Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 24, 2021  |  0 comments
Talk about extremes. The summer’s first official batch of Top Picks range from a $60 set of noise-cancelling wireless earbuds from a brand you never heard of to an $18,000 state-of-the-art surround processor from one of Europe’s premiere electronics companies. Both will surprise you.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jun 23, 2021  |  1 comments
Apple has boosted the music quality of Apple Music with Spatial Audio. This immersive audio format was released on the service around the same time as the AirPods Max, Apple’s new over-ear headphones. The combination is impressive, and I spent some time testing the headphones with Spatial Audio.
David Vaughn  |  Jun 23, 2021  |  2 comments

PRICE $18,000

Phenomenal sound quality
Software-based platform makes upgrades easy
Superior room correction processing
Basic remote control
Typically requires pro installation

The Altitude16 may be a luxury purchase, but for those seeking an upgradeable surround sound processor with fantastic sound quality, cutting-edge room correction, and support for all the latest immersive audio formats, it's a true standout product.

I've been reviewing A/V gear for over 15 years, and it's rare that something new comes along that will intimidate me. But all that changed when I found out I'd be reviewing the Trinnov Audio Altitude16, an $18,000 surround sound processor offering up to 16 discrete output channels plus the company's proprietary Optimizer speaker/room correction, that's arguably the most sophisticated and flexible offering of its kind on the market.

Al Griffin  |  Jun 22, 2021  |  3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q My partner and I want to get set up for high-resolution audio and are hoping to use the Tidal service for better-than-CD-quality streaming. We have a Sherwood stereo integrated amplifier from the 1980s, along with big, beautiful, fantastic-sounding speakers and we don’t want to give those up. I’ve tried researching the huge range of available tech options but just don’t know how to make it work. We use Android devices and own a Fosi Audio DAC-Q4 [digital-to-analog converter/headphone amp]. We also have a spare computer that can be used to run Tidal. —Victoria Baker, via email

Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 22, 2021  |  0 comments
Italy’s Sonus faber has expanded the entry-level Lumina speaker series it introduced last fall with a new flagship floorstanding model and larger bookshelf speaker.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 21, 2021  |  0 comments
I am not making this up. Let me repeat: I am not making this up. The latest plastic surgery trend in China is elf ears. I am trying to decide whether or not I should get elf ears.

Al Griffin  |  Jun 18, 2021  |  0 comments
As the first film to launch the MonsterVerse, a "cinematic universe" featuring enduring monster movie icons, this 2014 reboot of the Godzilla franchise set the template for several movies to come, including Kong: Skull Island and the late-pandemic sensation, Godzilla vs. Kong. Here's the deal: After escaping a nuclear weapons assault (cloaked by authorities as a "nuclear test") in the 1950s, Godzilla went deep underground.
Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 17, 2021  |  2 comments
KLH, the iconic audio brand co-founded by audio visionary Henry Kloss in 1957, is well known for the great sounding two-and three-way acoustic-suspension speakers it designed and built in the 1960s and ’70s. All had simple names — Model Four, Model Five, etc. — and featured unassuming but nicely finished wood-veneer cabinets. What you may not know is that KLH also introduced the first full-range electrostatic speaker — the legendary Model Nine.
Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 16, 2021  |  0 comments
For Michael Meeker, the road to A/V paradise was long and circuitous but also immensely rewarding as he experimented his way from cobbling together a crude setup almost 30 years ago to building the theater of his dreams—one most of us would die for. In those early days, the "marriage of audio and video" was a concept embraced by enthusiasts and a handful of audio companies as they inched their way toward what we would come to know as "home theater."
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 15, 2021  |  1 comments
Heat is the enemy of electronics, including all of that audio gear crammed into your A/V cabinet. In the early days of electronic entertainment, vacuum tubes (or as our Brit friends call them, valves) were the thing—the only thing. As one of my teachers once explained, the key to vacuum tubes was the little man with a switch inside. But he must have been sweaty, as a tube device could serve well as a space heater.

Back in the day our electronic entertainment consisted of little more than a radio. The family gave no thought to what was inside until one of the tubes failed, prompting a visit to the local drug store with its tube tester and ready supply of replacements.

Then came hi-fi and an interesting thing happened. Because of the heat issue, relegated largely to the output stages of an amplifier, separates were born. The separate preamp driving an amp on a separate chassis was a popular way to go.

The divide, between separates and the integrated amplifier (or perhaps AVR), still exists today in both the 2-channel and home theater worlds. Long forgotten is its genesis, since with solid state electronics heat is no longer an issue.

Or is it?...