LATEST ADDITIONS

Bob Ankosko  |  Jul 29, 2021  |  0 comments
We hope you’re enjoying the dog days of summer along with a return to some semblance of pre-pandemic normal even as the COVID-19 Delta variant threatens a return to mask-wearing protocols. Meanwhile, here at Sound & Vision we continue to pursue the latest audio and video offerings with an eye toward isolating gear that rises above the pack. In July, our efforts were duly rewarded with an impressive soundbar that can be had for less than $200 and a compact subwoofer that plays remarkably low and loud. Our testing also uncovered a reference-quality DAC that doubles as a streaming media player and a new flagship speaker from one of Canada’s top audio brands. Let’s take a closer look.
Al Griffin  |  Jul 29, 2021  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I own a Marantz SR6013 A/V receiver and use it for both video switching and audio amplification. For video, I mostly watch Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. For music, I mostly stream from the Tidal service using the Marantz receiver’s built-in HEOS app. I would like to buy an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that supports MQA but am confused about the connections and the control app. After checking out my Marantz AVR’s back panel, I see two coaxial and optical digital inputs, but no digital outputs to connect the DAC, so maybe using an external DAC with the AVR is not possible. Am I missing something? —Rod McClaskey, via email

Michael Antonoff  |  Jul 28, 2021  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $180

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Room-filling sound
Enhances dialogue
Built-in Roku streaming interface
Minus
None worth noting

THE VERDICT
The Roku Streambar Pro offers a considerable sound upgrade over a TV's internal speakers and comes with the company's comprehensive streaming platform built-in.

Soundbars are popular for a good reason. The speakers in a typical flat panel TVs sound puny compared with the visual sway of increasingly larger, higher-resolution displays. Also, since not every viewing room can accommodate the separate components of a home theater, a narrow-footprint soundbar solves the problem of raising the impact of the audio and it does so with one cable.

Barb Gonzalez  |  Jul 28, 2021  |  0 comments
Roku and Comcast/NBCUniversal have created the best Olympics streaming experience so far. Curated and aggregated videos of highlights, live events, background stories, and every sports competition can be accessed through a single screen on Roku TVs and players and Comcast Xfinity X1.
Bob Ankosko  |  Jul 26, 2021  |  0 comments
As part of its ongoing 75th anniversary celebration, Klipsch is upscaling its presence in soundbars with four new systems designed to evoke its Reference series of home theater speakers.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 26, 2021  |  2 comments
I really, really would like to be an astronaut on the International Space Station. Wonderful views. Free parking. Cool science experiments to play with. Not feeling guilty about those extra pounds. Ability to work at home. And, best of all, I would be free of the hassle of Covid here on planet earth.

Mike Mettler  |  Jul 23, 2021  |  0 comments
Elton John was in the zone. The piano prodigy and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin were in the midst of an almost decade-long creative mindmeld, and October 1973's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was the apex of their collaboration. The initially unintended double album's 17 songs covered the gamut from nostalgic reverie for days gone by (the title track, the indelible "Candle in the Wind") to pumped-up '70s-style electric-boot rockers ("Bennie and the Jets," "All the Girls Love Alice"), and everything in between.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 21, 2021  |  1 comments
Today's projection screen scene is far more complex and competitive than it was even a short 10 years ago, with numerous companies now offering a wide range of screen types at various shapes, sizes, and prices. Narrowing the options requires research, together with careful consideration of your specific needs and viewing environment. How tightly can room lighting be controlled? How big does the image need to be? What is the preferred aspect ratio? Should the screen's frame be fixed or retractable? Finally, how do today's high dynamic range (HDR) requirements—unknown a decade ago—figure into the choice?
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 20, 2021  |  4 comments
We've fretted a lot (or at least some of us have) over the growth of streaming because it threatens the survival of packaged media—having your favorite films readily available on Blu-ray or UltraHD Blu-ray, at the highest possible consumer quality, sitting on your bookshelf where no tools from a streaming service with cancellation orders can barge in and carry them away (at least not yet!).
John Sciacca  |  Jul 19, 2021  |  0 comments
My previous column covered ways to control both a modern A/V system and a smart home using various manufacturer-supplied apps. With smartphone and tablet use now widespread, and smart devices capable of being controlled via free iOS and Android apps proliferating, app-based control has also surged. Whether you’re streaming music, controlling your A/V receiver, or managing your home’s energy or security systems, there’s now an app that can help you to do it smarter, better, and more easily. And since most people are now in the habit of carrying their phones 24/7, they basically have a full-blown system controller in their pocket at all times.

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