Grace Notes

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Leslie Shapiro  |  Dec 26, 2016  |  0 comments
2016 is wrapping up and it was a tough year for music. We lost so many influential musicians: David Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard and most recently, George Michael. Throughout the year, though, we’ve also had some wonderful musical moments that remind us of why we love music. It makes us laugh, it inspires us, it brings us together. Thankfully, most of my favorite musical moments of the year were captured on YouTube videos, so continuing in the spirit of Christmas, I give you my Top 4 Musical Moments of 2016. Enjoy!

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Audio software experts from Sonarworks just announced a new app that eliminates the inaccurate coloration introduced by most consumer headphones to create a flat, “studio reference” sound from over 100 popular headphones.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Mar 21, 2016  |  8 comments
Sony’s Future Lab made some waves at South By Southwest by debuting an entirely new concept in personal listening. The Concept N device doesn’t go on or over the ears at all - instead, it hangs comfortably around the user’s neck with multi-directional drivers aiming up towards the listener, allowing outside sounds to still be audible. Extremely directional speakers direct the sound to the listener’s ears while preventing other people from hearing the sound very clearly. In a slightly noisy environment, other people around the listener can’t hear what is being played over the device.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Nov 16, 2011  |  0 comments

Big screen not quite big enough? Don't like company while you watch TV? You can finally place your order for Sony's widely anticipated 3D headset, the HMZ-T1 ($799.) But before we get to the specs, consider the cool factor: The headset looks like something straight out of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Feb 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Cable cutters are all the rage these days; even headphones have become completely and totally free from cables. The new X-Shock earphones from Soul Electronics are absolutely wireless, even for charging. For marathon listening sessions, the X-Shock has up to 60 hours of charging capabilities between the earphone and portable charging box.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Sep 04, 2012  |  0 comments

How often has this happened to you? You walk into a friend's house and notice - yikes! - their loudspeakers are poorly aligned. Maybe they're pointing straight ahead, maybe they're toed way in, or maybe they're just pointing off in random directions. Whatever the problem, you'll note the missing sweet spot. But what can you do about it, without your gear? Well, there's an app for that.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Apr 18, 2016  |  0 comments
On May 10, 2016, a jury will begin a trial to decide if Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page copied parts of the song “Taurus” by the band Spirit for their mega-hit “Stairway to Heaven.” A ruling last week by a U.S. District Judge determined that the case should move forward, stating the following: “While it is true that a descending chromatic four-chord progression is a common convention that abounds in the music industry, the similarities here transcend this core structure. Enough similar protectable expression is here that the issue of substantial similarity should [be heard by a jury].”

Leslie Shapiro  |  Mar 16, 2015  |  1 comments
It’s Saturday night! And you know what that means! Once again, you can be the life of the party, creating killer mashups from your killer playlist. The problem, of course, is Ted, who delusionally thinks his killer mashups are more killer than yours. But now you can resolve that issue once and for all. You can whip out your Braven Fuse portable mixer and show him who’s da bomb.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Dec 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Seems like a new way to listen to music over the Internet pops up everyday.  Pandora might have a lock on the market, Slacker has the coolest name (and real-live DJs behind the scenes), everyone's talking about Spotify and MOG, but there's another website that does something most others don't. Stereomood designs playlists based on your mood or activity. Yup - music to suit your every mood.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 06, 2011  |  0 comments

The death of Steve Jobs was covered by the media in a manner usually reserved for heads of state. But, the truth is that he probably affected your life more deeply than most presidents or prime ministers. If you use Apple products, you hold the contours, colors, buttons, and menus that Mr. Jobs personally obsessed over and approved.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Feb 02, 2012  |  0 comments

Super Bowl Sunday, in many people's minds, is a national holiday. And, as with any holiday in this country, that means sales. Big sales.  Now, while you might think instantly that we're gonna talk about TV sales, let's hold off on that for a minute.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Apr 04, 2016  |  0 comments
Summer’s almost here and the time is right for dancing in the streets. Yup. I went there. While there are plenty of great-sounding Bluetooth speakers, sometimes you need one that you can really take anywhere and subject it to rigors you wouldn’t dream of with other speakers. The Hercules WAE Outdoor Rush ($129) is a water-proof, dust-proof speaker that is so rugged it will even float. Best part—it also has a built-in FM tuner. Bring on the beach party!

Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 09, 2017  |  0 comments
Ah, the freedom and flexibility of wireless Bluetooth speakers. Some companies let you connect several of their speakers together to create a whole-home solution. However, one company has developed a way to potentially connect any and all Bluetooth speakers together, speakers from any company, as well as Bluetooth headphones. Your jogging group can all run to the beat of the same drum. Tempow, a French tech company is making this possible.

Leslie Shapiro  |  May 25, 2016  |  2 comments
Deciding whether to spring for an expensive sound-system upgrade when shopping for a new car can be a frustrating experience when you have no idea what you’ll actually be getting for your hard-earned money. Looking at pictures of a speaker grille is hardly convincing when the price tag for an upgraded system can be upwards of $6000. How often do you get the opportunity to spend literally hours in a potential car listening to and evaluating the sound system before you order your build? Recently, I did just that in the 2016 BMW 650i xDrive Gran Coupe with the upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system. Here's what I heard.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jun 19, 2017  |  10 comments
Last week Apple released its own Siri-powered speaker, the voice-assisted HomePod. It’s Apple’s attempt to muscle its way into a market already dominated by Amazon’s Echo with Alexa, and the Google Home. The HomePod is touted as an audiophile-grade speaker with excellent performance. Sound quality? Really? Let’s do a quick reality check on this.

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