I've always had a soft spot for great-sounding big speakers, like the SVS Ultra Tower. It stands 45 inches tall, and the cabinet has a unique, aggressively styled trapezoidal shape. Decked out in a gleaming piano-black finish or black oak veneer, the Ultra Tower projects a distinctly high-end aura; it looks a lot more expensive than it really is. The three-way design features a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter sitting between twin 6.5-inch composite glass-fiber midrange drivers, and mounted on the lower side flanks, a pair of 8-inch woofers. All three drivers are proprietary SVS designs. The speaker weighs … Read more
I'm about to make/ruin your weekend. Make it, because I've rounded up five seriously sweet deals. Ruin it, because you're going to want to buy them all. Food, clothing, feh -- who needs 'em?!Answer the Call of Duty
Can't afford the $60 price tag on the hot new Call of Duty: Ghosts? Give it time; in six months or so, you'll be able to get it for half as much, maybe even less.
The House of Marley Liberate headphones don't look or feel like any other $100 pair. Most are flimsy plastic things, while the Liberate's metal, wood, hemp cloth, and vinyl construction gives it the feel of a more expensive design. The Liberate features 40mm drivers and an unusually flexible cable with an iPhone/iPad-compatible mic and inline controls. The headband isn't hinged and the earcups don't fold flat, but the upside to those design choices is the Liberate will probably withstand rough treatment better than most hinged models. Then again, the Liberate's cable isn't user-replaceable, … Read more
The Bunker Studio is a 3,000-square-foot recording studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that's owned by a pair of musician/engineers, John Davis and Aaron Nevezie. I dropped by a few days ago as Nevezie was working with singer Rachel Platten, and watched her tune "Ask Me" take form.
Nevezie favors a mix of analog and digital gear to get the sounds he wants. Brad Williams played drums and added bass and deliciously weird electronic textures with an original analog Minimoog synthesizer. The vibe was relaxed, and Nevezie was open to exploring Platten's and Williams' ideas. The … Read more
Like anyone who regularly reviews headphones, I've noticed that the majority of them have no unique features or qualities. So for example, it's rare to find headphones in the T 51 P's price class that aren't made in China, but this little $289 Beyerdynamic is made in Germany. The lightweight, 174 gram, mostly metal design doesn't have a hinged headband, but the ear cups fold flat for easy storage in the supplied, beautifully designed carry case. The headphone lacks a mic or inline controls, marking it as a design intended for the serious audiophile who … Read more
If I can just get my juvenile snickering out of the way right up front... Heh-heh, "Privates," heh-heh.
Now, then. I've featured a ton of Bluetooth speakers in this space, but surprisingly few Bluetooth headphones. All that changes starting...now!
For a limited time, you can get the Outdoor Tech Privates touch-control Bluetooth headphones for $79.95 shipped. That's $20 off the regular price -- and you can't even get these right now on Amazon, they're so popular.
The Privates are overon-the-ear headphones with swipe-able controls on the right earcup. You swipe up or … Read more
It wasn't that long ago that desktop "computer" audio was synonymous with awful-sounding, cheap 'n' cheerful plastic speakers, but over the last few years Audioengine, Emotiva, Adam Audio, and many others started making seriously good high-quality monitors, with prices starting around $200 a pair.
I mostly focus on desktop speakers a la carte, but this time out I'm checking out PSB Speakers' ultracompact Alpha PS1 monitors paired with the almost-as-small SubSeries 100 sub. This three-piece system reaches lower into the bass than any of the aforementioned monitors without breaking the bank. Alpha PS1s run $299 per … Read more
Last weekend in NYC John La Grou was a keynote speaker at the Audio Engineering Society convention. He based some of his assumptions about how recorded music will evolve on Moore's Law, which states that the number of transistors squeezed onto integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. That prediction was made in 1965, and if anything, Moore underestimated the cost savings we've enjoyed. La Grou rolled out statistic after statistic that painted a rosy future for music, gaming, and film tech advances in the coming decades.
La Grou believes that highly advanced gestural control and brain/machine … Read more
I caught up with my old friend, mastering and recording engineer Bob Katz at the Audio Engineering Society convention held last week in NYC. He was there to proclaim an end to the "Loudness Wars," which refers to the overuse of dynamic range compression to flatten the soft-to-loud volume changes that naturally occur in music. Katz was way ahead of the pack in decrying the overzealous use of compression in mastering recordings, he has been in the trenches, fighting the good fight for more than 20 years.
I didn't know the price of the M-Audio M3-8 when I first started listening, I just assumed it was $900 to $1,000 for the pair of speakers. No, the street price is closer to $600 for a pair, around the same price as for one of the reigning wireless champions, such as the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air or Bose SoundDock 10. And the M3-8s deliver so much more of the sound of your music than those two wireless models, it's not even close. For one thing a pair of M3-8s produce stereo, and the sort of … Read more