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Audioholics Reviews and News from Audioholics

Where audio and video equipment undergoes rigorous objective and subjective tests by our staff, ensuring that marketing slogans aren't the only guidelines for your home theater choices.

Last Build Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:00:00 -0000


Marantz NR1608 and NR1508 Slimline Network AV Receivers Preview

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:00:00 -0000

Audio company Marantz recently released two new "slimline" receivers, the NR1508 and NR1608. Both new receivers have the slimline form factor including compatibility with the newest 4K ultra high definition video content including Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma. Both models also have a wide range of facilities to enable your favorite music to be shared and enjoyed including network streaming, Bluetooth and Airplay for playback from portable devices. At $550 and $750 should one of the them be your newest receiver? Read on to find out.

Focal Adds Wireless Listen Headphones and Affordable In-Ear Monitors to Lineup

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:30:00 -0000

Less than a year after launching a new line of ultra high-end headphones, Focal has followed up with some more mainstream portable and wireless offerings for the rest of us. The new line includes a wireless version of Listen and mobile in-ear monitors dubbed Spark that comes in both a wired and wireless model along with the all-new Sphear S in-ear monitor. Check them out.

Xbox One X: Consoles Hit the Downside of the Innovation Curve

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:00:00 -0000

The biggest story out of last week's E3 was the debut of Xbox One X. Yes, Microsoft has launched the first salvo in the next-generation game console war. Xbox One X is sure to excite dedicated Xbox fans that feel they've been missing out on true 4K gaming. This time Microsoft has made Ultra-HD resolutions and HDR the prime motivator for your next console upgrade. But with no platform exclusive titles, no truly innovative changes, Xbox One X may look more like another incremental upgrade than a truly next-gen console.

Win a Fully Expenses Paid Trip to T.H.E. Home Entertainment Show

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 23:15:00 -0000

T.H.E. Show Anaheim (formerly known as T.H.E. Show Newport), is set to take place September 21-24, 2017 in a brand new location—The Hilton Anaheim, steps away from Disneyland in southern California. Here's your chance to see and hear all the latest in high end two-channel and home theater audio gear from over 400 brands around the world. Best of all, if you enter their sweepstakes by July 4th, you can win a fully expenses paid trip for two to attend as well as many other prizes. Don't miss T.H.E. Show!

Outlaw Audio Ultra-X13 Ported Subwoofer Review

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 16:00:00 -0000

Outlaw Audio has recently released their new Ultra-X13; a 1,000 watt, ported beast of a subwoofer that uses a long-throw 13" driver. The Ultra-X13 is only one of two subwoofers in the world that can claim a THX 'Ultra' certification as an individual unit. The THX Ultra certification means it should be able to handle large rooms on its own, and, after we put it through our testing, we came to the same conclusion and have awarded it our Bassaholic 'Extreme' room rating. If you want to know how well a single subwoofer needs to perform in order to secure these kind of distinctions, read our review of the Outlaw Audio Ultra-X13.

Yamaha YAS-207 Industry First Sound Bar with DTS Virtual:X Processing

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 21:00:00 -0000

Yamaha will finally launch the successor to its popular YAS-203 sound bar this summer with some added tweaks. The YAS-207 features all-new DTS Virtual:X surround technology and updated HDMI support for 4K HDR and an included 100 watt powered wireless subwoofer. Along with the updated tech that should please any Yamaha fan, it's new sound bar will feature an even more competitive price than its predecessor of just $300 (shipped) when it launches in July.

Home Theater Tips: When to Upgrade?

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 21:00:00 -0000

We are constantly getting bombarded with emails from our readers asking about what and when to upgrade components of their home theater systems. This is especially true when one of their favorite manufacturers comes out with a replacement model to a component they own claiming to be "new" and "improved". But do these new models really offer better performance, or would you be better served tweaking your speaker placement, room acoustics and set up before plunging more money into the next "miraculous" generation product? Read on and be sure to watch our related Youtube Video on this topic BEFORE upgrading your home theater components.

OPPO Adds Dolby Vision Support to Ultra HD Blu-ray Players

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0000

OPPO Digital announced that its UDP-203/UDP-205 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc players can now receive a firmware upgrade that enables the Dolby Vision™ feature. This makes them the worlds first HD Blu-ray players to support this new feature. See what this offers the videophile. If your currently on the fence about getting one of these players, now may be the right time.

