Michael Berk

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Michael Berk Posted: May 24, 2012 0 comments

When we got our hands on the latest iteration of Denon's flagship headphone, the AH-D7000, we had no idea it would be the end of the line for these spectacular wooden-cupped cans (and for the entire Dx000 series, at least as we know it today). Suffice it to say that however curious we are to learn what the Denon headphone design team has up its collective sleeve, we will be sad to see 'em go.

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Michael Berk Posted: May 17, 2012 0 comments

Applying lessons learned in the car audio arena, Earthquake Sound has been delivering high-powered, high-quality products in the active deskop stereo and 2.1 market for a suprisingly long time.

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Michael Berk Posted: May 16, 2012 0 comments

A couple of weeks back we took a listen to a couple of DAC/headphone amplifier combo units from ADL and FiiO that did it all - covering your digital audio and headphone amplification needs at home and on the go - but you don't always need to do it all, do you? There are plenty of us who really just need better audio on the desktop. Luckily, you'll find that the market's rich these days with small, do-it-all USB devices meant to do just that - at surprisingly little cost.

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Michael Berk Posted: May 10, 2012 0 comments

When Bang & Olufsen unvelied the Beolit 12 portable speaker at this year's CES, company VP Henrik Lorensen described it as the first entry in a new brand, aimed at courting a different kind of B&O customer - somebody younger, hipper, and probably unfamiliar with the B&O brand to begin with.

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Michael Berk Posted: May 10, 2012 0 comments

Looking to get your TV fix out of doors, but worried a bit about the elements, or perhaps the occasional errant baseball? The new TV Shield has your back. Well, really it's got you covered on all sides.

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Michael Berk Posted: May 08, 2012 0 comments

Well, just when you thought AirPlay (and, to some extent, Bluetooth) devices had the stylish wireless desktop all-in-one music system market all to themselves, along comes Aperion's new Aris Wireless speaker to shake things up (and, possibly, to finally make Windows 7's AirPlayesque DLNA

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Michael Berk Posted: May 03, 2012 0 comments

British loudspeaker firm KEF's been putting out quality designs for 50 years now, and they're showing no signs of slowing down.

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Michael Berk Posted: May 01, 2012 0 comments

Everybody wants better sound out of their headphones, but (and here's a shocker, I know) not everyone wants to own a lot of hardware to make that happen, especially if you want to take your show on the road every now and then. Whether budget-tightening precludes your investing in a portable listening rig to supplement your home setup or you're just a minimalist, you might just be in luck. Low-cost audio gear leaders FiiO and Alpha Design Labs (the personal audio wing of high-end connector kings Furutech) have each introduced some impressive do-it-all devices that just might cover all of your digital listening needs.

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Michael Berk Posted: Apr 30, 2012 0 comments

There are plenty of wireless streaming options out there these days, but looking at the latest wave of offerings from Yamaha and Denon, it seems that Apple's AirPlay protocol is the one that looms largest in the minds of major manufacturers.

Michael Berk Posted: Apr 23, 2012 0 comments

The dirty little secret of the iOS aftermarket accessory world (at least where audiophiles are concerned) is that Apple's various bricks and slabs actually sound fairly good out of the box. Output impedance of the headphone jack is comfortably low (around 5 ohm for iPods and iPads most cases, below 1 ohm for the iPhone 4/4s), the onboard DAC isn't a slouch - totally adequate for on-the-go, and for everyday desktop listening, you could do a lot worse.

But that might not be enough for you.

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