The Magico Ultimate is now in its third revision, and runs close to $600,000 a pair, too bad you didn't jump on the originals back in 2004, when they were just $229,000! The original and current Ultimate speakers share the same "horns," the megaphone-like pieces that sit in front of the drivers, but the new speaker has redesigned drivers, crossover networks, and amplifiers. The form-follows-function "Blade Runner" aesthetic won't appeal to buyers with traditional tastes, but Magico's line of box speakers is certainly more conventional looking, and affordable. Well, affordable in … Read more
I'm back! Did you miss me as much as I missed you? Nah, I'll bet I missed you more. So much so, in fact, that I've put together an exclusive deal on a product I seriously dig.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the Fluance FiSDK500 iPhone/iPod speaker dock for $99.99 shipped when you apply coupon code FICNET at checkout. It's new, not refurbished, and it normally sells for twice the price. And it was $169.99 the last time I covered it!
Unlike a lot of bookshelf speakers … Read more
Andrew Jones has a degree in physics, but his real passion is speaker design. He started out as a research engineer for KEF in 1983, later moved to Infinity and now he's with Pioneer, and is chiefly responsible for their ultra high-end TAD Reference line of speakers that sell for upwards of $80,000! Jones not only designs speakers that sell for as much as a luxury Mercedes Benz, he's also made some of the world's best affordable speakers.
Jones, like most of the speaker designers I've ever talked to, started thinking about building speakers before … Read more
When Apple unveiled the Lightning connector last year, it created a problem for anyone who owned a speaker dock with a 30-pin connector: new iDevices couldn't connect.
C4 Electronics' Dolry HiFi Stone solves that problem by turning those old docks into AirPlay speakers, able to connect wirelessly to iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads, Macs, and even a handful of Samsung devices.
There are similar gizmos that endow speaker docks with Bluetooth capabilities, the closest being the Auris freeDa. But the Stone looks far more elegant: a thin, glossy black (or white) oval that looks like, well, a stone; something you'd skip across a pond. And it affords the benefits of AirPlay, which trounces Bluetooth in a few key areas.… Read more
Take a good look at the picture of the Equator D5 desktop speaker. Do you see anything unusual about its design? Where's the tweeter? Look closer, there it is -- right in the center of the woofer! The D5's "coaxial" driver combines the tweeter and woofer into a single driver, and that's really cool. Equator didn't invent this type of driver -- I've seen them before on various KEF and Tannoy speakers, but the D5 is, by far, the least expensive desktop speaker I've tested with a coaxial driver. So what's … Read more
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
This isn't just for audiophiles. I don't care what kind of speakers or headphones you have -- once you start listening, you'll hear more of what's going on in the music. The only "downside" to focused listening is that you might turn into an audiophile. Once you focus on sound, the more you'll hear, and the opposite is also true, and the music matters less and less. I usually stick to acoustic music when evaluating sound quality, but this time out I went for highly processed, totally unnatural, but beautiful sounding recordings.
"… Read more
Everybody loves Monoprice. I know this because whenever I mention, say, a cheap HDMI cable from any other source, readers invariably chime in to say, "I get all my cables at Monoprice."
A couple years back, the company branched out into its own line of tech products, including some surprisingly decent speakers at surprisingly low prices. Today, one of them is surprisingly even lower.
Today only, in fact, and while supplies last, Monoprice has its 8247 5.1-channel home theater speaker system for $71.11. It normally sells for $84.10, so the savings aren't that dramatic … 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
I've lost count how many times I've given props to Emotiva's $299 per pair Airmotiv 4 desktop monitor speakers on this blog, but never got around to auditioning the next model up in the line, the Airmotiv 5, which are currently on sale for $409 a pair. The 5 sounds really good, very similar to the Airmotiv 4, just more so. There's also an even larger model, the $599-per-pair Airmotiv 6s, I might get around to checking those out someday.
The Airmotiv 5 has a 5.25-inch polypropylene composite woofer, and instead of a dome tweeter, … Read more