Apple’s New HomePod Speaker to Compete with Amazon Echo

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 04:52:16 -0000

One of the most important announcements at Apple's WWDC event yesterday was HomePod, a home networked speaker system with smart features that position it as a cross between Sonos and Amazon Echo. HomePod is a seven-inch tall speaker with seven built-in tweeters an upward firing woofer and six microphones. It packs the same A8 processor used in the iPhone. Will HomePod be a threat the Amazon Echo? Read on to find out.

SVS SB16-Ultra Sealed Subwoofer Review

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Late last year, SVS released their new flagship subwoofers, the ported PB16-Ultra and the sealed SB16-Ultra, both of which sport a 16" driver and beefy 1,500 watt amplifier. We were impressed with the PB16-Ultra in our review of that subwoofer, and were anxious to give its sealed counterpart a run around our test track. For the past couple of months, that is exactly what we have been doing, and now we have brought you our full report on the SB16-Ultra. Read on to see what the top dog of SVS's sealed subs can do and what Bassaholic Rating it earned.

Denon AVR-X3300W 7.2 Atmos/DTS:X A/V Receiver Review

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 05:00:00 -0000

The Denon AVR-X3300W is a 7.2CH Atmos/DTS:X networking AV receiver rated at 105 watts/ch. It delivers solid performance in every measurable category while also packing in all of the surround processing, music streaming and HD video support one expects in a modern "does everything" AV receiver. Kudos to Denon for innovating with their Audyysey editor App to customize room correction. This could prove to be an invaluable tool to consumers and installers alike, one that makes their product line stand out from their competition. If you're looking for an affordable way of getting into immersive surround sound with all of the latest in music streaming and future expandability, the Denon AVR-X3300W is among the best options in AV receivers at this price point.

Legacy Audio Calibre Bookshelf Speaker Demo Report

Tue, 30 May 2017 13:00:00 -0000

We had an opportunity to take a tour of Destination Hi Fi, one of Legacy Audio’s local dealers in Hollywood, CA. and demo the Legacy Audio Caliber bookshelf speakers. If you have a space constraint, this product gives you the performance and drivers of a Legacy tower folded into a bookshelf cabinet. With 4” AMT tweeter, 7.5” mid-woofer, 8” bass driver, and dual 8” mass loaded opposing pneumatic radiators good things can come in small packages. Read on to see how these "little guys" perform in a BIG way.

Outlaw Audio RR2160 Stereo Receiver Preview

Mon, 29 May 2017 00:00:00 -0000

It’s been eleven and a half years since Outlaw Audio released its classic two-channel RR2150 Stereo Retro Receiver. Their new RR2160 preserves the analog signal purity of its predecessor, while adding DLNA and high-resolution capabilities via a multitude of digital audio inputs and a new, more powerful 110-watt stereo amplifier. If you're looking for a new two channel receiver for your Hi-Fi content than this might be the receiver for you. Read on to find out.

KEF Q 2017 Loudspeaker Preview

Wed, 24 May 2017 14:00:00 -0000

KEF has redesigned it's affordable (by their standards) Q series lineup of speakers. All the Q 2017 speakers include a revamped Uni-Q driver array with a newly engineered damped tweeter loading tube and a new low-distortion inductor in the crossovers to help provide a cleaner and more accurate bass. The bookshelves start at a reasonable $550/pr. Are they right for you? Read on.

iClever BoostSound BTS09 Bluetooth Speaker Review

Tue, 23 May 2017 18:00:00 -0000

iClever BTS09 is a portable battery powered Bluetooth speaker. It might not be the most attractive looking speaker, but it really throws out sound at high volumes. We'll got a closer look at another budget portable speaker just in time for summer, when we're about to be inundated with new offerings in this highly competitive and relatively new area for audio equipment. See how the iClever BoostSound BTS09 bluetooth speaker (what a mouthful) performed in our hands on review.

Achieving Home Theater Feng Shui

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:00:00 -0000

There are many different ways to create a hidden home theater. All it takes is a little planning and a bit of creativity. “I don’t want to see it,” or “Can’t you hide it?” is one of the most ubiquitous expressions in custom AV. The following article addresses these concerns and more to help ramp up the wife acceptance factor for home theaters, speakers, and displays. We include examples and illustrations to show you just how concealed the gear could be while still achieving good surround sound and Feng Shui.

