LATEST ADDITIONS

Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 11, 2017  |  0 comments
Audio Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $200

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Multiple streaming options via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Chromecast built-in
Remote control
Minus
Lackluster sound quality

THE VERDICT
The Mondo+ is a versatile internet radio that offers easy access to a multitude of streaming sources, but we expected better sound quality for the price.

My first thought was “clock radio” as I lifted the Mondo+ out of its box. It’s tough to gauge the heft of a product from a picture, so I guess I was expecting something a bit more substantial. Even so, the plastic-encased Mondo+ is nice and compact—about the size of a loaf of bread—and attractive with a smooth gray finish and large color display that serves as a gateway to wireless streaming options and system settings, including—you guessed it—an alarm clock.

SV Staff  |  Oct 11, 2017  |  0 comments
At long last, Sonos has announced its entry into the burgeoning smart speaker space with the Sonos One, the first voice-controlled speaker to support two voice services — Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 10, 2017  |  2 comments
An unexpected copy of the 4K Ultra HD release of Transformers: The Last Knight flew over my transom last week. This fifth entry may well set a new bar for mindless action punctuated by cringe-worthy humor but it's filled with exceptional eye candy...
Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 10, 2017  |  0 comments

Audio Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
110 watts x 2
PC-USB and phono inputs
Bass, treble, balance controls
Minus
No HDMI or other video switching
Ethernet but no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

THE VERDICT
Although not an AVR, Outlaw’s second-generation stereo receiver has an intelligently chosen feature set, bodacious industrial design, and lots of clean power for music lovers on a budget.

One might argue that no single product category has brought vastly improved sound to so many, so fast, as the now-retro stereo receiver. Models poured in during the (mostly) Japanese mass-market audio explosion of the 1970s, when Classic Rock was just rock. My first receiver was a 15-watt-per-channel Pioneer SX-434, but it just as easily could have been a Marantz, Sansui, Kenwood, Luxman, or any of several other storied brands. Today, top-line stereo receivers from the ’70s—their shiny silver faceplates bristling with knobs, buttons, and toggles—command eyebrow-raising prices on eBay and are lovingly restored by vintage hi-fi buffs.

SV Staff  |  Oct 10, 2017  |  0 comments
Smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo and Google Home are finding their way into an ever expanding base of U.S. homes, which raises a couple questions: Where are people putting these voice-controlled, virtual assistants and how are they using them?
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 10, 2017  |  5 comments
The plan was straightforward. Founded on the overwhelming popularity of the iPod, and then boosted by the dominance of the iPhone, iTunes was ready to own audio and video downloads and streaming. The executives in Cupertino probably had a calendar on the wall, with the exact date of achieving world domination circled in red. That hasn't worked out.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Oct 09, 2017  |  0 comments
When it came to custom installation of home AV gear, automation systems, and security equipment, there used to be two ways of accomplishing it: you could hire a pro, or you could do it yourself. Today, there's a new middle ground option.
Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 09, 2017  |  0 comments
Ah, the freedom and flexibility of wireless Bluetooth speakers. Some companies let you connect several of their speakers together to create a whole-home solution. However, one company has developed a way to potentially connect any and all Bluetooth speakers together, speakers from any company, as well as Bluetooth headphones. Your jogging group can all run to the beat of the same drum. Tempow, a French tech company is making this possible.

SV Staff  |  Oct 09, 2017  |  0 comments
Google announced a more powerful smart speaker last week along with along with an Echo Dot-like device designed to make its Google Assistant more accessible throughout the home.

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