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Lauren Dragan Posted: Oct 02, 2015 0 comments
This past Wednesday I attended my second Luxury Technology Show in Los Angeles and it was, as the year before it, a study in making the ordinary opulent, and the expensive ridiculously expensive. The LED-message-displaying-booze was flowing and I put on my cocktail attire to see what’s new just for you. Here’s some highlights from what I learned:

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Sep 11, 2015 0 comments
Hailing from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Fluance is a new-enough home-theater speaker company that it isn't yet widely known in the HT community. The company proclaims to “pride [itself] on pushing cutting edge technology to its limits and using high grade parts in the construction of its speaker systems”.. while offering “products at prices well below those of its main competitors.” So when I got to test their newest Bluetooth bookshelf-sized speaker, the Fi50, and saw that it was retailing for around $200, I was curious to see if it would live up to Fluance’s ambitious mission statement.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Sep 04, 2015 0 comments
Sleep. On average, we spend a third of our day asleep. It’s a large portion of our lives, and one that British composer Max Richter wants to consider. In addition to several albums, Richter has composed for movies, television, and now for an audience that is (he hopes, anyway) asleep. Richter’s most recent project, the recording of which is available today, is eight hours long, and composed specifically for a listener who is in a somnambulant state. And later this month, Sleep will become the longest single continuous piece of music ever broadcast live on the BBC.
Lauren Dragan Posted: Jul 08, 2015 2 comments

PRICE $350

Easy setup
Intuitive controls
Portable footprint but big sound
A little pricey compared with competition its size
Even with phono mode, vinyl may not be loud enough at line level

Portable enough for on-the-go listening, the Riva Turbo X is a little more expensive than most, but it’s worth the money for folks who want a small speaker without sacrificing sound quality.

There’s a multitude of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market today. Every form of novelty is covered: They’re splash-proof, they have disco light displays, some literally dance. Standing out in a field of hundreds takes a little something extra that’s truly special. How novel is it, then, when a small Bluetooth speaker’s claim to fame is that it actually sounds fantastic? Enter the Riva Turbo X, a seven-driver, 45-watt (RMS) little dynamo that is smaller than a loaf of bread and yet easily fills a medium-sized living room with high-quality sound.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jun 26, 2015 0 comments
Most of the time, when I get headphones in to review, it’s a pretty standard experience: unbox, burn in, listen, evaluate. While I still get excited when a headphone sounds really fantastic, it’s rare that I get jazzed before I even open the box. Modular tube amp fans will know what I mean; that giddy glee like a new box of LEGOs on Christmas morning: a feeling of potential and playtime. Something to open, adjust, and make your own. And I miss it. So as I grabbed my kitchen shears to crack open the shipping box for the new Torque Audio t402v (customizable headphones several years in the making), I was surprised to find I was smiling, and giggled to myself. Holy crap, I’m actually excited to play with some headphones! Don’t worry, I did well in kindergarten. I’ll share.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jun 20, 2015 0 comments
One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “What should I get if I want a headphone that has good ANC, BT, and high-quality sound?” This all-things-headphone holy grail has been the pursuit of many a manufacturer lately: Parrot, Samsung, Beats, Creative, Plantronics, Sennheiser, and now Definitive Technology with its Symphony 1. But can the Symphony 1 really be all things to all people? I gave them a spin to find out.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: May 08, 2015 0 comments
Wren recently expanded its successful V5 wireless sound system line with the addition of the V5US, which is the first of the Wren line to be compatible with multiple wireless platforms: AirPlay, Play-Fi, and Bluetooth. According to Wren, the V5US is the only Apple certified multi-platform speaker. The V5US functions as a stand-alone bookshelf speaker, or can be connected to up to eight other speakers in a multi-room and multi-zone system. I got to check out the V5US recently, and put it through its paces.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: May 01, 2015 0 comments
The weather is warmer, and you can’t wait to pull your trusty 2-wheeler out of the garage. Or maybe you’re a dedicated bike commuter, saving the planet and burning off your morning donut on the way to work. The thing is, unless you live the country life, it can be a real (urban) jungle out there. Dodging traffic, animals, and other cyclists can be a bit nerve wracking. And, sadly, hit and runs happen. More and more motorcyclists have started wearing rear-facing cameras on their bikes or helmets, so why shouldn’t the pedal pushers of the world have their own solution? Enter Fly6, a rear facing HD camera and bike light that not only sees, but helps you be seen. I took one for a spin, and came back convinced. Read on to find out why.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Apr 24, 2015 0 comments
If you felt a disturbance in the force last week, it was likely due to fans everywhere emotionally geeking out at the newly released Star Wars trailer. In case you were trapped in a Sarlacc pit, last week Anaheim played host to the annual Star Wars Celebration, a gathering for fans of all things Star Wars. Attendees from around the world were treated to panels, demonstrations, and the very first look at the trailer for The Force Awakens. Couldn’t make it? Want to know what you missed? Read on, Padawan.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Apr 02, 2015 8 comments
Earlier this week, a bevy of music superstars all stood on a stage to announce the re-launch of yet another music streaming service. This one is called TIDAL. Who was there? Madonna, Jay Z, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, DeadMaus, Kanye, Chris Martin, Alicia Keys, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Jack White, and more. You know… millionaires. Millionaires who want to convince you to pay $10-$20 a month for music. Are you rolling your eyes? You’re not alone.


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