When I dropped by the Park Avenue Audio NYC showroom, I was on a mission to find an audiophile bookshelf speaker that wouldn't break the bank. The store's selection covers a wide gamut, but the majority of speakers are $1,000-plus per pair. Then I ran across the Monitor Audio "Silver" RX1; it's a medium-size bookshelf speaker, measuring a tidy 12.3 x 7.3 x 9.4 inches. At 15 pounds, it feels surprisingly heavy for its size. It has a 1-inch ceramic-coated aluminum/magnesium-alloy dome tweeter and a 6-inch metal woofer. The speakers … Read more
It might seem like a daunting task to set up a new home router. But it doesn't have to be if you understand the most common way routers are managed: through the Web interface. The hardest part of using the Web interface is getting to it. Once you have gotten there, the rest, at least most of it, is self-explanatory.Note: Almost all home routers on the market come with an Web interface, which is a Web page … Read more
Of the 750-plus channels Roku has to offer, there's one big guy missing from the pack: YouTube.
Considering its front-and-center presence on other platforms -- like Apple TV and Samsung Smart TVs -- its conspicuous absence might seem odd. But, Roku's CEO offers a logical explanation, noting that "YouTube insists on using HTML5 for its UI," and seemingly refuses to build a Roku-specific app.
YouTube's absence hurts so bad that even third-party developers have created channels almost exclusively designed to stream YouTube, only to be pulled days or weeks later.
As of this writing, there … Read more
I bought a BDI stand for my TV 10 years ago, and it still looks great. That says a lot about BDI's quality -- I'm constantly swapping out gear, and the stand is good as new. They no longer make the mostly glass unit I own, but their range of new models is huge.
Most of BDI's current designs feature medium-density fiberboard (MDF) construction, with gorgeous, real hardwood veneers. MDF is better than solid wood in these types of cabinets, real wood shelves bow or warp when heavy gear is placed on them for long periods of … Read more
How loud is loud? I know loud when I hear it, but if you want a number, I'd say at home anything over 90 dB is getting up there, and might annoy neighbors in adjacent apartments, especially after 10 p.m. If you live in a house, 90+ dB would definitely disturb other family members not watching the movie or listening to music. Of course, the volume at concerts and movie theaters is much, much louder than most people would ever tolerate at home. Loud music, games, and home theater takes on an almost physical quality; you don't … Read more
The real audio power comes from the low end, the bass. When you feel the rumble in your chest, that's bass.
Most of us want this at home, but with myriad subwoofers out there -- and even more specs and sizes -- what's the best choice? Though the simple "the biggest, most powerful you can afford" is easy to say, the correct answer is little more complex.… Read more
Back in February I first posed the question, "Do separate components sound better than AV receivers?" when I checked out the Outlaw Audio 975 surround processor and 7125 power amp and compared their sound with a Denon AVR-1912 AV receiver. The Outlaws handily trumped the receiver.
I ran another comparison with the Denon, this time with the Emotiva UMC-200 seven-channel surround processor ($599) and UPA-500 five-channel amplifier ($399). If you just go by the numbers, the AVR-1912's 90 watts per channel might appear to be slightly ahead of the Emotiva UPA-500 amp, which has 80 watts per … Read more
Maybe it's not as streamlined as Apple's AirPlay, but Samsung's AllShare system is an often-overlooked feature that lets you wirelessly beam content like music, videos, and photos among your devices at a moment's notice.
So, you find a video you shot on your phone, tap a few buttons, and voila -- there it is on your TV screen.
Though AllShare lets you share media among your phone, TV, computer, and tablet, its most practical use can be harnessed by those who own both a Galaxy smartphone (like an S2 or S3), and a Samsung Smart TV. … Read more
As a publication that tracks the crowded digital music ecosystem, we know all too well the simple act of choosing what to use for music each day can be as daunting as it is enjoyable. Each new day brings a new set of music products and services. Luckily, many of them do something new, and ListnPlay's EQuala (iOS and Android; free) is one of these, thankfully.
We've seen apps that help you discover and listen to your friends' favorite music before, but EQuala goes an extra step with a personalized Internet radio station that is based directly on … Read more