If you've laid down serious cash for a great pair of headphones but they're plugged into your phone or computer, you're missing out on a lot of the sound quality you paid for. Don't get me wrong, phones and tablets can sound acceptable, but their designers didn't focus on sound quality -- that's the last thing they worry about. The cure for so-so sound is straightforward: invest in a high-performance digital converter/headphone amp, like the Cypher Labs Theorem 720. It can be used with iPhones, Android phones, or computers via USB connection with … Read more
For many years now, plasma televisions have been the standard for picture quality and value. Sure, there have been some great-looking LCDs, but for the best overall image, the best plasmas couldn't be beat. Now plasma is going away for good.
OLED certainly can beat plasma, but we're still years away from OLED TVs being affordable.
In the meantime we're stuck with LCD. So is it possible, through various tricks and advancements, for LED LCD to look as good as plasma? Maybe.… Read more
Dynamic range: the spread between the darkest and the brightest a TV can be. In other words, contrast ratio. But having beaten that term into the ground with a decade of dubious marketing use, it was time for new terminology.
Except, this isn't just marketing fluff. High dynamic range, in its multiple forms, can be a significant and noticeable increase in picture quality. Multiple companies are talking about it, from Dolby and its Vision tech, to Sony, Samsung, and others.
LAS VEGAS -- Samsung is usually ahead of the curve.
The company enjoys a comfortable domination of worldwide TV market share and profitability, powered by its trendsetting designs and futuristic technologies. It popularized the first really thin LED LCDs, pushed TV app stores before anyone else, brought hairline bezels into the mainstream, and was first with voice and gesture control and real modular hardware upgrades.
The first … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- Sony is promoting 4K resolution as hard as anyone, from its TVs to its studios, to its video distribution service. At CES 2014, the company's TV lineup reflects the major part 4K plays in its plans.
Sony debuted three separate lines of 4K resolution televisions today, including an entry-level series aimed at a "broader base of consumers." Given Sony's history of pushing 4K TV prices down -- at least among major brands -- we have hope that the cheapest sets might actually qualify as mainstream-priced this year. We'll find out when pricing … Read more
Among the two 4K/UHD resolution LED LCD TVs we reviewed in 2013, the Samsung UNF9000 series was our favorite. The UNHU8500 is its closest match in the company's 2014 lineup.
It's available in a massive range of five sizes: 75, 65, 60, 55, and 50 inches. It arrives this April, and pricing has not been announced.
Among exotic sets like the curved HU9000 and exorbitant S9, the HU8500 is a sort of everyman's 4K resolution Samsung. Samsung says it has improved the upscaling to make 1080p and other non-4K content look better, and it also touts … Read more
Have your heart set on a non-4K resolution, non-curved Samsung LED LCD TV in 2014? You might have some tough choices to make.
The UNH7150 series -- available starting in April in 75, 65, 60, 55 and 46 inches -- is the company's highest end 2014 TV to lack both of those oh-so-trendy, and in our experience, oh-so-underwhelming, features. Unfortunately, it also lacks the kind of hardware-based local dimming that we liked so much on a couple of 2013 models we reviewed, like the UNF8000 series. Maybe Samsung will release a flat, 1080p resolution LED LCD TV this year … Read more
If previous years are any indication, Samsung will sell zillions of LED LCD TVs in 2014, and its models designated UN63-something-something will once again provide among the best value.
We really liked the combination of Smart TV excellence, decent picture and competitive prices found on last year's 6300 series, and the UNH6350 series promises more of the same.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but we do know the H6350 will first become available in March. It also offers more choices in size than any other TV series we've ever seen. Are you ready? OK: 75, 65, 60, … Read more
Samsung's slew of 2014 TVs at CES trickles from extremely high-end models with curved screens and 4K resolution, all the way down to models you might actually be able to afford. Like the UNH6400 series.
This line will hit the streets in March at 65, 60, 55, 50 and 48 inches. Pricing wasn't announced, but we expect it to be relatively easy to swallow.
Savvy buyers on a reasonable budget might be asking themselves how it compares to the step-up H7150 and step-down H6350 also announced at CES 2014. Since the picture-affecting features of the 7 and 6 … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- Samsung says curved TVs are the future. Coming from the company that wrote the book on selling LED LCDs by the boatload -- not to mention setting trends like slim cabinets, hairline bezels and voice and gesture control--that's a statement to take seriously.
Billed as "the world's first curved UHD TV," the company's second-most-expensive LED LCD TV for 2014 is the UNHU9000 series. It's available in 78-, 65-, and 55-inch sizes this April, and pricing has not been announced. We know it won't cost as much as the S9, but … Read more