Brent Butterworth

Brent Butterworth  |  May 29, 2013  |  0 comments

Hot on the heels of its new midpriced receivers, Pioneer today announced two new 7.2-channel receivers for its high-end Elite line. The new receivers use the same Class D3 amp technology as the other Elite receivers, but at lower prices: $1,100 for the new SC-71 and $1,400 for the SC-72.

Brent Butterworth  |  May 28, 2013  |  0 comments

Hey, who decided we should adjust volume by pushing buttons instead of turning a knob? Whether you have to push the button repeatedly, or push, hold, and wait to hit the right volume, is that really easier than twisting a knob? No, it's not. Unfortunately, I know of only one Bluetooth speaker maker who realizes this: Native Union.

Brent Butterworth  |  May 26, 2013  |  0 comments

We describe famous musicians as "brilliant" or "innovative" or "creative," but mostly, they aren't. They're just making minor modifications to a harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic framework borrowed from musicians who preceded them-and those earlier musicians did the same thing, too. And so on and so on.

Brent Butterworth  |  May 23, 2013  |  0 comments

Onkyo has spruced up the middle of its receiver line with two new models, the $1,399 TX-NR929 and the $1,099 TX-NR828. Both are THX Select2 Plus-certified, with 135 watts of power per channel. Both include wireless streaming through WiFi of files up to 24-bit/192-kilohertz resolution from computers, NAS drives, and other networked devices. And both include Bluetooth so your daughter can stream the latest Justin Bieber tune from her iPhone.

Brent Butterworth  |  May 21, 2013  |  0 comments

Compact Bluetooth speakers are all small enough to toss into a suitcase-but they're not all tough enough to survive the trip. But I knew the Braven BRV-1 was different when I first pulled it out of its package.

With rubber bumpers covering most of its surface, rubber control buttons, and a bolted-on perfed metal grille, it looked tough enough that I could toss it onto the wooden floor of my office. So I did. Not necessarily a smart thing to do with a review sample, but when I went to mate my Samsung G3S phone with the BRV-1, everything worked just fine. I repeated the demo for my fellow Tech^2 blogger Geoff Morrison and frequent West Coast headphone tester Will Huff, and the BRV-1's still working, still not showing a scratch.

Brent Butterworth  |  May 20, 2013  |  0 comments
Brent Butterworth  |  May 19, 2013  |  0 comments

If there's anyone who writes about audio who hasn't raved about GoldenEar Technology speakers, we don't know 'em.

Brent Butterworth  |  May 14, 2013  |  0 comments

"So this is a tuner headphone," our frequent West Coast listening panelist Will Huff commented when I showed him the Mad Dog Alpha. "Like tuner cars?" he suggested when he saw my quizzical look. "Like in Fast and Furious?" he asked when I gave him a shrug. Ah, finally I got it.

Brent Butterworth  |  May 12, 2013  |  0 comments

I'm not much of a businessman. (If I were, would I be writing audio reviews for a living?) Still, after years of experience in marketing and advertising, I can't help but admire a good business strategy. That's partly why I like the Harman Kardon NC.

Brent Butterworth  |  May 09, 2013  |  0 comments

It's not so easy to convert a headphone to Bluetooth. You've got to find space for the amplifier, processing circuitry, radio transceiver, and battery-and all that stuff taking up space inside the earpieces can change the sound a lot. Plus you kinda have to have a cabled mode, because you can't use Bluetooth on airplanes.

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