The beauty of desktop speaker sets is that their universal connectivity (usually via a standard 3.5mm plug) makes them suitable for use with MP3 players and other audio devices in a pinch. Of course, many of the models on the market aren't exactly inspiring in the looks department. One exception to this rule is the JBL Duet II, a pair of "space-age" desktop speakers that retail for about $100. If you can get past the tangle of wires sprouting from the back, they're a solid option for your office, den, or dorm room listening needs.… Read more
Home-theater-in-a-box systems are often associated with tiny speakers and underpowered AV receivers, but Onkyo (like Yamaha) bucks the trend, packing its home theater systems with big, boxy speakers and component-grade AV receivers. The company announced two new HTIB systems this week, both of which look impressive in terms of value, at least from the specification sheet. Let's take a look at the new systems:
Key features of the Onkyo HT-S3200:5.1 home theater system with 110-watts per channel Two-way front and center speakers, each with 3.25-inch woofer and 0.75-inch tweeter Smaller rear speakers, each with 3.25-inch woofer 110-watt subwoofer with 8-inch driver Component-style 5.1 AV receiver Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Audyssey Dynamic EQ Three HDMI inputs Two component video inputs Three digital audio inputs (two optical, one coaxial) Currently available in black, $380 list price
Key step-up features of the Onkyo HT-S5200:7.1 home theater system with 130-watts per channel Two-way front speakers, each with a 5-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter Three-way center channel with two 3.25-inch woofers and a 1-inch tweeter… Read more
The iPod catches some flack for not offering much in the way of EQ and sound-enhancement features. Sure, Apple's standard list of iPod EQ presets are a nice gesture, but they won't perform any miracles on you iPod's sound (especially if you're still hanging onto those stock earbuds).
The SRS iWOW adapter seeks to solve the problem by catching the audio between your iPod and your earbuds and injecting it with some extra oomph. Personally, I wasn't bowled over with the results (especially for the $99 MSRP), but to see if the SRS iWOW is … Read more
With so many media players on the market, the bar has been set pretty high. Unfortunately, Ashampoo Media Player's faulty features barely make it off the ground.
The user interface looks like a prop from a sci-fi movie, which is fine on screen because those things don't have to actually work. In action, it wasn't as easy to use as other media players we've tried. The interface is skinnable and you can toggle between size modes (small, medium, large), but with each change, we had to learn how to navigate the interface all over again. The … Read more
Sony and Yamaha have announced their midrange AV receiver lines, and today Onkyo announced three new AV receivers ranging in price from $300 to $600. The biggest news is that the new TX-SR607 ($600) will be the first receiver to feature Dolby ProLogic IIz sound processing, which can expand existing 7.1 soundtracks to 9.1, routing some of the audio to "front high speakers" which are positioned above your standard front speakers. Let's take a look at how all three models compare:
Key features of the Onkyo TX-SR307:5.1 AV receiver with 65 … Read more
Correction: Muziic creator David Nelson's age was mistakely listed as 14. David is 15 years old. Apologies, David.
Most of us are likely very familiar with YouTube, the online video hosting and sharing service that lets anyone upload videos for a global audience. The site hosts a wide range of video content--from major motion-picture trailers to that guy down the street who films his own puppet shows.
Among YouTube's massive catalog lies a myriad of music videos, live musical performances, and other audio recordings that have been captured on video or converted to the Flash video format. You … Read more
We first saw the Polk Audio SurroundBar 360 DVD Theater at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2008, where we chose it as one of only three home audio finalists for Best of CES. While it ultimately didn't take the crown, we were still looking forward to the final product. However, the product was pushed back from its April release date, and didn't end up arriving until the autumn of 2008. Looking at it now, more than a year after its coming out party, the built-in DVD seems a bit quaint--most of the home theater systems in the … Read more
It's been quite some time since the glory days of the arcade light-gun shooter. One of the franchises that rested comfortably atop the seemingly endless list of such games was House of the Dead by Sega.
Surely anyone who has spent any time at an arcade is familiar with the name, including the various sequels that followed after the 1996 original. Since then, House of the Dead has found its way onto the home console, debuting in 1998 on the Sega Saturn.
Thanks to the unique control style of the Nintendo Wii, Sega has found a new home for … Read more
Ashampoo MP3 AudioCenter is another contender in a long list of digital music managers. With its well-designed user interface and solid performance, this program stands out from the pack.
The program's straightforward user interface looks professionally designed. Colorful command buttons have brief, but clear, explanations of their functions to help you get acclimated. If you're more proficient with these kinds of programs, you can quickly switch from Normal to Expert mode, which will remove some of the onscreen descriptions. The program includes six functions: CD ripping, CD burning, file conversion, normalization, file editing, and file repair. Again, the … Read more
We're not really sure what the common theme of this toolbar is supposed to be, but after putting it to the test, we found it that provided us with a functional, but basic toolbar.
Nothing about Utah Search Toolbar's appearance differentiates it from the pack; it looks like every other toolbar on the market. The interface can be customized to add your favorite applications and gadgets, and you can remove the buttons that you don't want. We thought that perhaps the name was in reference to the state of Utah, but the list of available links provided … Read more