LATEST ADDITIONS

Kris Deering  |  Oct 21, 2020  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
16-channel processing and output
Extensive customization options
Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro-3D support
Dirac Live with Bass Control sub integration
Minus
Setup may intimidate casual users
No onscreen display

THE VERDICT
With support for all key immersive audio formats, 16-channel output, and Dirac Live room correction, the Monolith HTP-1 surround sound processor punches well above its price class.

It's been interesting to watch the evolution of Monoprice in the home theater market following the introduction of its Monolith product line. Monolith encompasses a broad range of components, including speakers, subwoofers, and amplifiers, all produced in partnership with big names in A/V product design and development, and all offering impressive performance at a strikingly low cost. The company's latest market disruptor is the Monolith HTP-1 surround sound processor, a stunning freshman effort that includes features typically seen only on components that cost significantly more than the $3,999 HTP-1.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 20, 2020  |  4 comments
The other day I was fiddling with my car radio in an attempt to find an interesting station, not an easy exercise in my end of the woods. I landed on a real estate broadcast. I’m not in the market to buy or sell property, but I stayed with it rather than dial while driving. My car doesn’t have one of those all-singing, all dancing, voice activated in-car entertainment systems—”Alexa, play soft jazz.”

The subject being discussed was what sort of home improvements homeowners were investing in these days. In the current environment it may seem odd that some folks are putting in swimming pools, adding bedrooms, and remodeling here and there. But if it keeps contractors in business and their workers employed I’m happy for them. One question asked of the commentator was if these upgrades included an uptick in home theater installations. Given the current (non) status of commercial movie theaters, this seemed logical. The answer given, however, was a definite no. With the ability to now watch and listen on portable devices such as smart phones and tablets, the responder claimed that some current home theater owners are even converting their entertainment spaces to home offices or other more pressing needs. Yuck.

SV Staff  |  Oct 19, 2020  |  2 comments
Do your existing HDMI cables support 8K? Maybe that’s not something you need to panic about right now, but if you are putting together a system and need cables, you may want to consider Ultra High Speed certified ones like those in AudioQuest’s new 48Gbps lineup.
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 16, 2020  |  3 comments
"See? I told ya!"

It was April 2010, and I was sitting across from Tom Petty in the living room of his home in Malibu, California, where we had just spent a few hours talking about his journey west from Gainesville, Florida in the mid-1970s to the recording of June 2010's Mojo for a Sound & Vision cover feature that would appear later that summer.

Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 15, 2020  |  0 comments
It’s pretty simple: If you don’t have good speakers, you don’t have a good sound system. Sorry to be so blunt, but speakers — more than any other component in the audio chain — play a crucial role in shaping the tonal character of the music they’re reproducing. If you decide it’s time to upgrade, here are 17 of the best speaker systems Sound & Vision has reviewed so far in 2020.
Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 14, 2020  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Immersive 3D audio mode
Chromecast-built in plus Bluetooth
Stylish, wireless subwoofer
Minus
Imaging can be vague with stereo music
Remote control hard to read

THE VERDICT
Polk Audio’s elegantly simple and affordable MagniFi 2 delivers expansive sound from a system with a relatively small footprint.

Polk Audio's new MagniFi 2 soundbar hits a sweet spot of affordability, performance, and convenience. It features Polk's patented SDA Stereo Dimensional Array technology to enhance stereo imaging, a 3D Mode that adds virtual height and surround effects, and a Voice Adjust feature to boost dialogue levels in movies and TV shows.

Barb Gonzalez  |  Oct 14, 2020  |  0 comments
The Chromecast with Google TV is a complete 4K/Dolby Vision and Atmos-capable streaming player, and it's about to give Roku and Amazon Fire TV some stiff competition.
Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 13, 2020  |  0 comments
Entering the oak-paneled foyer of this Victorian manor in Toronto's prestigious Rosedale neighborhood is like stepping back into the early 20th century. Built in 1901, the expansive estate has been meticulously restored to evoke the grandeur of the period— with a fantastic secret. Hiding behind the magnificent historical façade is a fully automated state-of-the-art smart home created by Moonshot Automation (moonshotautomation.com, formerly Custom Sound and Vision) in nearby Mississauga.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 12, 2020  |  4 comments
“These companies copy other peoples' inventions, flood the market with chintzy products sold at bargain basement prices, and make consumers pay with their privacy.”

Mike Mettler  |  Oct 09, 2020  |  1 comments
Performance
Sound
"The Replacements are self-destructing right in front of me."

That's what I was thinking to myself as I watched these four Minneapolis-bred indie-rock stalwarts attempt to play through their rag-tag set while opening for Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers on August 19, 1989, at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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