Yamaha RX-A 70 AVENTAGE Dolby Vision AV Receivers Preview

Wed, 17 May 2017 21:00:00 -0000

Yamaha released their newest lineup of AVENTAGE AV Receivers, the RX-A 70 series. Not only has the base model dropped to $600, it still has DTS:X and Dolby Atmos immersive surround formats AND Yamaha has included 4K Ultra HD video support with Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG). This is the eighth generation of the AVENTAGE series network AV receivers from Yamaha and they look to be their best yet. Read on to see if their newest base model RX-A670 is still worth its cost of admission.

Monoprice Monolith Air Motion Cinema 5 Bookshelf and Center Channel Speaker Review

Mon, 15 May 2017 17:00:00 -0000

Monoprice's Air Motion series speakers are checking off a lot of check boxes for those looking for an affordable speaker set that can fit in nicely with their home decor. Powerful? Check. Compact? Check. Good looking? Check. Less than $1k for a five speaker set? Check! These medium-sized bookshelf speakers and center speaker use a powerful AMT tweeter and a punchy 5.25" woofer to get the most out of their reasonably sized enclosures. Read our review with comprehensive measurements of the Air Motion speakers to see if they might make a good fit for your home audio system.

Denon AVR-S930H 7.2CH 4K Ultra HD Network AV Receiver Preview

Fri, 12 May 2017 13:00:00 -0000

Denon recently released its newest 7.2 Channel receiver, the AVR-S930 and it is really packed with features for the price. This Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver boasts 90 watts/ch and like other recent Denon AV receivers comes with built-in HEOS wireless technology for connecting a wireless whole home audio system. Bluetooth, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Audyssey MultEQ Dolby Vision compatible, HDR, and 8 HDMI inputs. With all this for under $600 this might be the receiver you've been looking for. Read on to find out more.

AXPONA Show Coverage of Hi-Fi Loudspeakers

Thu, 11 May 2017 05:00:00 -0000

A special moment in the life of every Audioholic is to be present at the unveiling of a sensational new loudspeaker system, and there are few better places to accomplish that than at AXPONA. We were happy to cover the truly stand out products on this show coverage page so you could get a more close up personal look at them. The speakers we covered here range from affordable to cost-no object designs. Some of the mainstream brands are here but we also covered some of the more unique designs in hi-fi which deserve the attention of anyone interested in good sound but might be overlooked due to their less conventional constructions or less flamboyant appearance or name recognition. Now onto the speakers…

Exotic Speaker Roundup AXPONA 2017

Tue, 09 May 2017 11:00:00 -0000

In this final segment of our coverage of the AXPONA audio show, we turned our attention to the more exotic and extravagant speakers. These are the speakers that will turn heads and are only a dream (sometimes a very surreal one) for most people to own. These speakers push the boundaries of loudspeaker design and employ new and unconventional approaches to solve old problems. They are not for everyone, but the few who end up with a pair of any of these speakers will have quite a conversation piece along with a terrific room filling fullrange sound.

High Efficient Floorstanding Loudspeaker Roundup 2017 AXPONA

Sat, 06 May 2017 05:00:00 -0000

In this segment of our coverage of the AXPONA audio show, we demoed larger, high-sensitivity horn loaded speakers that were really capitivating. The size of these speakers precludes them from finding a home in the living rooms of quite a few folks out there, but those who do find a place for them will be rewarded with effortless dynamics and a very detailed sound. These speakers can be powered to great effect with very modest amplifiers as well. Check out our continued coverage of AXPONA 2017 as we give a listen to speakers with a bit more brawn.

Tower Speaker Roundup of 2017 AXPONA

Wed, 03 May 2017 13:00:00 -0000

In part 2 of our AXPONA coverage, we look at some of the more modest tower speakers. However, at a show filled with high-end audio gear, 'modest' becomes a relative term, and most of these speakers are way beyond anything sold at your local department store. With pricing ranging from $5k to $20k/pair, these are not speakers most of us buy on a whim, but their sound was impressive, as was their appearance. If you are looking for a high-end loudspeaker but not an outrageously priced one, read on to learn about some of the tower speakers that impressed us at the 2017 AXPONA audio show.

