The Wilson Alexia speakers and Dan D'Agostino electronics in the Innovative Audio room at the New York Audio Show stopped me in my tracks. I heard a lot of great gear at the show, but the sound in that room was closer -- a lot closer -- to the sound of the real thing than anything else. The system had a "this is happening now" quality that takes you back to the recording session, proof that cutting edge high-end gear is getting better all the time. Yes, ubergear prices are in the stratosphere, but there were plenty … Read more
The No. 1 question I get from readers is something along the lines of "What's the best speaker?" Some readers include a price range, which is a huge help, but there are a lot of factors that should be considered when selecting a speaker. Or to be more precise, a speaker system.
Speakers "play" the room, so room size and acoustics should be taken into consideration when buying speakers. The pair of 8-inch tall speakers that might sound great in a 10-by-12-foot bedroom probably won't cut it in a 25-by-40-foot living room, where you … Read more
A recent CNET review of the Monoprice 9774 by Matt Moskovciak and Steve Guttenberg revealed that, beyond striking physical similarities, they sounded nearly identical to the more-expensive Energy Take Classic speaker system.
A recent lawsuit seems to bear out that Energy feels the same way.
So how similar are they? I acquired sets of both to take apart and compare the guts. Further, I enlisted the help of measurement wizard and speaker guru Brent Butterworth to measure the frequency response.
The results were very interesting.… Read more
One of the things that separates high-end audio from mass market gear is that it's built to last and perform at a high level for decades. I bought a 20-year-old, mint condition Audio Research SP-6C tube preamplifier 10 years ago. It looked great and sounded wonderful, but a few years later I sold it to my cousin, who was just starting to get into high-end audio.
Late last year, I bought a 30-year-old Krell KSA 50 stereo amplifier from one of my old customers. He loved the amp and listened to it all the time, but he needed money … Read more
Most audiophiles' first "serious" speaker is a small, two-way monitor, so whenever I come across a little one that strikes my fancy I share it with my readers. The Teac LS-H265 is such a speaker, and priced at $199 a pair, it's definitely in the affordable price range.
The LS-H265 measures just 7.1x11.5x10.2 inches and weighs 9.7 pounds. It has a 1-inch dome tweeter and a 5-inch woofer. I can't get over how gorgeous the piano-black finish is; the LS-H265 looks better than a lot of $600 and $700 speakers! The speaker … Read more
The BlackBerry Mini Stereo Speaker doesn't look like your average Bluetooth wireless speaker. Crafted in the shape of a U, this tiny Bluetooth smartphone accessory can be pinned to shirts, bag straps, and other articles of clothing so you can enjoy phone audio out loud and with your hands free. The gadget also functions as a speakerphone for hands-free calls. At $99.99, however, the speaker isn't exactly an impulse buy. Also, other portable speaker systems such as JBL's Flip deliver much better sound for the same price.
Design and features I can't deny that this … Read more
When I dropped by the Park Avenue Audio NYC showroom, I was on a mission to find an audiophile bookshelf speaker that wouldn't break the bank. The store's selection covers a wide gamut, but the majority of speakers are $1,000-plus per pair. Then I ran across the Monitor Audio "Silver" RX1; it's a medium-size bookshelf speaker, measuring a tidy 12.3 x 7.3 x 9.4 inches. At 15 pounds, it feels surprisingly heavy for its size. It has a 1-inch ceramic-coated aluminum/magnesium-alloy dome tweeter and a 6-inch metal woofer. The speakers … Read more
So many deals, so little time!
1. Mo' terabytes, mo' savings. If your PC doubles as a media center, especially one that pulls DVR duty, you can't have too much storage. Likewise, if you work with a lot of video, you can't have too much storage.
While supplies last, TigerDirect has the Western Digital Elements 3TB USB hard drive for $99.99, plus $3.80 for shipping. That's after redeeming a $20 mail-in rebate (PDF), which makes this the least expensive 3TB external drive I've ever seen.
It's a USB 2.0 drive, alas, but … Read more
I love a good Bluetooth speaker, especially one that's battery-powered and portable. Mine goes everywhere with me: to the bathroom for shower tunes, to the garage for honey-do-project tunes, even on trips for hotel-room tunes.
The nicely rounded, brick-shaped ChilBox measures 6 inches by 2.5 inches by 2 inches and weighs around 14 ounces. Its built-in rechargeable battery is good for up to 12 hours … Read more