Grace Notes

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Leslie Shapiro  |  Jul 14, 2014  |  2 comments
If you love something, set it free. It’s time to love T-Mobile for setting music free. T-Mobile users can stream all the music they want, free from the fear of hitting their data limits. While the Music Freedom news was announced a few weeks ago, the airwaves have just lit up with new ads touting T-Mobile’s new music streaming plan. Sound too good to be true?

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jul 11, 2016  |  0 comments
High-resolution audio has a new champion. This past April we reported that Nativ had launched an Indiegogo campaign to bring a premium high-resolution wireless touchscreen music player and DAC to production. It easily surpassed its funding goal by 316%—that’s $344,000 from its initial goal of $100,000. Well, to sweeten the ask, Nativ just announced they’re adding the Nativ Disc powered by Gracenote, a new CD ripping unit that continues their “bit-perfect” streak. Think no one cares about high-resolution audio? The 356 Indiegogo backers certainly care.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 04, 2012  |  0 comments

Six months ago, we reported that Neil Young was going around talking about a crazy idea he had for a new music business model.   He had some high-res, music-in-the-cloud idea that he thought would revolutionize the way people listen to music. Would it be the Segway of the music biz?

Leslie Shapiro  |  Sep 23, 2011  |  0 comments

Netflix customers are hopping mad, and the company predicts it will lose a million customers. Its stock price has tanked. Has its CEO, Reed Hastings, lost his mind, or is this merely a speed bump along the path of a much grander strategy?

Leslie Shapiro  |  Feb 15, 2016  |  2 comments
They say that size matters. With audio products, it is often the case: bigger speakers, bigger amplifiers, and bigger batteries can often translate into better sound and added convenience. The Nyne Rock boombox is one of the biggest and most powerful portable Bluetooth speakers we’ve seen in a long time. Let’s see if bigger truly is better.

 |  Nov 28, 2016  |  0 comments
Cutting the cable is still a dream for most gear addicts. The interior decorator in your household might be more accepting of new gadgets if you can also get rid of the wire clutter. Thankfully, my household is a bit different, because we’re both technology freaks, which makes reducing wires even more critical for us. As promised a few weeks ago, and still in pursuit of the perfect wireless transmission system for my oh-so challenging concrete house, I had a chance to review the Nyrius Aries Pro Wireless HDMI system.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Sep 26, 2016  |  0 comments
As more and more devices become wireless, it seems that it should be easier to connect together all the TVs in the house without the mess of cables. Truth is that it’s not as simple as it seems. The new Nyrius WS54 (MSRP: $170) makes it about as simple as it can be. Plus, it works in a challenging situation where many other systems have failed.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jun 06, 2016  |  2 comments
There are moments that stand out in most people’s lives. Where you were you when you heard John Lennon was shot. Your first kiss. The moment when you first heard high-fidelity music, and it was so profound that it changed the course of your life.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 07, 2016  |  0 comments
The Onkyo DP-X1 is a powerful pocket-size portable digital audio player. Expandable up to 432 GB with two micro-SDXC slots with up to 200GB capacity each, the DP-X1 can handle hours and hours of Hi-Res audio files.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 10, 2018  |  0 comments
While many companies are producing smart speakers with added features such as built-in video screens, Onkyo is flipping the script and adding a camera and home monitoring features into the VC-FLX ($280).

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jun 20, 2016  |  0 comments
Every week a new pair of wireless Bluetooth earphones seem to appear on my doorstep. Usually, I have to take a long, hard look to find anything noteworthy to make one pair stand out from the others. The newly updated NuForce BE6i earphones feature aptX technology for better playback quality and that, my friends, is noteworthy enough.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Sep 07, 2015  |  0 comments
When Optoma, a home-theater projector company, and NuForce, an audio company joined forces, I’ll admit it I was initially confused. NuForce made nice, niche audio products, and Optoma is mainly only doing projectors. What would their combined efforts produce? Light-emitting earbuds? Projectors with built-in speakers? But it actually makes sense; Optoma purchased NuForce to be able to provide both excellent video and audio to consumers, and they’ve kept the high quality that you would expect from NuForce. How do two new pairs of earphones, the NE750M and the NE800M from Optoma NuForce sound? Let’s find out.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Apr 08, 2019  |  2 comments
After SiriusXM purchased Pandora for $3.5 billion in February, there was a bit of speculation about how each company would benefit each other. Today, the first evidence of the collaboration launched with the unveiling of Pandora NOW, the first Pandora station available on the SiriusXM platform featuring the most-played music currently trending on Pandora.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Apr 22, 2019  |  4 comments
There’s no denying that a killer song makes any workout better. Music is an integral part of most workouts — nobody prefers working out in silence. But, at what price? Peloton Interactive, leader of the upscale indoor cycling fad sweeping the nation is finding out that nothing in life is free, especially music. The biggest appeal of Peloton might be their large selection of online video classes that feature fabulous soundtracks. Too bad they (allegedly) aren’t paying for the music.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 05, 2016  |  0 comments
Most folks know that audio can only be as good as the weakest link in the supply chain; send good audio through a crappy headphone amp and it doesn’t matter how good the headphones are. It’s still going to sound like crap. Phāz Music is releasing new headphones that eliminate that problem.

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