Headphone Amp/DAC Reviews

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John Sciacca  |  Oct 19, 2011  |  0 comments

Peanut butter and chocolate. Wine and cheese. Lennon and McCartney. Some things are great on their own, but when they meet their perfect counterpart, the result can be pure magic.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Apr 12, 2012  |  0 comments

We can bemoan the demise of audio quality all we want, but the truth is that good quality audio has always been at our fingertips. If our digital files have sounded bad, it’s because we (and we’re talking consumers and manufacturers) have been too stingy with our storage capacities. Wanting to cram as much music onto our devices as possible, regardless of how badly the signal had to be degraded to get it all in there, we ended up accepting things like 128 kbps MP3 files as passable. But our beloved iPods and iPhones have had the ability to store lossless and high bit-rate audio from the very beginning, as purists have known all along. You just need a way to get your high-quality files out of those little boxes.

Doug Newcomb  |  Jun 06, 2012  |  2 comments

Summer’s here, and it’s time to hit the road. Automotive entertainment used to be restricted to radio and whatever you brought onboard in the form of prerecorded music — from 8-tracks to discs and later iPods. But now that smartphones and tablets have made Internet connectivity possible in the car, a whole new world of content has opened up on the road.

We gathered five of the coolest connected- car gadgets and took them out for a shakedown cruise.

 |  Dec 21, 2010  |  0 comments

Most high-end headphones come with a case or at least a pouch of some kind, but if you're constantly putting them on and taking them off, that kind of storage can get tedious. But, the Omega Headphone Stand solves that problem, offering an extremely beautiful and practical - if expensive - option. Each stand is steam molded into a shape designed to prevent the headband from stretching.

Daniel Kumin  |  Apr 03, 2012  |  0 comments

I have seen the future, and it is wireless. Wireless data, wireless music, wireless speakers, wireless keyboards, and now, wireless HDMI hi-def video. (Of course, all these things still need to be plugged into the wall, for AC power. Perhaps, somewhere on the Other Side, Nikola Tesla is still working on that.)

Wireless HDMI gets us that much closer to the Jetsonian ideal of the sheet-of-glass video screen floating unencumbered on a wall – without having to tear down that wall to run wires.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Apr 25, 2014  |  4 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
500-GB hard drive
DSD capable
Serious fun to use
Minus
No live streaming from network devices
Lightweight amp

THE VERDICT
This handsome DSD-capable audio player with built-in storage takes the pesky computer out of computer audio—and it’s way more fun to use.

Sony made waves when they announced their intention to market three high-resolution audio (HRA) products built around the company’s DSD file format. True, there was a nascent HRA movement before Sony made the move, with loads of network audio players and USB DACs flooding the market. But somehow the Sony announcement provided the extra momentum that finally made HRA seem not just promising but inevitable. That the Consumer Electronics Association has also launched an HRA initiative is icing on the cake.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Jul 01, 2014  |  33 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,635

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Quietest PC I’ve ever used
Impeccable build quality
High-end A/V gear gorgeous looks
Minus
Incredibly expensive
Still a PC, which scares some people

THE VERDICT
A stunningly silent, built-like-a-tank, ultimate HTPC.

I am a vocal supporter of the home theater PC, a computer that lives in your home theater or media room. While not for everyone, HTPCs offer an incredible access to content for your enjoyment. This includes games, of course, but also media streaming, Web pages, and personal video/audio libraries. Sure, you can get most of that through other devices, but often not as easily or well.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jul 02, 2014  |  0 comments
Headphones aren’t just about mobile audio. They’re also a cost-effective way to get good sound into your ears even when you’re not on the go. If you have $400 to spend on a set of speakers, your options are of limited fidelity, but the same money will buy you the Sennheiser HD600, one of the most popular high-end headphone models of all time. Try getting a comparably great-sounding set of surround speakers for that price.
Brent Butterworth  |  Oct 27, 2011  |  0 comments

The iPod just turned 10, and I sure feel sorry for my old standby. It’s still working fine, but I know I’ll never own another one. Since I got my Motorola Droid Pro smartphone, the iPod lives in a drawer.

Brent Butterworth  |  Oct 27, 2011  |  0 comments

The iPod just turned 10, and I sure feel sorry for my old standby. It's still working fine, but I know I'll never own another one. Since I got my Motorola Droid Pro smartphone, the iPod lives in a drawer.

Brent Butterworth  |  Oct 27, 2011  |  0 comments

The iPod just turned 10, and I sure feel sorry for my old standby. It's still working fine, but I know I'll never own another one. Since I got my Motorola Droid Pro smartphone, the iPod lives in a drawer.

Al Griffin  |  Mar 20, 2018  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clear, crisp sound
Cool, retro design
Can drive efficient speakers to reasonably loud levels
Minus
Hi-res Bluetooth requires LDAC source
Pricey

THE VERDICT
TEAC’s stylish, computer-friendly integrated amp is a great option for both desktop and living-room listening.

Integrated amplifiers designed for use both on the desktop and in the listening room are a niche category that we’ve looked at before, most recently in reviews of Elac’s $699 Element EA101EQ-G and Cary Audio’s AiOS. But of all the hi-fi manufacturers working this space, TEAC is the one that embraces it most enthusiastically.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Mar 20, 2012  |  0 comments

While the hype at CES this year was all about OLED, 4K, and bigger TVs, a quiet revolution began in the interaction department. LG and Samsung both announced new ways to control TVs using facial and speech recognition, or even just a wave of your hand.

Michael Berk  |  Mar 26, 2012  |  0 comments

IT’S CLEAR THAT since the dawn of the iPod era, listeners and manufacturers alike have been struggling to figure out what kind of gear makes the most sense for a musical universe dominated by iTunes, and the rise of Apple rivals and music-streaming services has made matters even more confusing.

John Sciacca  |  Feb 13, 2013  |  0 comments

Between increasing your system’s audio channel count to 9.1 or 11.1 and upgrading to a bigger, brighter, or even higher-resolution 4K video display, there’s no shortage of ways to take your home theater to the next level. And while such improvements can certainly add excitement, the basic home theater experience still pretty much remains the same.

The thing that most home theaters can’t do is put you into the action, literally letting you feel what is happening onscreen. The sliding of gravel under the tires. The rock and sway of a boat. The thud-thud-thud of a jet being riddled with gunfire. Providing that experience is the role that D-Box fills.

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