Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 19, 2017  |  3 comments

M16 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

B10 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $4,050 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
High transparency
Equalized subwoofer
Wall-hanging surrounds
Minus
Manual sub EQ requires expertise

THE VERDICT
Revel draws on Harman’s world-class engineering depth to produce immaculate high-end sound—this time, at an extremely reasonable price.

Audiophiles (myself included) often point out that high-end audio is stigmatized compared with other product categories. High-end cars, high-end wine, high-end watches: All attract aficionados who don’t mind paying a stiff premium to get the best of the best. And if an average onlooker ventures an opinion at all, it’s “nice watch!” But when a bleeding-edge speaker or amp takes the stage, the applause of the cognoscenti mixes with heckling from the peanut gallery. High-end audio has long been subject to that extra measure of skepticism.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 10, 2017  |  0 comments

Audio Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
110 watts x 2
PC-USB and phono inputs
Bass, treble, balance controls
Minus
No HDMI or other video switching
Ethernet but no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

THE VERDICT
Although not an AVR, Outlaw’s second-generation stereo receiver has an intelligently chosen feature set, bodacious industrial design, and lots of clean power for music lovers on a budget.

One might argue that no single product category has brought vastly improved sound to so many, so fast, as the now-retro stereo receiver. Models poured in during the (mostly) Japanese mass-market audio explosion of the 1970s, when Classic Rock was just rock. My first receiver was a 15-watt-per-channel Pioneer SX-434, but it just as easily could have been a Marantz, Sansui, Kenwood, Luxman, or any of several other storied brands. Today, top-line stereo receivers from the ’70s—their shiny silver faceplates bristling with knobs, buttons, and toggles—command eyebrow-raising prices on eBay and are lovingly restored by vintage hi-fi buffs.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 06, 2017  |  2 comments
It has been seven years since I last wrote a blog shamelessly promoting my book Practical Home Theater: A Guide to Video and Audio Systems. In fact, I've never told the whole story of why I wrote the book, why I update it every year, and why it's lasted so long—the latest edition, dated 2018, is the 17th. Addicted as I am to numbers divisible by five, I might have waited for the 20th edition. But this blog is long overdue. Think of it as a delayed reaction to the 15th.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 26, 2017  |  0 comments
The Dish Music app uses DTS Play-Fi wireless technology to endow Dish’s Hopper 2 and 3 DVRs with multiroom smarts.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 19, 2017  |  1 comments

Audio Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
App-driven HEOS eco-system
Up to 5.1 channels
Wireless HEOS surround and sub options
Minus
Nearly no front-panel controls
No low-volume mode
No Dolby Atmos or DTS:X

THE VERDICT
The Denon HEOS AVR reimagines the black-box receiver as a sleek, shapely, app-driven beauty that leverages the home network to provide wireless sub and surrounds.

Having successfully developed their own wireless ecosystem under the HEOS brand, Denon is using it to reinvent the audio/video receiver. What the company calls the HEOS AVR departs from the black-box norm by offering suave dove-gray aluminum as an optional alternative to the usual black. It isn’t a box, either, or at least not a pure rectangular solid, thanks to a diagonally split, convex front panel. Whereas other A/V receivers wear lots of buttons or conceal them behind a flip-down door, the HEOS AVR has a front panel that’s pointedly devoid of any controls except a large metal volume dial. And in lieu of a front-panel display, it has only a large horizontal LED stripe in the HEOS style for volume and status. This isn’t just another receiver. It’s a deliberate provocation.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 12, 2017  |  1 comments
917applebow.jpgApple will take the wraps off a new version of AirPlay in December as part of the forthcoming iOS 11. AirPlay 2 goes multi-room by including a multiple-speaker function that enables you to pick speakers throughout the home. You might send different songs to different rooms. Multiple users can contribute songs to a playlist. AirPlay 2 can also reach Apple TV devices, thanks to the tvOS 11 update, and it integrates with Apple HomeKit smart home devices.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 08, 2017  |  0 comments
dARTS celebrated its recent renaming by flaunting 50 grand worth of holistically integrated surround gear in one of the show's best-sounding demos.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 08, 2017  |  1 comments
The triple highlights of the Parasound booth were a new ZoneMaster two-channel amp, new five-channel amp, and new phono preamp, all designed with a knack for combining performance and value.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 08, 2017  |  0 comments
Take a look at the four-element Trinnov room correction setup microphone, with one element elevated over the other three. The mic performs time-based measurements of phase and impulse response plus the azimuth and elevation of all speakers. We decided to show this instead of the customary black-box product shot. You're welcome.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 08, 2017  |  0 comments
You may have heard about Bluesound's Pulse Soundbar before but you probably haven't heard about a couple of recent updates.

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