Outlaw Audio Ultra-X13 THX Ultra Certified Subwoofer Preview

Mon, 01 May 2017 13:00:00 -0000

Outlaw Audio has just launched a powerful new subwoofer, the Ultra-X13, which uses a 1,000 watt amplifier and a very long-throw 13" downfiring driver. According to Outlaw Audio, the Ultra-X13 is one of only two home audio subwoofers in the world that are THX Ultra certified as a single unit. It is a variable tuned subwoofer that can trade deep bass output for deep bass extension, and it also supports a sealed mode. The user can decide how they want it to handle deep bass. But there is a lot more going on with the Ultra-X13, so read on to find out more qualities of Outlaw Audio's intriguing new subwoofer.

HiFiMAN HE-1000 V2 Headphone Review

Sun, 30 Apr 2017 13:00:00 -0000

The HiFiMAN HE-1000 V2 represents the latest update to original HiFiMAN’s HE-1000 flagship headphones. With an improved ergonomic design and slightly different sound tuning, the V2 aims to recapture the same magic which has earned the original headphones many of its accolades since its induction. At $2999, however, the V2s do not come cheap but represent a slice of luxury level listening with reference quality sound and comfort. Together with the lightweight profile and wood & metal design, the HE-1000 V2 stands out in the marketplace of high-end audio. To find out more, please read on.

Bookshelf Speaker Roundup of 2017 AXPONA

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 02:00:00 -0000

Anyone searching for new bookshelf speakers would do well to take a look at what's happening at AXPONA, which is rapidly becoming the premiere audio show for North America. AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) rolled into the Chicagoland area again where we were ready and waiting to take in all the new sights and sounds of high-end audio products. In this segment of our coverage, we look at a handful of bookshelf speakers in the low three-figure range to the low five-figure range. But, they all have something in common: we thought they sounded good enough that they deserved your attention. Read on to find out who made the cut in our coverage of the bookshelf speakers of AXPONA 2017.

Virtual Reality Home Theater: Whole Lotta Hype - For Now

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 22:00:00 -0000

We have no doubt Virtual Reality (VR) will mature into an amazing experience for gamers. Someday, when VR no longer requires total isolation and a face-mask, it might carry the kind of mainstream appeal as home theater when it comes to bringing alternate realities to the masses. Think Star Trek Holodeck. But for now, it's the focus of a lot of hype, a lot of overly-optimistic sales projections and obscene amounts of investment capital for the foreseeable return. Will it replace home theater? We don't think so. Read on to find out why.

OPPO UDP-205 Universal Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Preview

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0000

OPPO Digital announced their UDP-205 4K Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Disc player is available for purchase. A step-up version of the recently released UDP-203, the UDP-205 brings top-of-the-line audio performance to a universal player that supports 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and many other digital audio and video formats. Advanced engineering, rigorous parts selection, and rock-solid build quality are foundations to the UDP-205’s performance and we are looking forward to bench testing this beauty. Check out our preview article and recently added YouTube Video comparison to see what makes this Universal Ultra HD Blu-ray player so special.

Pioneer VSX-532 and VSX-832 5.1 Channel AV Receiver Preview

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:00:00 -0000

If you are looking for an AV receiver for under $500 with lots of connectivity options, Pioneer might have the right product for you. Both the new VSX-532 and the VSX-832 AV receivers pack a lot of useful features at very modest price points. If you’re looking for all this plus wireless connectivity, Dolby Vision video pass-through, and Dolby Atmos in a 3.1.2 configuration you would be hard pressed to find anything comparing to the Pioneer VSX-832 for the $479 price. Read on to find out more.

How to Convert a Regular Room to a Home Theater

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 18:00:00 -0000

So you've got the itch to put in a home theater. But, how does one go about doing this and what room should you use? This quick guide gives you a step by step procedure to make it a reality. Be sure to watch our related YouTube video and check out all of the embedded article links to dive further into each topic. Also, feel free to share your stories and pics on our related forum thread for the benefit of our community.

Denon HEOS Soundbar Preview

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 15:00:00 -0000

Denon has announced its latest entries into the HEOS line that includes a new soundbar they call: HEOS Bar. The Bar will take its place in the HEOS line alongside its earlier soundbar offering HEOS HomeCinema. The HEOS Bar promises to be a slightly more upscale soundbar with multiple HDMI ports and HEOS integration that lets you bring additional speakers into the Wi-Fi mix, including a subwoofer, for a truly immersive surround experience. What does this soundbar do that competitor models don't? Read the preview to find out.

