Signals

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Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 25, 2012  |  0 comments

So you’re a committed audiophile. You used a laser to precisely toe in your front loudspeakers. You lie awake at night worrying about that 2-dB dip at 9 kHz in your room’s frequency response. You hire Mike Mettler to hand-deliver every issue of S+V. [I aim to please —Ed.] Well, that’s great.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 22, 2015  |  0 comments
As you may have noticed, things are becoming more complex. Blame Moore’s Law, or whatever. But things are complicated. To help us manage that complexity, companies are devising even more complicated things that give us, the human users, the illusion of simplicity. However, a recent Google patent application, aimed at simplifying the operation of things like home entertainment systems, is just downright creepy.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 03, 2013  |  0 comments
David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” is one of the most memorable songs of the late 60s. Its release on July 11, 1969 not coincidentally coincided with the Apollo 11 moon landing. The single reached #5 on the British charts and later in his career Bowie revisited the theme several times. This odd song about an astronaut drifting in space is simply iconic. Now, audiences are discovering a uniquely new version of Space Oddity.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 18, 2015  |  1 comments
Tombstone, Arizona Territory. October 26, 1881. It is a Wednesday, around 3:00 p.m. In a vacant lot adjacent to the O.K. Corral, four lawmen including Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday square off against five outlaws. Within 30 seconds, 30 shots are fired. When the gun smoke clears, three men lie on the ground, wounded. And three men lie on the ground, dead. Only Wyatt Earp walks away without a scratch. A Wild West legend is born.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 09, 2018  |  1 comments
When I entered the Hi-Res Audio pavilion, my eye was immediately attracted to the Lincoln Continental parked there. This $70,000 vehicle is a luxury looker, and since it was sitting in an official Hi-Res area, I suspected it would sound good too. My suspicions proved correct.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 12, 2018  |  0 comments
They are popping up everywhere, smart speakers, that is. Harman Kardon has already sworn allegiance to the Cortana cabal with its Invoke, and now it is cozying up to Alexa with the Allure Portable. There is no honor among thieves or audio companies.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 15, 2011  |  0 comments

Well, it's official: the 1.65 million students of the high-school class of '11 have set a new record. They collectively racked up the lowest SAT reading scores ever. Moreover, their score compared to the '10 score represented one of the biggest declines in 20 years. So not only are today's kids terrible readers, they are rapidly getting more terrible.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 28, 2017  |  2 comments
I am not a fan of Bluetooth. In particular, I regard Bluetooth audio as the worst thing to happen to audio fidelity in 20 years. When Harman first announced its wireless CarPlay technology, I recoiled at the thought of yet another wireless audio option. But, now I see there is a glimmer of hope.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 19, 2017  |  4 comments
I know, I know. You read Sound & Vision to learn about audio and video topics. It’s a welcome refuge from the political furor that has engulfed every other facet of our lives. But, of course, ultimately, nothing is immune from politics. So, let me ruin your day by telling you about the latest political hot potato: hearing aids. You heard me right. Hearing aids.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 07, 2017  |  3 comments
OK. First we need to talk about the picture. His name is Graham. Don’t get too creeped out. He’s not a real guy. He’s just a rendering. You’ve probably already seen Graham. His picture has been floating around the web-o-sphere for a while. He is what a guy might look like if he’s evolved to survive car crashes. But I’m pretty sure it’s also what you would look like, after Alexa has her way with you.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 12, 2020  |  4 comments
“These companies copy other peoples' inventions, flood the market with chintzy products sold at bargain basement prices, and make consumers pay with their privacy.”

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 26, 2020  |  3 comments
Alert readers will recall that in my previous blog I questioned whether Big Tech/Big Data had monopolistic motives. And lo and behold, last week the DOJ went full antitrust nuclear. First I inspire Superman to build a computer, and now I cause the U.S. Government and eleven state Attorneys General to file suit against Google. Never, ever, underestimate the power of Sound & Vision magazine.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 13, 2017  |  0 comments
You can call me old fashioned. You can call me a Luddite. You can even call me Ishmael. But I like to read books. Paper books, thank you very much. Based on that, my homies at Barnes & Noble apparently think that I like to listen to vinyl too.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 19, 2013  |  11 comments
For the last few months I’ve thought a lot about the health of the audio/video industry. I worried that the success of smartphones and tablets was irreparably overwhelming traditional consumer-electronics technologies like audio/video. I tried to convince myself that smartphone mania would taper off and the mass market will rediscover big stereos and big TVs. I desperately wanted to evangelize for the profound pleasure that a kick-ass home theater can bring. But lately I’ve changed my mind. I have a new message for everyone glued to their phone: drop dead.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Apr 18, 2017  |  0 comments
Home audio is poised for a comeback and voice interaction is leading the way.

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