Stupid Andy helps us out today with a busy rundown that includes Netflix earning first rights to new movies before cable TV; an interactive ad in the U.K. that claims it can recognize gender at a 90 percent success rate; a new Low Latency comic on Crave, and YouTube getting caught with its pants down!… Read more
Leaked from 404 Podcast 994:Apple asks bankruptcy court for OK to sue Kodak for infringement. Leaning back from your PC screen can help you decide when shopping online. Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat might actually happen. Call of Duty: Black Ops has the best game ending of all time, Guinness World Records says. Bathroom break video 1: I'll call you right back. Bathroom break video 1: Even dogs cry to Adele.
You've probably already read about the latest and greatest in smartphones, tablets, and OLED displays, so let's take a look at the coolest high-end audio goodies. We've assembled some of the most promising candidates for your approval.
The Arcam rPAC is a portable USB powered digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier, but it can also be played over a hi-fi system. "USB powered" means there are no batteries or "wall warts," it's powered by your computer's USB port. The entire component is enclosed in a small precision-cast aluminum case.
I've loved … Read more
I remember the first time I saw a Burmester component in a hi-fi store. I couldn't get over how beautiful it was.
The Burmester pictured here is the Reference Line 808 MK5 preamplifier. Introduced in August 1980, the 808 is the fifth-generation model. The preamp's modular construction was a revolutionary design approach in 1980, and new technologies have been incorporated to maintain the 808's performance at the current state of the art.
As an audiophile, I value sound quality, but most audio buyers don't. Even when superior sound is available for the same cost as a lower quality alternative, most buyers will opt for the smaller, more convenient, more attractive, or more feature-laden product.
Case in point, the $399 Pioneer SP-PK21BS home theater speaker package. It's the best sounding home theater speaker/subwoofer system you can buy for that price, but it's also the biggest system you can get for that much money. How big is it? The SP-BS21-LR bookshelf speakers are 12.6 inches high, 7.2 inches … Read more
Looking for gift ideas for that special audiophile in your life? Here are some, priced from affordable to crazy expensive. Let's get started!
"Miles! Live at Montreux - The Definitive Miles Davis at Montreux Collection, 1973-1991" This historically important 10-DVD set ($150) captures all of Miles Davis' performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival between 1973 and 1991. The final concert features Davis paying tribute to his collaborator and close friend Gil Evans, who died in 1988. The audio and video quality of the collection varies, but most of it is surprisingly good.
Audio Technica ATH M50 headphones These headphones are nearly impossible to fault; they're extremely comfortable, great-sounding, ruggedly built, and fairly priced. The ATH M50 ($199) is a closed-back design and provides nearly as much isolation from external noise as noise-canceling headphones, but sounds better than any NC headphones I've heard to date.… Read more
I get this question a lot, "Steve, what's the best-sounding Blu-ray player." Sometimes the questioner is more specific, "I have an Oppo BDP-83, but is the Oppo BDP- 95 better? What are you using at home?"
I have an Oppo BDP-95 ($999), which has a lot in common with the company's BDP-93 ($499) 3D universal Blu-ray, SACD, DVD-Audio player, but the BDP-95 is the potentially better sounding player. I say potentially because that player's upgraded digital-to-analog converter and audio circuitry won't make a nit of difference if you're using the player'… Read more
Element Case is a "boutique" iPhone case maker that's gotten plenty of press for its swanky Vapor line, which now includes the just-shipped $129.99 Vapor Comp Epiphany case you see here.
The Epiphany comes in a microfiber "cleaning" pouch and ships with a second protective molded "travel" zipper case (your full iPhone with the case on it fits in the pouch or travel case).
You also get two interchangeable back plates that are made out soft material that Element describes as Epiphany Blue Ultrasuede and Herrera White Pearl. Oh, just so you … Read more
As the year draws to an end, Facebook is revealing the news articles that grabbed the most attention on the social network in 2011. Unsurprisingly, the wrap-up spans a range of subjects from celebrity deaths to weather disasters, and even a few viral videos that you may have forgotten.
The most shared article on Facebook this year came from The New York Times, which published exclusive satellite photos of the Japanese tsunami disaster back in March, along with the subsequent nuclear fallout in the months following.
A different story from Yahoo's Lookout Blog also made it into the top 10, but equally memorable footage shows a shivering dog refusing to leave another injured canine stuck in the rubble; a follow-up article on CNN documents the same dog's rescue from the shores of the Miyagi prefecture.… Read more
Go to any hi-fi show and you'll see room after room filled with the latest and greatest-sounding speakers, but chances are you won't come away from the experience captivated by brilliant designs. I sometimes wonder if the audio industry will ever get its act together and make speakers you don't have to be an audiophile to love.
Extreme cars, like Ferraris and Lamborghinis, arouse strong, positive reactions from people who would never buy or even drive them, but high-end audio speakers rarely achieve that sort of admiration. My best guess as to why that's so is that truly beautiful audiophile speakers are rare. Or to put it another way, do you have to be an audiophile to think speakers are beautiful? Granted, if you're already an audiophile you might be predisposed to view large speakers in a positive light and see their form as part of their function. For nonaudiophiles, size is definitely a factor, in the opposite direction: the smaller a speaker is, the easier it is to fit into the average person's living space.… Read more