For years, we've read in audio magazines about the quest for the finest this, the biggest that, and the most expensive such-and-such. If it were 2005, I'd probably be addressing that subject right now. But in 2009, it seems rather ludicrous to be writing about extravagant audio baubles while one sits at an Ikea table in a $10 Old Navy polo shirt drinking coffee from Smart and Final.
This week may be the most eventful in history for surround-sound geeks. Yesterday, one of the biggest names in surround sound — DTS — announced it had acquired another of the biggest names in surround sound, SRS.
The cylindrical design of SVS’s PC12-NSD may appear eccentric, but it’s purely functional. The tube-shaped material makes it easy for SVS to create a good, stiff enclosure at low cost. It also minimizes the amount of floor space the sub occupies. While the 3-foot-high PC12-NSD is undeniably tall, its 16.6-inch-diameter form uses only a small amount of floor space.
ACROSS THE CONTINENT, thousands are taking part in an almost-forgotten rite. It melds advanced technology, knowledge handed down through the decades, and a little dose of black magic. As most rituals do, it appalls many nonbelievers, but that fact only makes its practitioners relish it more.
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.
When 7.1-channel surround sound came out a few years ago, no one knew if people would buy it. And no one knew if Hollywood would produce 7.1-channel soundtracks. But there's one thing everyone knew: Someday, somebody would come up with even more channels.
In the last couple of years, I’ve heard several speaker manufacturers predict that the increasingly good-sounding $300 products from the likes of Panasonic, Samsung, and Vizio would soon push all the traditional audio companies out of the soundbar biz. But it hasn’t happened. This year’s CES saw the introduction of several new soundbars from respected brands.
AUDIOPHILES’ enthusiasm for computer-sourced sound has inspired innovation in the market for external digital-to-analog converters, which deliver vastly better performance than your computer’s sound card. Accordingly, there were many new DACs at CES designed to connect to computers.
TRADITIONAL two-channel audio never went away. But there’s no denying that since the early ’90s, stereo has been overshadowed by home theater. Most of the audio industry devoted most of its effort to adding more speakers, more channels of sound, and more complexity to our systems.