LATEST ADDITIONS

Mark Henninger  |  Nov 23, 2022  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $660

AT A GLANCE
Plus
High fidelity sound
Components sold separately
Easy setup
Built-in Roku 4K streaming
Cordless private listening mode
Minus
No Dolby Atmos support
Weak bass without the subwoofer

THE VERDICT
The top-of-the-line soundbar system from Roku is full of cool features and gives you a surround-sound listening experience that is better than competing systems of similar cost. But it lacks support for 3D immersive sound like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, and the Streambar Pro on its own is not nearly as impressive sounding as when it's part of a complete 5.1 system.

Soundbars have evolved from simple standalone add-on speakers for TVs into fully self-contained home entertainment systems able to deliver cinematic, immersive listening experiences. The catch is today's soundbar systems can get quite costly, often exceeding the price of the TV they might be connected to. With Roku's Streambar Pro, the cost of entry is only $179.99 for the soundbar itself, and you can expand the system from there. Granted, tricking it out with a subwoofer and four add-on wireless is almost four times the cost, but what you get is a very nice surround-sound solution that's easy to install, easy to use, and outperforms many similarly priced soundbars.

Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 22, 2022  |  0 comments
Yes, there will be crazy blow-out deals on Friday, led by low-end loss-leaders to get you in the store (thanks but no thanks), but everyone knows Black Friday deals are already here as companies vie for your attention in the hopes of boosting sales in the almighty fourth quarter. Here’ a smattering of some of the better deals that can be had online today. Happy shopping.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 22, 2022  |  0 comments
At the height of European colonial ambitions in Africa, two of Great Britain's key colonies there were Cape Town, at Africa's southern tip and, north of there, Natal. The latter abutted Zululand. The Zulus, a powerful warrior nation, was created from local tribes conquered earlier in the century by the iconic Zulu chief, Shaka. )...This superb 1964 film Zulu...depicts ...the battle of Rorke's Drift...It can still be viewed via streaming, but instead I seriously recommend the 50th anniversary Blu-ray release (in the red jacket shown above). The stereo audio on this disc is satisfactory though underwhelming. But its widescreen videos is exceptional...
David Vaughn  |  Nov 21, 2022  |  0 comments

Picture
Sound
Kaleidescape Scenes
Extras
Game of Thrones is arguably one of the best TV shows in history — well, at least the first six seasons — and became a cultural phenomenon when it hit HBO in April 2011. It would go on to produce a total of eight seasons and one of the most controversial endings one could ever dream up. Co-creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were ripped to shreds on the Internet — and rightfully so, in this writer’s opinion — leaving viewers to wonder what effect this would have on further projects set within the universe George R. R. Martin crafted in his popular book series.
Dennis Young, Mark Henninger  |  Nov 18, 2022  |  0 comments
It’s been seven long years since I last attended Capital Audiofest, the largest high-end audio show on the east coast of the U.S. This year’s show took place on November 11-13 at the Twinbrook Hilton in Rockville Maryland, which is the same venue as my last visit. The show grew significantly in the interim, with five full floors of the hotel taken up by demos, but it maintains the same casual look and feel and a strong focus on two-channel, audiophile-centric systems.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 18, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Technically not a "non-stop thrill ride" (it's a classy commuter vehicle so passengers need to board and disembark periodically), Bullet Train is nonetheless a rousing, violent and quite funny adventure. The story moves as fast as the locomotive itself, indulging themes of fate, luck and revenge as an errand boy (Brad Pitt) dealing with a midlife crisis runs afoul of assassins and international crime syndicates, all of them circling a high-value briefcase while the clock counts down to their ultimate destination.
Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 17, 2022  |  0 comments

TV Prices Buck U.S. Inflation Trend

Consumer electronics in general but TVs in particular have a decades-long history of providing amazing value. Except for an unprecedented and short-lived Covid-driven spike in 2020-2021, retail TV prices have been relatively immune to inflation over the past four decades while the cost of almost everything crept up. (Lately, of course, inflationary pressures have caused the price of everything to spike up.) So if you’re thinking about updating your TV, now is a great time to do it. But don’t just take our word for it. We checked in with Robert (Bob) O’Brien, TV expert and co-founder of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), to get his take on TV pricing as we head into the holiday season.

Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 17, 2022  |  0 comments
TVs have a decades-long history of providing amazing value and, even in the face of the historically high levels of inflation we’re experiencing today, they remain an oasis of relief from inflation. In other words, now is a great time to buy a new TV! If you’ve been eyeing one of the new QD OLED sets from Samsung or Sony — or any TV for that matter — there’s no need to wait for Black Friday…
Howard Kneller  |  Nov 16, 2022  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Museum-quality aesthetics
Audiophile sound
Feature-packed (DSP, HDMI ARC, phono)
Extensive connectivity
Minus
Placement requires care

THE VERDICT
The Omnia’s large and well-defined soundscape, striking industrial design, full feature package, and connective versatility make it one of the most desirable wireless speakers available.

Due in no small part to its propensity to produce exquisite wooden cabinets, Italy-based Sonus faber has for many years created some of the sexiest speakers around. Of course, for a country that claims Ferrari, Prada, and LaPerla, sexy seems to be easy. Still, Sonus' sexy factor seems to be the result of several things other than just the country of origin. There's the addition by the company of keen-eyed Chief Design Officer Livio Cucuzza in 2010. Also, in 2021 the company purchased the masterly De Santi woodworking factory, with which it began working with back in 1986.

Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 16, 2022  |  0 comments
Pro-Ject USA has reimagined the classic integrated amplifier, choosing a refreshingly compact form factor over the traditional bulky box for two of its latest products.

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