In this episode, Toyota gets exonerated, Hummer owners pretend their cars are electric, and do you wear your seatbelts?Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 203 SHOW NOTES
Why did home theater buyers readily accept surround sound, but consistently reject multichannel music formats? From Thomas Edison's very first phonograph in 1877 through the late 1950s, monophonic sound was the only way people heard music at home.
Stereo arrived in the late 1950s on LP and analog reel-to-reel tape, and stereo has remained the most popular music format to this day. Quadraphonic (four-channel surround) debuted in the early 1970s, but didn't survive the end of the decade. People didn't want to plant four speakers in their living rooms, and the Quadraphonic Wars ensured the format's … Read more
Onkyo may be best-known for its receivers and home theater-in-a-box systems, but the company planted deep roots in audiophile-grade hi-fi in the 1970s. As I recall, Onkyo had more street cred among audiophiles than Sony or Pioneer in the days before home theater ruled the roost.
Today at CES in Las Vegas Onkyo will debut a new range of elite stereo hi-fi components, with a style reminiscent of the company's classic models of the 1980s. All three components--the P-3000R preamplifier, M-5000R power amplifier, and C-7000R CD player--incorporate Onkyo's new Dynamic Intermodulation Distortion Reduction Circuitry (DIDRC), that is said … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Shocker. BlueAnt is branching out from its wireless Bluetooth roots and going, well, wired.
The company's officially unveiled a new premium stereo "headset" that's really a set of stylishly designed over-ear headphones that include an integrated mic and controls for the iPhone that allow you to make hands-free calls and play, pause, and track-forward audio selections.
The new BlueAnt stereo headset, which seems to have drawn some inspiration from B&W's P5 headphones, folds flat and comes with an extended-length (69 inch) stereo audio cable, a 3.5mm-to-6.3mm adapter, and a protective … Read more
The Monster Beatbox has a simple mission that goes something like this: deliver big sound from a small box. We'd call it monster sound, but the Beatbox doesn't quite go that far. But it certainly is compact and it certainly plays loud, filling even a fairly big room with sound.
That in itself is an impressive feat, and the $400 Beatbox may just be the loudest-playing iPod dock for its size. The first thing you'll notice about it when you pick it up--yes, there's a convenient carrying handle at the top--is that it's heavy, weighing … Read more
Edgar Choueiri is a professor of applied physics at Princeton University, where he is the director of the Engineering Physics Program and the chief scientist of the university's laboratory for advanced spacecraft propulsion (the Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Lab). Right, he's a rocket scientist, but he's also an audiophile.
Professor Choueiri's Pure Stereo system is a "Revolutionary Technology for Audiophile-Grade 3D Audio." I was treated to a demonstration in Professor Choueiri's lab in Princeton, so I can tell you it really works. The professor played a variety of commercial classical and rock recordings, including Led Zeppelin, over a pair of closely spaced speakers (see photo). The sound spread to the full width of the room, and projected sound forward. He also played recordings he made, including a "haircut" with the sound of "scissors" snipping away all around my head. Professor Choueiri's 3D claim is no hype; Pure Stereo sounds amazing.
The technology can be used with any stereo system, and can operate in any resolution, including high, 192-kHz sampling rates, at 32-bit resolution. Pure Stereo is also compatible with analog sources like turntables and FM radios. Professor Choueiri doesn't equate Pure Stereo (two speakers only) with surround-sound systems that produce envelopment from multichannel music or movie soundtracks from five or more speakers. Pure Stereo's goal is to create more accurate spatial reproduction from two-channel recordings.… Read more
Matthew Moskovciak recently wrote about AV receivers that play nice with iPods, but what about stereo receivers?
The CR-H500NT is a CD player/stereo (2x40 watts) receiver, and also offers Internet radio, an Ethernet port, wired and wireless LANs, high-quality phono input, subwoofer output, and best of all, a USB iPod Digital Direct Interface.
So instead of using your iPod's good-enough internal digital-to-analog converter, you'll be listening to the CR-H500NT's higher-quality 24-bit/192-kHz converters, which will … Read more
We look at a real swagger wagon from Toyota, find some cool-looking Honda hybrids, sit in a new supercar from McLaren, and drive the lowest tech car we've seen this year.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 192 SHOW NOTES
NHT (Now Hear This) speakers have been audiophile favorites for going on 23 years. I loved the original SuperZero, SuperTwo, Model 3.3, and Evolution speaker systems; each was in its own way a classic design.
The new SuperZero 2.0 is an update, rather than a replica of, the original SuperZero. The new, shiny black laminated speaker is an understated jewel, but the SuperZero 2.0's price tag is $99 vs. $125 for the original model. NHT now sells speakers through dealers and factory-direct.
I recently heard the SuperZero 2.0, and the sound was vivid, with a … Read more
Onstar starts Facebook testing, Toyota tweets about six new hybrids, Sony announces four new car stereos, we take a ride in the new Ford Edge.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 186 SHOW NOTES