Can cold weather ruin your car speakers? More of your insights into self-driving cars, recommendations for cheap cars that are fun to drive, and our plans to review the VW GTI.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 34 SHOW NOTES
HTC may have Beats Audio, but now Nokia has Monster.
The companies today introduced two new audio accessories, the Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset and In-ear Nokia Purity Stereo Headset, and announced an exclusive long-term partnership to produce a range of accessories for Nokia's mobile phones.
There certainly has not been a shortage of gaming headsets by way of third-party manufacturers in the past few years. We've seen impressive entries in the market from brands like Turtle Beach, Astro, and Logitech, all of which perform well, but are priced as high as $250. … Read more
For a driving enthusiast, there's nothing like the throaty roar of a well-tuned engine. However, as vehicle noise regulations, technological advances, and general increases in build quality have continued to make vehicles ever quieter both outside and inside, some automakers have been seeking ways to preserve and enhance the visceral sound of an angry engine for their performance-oriented models. For example, Ford includes a sort of sound pipe that channels induction noise into the Mustang's cabin. BMW, on the other hand, has taken a different approach with the new M5's Active Sound Design technology, which artificially replicates … Read more
Whether you listen to music from the cloud, MP3s, CDs, LPs, cassettes, or 8-track tapes, it's always in stereo. So while multichannel SACD, DVD-A, or music-only Blu-ray discs trickle out, only a very small handful of recently recorded music is available in multichannel sound. If there was any real demand we would have surely seen an uptick in the number of surround releases, but that's not happening. Stereo rules the music world, which is why high-quality hi-fis aren't going out of fashion. Onkyo's new A-9070 integrated amplifier and C-7070 CD player are both sound investments.
The … Read more
A lot of people think good sound is good sound, but music and movies have very different requirements. Starting with home theater, remember that today's films have nearly unlimited soft-to-loud dynamic range; dialogue is mixed to the center channel; surround effects may be ambient or point-sourced; and deep bass demands can be extreme. Just about every feature film released over the last 20 years has a multichannel soundtrack.
How different is music? Let me count the ways: an exceedingly small number of new music recordings are available in multichannel sound; stereo rules in the music world; most, probably 99 … Read more
I cover a lot of high-end, audiophile-oriented gear in this blog, but I also love finding great-sounding affordable products. Match any of the stereo speakers on this list with any amp from my post on "Top 10 great-sounding amplifiers from $40 to $450," and you'll get amazing sound value. Unless noted otherwise, the prices listed are for pairs of speakers.
Dayton B652 ($40) The price is no typo; the Dayton Audio B652 is a midsize, black vinyl-covered monitor speaker, 11.7 inches high, 7.1 inches wide, and 6.5 inches deep. Fit and finish are decent, but the rear panel's spring-clip wire connectors won't provide a tight grip on the wires, so they may fall out when you move the speakers.
I've seen clips on $100 speakers, so I can't really complain about spring clips on $40 speakers. Bass definition is fine, but deep bass is lacking. The B652's bass is reasonably flat to 70Hz, so you may not need to add a sub. The speaker earned its reputation by delivering surprisingly accurate tonal balance, exceptional detail, and transparency. The B652 speakers are available for $40 a pair from Parts Express.… Read more
NASA scientists for the first time can track the effects of a solar storm on Earth, offering new advancements in our ability to predict space weather and how it will impact our satellites, emergency systems, power grid, air traffic control equipment, and more.
New observations from NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, spacecraft have allowed researchers to observe the sun throwing off immense clouds of material, see how the material interacts with solar wind, and monitor the result as it hurtles toward Earth's magnetosphere.
The result: a first-ever view, end-to-end and in three dimensions, of the impact … Read more
This Top-10 list of great-sounding solid-state and vacuum-tube amplifiers includes headphone amps and vintage models. Most are light on features, so if you need autosetup, GUI menus, AirPlay, iPod/iPhone/iPad compatibility, home networking, HD Radio, Bluetooth, HDMI switching, digital-to-analog converters, Dolby and DTS processors, that's not the main plan. The focus is on amps that provide the maximum sound quality for a minimal investment, but I included one receiver with some of those goodies.
I'll do a top-10 affordable speaker list soon.
Dayton Audio DTA-1 Amplifier ($40)
It weighs almost nothing, looks cheap and flimsy, but Dayton'… Read more