Audio Accessory Reviews
- Written by Robert Kozel
- Published on 18 April 2011
Almost every manufacturer these days is including some type of network support in their products. From receivers that connect to home music servers and disc players that stream music and video from the internet, we have lots of options for enjoying content with our home entertainment systems. While Marantz has been including network support in their products for a while, they have not offered a stand-alone network streamer until now: The NA7004 streams music from your computer, the Internet, and even USB thumb drives.
- Written by Chris Eberle
- Published on 11 April 2011
Ever since Louis Daguerre took the first photograph and Thomas Edison lowered the needle on the first phonograph, media has been a part of our lives. The reproduction of still and moving images and sound is an art form that we are unlikely to see the zenith of in our lifetimes. Since the early part of the twentieth century, sound and video reproduction usually came in the form of magnetic tape, film or vinyl records. Now with the proliferation of digital storage methods, evolution has accelerated. The Apple TV second generation media streamer tosses the hard drive storage from first generation model. What does it add? Read our review to see for yourself . . . .
- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 18 November 2010
Digital to Analog converters (DACs) have been enjoying something of a renaissance in the past couple of years due to the widespread adoption of computer based music. Back before SACD, DVD-A and multichannel audio, DACs were the source component du jour for redbook CD. With the adoption of the new high-resolution formats, DACs fell out of favor, replaced by integrated universal disc players. Today, many people have gone to entirely computer based audio setups. The highest resolution digital audio available today does not come on a disc, but is available via download. This means DACs are back, and the Bryston BDA-1 is regarded as one of the best of the new breed of 24 bit 192 kHz DACs. Along with the Brytson BDA-1, we review the Halide Design USB to SPDIF Bridge.
- Written by Jim Clements
- Published on 10 February 2011
The Panamax BlueBOLT version 1.2 Remote Power and Energy Management Platform really caught my eye at the 2010 CEDIA Expo. This newest version of the BlueBOLT AC power conditioner system expands on the energy management features and provides new control options. With BlueBOLT, custom electronics installers, integrators and end-users can remotely monitor and control power to their equipment by accessing power management components over the internet from anywhere in the world. Here, we review the Panamaz M4320-PRO AC Power Conditioner.
- Written by Steven Hornbrook
- Published on 04 October 2010
Monster, long time suppliers of speaker cables, interconnects and power conditioning products, has recently entered into the portable audio market. They now offer a full range of products from the Dr. Dre branded Beats headphones all the way up to the professional Turbine Copper Pro ear buds. I had the pleasure of checking out their middle-of-the-line offering, the Monster Turbine High Performance ear buds. (Monster calls them "In-Ear Speaker".)
- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 17 January 2011
Furman, long known for power conditioners, has introduced a series of UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) that go into operation if your home (or office) AC power goes off due to storms or other factors. From the point that your AC goes off, and the Furman supplies AC power to whatever is plugged into it, you have a certain amount of time to shut down the components you have plugged into it. The amount of time you have depends on the current draw of the connected components. The Furman F1500 is rated at 900 watts load. The optional BATT1500-EXT battery pack allows additional time. The F1500 UPS was designed with home theater users in mind, and since a sudden loss of power can corrupt receiver settings and damage bulbs in projectors, the addition of a UPS to your home theater is something to consider.
- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 12 August 2010
For a long time now, I've been wanting an easy solution to get music streaming all throughout my house. I've added a Network Attached Storage device (NAS) to allow me to keep all the music in one location that is always accessible, and I've tried out many different streaming solutions, from the Sony PS3 to various processors and receivers with DLNA access built in. Unfortunately, nothing to this point has been both powerful, and easy to use.
- Written by Administrator
- Published on 03 January 2011
Recently the external DAC has made a bit of a comeback in popularity. While they were once most commonly paired with a digital transport, now you're more likely to see them hooked up as part of a home media server. With disk space now cheap enough that anyone can keep their entire collection archived in a lossless format, and even keep a backup copy of it around, people are using their PC to serve up their audio collection. However, getting the most out of that lossless archive has been a challenge for many as most computer sound cards left much to be desired in the audio quality realm. In this review, we cover the Wyred4Sound DAC-2 and STI-500 Integrated Stereo Amplifier.
- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 22 July 2010
While headphone amps are not in every audio enthusiastâ€™s system, they are still engineered with many of the same design choices as other more common components. One of the main choices to be made is whether to build a full featured but complicated component, or a simple, barebones component that has thrown all the nice but unnecessary features over the side. Burson Audio is an Australian company known for making the latter.
- Written by Stephen Hornbrook
- Published on 27 December 2010
Recently I reviewed Monster’s Turbine In-Ear Speaker, and my experience with that product made me curious about their professional line of similarly designed in-ear speakers. Enter the Monster Turbine Pro Copper, a more refined and ruggedly built version of the Turbines.
- Written by Rick Schmidt
- Published on 05 July 2010
A Naim DAC. Oh how long we have waited. Naim Audio is hi-fi company with its own ideas. For years they held steadfastly to their claim that the only by keeping the spinning CD in the same box as the DAC could jitter be controlled and high fidelity playback be produced. While other hifi companies made similar claims most would relent at least occasionally and offer up a DAC or two.