Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 24, 2022  |  0 comments
Based on the Broadway musical from Leonard Bernstein, Steven Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents, West Side Story involves two teenage gangs, one Anglo (the Jets) and the other Puerto Rican (the Sharks), that fight constantly over turf and ethnicity in the mean city streets of 1950s New York. When Jets-member Tony falls head-over-heels for Maria, the sister of a Shark, you don't need a roadmap to see where this will end up. Hint: Think Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 24, 2022  |  0 comments

Remember when we all knew exactly what the song of the summer was? With today’s non-centralized listening habits, it’s harder and harder to have a mass consensus on what constitutes the very best new song to hear pumping out of a car radio and/or at the beach—or through your headphones/earbuds of choice.

Even so, there will always be songs, whether new or old, that define the summer experience, and some of the choices herein this week’s Spatial Audio File definitely fit that bill. Naturally, each of the five tracks to follow has been thoroughly spec’ed and checked by way of my personal deep-dive listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. Sometimes, I even put my shades on to get into the proper full-on summertime vibe. You too can find these and other stellar Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos tracks within the always expanding Apple Music library.

Shades duly doffed, I now present to you this week’s quintet of sun-drenched but wholly unbowed immersive tracks as follows. . .

Rob Sabin  |  Jun 23, 2022  |  0 comments

PRICE $999

Audiophile sound for music and movies
Atmos height effects
Good bass
Integrated high-res music streaming
No expandability for surrounds or sub
No voice-boost or height-channel adjustments

B&W's Atmos-enabled Panorama 3 delivers audiophile-quality music and excellent movie sound without a subwoofer or surround speakers.

Bowers & Wilkins has developed a solid name in the soundbar category for premium products that reflect the brand's longstanding philosophy of putting respect for the music above all else. This doesn't mean their soundbars don't make sonic compromises, only that those compromises tend to be more careful and measured than we see elsewhere. As B&W's first soundbar to offer Dolby Atmos playback and its least expensive soundbar to date at $999, the Panorama 3 is a perfect example of this philosophy.

Barb Gonzalez  |  Jun 22, 2022  |  0 comments
Sling TV is offering free weekends for premium channels and deals to attract new subscribers. Each weekend from Friday, June 24th through the end of August 2022, will be "Freeview Weekends" where all Sling TV subscribers can watch premium channels without signing up or paying for them.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 21, 2022  |  0 comments
Rush’s February 1981 masterpiece Moving Pictures ushered in a previously uncharted era that brought prog rock closer to the heart of the masses. And now, 41 years later, this landmark album gets its further due, thanks to a truly comprehensive multidisc box set and a fully immersive Dolby Atmos mix.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 20, 2022  |  1 comments
I like Swedish meatballs and I cannot lie. Moreover, I would seldom say a discouraging word about cinnamon rolls. Therefore, when IKEA announced that it will be serving up a turntable, my appetite was immediately whetted.

Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jun 17, 2022  |  0 comments
In The Matrix: Resurrections, Neo (Keanu Reeves) is a developer responsible for the most popular game trilogy, one that ponders what would happen if AI took over the world and we didn't realize it. In his everyday life, listless and disconnected, Neo is seeing a therapist called the Analyst (Neil Patrick Harris) who has been prescribing him blue pills so he can get his head right. Turns out that Neo is back in the Matrix and he doesn't know it, but he can feel it. Thankfully, people are trying to rescue him. They also stumble across something new in the Matrix, called "modals," where incidents from Neo's past are being replayed over and over, but the outcomes are slightly different each time.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 17, 2022  |  0 comments

As the lead track for this week’s Spatial Audio File is very much a cosmic experience by its very nature, it served as a nice parallel for how truly great Atmos mixes can put you in a different listening space altogether—one that’s fully enveloping and takes you on a journey outside of your normal, day-to-day environmental confines. Frankly, any time music can take you somewhere you usually aren’t is something that’s a-ok in my book.

As per my usual SAF M.O., each of these five tracks has been quite thoroughly test-driven aurally via personal deep-dive listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. It’s hardly difficult to tell by now that I quite enjoy engaging with the very best offerings of Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos tracks found within the ever-enlarging Apple Music library in any listening experience locale I can.

That said, this week’s five-spot of cosmically cool and universally immersive tracks are. . .

Al Griffin  |  Jun 16, 2022  |  1 comments

PRICE $2,320

Screen fully retracts when not in use
IR and RF remote controls
Very good value
Slight slackness at screen’s bottom edges when extended

The Elite Screens Kestrel is a well-made, reasonably-priced, and easy-to-set-up option for those who want their projection screen to disappear when it’s not in use.

Plenty of custom solutions have been developed to house ultra-short throw (UST) projectors, a category designed to beam bright, living-room friendly images from a position just a few inches away from the bottom edge of the projection screen. The main ones are furniture-grade cabinets with an interior compartment for stowing away the projector so it remains out of sight both in use and when powered off.

Joe Palenchar  |  Jun 16, 2022  |  0 comments
DTS Play-Fi technology, known primarily for home-wide wireless multiroom-audio distribution, is getting a variety of upgrades that could make it a bigger player in wireless home theater.