Rob Sabin

Rob Sabin  |  Apr 07, 2017  |  3 comments
There’s something big goin’ on in the flat-panel TV market, in more ways than one. Sales of 4K Ultra HD displays are taking over new TV purchases at 55 inches and above, and once-pricey 75-inch 4K sets are suddenly very attainable, with some coming in well under $3,000.
Rob Sabin  |  Apr 01, 2017  |  0 comments
As night settled in with hours left to drive, I pulled off the highway in Barstow to tap the Wi-Fi at Starbucks and download the Audible version of Fear and Loathing to my iPhone. That’s when I saw him, working behind the counter, his wild gray hair dancing in the overhead lights...
Rob Sabin  |  Mar 24, 2017  |  3 comments
Photos by Jomar Bragança

Sometimes, you have to go big. And that’s just what one young power couple did when they built their dream home in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte, a teeming metropolis that sits about a six-hour drive north of the Rio de Janeiro coast. To be more precise, they went 50,000 square feet big. With that area, the modern two-story residence shown in these photos, if laid flat, would cover the size of an American-style football field (minus a couple of end zones).

Rob Sabin  |  Mar 01, 2017  |  Published: Mar 02, 2017  |  0 comments
If something seems off-kilter in your life—for example, you've been feeling alienated and isolated from your family, or you're wondering why you're not having enough sex—Sonos thinks it may have found the answer.

Rob Sabin  |  Feb 13, 2017  |  6 comments
Ultra HD is fast becoming our TV of choice, which bodes well for both UHD Blu-ray and high dynamic range technology.
Rob Sabin  |  Feb 01, 2017  |  2 comments
A look back at our product of the year picks for the past three years, and a few 2016 runners-up that deserve special mention.
Rob Sabin  |  Jan 05, 2017  |  0 comments
Sony upped its soundbar game at CES with introduction of a new flagship model featuring Dolby Atmos capability, while also announcing a new mid-priced AVR.

Rob Sabin  |  Jan 04, 2017  |  Published: Jan 05, 2017  |  0 comments
Samsung Electronics executive vp Joe Stinziano introduces new QLED UHDTVs at 2017 CES.

New advanced UHDTVs and UHD Blu-ray players were the most notable product announcements for A/V enthusiasts at Samsung's 2017 CES press conference today.

The brand's new QLED TVs are said to push the state of the art with a new metallic-core quantum dot formulation in the backlight, one that ultimately provides the ability to deliver brighter highlights and an even wider color gamut than Samsung's top-line 2016 models.

Rob Sabin  |  Dec 22, 2016  |  0 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
PRICE $1,700

HDR10 plus Dolby Vision HDR
Great color
Wide viewing window
Middling black levels
Backlight artifacts

LG’s midpriced 65UH8500 delivers good image quality with a super-wide viewing window, and it’s one of the few sets around that plays both predominant types of HDR content.

A year ago, I tested the LG 65UF9500, an LCD Ultra HDTV that retailed for $2,999, and I criticized it for offering no future-readiness for soon-to-emerge high dynamic range (HDR) content. Since then, Ultra HD Blu-ray has come to market, bringing HDR along with it, and there’s a growing library of HDR movies available for streaming. To LG’s credit, their line of so-called Super UHD LCD TVs for this holiday season, including the midline 65-inch 65UH8500 tested here ($1,700), recognizes both predominant types of HDR—namely, HDR10 (used currently on Ultra HD Blu-rays) and Dolby Vision (still only available via web streams). LG is one of only two TV makers to support both formats on a single chassis (in both their LCD and OLED models), the other being Vizio, which updated their Dolby Vision sets for HDR10 in mid-2016. So how does this wellfeatured, attractively priced set perform? Let’s have a look.

Rob Sabin  |  Dec 08, 2016  |  0 comments
There was a time when audiophiles bemoaned “cheap” soundbars as the bane of our existence. We had good reason. Many early examples of the genre, sometimes from companies we’d most closely associate with clock radios, compromised the home theater experience in every way possible. Along with dramatically shrinking the front soundstage and sacrificing the discrete rear channels required for adequate reproduction of a surround field, they just sounded bad. By which I mean bright, boomy, fatiguing, and amusical. Frequently, “helpful” surround processing to enhance imaging just added echoey reverb and messed with the natural timbre of vocals and instruments.