Mike Mettler  |  Jun 26, 2020  |  0 comments
ZZ Top ain't been nicknamed That Little Ol' Band From Texas for nothing, you know. But just in case you don't, please bear witness to this highly informative 2019 Banger Films documentary, which delves Rio Grande-deep into the true origins of this tight-knit blues 'n' boogie trio. (Incidentally, said trio also happens to comprise the longest-running unchanged lineup in rock history—51 years and counting, as of presstime.)
Al Griffin  |  Jun 26, 2020  |  0 comments
British manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins has introduced Signature versions of loudspeakers from its 700 Series: the floor-standing 702 Signature and standmount 705 Signature. With upgraded crossovers and a luxurious cabinet finish, both models “represent the apex of current Bowers & Wilkins design, engineering and manufacturing processes.”
Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 25, 2020  |  0 comments
June ushered in the relaxing vibes of summer, hope for a future free of COVID-19, and several more Sound & Vision Top Picks for your consideration. From a unique “soundbar” for turntable-based music systems to wireless earbuds worthy of your attention to an outstanding five-piece home-theater speaker system and a subwoofer built for inveterate tweakers, there’s a little something for everyone. Here’s to reconnecting with friends and family (in person!) and revisiting vacation plans as we get on with our lives.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 25, 2020  |  0 comments
Welcome back my friends, to the sheltering that never ends! Well, I suppose that assessment technically depends on just how good your home state has been in adhering to our respective pandemic guidelines, but I digress. Regardless of whether you're following a strict lockdown or beginning to safely venture out and about (albeit while wearing a mask, please!), we can all still agree there's nothing quite like spending some quality screen time with top-shelf streaming content, no matter what's going on outside as summer gets into full swing.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jun 24, 2020  |  0 comments
At the 2020 Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) keynote on Monday, the company announced its latest operating systems: iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS14. With these come new AirPod and HomeKit features plus long-overdue Apple TV additions, including picture-in-picture enhancements and 4K YouTube playback.
Michael Trei  |  Jun 24, 2020  |  0 comments

Build Quality
PRICE $299

Very good performance
Exceptional ease of use
Accommodates typical turntables
No remote control

The Spinbase is a fulfilling high-performance alternative to an entry-level component-based stereo system.

At first glance, almost everything about the Andover Spinbase turntable speaker system seems wrong. Why? Audiophiles go to great lengths to make sure their turntable, a delicate vibration sensor, is isolated from external sources of mechanical vibration. But with the Spinbase, you plunk your turntable on top of the worst offender in a system—the speaker. That's a bit like asking a ballerina to do a pirouette while being tackled by the Green Bay Packers' offensive line.

Al Griffin  |  Jun 23, 2020  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q I have a Vizio TV, model number D48f-E0. The company’s specs say that it’s a “Full Array LED display.” It also has a “Backlight Control” in its picture settings menu that automatically dims or brightens the backlight during viewing. Is this feature the same thing as local dimming? I’m confused here — if backlight control and local dimming are separate features, what’s the difference between them? —James Paxton, via email

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 22, 2020  |  13 comments
I know, I know. Your plate is full. I won't recite the litany of things already on your mind. We've already recited that list plenty of times. Speaking for myself, I religiously devote a solid hour every night, usually between the hours of 3 am and 4 am, to reciting the list. Well, here's another thing for the list: SSL certificates. In particular, they seem to be expiring.

Roger Kanno  |  Jun 19, 2020  |  0 comments
Jumanji: The Next Level is an adventure-comedy with a winning cast featuring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. The plot is a bit formulaic and doesn't quite take this episode in the Jumanji franchise to the next level as stated, but the action is plentiful and there's enough humorous and family-friendly dialogue to keeps things moving apace. As far as Hollywood blockbusters go, Jumanji: The Next Level is a pretty good offering, with plenty of exciting stunts and special effects and high production values.
Al Griffin  |  Jun 19, 2020  |  0 comments
British hi-fi firm Naim has added native support for Qobuz high-res music streaming to its 2nd generation Mu-so family wireless music systems, the Mu-so 2 and Mu-so Qb, both Sound & Vision 2019 Top Picks. The service is available now via an over-the-air firmware upgrade that users can download for free.