It was bound to happen. Focal, known to audiophiles all over the world for its statuesque Utopia series of high-end speakers is readying its first sound bar system. It's the 3-inch deep, "uni-body" aluminum Dimension, which can be placed in front of a display or mounted to a wall and provide a five-channel audio experience. The Dimension sound bar's speakers deliver bass down to 50 Hertz, that's exceptional bass performance for a slender, one-piece sound bar. For tabletop mounting you can add the optional, "zero vibration" low profile subwoofer base that extends the … Read more
Sony delivered a long and varied list of gadgets, including a tennis racket sensor and a new wearable tech, on Monday, but kicked off its hour-long showcase by focusing on what it knows best -- home entertainment.
Sony kicked off with an opening video of its "milestones" from 2013, flashing the footage on the screens encircling the curved room. Sony President Mike Fasulo started things off by saying that Sony will be the first to offer a 4K video in-home download service, featuring more than 140 titles. He announced a partnership with online streaming-service Netflix, bringing Netflix CEO … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- Pedestal-style sound bars are flourishing at CES 2014, and LG's latest model appears to one-up them all.
The Sound Plate sits just 1.56 inches tall, and it's designed to match TVs with screens measuring from 32 to 55 inches. LG refers to it as a 320-watt, 4.1 channel system, although you're unlikely to get much more than … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- At first, sound bars battled to get thinner. Now, they're jockeying to get deeper.
The S2121w-D0 Sound Stand is the first pedestal-style sound bar from Vizio, following what appears to be a trend at CES 2014. Like other similar models offered by Zvox and Bose, the Sound Stand is designed to be placed under your TV -- rather than in front of it -- which can offer a sleeker look and won't block the remote sensor on your TV.
The Sound Stand is made to match TVs from 23 to 50 inches and can support … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- Last year, Vizio made a splash at CES 2013 with its 42-inch Vizio S4251w-B4 5.1 sound bar, offering up true surround sound in a sleek package via two rear speakers.
At CES 2014, Vizio unveiled the S5451w-C2, a larger 5.1 sound bar that's designed to fit jumbo TVs sized 55 inches and larger.
As is often the case with home audio, the bigger size offers potential performance benefits as well. Vizio claims the greater width of the sound bar allows for better separation between the left, right, and center channels, which is something we'… Read more
The classic home theater setup -- with front left, center, and right, surround speakers, and a subwoofer -- was the de facto sound standard. High-end home theater buyers still use multichannel systems, but the multichannel home theater-in-a-box system is almost dead. Up until recently, I reviewed 12 or more home theater-in-a-box systems every year for CNET, but now sound bars are the most popular solution.
Altec-Lansing introduced the very first sound bar/subwoofer system -- the Voice of the Digital Theatre -- in 1998. Even today, it still looks like a fully contemporary design, but as far as I can … Read more
Even without delving into the science behind it, a recently released video of small objects levitating and moving about in the air is mesmerizing. Scientists from the University of Tokyo and the Nagoya Institute of Technology are behind a series of experiments using sound to control the movement of tiny foam balls and even small screws. This is Harry Potter-worthy science.
The power of sound waves to lift lightweight objects into the air is well-known, but new work with aiming ultrasonic phased arrays at a focal point gives researchers the seemingly magical power to move things around in the air in three dimensions in space. Look, ma, no hands.… Read more
One of the quiet home audio trends from 2013 was the introduction of jumbo all-in-one audio systems from several companies, including Samsung's Giga sound system.
For 2014, Samsung is expanding its Giga Sound System line to three models, including the midrange MX-HS8500. Samsung rates the 2.2-channel audio system at 2,500 watts of power, including two 15-inch subwoofers. The MX-HS8500 also sports wheels on the bottom, making it easier to transport to where the party is. There's also built-in Bluetooth, plus the MX-HS8500 can wirelessly connect to a compatible Samsung TV if you'd like to use … Read more
Samsung has been making sound bars for years, but aside from the occasional glowing vacuum tube, they all have a similar long, thin look.
The new Samsung HW-H600 Sound Stand is the first pedestal-style sound bar from the company, designed to sit under your TV, rather than in front of it. It's not a new idea, but it's a good one. The pedestal design typically offers a sleeker look and avoids the issue of the sound bar blocking your TV's remote sensor, which is a common problem on traditional sound bars. Sitting under the TV also allows … Read more
Kangas Sound Editor for Mac allows the creation of completely custom sounds and waveforms. It's an advanced and complex software that has a considerable learning curve, but once you get used to it, you'll be impressed by its power. The downside is its complex and rather unusual installation process, which can be perplexing.
Kangas Sound Editor for Mac comes with a 12-step installation process, which installs several dependencies alongside the app. It's a sophisticated procedure that requires, among other things, the entry of a root password for a MySQL database. Once you're done with the install … Read more