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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 09, 2017 0 comments

15 Minutes with Dirac Founder Mathias Johansson

Mathias Johansson, CEO and co-founder of Sweden’s Dirac Research, has devoted his professional life to developing technologies that improve sound quality—whether that sound is music heard over headphones or car speakers, or an intricate Dolby Atmos soundtrack played over a high-end home theater system. “Our passion is to invent new sound technologies that offer a better sound experience regardless of the sound system,” he says. “We want to be a quality seal for good sound, and we want to achieve this through scientific methods.” If the accolades the Dirac Live room-correction system has garnered among enthusiasts is any measure, Johansson is not only on the right path to elevating sound quality but making tangible progress.
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Tom Norton Posted: Mar 08, 2017 0 comments
The glory days of the battleship USS Missouri (the actual ship is shown above) began in World War II, peaking on her deck in Tokyo Bay as the Japanese signed the surrender documents. It’s now a museum piece, but (according to this film, but far from reality) still fueled, armed, and ready to go with a skeleton crew at a moment’s notice.
SV Staff Posted: Mar 08, 2017 1 comments
Sonos yesterday announced a $699 wireless TV sound system designed for placement under the TV instead sitting in front of it like a soundbar.
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SV Staff Posted: Mar 08, 2017 1 comments
Adoption of newer connected home solutions is still at the early adopter phase, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey, of nearly 10,000 online respondents in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia during the second half of 2016, found that only about 10 percent of households currently have connected home solutions.
SV Staff Posted: Mar 08, 2017 2 comments
Avenel, NJ-based startup Tidal Force has announced the launch of HDMI cables and planar-magnetic headphones at “disruptive prices.”
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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Mar 07, 2017 3 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $2,300

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Remarkably transparent
Fine, handmade build quality
Very, very comfortable
Minus
New-gen balanced cable may not fit current headphone amps/sources

THE VERDICT
$2,300

Sony has a long history of making reference-quality headphones, starting with the limited-edition MDR-R10. That was in 1989—and at $2,500, it was the most expensive headphone in the world. A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with an MDR-R10, and it was the most beautiful-sounding headphone I’d ever heard. No wonder the cognoscenti dubbed it the Stradivarius of headphones and scooped them all up years ago. MDR-R10s rarely come up for sale, but when they do, they go for at least $6,000!

Steve Guttenberg Posted: Mar 07, 2017 1 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,200

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Solid as a brick build quality
Handles ultra-high resolution 768-kHz/32-bit PCM, and DSD native (up to 22.4 MHz) files
Variety of single-ended and balanced headphone outputs
Minus
Not the most transparent sounding headphone amp

THE VERDICT
The Sony TA-ZH1ES is beautifully designed and built, though it doesn’t quite bring the MDR-Z1R headphone to its full potential.

Not content with just launching a new flagship headphone in the MDR-Z1R, Sony simultaneously launched the TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier/DAC; like the MDR-Z1R, it’s intended to be a statement of Sony’s best technology.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 07, 2017 7 comments
I remember it like it was only yesterday, but in reality it was probably more like 30 years ago. I walked into my favorite hi-fi store—the one on Dixie Highway. The owner greeted me by name. He was very active as a recording engineer for classical-music groups, and a trusted name in audio. His inventory was pretty high-end and a little spendy for a lowly college professor like me, but we had done some critical listening together and I greatly respected his opinions.
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SV Staff Posted: Mar 07, 2017 2 comments
New research from New Hampshire-based Leichtman Research Group (LRG) found that the number of Netflix households has outstripped those with DVRs for the first time.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Mar 06, 2017 0 comments
“I’d rather be a smart feller than a fart smeller,” or so said an old co-worker of mine whenever it was even vaguely appropriate to the conversation at hand. Of course, it’s a low-brow spoonerism that you don’t often hear in “polite society”. On the other hand, you have to agree that the basic sentiment is legitimate: it is, after all, much better to be smart than to sit around smelling…um…bad smells. That’s the train of thought that chugged through my brain late one day during CES2017; and it was set in motion by a sign proclaiming that the new product on display, Aera, was a “Smart Home Fragrance Device”.

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