($1,199) replace the BDP-93 and 95, and add enough new features to the enticing Oppo package that we just might have to rethink our position.

Michael Berk Posted: Sep 20, 2012 0 comments

Another day, another dock - but wait. There's no dock on the new Phorus PS1 ($199). It's just a shelf. And the little Phorus PR1 ($149). That's no dock either. . .

Michael Berk Posted: Sep 20, 2012 0 comments

While we are big fans of the small companies who've stepped up in recent years to build ever-better headphone amps for use on the go, there are times we would prefer to carry a single device.

Does HTC have us covered?

Michael Berk Posted: Sep 17, 2012 0 comments

Hitachi's drive division has established a beachhead among thrift-conscious media professionals with it's G-Tech line. The long-awaited G-Connect, however, is a vastly different type of product - a portable wireless media server, meant for the iOS accessory market. It's a cool little box, packed with features.

But what, exactly, is this thing? And who is it for?

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Michael Berk Posted: Sep 13, 2012 0 comments

Naxos - the world's largest independent classical label - is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. While the company made its name on budget releases of recordings by Eastern European orchestras and rereleases (and occasional remastering) of out-of-print material, it's moved on to create a  strong catalog of contemporary music, and has embraced high-resolution releases, with a number of SACD and Blu-ray releases in the last few years. And, of course, they've jumped into the FLAC format. This week, HDtracks is paying homage to the label's achievements with a featured set of CD-quality and high-resolution releases from the label, spanning the 19th and 20th Centuries. 

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Michael Berk Posted: Sep 12, 2012 0 comments

The real story of CEDIA Expo 2012, in my opinion, was the way in which the traditional forces of custom integration and installation continue to respond to the flood of ever-more-capable products coming out of the consumer electronics sector, from wireless video and audio to cheap-and-cheerful iOS and Android propelled appliances.

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Michael Berk Posted: Sep 08, 2012 0 comments

As S+V tech editor Al Griffin and I were wandering the floor of the Indiana Convention Center Friday afternoon, we came across the Mozaex booth. The music server manufacturer had some of those on display, ordinary enough for CEDIA - but wait. . .

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