I've written about the Audeze LCD-2 headphones in this blog before, but now I'm going to cover the LCD-3 model, Audeze's best headphones. At first glance the two don't look all that different, but the LCD-3s sport real zebrawood earcups and have thicker and softer real lambskin leather cushions to coddle your ears. This is a fairly heavy (550-gram) set of headphones, but they're comfortable to wear for hours at a time. Details of why the LCD-2s and LCD-3s sound different aren't forthcoming from Audeze, other than the drivers, which use similar technology, are … Read more
The New York Audio & AV Show at the legendary Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is hosting the biggest collection of high-end audio products the city has seen in many years. Audiophiles and curious New Yorkers are crowding the halls and rooms, eager to see and hear some of the world's best audio products.
Early-termination fees got you down? ETFs are fees that phone carriers charge customers in case they want to cancel their contracts early. Agreements usually last two years, but if you want to leave a carrier before then, the company uses ETFs as a way to recuperate money from selling you a subsidized phone. Some argue, however, that these fees are grossly expensive and exploitative. Our main advice is to read the terms of your agreement carefully and drum up a lot of attention with your carrier if things aren't going exactly the way you think they should be. For … Read more
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