Rob Sabin

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Rob Sabin  |  Aug 11, 2017  |  0 comments
I love that time of year when, after a couple of false starts and brief teases, the persistence of winter finally breaks for good and the soft breezes of spring arrive. That’s a decidedly northern experience, of course, one that some folks eventually move south to get away from permanently (well, the winter that precedes it, anyway), and which others have never known because of their origins in warmer climes. I get it — I’ve got family all over the country and have spent plenty of time out west and in Florida, and I see how a guy could get used to it. But the New Yorker in me thinks those folks are missing out. If you haven’t struggled through a winter, even a mild one, you can’t fully appreciate the fleeting beauty of a spring and summer in the same way. You need that frame of reference. It makes being outside that much better.
Rob Sabin, Steve Guttenberg  |  Aug 06, 2017  |  1 comments
In Episode 2 of Sound & Vision's Pixels & Bits podcast, editor-in-chief Rob Sabin and contributing technical editor Steve Guttenberg discuss the birth of VHS and the Betamax/VHS videotape format war, spotlight the $3,000 HiFiMan HE1000 magnetic planar headphones (4:24); debate whether $6,000 headphones are really worth it (5:15); and talk about how the longevity of some audio products adds to their value (14:00).

Rob Sabin, Steve Guttenberg  |  Jul 18, 2017  |  6 comments
In this first episode of Sound & Vision's podcast Pixels & Bits, Editor-in-Chief Rob Sabin and Contributing Technical Editor Steve Guttenberg discuss their roots in high-end audio; the affordable Magnepan MMGi magnetic planar speakers (4:00); the problem with "feature glut" (9:00), and whether Sonos sacrificed too much sound quality to gain simplicity with its Playbar soundbar (14:20).

Comments are welcome on these subjects, along with your suggestions for future episodes!

Rob Sabin  |  Jul 14, 2017  |  6 comments
Photo by Matt Murray, Courtesy Value Electronics

In what appears to be an ongoing trend, LG took top honors Thursday at this year's TV Shootout at CE Week in New York. This marks the 4th consecutive year that LG's current top OLED model, this time the 65-inch E7, was declared the annual "King of TV" — a title even more deserving than in year's past thanks to the set sweeping all three of the judging categories.

But despite what by now seems like a familiar or expected result, this year's event was more competitive and interesting than in recent years, with at least one set that very nearly equaled the LG, and others that failed to come as close as we'd have expected.

Rob Sabin  |  Jun 30, 2017  |  0 comments
In a recent post I chided manufacturers for releasing Wi-Fi-based speakers that failed to perform reliably. But then I began to wonder about the role of our Wi-Fi networks and whether the demands of these new products are outpacing the capabilities of today’s “average” network. Ravi Rajapakse, founder and CEO of Blackfire Research, sheds some light on the subject…
Rob Sabin  |  Jun 12, 2017  |  Published: Jun 13, 2017  |  0 comments
The company best known among cinephiles for entertaining big audiences with big screens and big sound has gone the opposite way with its latest big idea: Virtual reality (VR) centers to provide one-on-one entertainment to walk-in customers at cineplexes and other venues nationwide.

Rob Sabin  |  Jun 09, 2017  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $800

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Superb sound quality
Impressive, weather-resistant build quality
Bluetooth stereo pairing
Minus
Pricey

THE VERDICT
Soundcast’s new flagship outdoor Bluetooth speaker carries a substantial price tag, but if you’re headed for the backyard or a tailgate party, you’ll get what you pay for in sound quality, ease of use, and reliable operation.

Ever since the introduction of the first battery-driven transistor pocket radio, we’ve been taking our music outside and on the go. (By the way, that was the Regency TR-1 in the fall of 1954; visit regencytr1.com for a retrospective maintained by Don Pies, son of Regency cofounder John Pies.) Of course, any conversation today about “outdoor audio” needs to be placed in modern context. We’ve gone from being grateful for a tinny AM broadcast of “The Roy Rogers Show” played back over a tiny, underpowered speaker to expecting potent, high-quality audio in our backyards, at the beach, or in the parking lot as we tailgate before the big game.

Rob Sabin  |  May 26, 2017  |  2 comments
Wireless music is a beautiful thing but not everyone has figured out how to deliver a glitch-free experience. What's going on?
Rob Sabin  |  May 26, 2017  |  2 comments
Brace yourself for a tour of a most remarkable home theater, built in a 4,000-square-foot basement with an adjacent movie set that celebrates the owner's childhood.
Rob Sabin  |  May 11, 2017  |  1 comments
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,000 ea

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Classic McIntosh styling
DTS Play-Fi compatibility
Excellent sound quality
Minus
Quirky Play-Fi app
Grille isn’t acoustically transparent
No Bluetooth
Pricey

THE VERDICT
It’s hardly cheap, but McIntosh’s wireless speaker will satisfy your inner audiophile in more ways than one.

My UPS delivery guy—after having me sign for a pair of McIntosh RS100 wireless speakers, whose brand labeling was plainly evident—couldn’t resist commenting before walking off with a wink and a smile: “Have fun with those!”

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