On its website, respected British manufacturer Audiolab proclaims the M-DAC is the follow-up to the 8000 DAC, introduced all the way back in 1992. I have gathered that DACs were quite popular in that era because CD players had not become all that good yet. With the market now awash in quality DACs, I guess it is safe to say we are in a DAC renaissance. Here, we review the Audiolab M-DAC, which, at $899, turns out to be an audio bargain.
Whenever I attend the CEDIA Expo, I visit all the projector manufacturers, both large and small. While Mitsubishi is a large company, their projectors are not as well-known as other brands. At the 2012 Expo, I had a chance to check out their all-new DLP models. In this review, we test the Mitsubishi HC8000D-BL single-chip DLP 3D projector.
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.
One of the Awards given out in 2012 by Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity for "Technology on the Rise" was for Cube Calibration. For most people this probably doesn't mean much yet, but for those of us that are calibrators, or enthusiasts with an interest in calibration technology, this was a huge development. One might even say that Cube Calibration is the biggest improvement to consumer display technology since the introduction of the Color Management System (CMS).
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.
I'll be blunt: I don't like 3D. I've never been able to justify paying extra to see it in the theater, and at home it has always left me cold. Most implementations give me a headache almost instantly with their crosstalk-filled images and ghosting the drives me crazy... Fast forward to CES 2013 and BenQ is in the South Hall showing off a pair of projectors that are very similar to the W7000, but scaled down: the W1070 and W1080ST.
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.
It is becoming increasingly popular for high end audio buffs to use pro studio gear in their home systems. This preamp from a German manufacturer that makes pro gear is in keeping with this trend. As a matter of fact...
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.
When I finally took the plunge into a projection setup in my home theater, the hardest decision I had to make was what aspect ratio to get for my screen. Everything that came after that, from the screen material to the projector, was dependent on that decision.
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.
The number of Universal Blu-ray players on the market continues to be strong, despite the much-discussed "death" of SACD and DVD-Audio formats. While no longer mainstream enough to be found at your local Best Buy or other big box retailer, SACD especially remains a thriving format in the audiophile market. The A-1020 is a Universal Blu-ray player that handles virtually all disc formats you can throw at it. In addition to its Blu-ray and audio playback abilities, is has the ubiquitous Netflix support and integrated Wi-Fi for streaming the content. It sounds like a good package from the specs, but with the universal player market being so competitive it really has a lot of good competitors to deal with.
Each year at the CEDIA Expo, I look forward to seeing the latest projectors from all the major manufacturers. While some do not update their products annually, Epson always has something new to offer. This past September, I got an in-depth...