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Brent Butterworth  |  Apr 20, 2012  |  0 comments

You gotta say this for House of Marley: They keep their branding consistent. The new Bag of Rhythm iPhone/iPod dock isn’t some sleek, silvery concoction designed for some baldhead to keep on his credenza while he’s dreaming up new ways to exploit the working class. Nope, the Bag of Rhythm is built to sling over your shoulder, carry to the park, and play reggae tunes when your drum circle takes a break.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Sep 16, 2011  |  0 comments

A few weeks ago I laid out all the reasons why I thought the "free" music streaming services Spotify and MOG were ghastly, malicious succubi suckling at the teat of artistic talent.

Since that post, I've been presented countering opinions by musicians and music producers alike, and I've come away with a slightly different opinion. Perhaps I went too far.

Perhaps they're not ghastly.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Apr 25, 2013  |  0 comments

With no small amount of irony, about a week after I installed the ultra-high-tech Parrot Asteroid Smart, my SVT lit its engine warning light.

I know the sound and feel of my car really well, and it sounded and felt fine. Since a dealer would want $75 just to tell me what's wrong, I figured it was time to invest in an OBD II scanner. This device plugs into the OBD II port that every post-1996 car has, and gives you a code to tell you what's wrong (along with a lot of other data).

But wait! Now you can get a "scanner" that talks to your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth! Now that's some app awesomeness.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Jun 22, 2012  |  0 comments

To a surprising amount of excitement, Microsoft announced the a pair of new tablets this week. Web reactions to the new Surface — as you’d expect — were split down party lines: “It’s not an iPad! It’s stupid!” and “It’s not an iPad! It’s the second coming!”

Reality, as usual, is somewhere in the middle. It’s possible the Surface is a worthy iPad competitor something that, so far, we have not seen.

It all comes down to one, seemingly simple, thing...

Brent Butterworth  |  Nov 08, 2011  |  0 comments

The "Bass Management Boot Camp" article about subwoofer setup that I wrote for the November S+V inspired an in-turn inspiring e-mail from reader Bruce Erwin. Bruce recalled his days setting up sound systems when he'd use a 1.5-volt battery to test subwoofer phase. If the sub and main speakers were in phase, he'd hear a single thump when he connected the battery to the wires leading to the sub's terminals. If they were out of phase, he'd hear a double thump.

That's with passive subwoofers, though. Almost all of today's subs have built-in amps, so this method wouldn't quite work with them. Still, it got me wondering if I could come up with a simpler phase check than the ones I suggested in the article, which required either measurement or careful listening. My e-mail convo with Bruce gave me some ideas and, ultimately, a method that's simpler than my original. And all you need to do it is a piece of free software and a meter you've either already got or can get for nothing.

Brent Butterworth  |  Oct 17, 2012  |  0 comments

As I said in Monday’s coverage of headphones and Wednesday’s coverage of speakers, Denver’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is the biggest, most exciting, and most important of the regional hi-fi shows that have sprung up all over the U.S. and Canada.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Mar 27, 2012  |  0 comments

I took a mini-vacation a few weeks ago to Venice, Florida. My Dad had rented a house for a month and, figuring I could use a few days off, I went to visit. Now first of all, I was the youngest person in the zipcode by half. I've never seen such a concentration of gray hairs.

While there, I was volunteered to do some pro bono work helping diagnose a home theater system that had never worked properly, despite "professional" installation.

What I discovered seriously pissed me off.

Brent Butterworth  |  Sep 09, 2011  |  0 comments

The CEDIA Expo focuses on home theater sound, home automation, high-end video projection, and all sorts of toys for rich guys’ mansions. So I’m surprised to say that the first report I’m filing from the Expo is about headphones — a product that few custom installers even sell.

Brent Butterworth  |  Jul 23, 2013  |  0 comments

The CEA-2010 subwoofer output measurement lets us separate the great subwoofers from the merely good ones, in a way that’s more reliable and repeatable than traditional measurements or listening tests. However, it’s still not widely used.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Aug 27, 2012  |  0 comments

I'm ashamed. I must embarrassingly hand in my nerd card.

This month, for only the second time in my adult life, I purchased a computer. No longer can I haughtily proclaim "well, I build my own PCs." Gone is the geek-cred I felt enshrined me as an elitist in the elitist world of PC gaming. But it had to be done, and I'll tell you, it's awesome.

So let me save you some money, and go through the various bits of the PC I bought, so you know where to spend your money on a PC you might buy, or want to build yourself.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Jan 02, 2012  |  0 comments

Initially, the Tablet S was supposed to be part of our big tablet roundup. Requests for review samples repeatedly ignored, so we went ahead and forgot about them. 

Well you’d never guess, but comments like “if you’re looking for the perfect tablet, you have two choices” tend to get to get a company’s attention. At least, when that company isn’t one of those two choices. 

Shiny new Tablet S in hand mere days later, I set off to find out if it could be a worthy contender against the Fire and iPad.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments

When Netflix announced their new pricing plans this week, it was as if they'd kicked a baby. Twitter, Facebook, and even the desolate Google+ ignited as thousands cried out in horror: "How dare you raise your prices!" "I'm cancelling my subscription!" and the terseless "Netflix is making their service more "convenient" by charging me $5 more a month. Thanks a lot."

John Higgins  |  Dec 14, 2012  |  0 comments

It has been an excellent year for video games, as Geoff discussed in Gaming Moments of the Year

But even among some all of those amazing games, there were three stand-outs, one of which is our Game of the Year.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Apr 13, 2012  |  0 comments

If you haven’t listened to the brilliant Sound+Vision Radio program, you’re missing out. I say “brilliant” not in a self-serving, egomaniacal way.

Wait, of course that’s why I’m mentioning it. But don’t let my ego prevent you from enjoying the witty banter and in-depth discussions of all things A/V, music, movies and more.

Links to local affiliates where you can hear us, plus podcast links and such, after the jump.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Sep 02, 2011  |  0 comments

"It's great, I never have to pay for music again!" Such was the exclamation from someone I know in regards to Spotify.

I was baffled at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it annoyed me. Because my acquaintance isn't alone in this thought. It's prevalent among many, and it extends beyond music.

What they're really saying is: "I want you to entertain me, but screw you for trying to make a living at it."

What the what?

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