LATEST ADDITIONS

Bob Ankosko  |  Dec 16, 2021  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $250/pair

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent, full-bodied sound
Cosmetically appealing design
Sturdy build
Remote control with tone controls (!)

Minus
No multiroom Wi-Fi streaming

THE VERDICT
Fluance’s Ai41 is one of the best looking and sounding Bluetooth speakers in its price class.

You can tell immediately whether a speaker is good the moment it starts playing, so I knew right away the Ai41 was good but didn’t fully appreciate how good until I had lived with it for a couple of weeks.

Mark Henninger  |  Dec 15, 2021  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $449

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Compact, with exceptional build and sound quality
Built-in Google Assistant and Alexa voice control
Expandable with Sonos speakers and SUB
Minus
Modest bass output
Single HDMI input
No display for volume level or sound mode

THE VERDICT
The next-gen version of the Sonos Beam soundbar is remarkably full-featured considering its size. It’s also attractive, great-sounding, and a snap to set up.

Both the original Sonos Beam and the company's new Beam Gen 2 soundbar use beamforming, a technology that combines an array of drivers with advanced signal processing, to create an enveloping audio experience without need for multiple speakers. With the Beam Gen 2 ($449), Sonos builds upon the virtual surround sound abilities of the original by adding Dolby Atmos processing to up the sense of immersion it can create. The cost for this upgrade: a mere $50 premium over the original's $399 price.

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 15, 2021  |  1 comments
Three years ago, French upstarts Qobuz made quite a splash upon entering the U.S. streaming market. What has happened with the high-res service in the interim?
Tom Norton  |  Dec 14, 2021  |  3 comments
IMAX, as most people experience it, is a high quality movie format used in specialized theaters worldwide. But its history, and development, is complicated. Here's the low-down on a relatively new home theater format that trades on the IMAX name.
Bob Ankosko  |  Dec 13, 2021  |  0 comments
M&K Sound has announced a new series of THX Certified subwoofers that builds on the performance of its X Series.
Al Griffin  |  Dec 10, 2021  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
The Green Knight, director David Lowery's film adaptation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an anonymous 14th century poem, is a fantastical, visually intoxicating take on Arthurian legend. Following a night of drinking and carousing at the local brothel, carefree young Gawain of Camelot (Dev Patel) is summoned on Christmas morning to the Round Table, where he is invited to sit beside his uncle, the king. Gawain's feeling of unworthiness is only deepened by Arthur's graciousness, and by his request for the young man to share a story of himself so they may know each other better.
Bob Ankosko  |  Dec 09, 2021  |  3 comments
With Christmas a little more than two weeks away, A/V companies continue to bring new gear to market despite lingering shipping delays and materials shortages. The latest round of introductions includes the follow-up to a $60 set of wireless earbuds that earned a Sound & Vision Top Pick back in June, a beautiful take on the classic stereo console, a 65-inch 4K TV priced to sell, and a limited-edition version of an iconic speaker that has been in continuous production for 75 years. Can you guess which speaker it is?
Al Griffin  |  Dec 08, 2021  |  4 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Powerful, easy to use control app
Multiple input and output connections
Roon Ready and AirPlay 2-compatible
Affordable price
Minus
Hardware remote not included

THE VERDICT
Bluesound’s feature-packed DAC brings the world of high-res audio, including multiroom streaming, to existing systems at an affordable price.

Streaming DACs provide a quick and easy way to upgrade an existing hi-fi rig and make it compatible with all the advanced services available to a 21st century music enthusiast. Even someone owning a circa-1972 receiver could suddenly find themselves streaming 24-bit/192kHz high-res tracks from Qobuz, as well as "tuning in" an insane assortment of internet radio stations from around the globe. And while streaming DACs can be pricey—the Simaudio Moon 280D we recently reviewed, for example, lists for $3,000—there are also affordable options like Bluesound's $599 Node.

Barb Gonzalez  |  Dec 08, 2021  |  0 comments
Spotify's recent partnership with Netflix brings official playlists, albums, and podcasts from some of the streaming app's most popular video series. Now the soundtrack to your life can be one from your favorite show.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 07, 2021  |  0 comments
It's been a strange year for the entertainment industry, with controversial showdowns involving streaming versus the in-theater experience calling the future of both into question. We continued to hear news of physical media's demise as well, yet here we are again looking at ten gift-worthy new regular and Ultra HD Blu-ray options.

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