I've always been obsessed with sound, and I've always wanted to hear my music with the best possible sound. It enhances the experience for me, because I can more clearly hear what the musicians are playing, and the subtleties in the mix, so I get more out of the music. That's true at home and for on-the-go listening, and even when I didn't have much money I still managed to put together a pretty good hi-fi. Then again, good sound is in the ear of the beholder, and that beholder may not be so sure about … Read more
LAS VEGAS--We're huge fans of Audi's Bang & Olufsen ultra-premium audio system, but the automaker is kicking things up another notch at CES 2013 with the announcement that it is developing a 3D Sound system in partnership with audio giants B&O and Fraunhofer IIS.
The automaker will be demonstrating the 3D Sound technology in its booth at the CES 2013 in an Audi Q7 playing a version of the "Iron Man 3" trailer with a sound mix that should highlight the system's abilities. The 3D Sound system features 23 speakers, each of which … Read more
LAS VEGAS--The new 808 brand headphones from Voxx International have a sleek over-the-ear design and promise to give high-performance audio at a reasonable price.
Voxx promises studio-quality materials and engineering in these full-size over-the-ear headphones featuring powerful 40mm drivers, a foldable design for easy storage, and come with multiple detachable cords and a protective travel case.
The full-size 808 headphones come in three styles including black matte, black high gloss, and white high gloss and will be available this month for $99.99. For a more compact version of the 808 line, the On-Ear 808 Drifts and In-Ear 808 Switch … Read more
LAS VEGAS--If you go with a sound bar instead a speaker system, you generally have to give up true surround sound. Unless, of course, your sound bar is a transformer.
The Philips Fidelio Soundbar HTL9100 is billed as the "world's first sound bar with detachable speakers," as the far ends of the sound bar can be removed and used as rear speakers. The detachable, battery-powered speakers operate wirelessly and Philips claims 10 hours of battery life. The speakers then recharge automatically when they're reattached.
The HTL9100 also features two HDMI inputs, in addition to an optical … Read more
LAS VEGAS--You can get Netflix on your TV, gaming console, Blu-ray player, smartphone, laptop, tablet, AV receiver, and now, finally, you can get Netflix in a sound bar, too.
LG is rolling out four new sound bars at CES 2013, including the NB3730A, which has built-in Wi-Fi and a limited suite of streaming-media services including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Vudu, and Pandora. That's the first sound bar I've seen with streaming-media capabilities, but I'd be surprised if people were willing to pay much extra for the functionality, especially with the superior Roku LT available for just $… Read more
The newly announced Samsung HW-F750 is dubbed the "world's first sound bar with a vacuum tube amp," which is technically true: like last year's models, it has a tube preamplifier paired with a digital amplifier. In any event, the difference is largely academic, as I didn't find that the DA-E750's tubes added a distinctively analog sound, although it was a good-sounding tabletop system.… Read more
CES 2013 is still weeks away, but LG is getting a jump on the show by announcing its full line of home theater products on Christmas Day.
Its home audio offerings are anchored by four new sound bar models, with all but the entry-level NB2030A featuring built-in Bluetooth and a wireless subwoofer. The top two models come in a new, larger size, designed to match 47-inch TVs, which reflects the rising popularity of larger screen HDTVs.
The strangest model may be the NB3730A, which includes built-in Wi-Fi and a basic streaming-media suite including including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Vudu, … Read more
Pedestal-style sound bars are the latest evolution in the simplification of home audio. Instead of placing a long sound bar in front of your TV, pedestal sound bars are designed to sit under your TV, for a cleaner look with considerably less clutter. It's by far the easiest way to improve on the sound of your TV with the least intrusion on your living room decor.
The trade-off is that these systems generally don't sound quite as good as traditional sound bars, largely because they lack a separate subwoofer to handle the low end. It's yet another … Read more
One of the primary uses of computers is, of course, for media, whether you're watching movies, listening to music, playing a game, or running through a feature-packed slideshow. In the middle of the fun, it can be incrediby frustrating to get interrupted by a loud swoosh as you receive a new e-mail, or a speech alert telling you some other program needs attention.
To avoid such interruptions, of course you can quit the various applications like Mail and instant-messaging clients that may cause them, but this will not guarantee silence, as alerts can still crop up from other sources.… Read more
Sound bar buyers' performance expectations are pretty low; all the 'bar has to do is sound better than the lousy speakers that are built into their TVs. So if that's all you need, a sound bar will get the job done -- but there are better-sounding alternatives, starting with a pair of self-powered Audioengine A2 ($199) speakers. The A2s are terrific, but the Paradigm Millenia CT ($700) is a 2.1-channel subwoofer/satellite system, and it sounds better than the Audioengines. A lot better, and it's really pretty amazing.
Spread 64 inches apart, the Millenia sats produced a … Read more