It's got to be the No. 1 audiophile fantasy: someday we'll have a breakthrough that allows speakers to perfectly reproduce sound. Once the engineers find a new way of moving air -- presumably a more accurate method than a vibrating cone, dome, or flat diaphragm -- the heavens will part and we'll suddenly hear the sound of real instruments and singers through our hi-fis. Not so fast -- that would be a great start, but once the sound leaves the speakers and interacts with your living room's acoustics, all bets are off. Put aside the perfect … Read more
Editors' note: This post was updated on 7/16/2013 to reflect changes in newer iOS devices.
Until smart TVs get smarter and set-top boxes solve more problems, sometimes, the swiftest means to get media on your TV is directly via your phone or tablet.
It's not ideal for all cases, but if you've got home videos, photos, or even video-streaming apps you want to see on the big screen, you have a few options. The solution will depend on how new (or old) your device is, what video quality you're going for, and (as always) how … Read more
Chris Larsen started Northcoast Audio in 2010 because he loves selling hi-fi and home theater gear. He also loves living in Eureka, a town of 30,000 people in California. It's five hours north of San Francisco, and seven hours south of Portland, Ore. Larsen admits, "We're about three hours away from anything." Which makes it only that much more remarkable that Northcoast Audio isn't the only place to buy hi-fi or home theater gear in Eureka, Larsen faces competition from another brick-and-mortar shop! That's incredible, Circuit City is gone, Best Buy's future … Read more
The Audiophiliac blog is almost six years old. I've written about everything from Spotify to dynamic range compression; from atrocious sounding music to the 30-year-old iPod; from the man with 230 turntables to 3D printing LPs and even a guy who makes boom boxes out of old suitcases, (not to mention the craziest high-end gear), but it's always about sound and music.
I always love to hear from Audiophiliac readers, but this time I'd like to give one of you a chance to spout a bit of audiophile wisdom. Write a great "think piece" about … Read more
Amar G. Bose wore two very distinct hats, he founded the Bose Corporation in 1964, and was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor until 2001. He died on Friday at age 83. Bose was a visionary, an electrical and sound engineer, and he devoted his life to investigating our psychological and physiological responses to sound.
I remember when I heard the first Bose speaker, the 901. It was a revelation. Instead of just projecting sound forward, the 901 was designed to re-create the sound of instruments in a concert hall, where some of the instruments' sound is heard directly, but … Read more
Every time I write an article like "Five lies your TV salesperson will tell you," there's an outcry from the (very small) minority of salespeople who proclaim their integrity and sincere desire to help people find the right gear.
I do believe these people exist, but the problem is, how do you find them? Here are some tricks, tips, and steps to help you find the right salesperson.… Read more
One great thing about Bluetooth speakers is you can use them to learn about how room size and acoustics affect a given speaker's sound quality. Experiment with placement and you'll quickly learn that where you put a speaker in a room can make a big difference in the sound, for better or worse. That's true for all speakers, but since BT speakers tend to be small and light, they're easier to move around.
Start by putting the speaker on the floor in the middle of the room, and you'll hear that it makes more bass … Read more
Let's face it: our "indulgences" can get expensive, so whether we go to sports events or concerts, buy flashy clothes or jewelry, gamble, drink, or take lots of vacations, those things can add up to a lot of money. Smoke a $6 pack of cigarettes every day, and you'll see close to $22,000 go up in smoke over the next 10 years. In that context, dropping serious cash on a great hi-fi doesn't seem out of line.
Middle-class audiophiles with $10,000 hi-fis might appear to be a wee bit over the top, but … Read more
It comes up again and again: "Steve, please recommend a great speaker." Good question, but there are a lot of factors to consider before coming up with a definitive answer. A lot depends on what you're looking for and how you define "great." Nailing down the price is the first step, but if there's one thing I've learned about audiophiles, it's that taste always plays a big part in evaluating sound quality. That's why, in my reviews, I describe how a speaker sounds with different kinds of music.
There's no … Read more
Last year Panasonic introduced intrusive advertising in the form of pop-up banner ads on its Smart TVs, and unfortunately the company has decided to continue the practice this year.
But that's not the only potentially annoying thing about the new interface. When you first turn it on the TV also defaults to a new Home screen filled with apps you'll mostly never use, like a calendar. Your actual TV show is relegated to an inset window until you actively select and expand it.
Banner ads are the way of life for Web sites and many apps, as advertising … Read more