From the way things are going multichannel home theater speaker systems will be on the endangered species list in a few years. Sound bars epitomize the "good enough" direction the market has taken, and most folks are happy with them, mostly because they sound better than the speakers built into their TVs. That's easy, but how do sound bars fare compared with a bona fide 5.1-channel subwoofer/satellite system? For this shootout I wanted to keep the budget in check, so I used MonoPrice's 8247 sub/sat system, and compared it with a couple of … Read more
Every so often, another device is touted as supporting "Miracast." Fighting its way into the mainstream, Miracast is a killer feature poised to wipe out other video streaming standards in a very fragmented Android market.
Acting like a wireless HDMI cable, Miracast mirrors your Android device onto your TV screen in high definition and with audio. Once Miracast is enabled, everything -- from the general interface, to apps and videos -- is duplicated on the big screen without the burden of a cable connecting the two devices.
Its differentiating quality? It doesn't rely on your home's … Read more
Onkyo has a long history of making high-performance, budget-priced speakers. Even their home theater in a box speakers were a cut above the speakers Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Yamaha, and so on were making, back when I was reviewing scads of HTIBs years ago. Then again, the Onkyo speakers were usually a good deal larger than the competition's, and it didn't hurt that most Onkyo speakers were made of wood instead of plastic, and had larger woofers and better-quality tweeters than most HTIB speaker systems. No wonder Onkyo HTIBs were, year after year, the best-sounding HTIBs. So when I … Read more
If you watch a lot of movies and can deal with the hassles of setting up five or more speakers, plus a subwoofer, go ahead and buy an AV receiver. We've reviewed a bunch of the latest models here on CNET, just pick the one that best suits your needs.
Then again, if you listen to more music than watch movies, a stereo receiver might be a better option. Think about it: the more speakers you buy with a fixed amount of dollars, the less good they're likely to be; the same dollar amount lavished on just two … Read more
I visited Stereo Buyers' Brooklyn headquarters to get a first-hand look at their gear. Located in Red Hook, the facility was flooded by Hurricane Sandy last summer, and most of the inventory was literally underwater. Stereo Buyers' Adam Wexler did his best to prepare before the storm hit, but his best line in recalling the disaster was, "I bet you didn't know that Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy 5 speakers (that weigh over 100 pounds) can float, but they can. It was crazy and depressing; the financial losses were a bummer." He didn't have flood insurance, but … Read more
The "Spinal Tap" reference to the volume control that goes to "11" notwithstanding, there's a lot of confusion surrounding volume controls. There shouldn't be; the volume control setting has nothing to do with how loud an amp can play. Some folks mistakenly think that if you don't have to turn the knob up very far from the minimum setting to achieve high volume, that "proves" it's a powerful amp. No, not at all; the maximum volume level of any amp is determined not by how far you turn the knob, … Read more
Regardless of what you call the icons on your Apple TV -- apps or channels -- you're likely starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with the extra icons for channels you don't use on your Apple TV home screen. With the most recent addition of four new channels just this morning, I know my home screen is anything but organized.
At first glance it would appear, beyond the ability to rearrange the icons, there's no other method to organize your Apple TV screen. Thankfully, that is wrong. There's actually a quick and easy solution to fix … Read more
Last weekend I had a yard sale with a few pairs of speakers to unload. After the first wave of hard-core hagglers trampled through my yard I noticed that someone had trouble resisting the impulse to dent the center of my vintage speakers.
Since I was not about to let them spoil my day (or my profits), I rushed the speakers inside the house to fix them up. A quick online search for some DIY solutions bore some useful results, which I've gathered here.
Swabs and glue OK, honestly, this technique bubbled up from the dark recesses … Read more
The GoldenEar Technology Triton Seven is, as we audiophiles like to say, "transparent" -- it sounds like an open window to the sound of music. That's always the goal for high-end speakers, but only the very best ones take you all the way there.
The Triton Seven's slender cabinet leaves no doubt: this is a thoroughly modern design. The swept-back, nonparallel-sided cabinets, and high-gloss black accents are distinctive; I'm sure the Triton Seven will never be mistaken for just another big-box tower.
The Triton Seven's front, sides, and rear are covered with a wrap-around … Read more
About a year ago, Roku stole a little Apple TV thunder by adding "Play on Roku" capabilities to its iOS app, making it possible for users to stream music and photos from their mobile devices to their TVs via connected Roku boxes.
Last week, Play on Roku was updated to include support for videos. That brings Roku boxes one step closer to matching Apple TV functionality, at least for iDevice users. The Android version of Play on Roku still limits you to music and photos, at least for now.
Let's take a look at how to use … Read more