Sennheiser will always hold a special part of my heart as the HD580 my first audiophile headphone. I can still remember the soft velvety fabric of the earpads and the revelation that was quality music playback. Since then, I have experienced the sound of many other headphones, including the Sennheiser Momentum over-the-ear headphones, which are reviewed here.
After releasing a 500 watt monoblock power amplifier, the XPA-1, Emotiva didn't stop there. The newest addition to their monoblock power amplifier line is the XPR-1, which delivers 1,000 watts RMS into 8 Ohms. It may strain your back to move it, but it will set you back only $1,500.
Balanced connections are popping up on more and more audio products these days. But it only really counts when the internal circuitry is fully balanced, which is the case for the Emotiva XSP-1 stereo preamplifier, all for less than $1,000.
Last year, I had a chance to pay a visit to Triad Speakers, which is located in my home town of Portland, OR. They showed how their speakers are designed and built, from the very beginning, to prototype testing, to building and shipping the final product. Unfortunately, the one opportunity that wasn't available at the factory was the chance to listen to their speakers, as they were doing a complete redesign of their listening room from the studs up. On my way out, they let me take home a pair of In Room Gold Monitors and an In Room Silver DSP Subwoofer for review. Now knowing how they were built and designed, I was certainly looking forward to hearing how they sounded.
Pioneer currently offers two network audio players in their Elite product line. Both models are best described as media streamers since they do not store music within the player's chassis but rather acquire music from external music servers or devices. The first model is the N-30, which offers the ability to stream high-resolution digital music via Apple's AirPlay or from DLNA-compatible servers. The second model and subject of this review is the N-50 that builds upon the functionality of the N-30 by adding an asynchronous USB DAC as well as optical and coaxial digital inputs so the N-50 can be used as an outboard D/A converter.
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the Anthem ARC (Anthem Room Correction) firmware that is present in their SSPs as well as the AVRs which have a reduced filter bank size. By far, the most significant sonic issue for acoustic music when a subwoofer is deployed occurs around the crossover from the subwoofer to the main speaker. In Part 2 of this series, we take a look at Anthem's ARC (Anthem Room Correction) when adding a subwoofer to the system.
Following on the highly successful BDA-1 DAC, Bryston has raised the bar with the addition of an asynchronous USB input and reduced distortion in their new BDA-2 DAC. Take a look at what I found. The performance is quite a surprise.
Among the numerous room correction systems I have tested, the Anthem ARC currently stands out as the best for consumers. In this mulit-part review, I take you through how room correction works, and give you some results I obtained in several rooms of my home.
Pioneer. Few brands in consumer electronics are as recognizable and respected. Pioneer has been and remains a leader in myriad aspects of audio and video. In this review, we take a look at their SP-PK52FS 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System and VSX-822-K Receiver.
I'd already begun the review for the Imagine Mini when I was offered the Imagine T2 introduced around CES in 2012. If I hadn't given enough admiration for the Mini in my review, let me reiterate as much, because they now sit at home on a shelf, I couldn't part with them.
The world is saturated with subwoofers, many of which have a peak in frequency response to enhance movie sound tracks at the detriment of music. Tuned to have a bandpass response, the movie-inclined subwoofers limit the low frequency extension at usable SPLs. The frequency peak may persist, even if a first-class electronic room EQ is in the loop, especially if the room is sized and the subwoofer is positioned so a modal resonance peak occurs near this frequency. Here, we review the NHT B-10d, which has a 10" woofer and 300 watts of BASH amplification.
HifiMAN headphones are well known around these parts in the Secrets community. A Headphone of the Year award will do that for you. In a possible effort to "spread the wealth" and grant access to their awesome headphones without breaking the bank, they've introduced the HE-300 over the ear headphones.
We've all heard the adage a dozen times: your room is far more important to the sound that you get out of your system than the system itself. While this statement may very well be true, the process of tackling "your room" is far more difficult than deciding what type of receiver or speaker wire you should buy. Welcome to the world of acoustics: incredibly complicated and undoubtedly intimidating. The XTZ Room Analyzer may just be the thing to help get you into this world a little easier.
Crystal Acoustics is a niche-within-a-niche kind of company. It sells high-value speaker systems directly to customers through the Internet. Not just any speakers, though. Crystal specializes in THX certified home theater systems. I've reviewed several Crystal Acoustics speakers, ranging from smaller THX Select certified floor-standers, up to their THX Ultra2 certified TX-T3SE. Now comes the TX-T2 SE, a mid-sized floor standing speaker that carries the THX Ultra2 badge. Are the TX-T2 SE's the best of both worlds, combining a smaller size with Ultra2 performance?
Not wanting to be left out of the lucrative headphone market, MartinLogan has released the noise isolating Mikros 90. Instead of going the exotic, high-end route of designing a pair of electrostatic headphones to mimic their famous loudspeakers, MartinLogan has created a pair of lightweight, portable headphones called the Mikros 90 that at only $299, fall directly into the low-priced high-end headphone sector.
Computer audio is all the rage now, with many people moving their entire digital collections to music servers, and the laptop taking the place of the CD player in many systems. The technologies behind USB DACs have evolved rapidly to where the interface is now on the same level as Coaxial or Optical interfaces. One area that hasn't been addressed as well is the portable audio market, as most USB DACs are rack-sized components that require a wall power supply. This is certainly not a convenient option for those of us that want high-resolution audio on the go.
For For many audiophiles, there comes a time in our lives when we say, in so many words, enough is enough. We've worked hard enough, long enough, and with enough dedication and sacrifice to no longer have to suffer with a system that fails to satisfy. We deserve a setup that makes us happy: a system that allows us to sit back and listen for as long as we want to the music we love and want to explore and without ever feeling fatigued or short-changed. This review explores the possibility that the Wilson Audio Sophia speakers might be part of such a system.
I think it's best in reviewing a modular-style 5.1 sub/sat speaker system to get the obvious of out of the way. These systems will not rival large boxes for scale, dynamic range, or efficiency no matter how much power you feed them. Nevertheless, they will do one thing that the big 5.1 speaker systems can't: they will fit in any room. Such is the case for the B&W (Bowers & Wilkins) MT-60D.
Burson Audio hails to us from Australia, bringing its own design philosophy, "Less is More," to high-end headphone amplifiers. They gained notoriety with the successful HA-160 headphone amp, a pure class A design with an output of 250mW. Here, we review the Burson Soloist Headphone Amplifier, with a specified output of 4 watts.