Al Griffin

Al Griffin  |  Mar 17, 2022  |  2 comments
Sound & Vision has previously reported on Sony’s announced 2022 TV lineup, including its highly anticipated A95K QD-OLED model. We finally got a chance to ogle the new sets in-person at the company’s TV press briefings in NYC this week, and can confirm there’s plenty in store for prospective TV buyers to get excited about.
Al Griffin  |  Mar 08, 2022  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $230

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Great sound quality
Impressive noise cancellation
Compact form factor
Long battery life
Minus
Somewhat pricey compared to other true wireless earbud options

THE VERDICT
Technics’ AZ60 earbuds pack useful features plus advanced ergonomics, and they’re extremely easy on the ears when listening to music.

My first stereo system was a full-on Technics rig, right down to the turntable and cassette deck, so I've always harbored a fondness for the brand. And while the recent comeback of Technics to the hi-fi scene has had a decidedly high-end spin—its SU-R1000 Digital Integrated Amplifier costs $9,499—they've also branched out into accessible gear like wireless all-in-one speakers and headphones.

Al Griffin  |  Mar 02, 2022  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent detail
Vivid color reproduction
Motorized focus, zoom, lens shift
Minus
Relatively limited light output
No dynamic iris
Basic HDR tone-mapping adjustment

THE VERDICT
Sony's entry-level full 4K projector delivers detailed, seamless images and is a great option for dedicated home movie theaters.

Sony's projector lineup is notable for its use of the company's full 4K-resolution (4,096 x 2,160-pixel) SXRD (Sony-speak for LCOS) chips. It's also been notable for featuring a 5K model—5K as in $5,000, the price for the line's entry-level projector. Back in 2021, the company replaced that model, the VPL-VW295ES, with the VPL-VW325ES, an updated version offering a few new features, though at a higher $5,499 price. Are the updates worth the extra coin? Let's find out.

Al Griffin  |  Feb 23, 2022  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I want to get the highest possible audio quality from my home theater system when using the streaming apps on my new Samsung QN90A Neo QLED 4K smart TV. Is the TV’s eARC port compatible with my Denon receiver’s ARC port? By compatible, I mean will the Denon “understand” the Dolby Digital Plus bitstream coming from the apps and just ignore any Atmos metadata? —George Perkins / Madison, WI

Al Griffin  |  Feb 11, 2022  |  3 comments
Premium VOD (Video On Demand), Early Access, Theater at Home, In-Theater Rental. Each of these terms essentially describe the same thing: new movies screening in theaters that can also be streamed for home viewing. Premium VOD (we’ll run with that label) is a fairly recent development, one that quickly accelerated with the arrival of Covid. And while theaters have since re-opened, Premium VOD appears to be here to stay in a big way, with many new movies available to stream from services such as Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and more.
Al Griffin  |  Feb 09, 2022  |  0 comments
After going fully online in 2021 due to the global pandemic, CES 2022 was an in-person event, with both manufacturers and attendees required to provide proof of vaccination and don masks prior to entering the show floor. Actually, it wouldn't be entirely accurate to describe CES as "in-person," since some companies opted to present products online while retaining their usual show floor real estate. I
Al Griffin  |  Jan 26, 2022  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $600

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Deep bass from a compact design
DSP and app control
Minus
Control app not user-friendly
Unreliable Auto On/Off function
No wireless connection option

THE VERDICT
OSD Audio’s powerhouse Trevoce 12 delivers deep bass from a compact cube. And with onboard DSP and app-based control, users can tune the sub’s output for best performance in their listening space.

OSD Audio is a maker of many audio-related things, its extensive product line covering most bases for custom residential and commercial installations. But the company also has a fair number of consumer offerings, including a sizeable range of subwoofers. Last year I reviewed its Nero TubeBass 10, a cylinder-shaped model that provided a decent wallop of bass given its compact size and $179 price. Now, for this review I'm stepping up to the Trevoce 12 EQ DSP, a flagship subwoofer from the company's swanky Black Series that still tops out at a reasonable $600. (OSD Audio also plans to launch a 15-inch model in the near future with a $799 price.)

Al Griffin  |  Jan 26, 2022  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I own an NAD T 787 A/V receiver that only supports regular HD video pass-through and Dolby True HD/DTS-HD Master Audio processing. This receiver features NAD’s MDC (Modular Design Construction) for hardware upgrades. NAD offers an audio module with Dolby Atmos support, along with outputs for two sets of height speakers. If I stick with my current 5.1 speaker setup, would the Atmos module upgrade improve sound quality? Or will my receiver simply downmix the Atmos soundtracks to 5.1/7.1 surround with no audible improvement? —Phil Tomaskovic, via email

Al Griffin  |  Jan 19, 2022  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Ample brightness
Contrast-boosting HDR-Pro feature
Vivid color and detail
Living room-friendly design
Minus
Wide Color Gamut filter dramatically reduces light output
Relatively high fan noise in Normal Light mode
No integrated Netflix streaming

THE VERDICT
BenQ’s first ultra short throw projector is a winner on many fronts, offering compelling brightness, vivid color, and a dynamic presentation of 4K/HDR sources.

Is there a projector maker that hasn't yet come out with an ultra short throw (UST) model aimed at viewers who want a theater-size image in their living room, but without the usual ceiling-mount and dark room baggage that accompanies it? If you asked me that question one year ago, I would have replied "BenQ." But now, with its V7050i 4K DLP Laser TV, BenQ has joined the UST projector fold, adding its name to the ranks of Sony, Epson, Optoma, Vava, Hisense, LG, Samsung, and others.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 08, 2022  |  0 comments
BenQ’s new product introductions at CES included a pair of projectors aimed at the gaming community, an important growth segment for the company.

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