Rotel RAP-1580 Home Theater Surround Amplified Processor Preview

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 23:00:00 -0000

Looking for an ultra-high-performance multichannel, integrated amplifier with surround processing components? Audio company Rotel thinks they have what you're looking for with their new RAP-1580 Home Theater Surround Amplified Processor featuring the latest in immersive surround sound from Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Is it a preamplifier? Processor? Amplifier? Receiver? or did Rotel just come up with a new product category? Read the following preview to find out which it is and if it might be right for you.

Trump Rolls Back Online Privacy in Regulatory Shell Game

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 17:00:00 -0000

President Donal Trump just signed a repeal for an FCC privacy regulation designed to protect consumers from Internet providers selling their data. If present deregulation continues, your ISP and wireless provider will be able to sell your browsing history, app usage and geolocation information without your permission. Your online privacy could potentially be a new revenue source for telecommunications companies like Comcast and AT&T. Who do you trust to protect your data?

Denon/Marantz Audyssey MultEQ Editor App Allows Full Customization of Sound

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 18:05:00 -0000

Denon and Marantz have launched a new Audyssey MultEQ Editor app, giving home theater enthusiasts control to refine and customize the set-up of their systems for even better surround sound. The app is accessible via a tablet or smartphone device and allows for full curve editing and limiting to a certain range of frequencies for room correction. We are particularly excited about this since you can now limit Audyssey room EQ to below the room transition frequency (300Hz) to concentrate where it's needed most - the bass frequencies. Read on to find out which models support this and exactly what the app will allow you to do.

Denon AVR-S730H 7.2 CH Atmos/DTS:X AV Receiver Preview

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 15:00:00 -0000

Denon has announced several new products with integrated HEOS wireless, multi-room functionality. The AVR-S730H is our focus in this preview but two other models in this series are set to hit the market this month bringing HEOS to Denon's affordable S-series and potentially a much wider audience than ever before. These new AV receivers will arrive at the same time as Denon's new dedicated HEOS-only AV receiver and a new HEOS soundbar.

Genesis Maestro Floorstanding Speakers Preview

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 04:00:00 -0000

Genesis Advanced Technologies has updated their V series speaker, now dubbed the "Maestro", for those who want a state-of the-art speaker system and have the money to pay for it. This 5-way design packs nine drivers in a modestly-sized tower speaker and projects sound in a full dipole dispersion pattern. Each driver segment has its own enclosure compartment, and the four 8" bass drivers are amplified with an onboard 500 watt amp. With Servo-controlled bass drivers, ring-radiator ribbon tweeters, open-baffle mid-range driver, there is a lot going on in the Maestro, but those who meet the price of admission will likely demand a product that pushes the edges of conventional loudspeaker design.

Pro Audio SCRS-6c-iw In-Wall or In-Ceiling Speaker Preview

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 01:00:00 -0000

Looking for your new in-wall or in-ceiling speakers to complete you new Dolby Atmos or DTS:X home theater room? Home audio company Pro Audio recently released their new SCRS-6c-iw 8” in wall or in ceiling speaker. The speaker measures in at an 8” square, but the 3.9” depth may be just what you need to fit into a standard 2x4 wall. At $1000/ea they are competitively priced with other mid speakers of the same quality, but do they have what it takes to make them stand out and justify the $1K price point per speaker for a room that might contain 8-10 of them? Read on to find out.

Monoprice Monolith 7-Channel Amplifier Review

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Monoprice may have made its name making cheap HDMI cables but there's absolutely nothing cheap about their new line of audiophile-grade Monolith amplifiers. The Monolith 7 is a 7-channel, 200wpc (with all channels driven), 93 pound beast of an amplifier. From its build to astonishing real-world performance the Monolith 7 may just rank as one of the best price/performance amplifiers you can buy. We put the Monolith through a battery of tests and came away impressed. Read our full review and watch our YouTube Video to see why the Monolith really is THAT good.

2017 Subwoofer Roundup: Seven Models Compared From $600-$700

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:00:00 -0000

Let's say you need great bass and have a $700 budget: what subwoofers should you be looking at? In this article, we will briefly go over seven of the top contenders in this price range. The subs in this comparison are more alike than different in terms of specifications, and any of them look to be fine choices for accomplishing the task of great bass. However, each does have different strengths. So, which is best for your particular application? Read on to find out the specialty of each.

Fluance DB12 $300 12" Ported Subwoofer Preview

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:00:00 -0000

Those looking to beef up the bass in their bookshelf speaker system on a tight budget would do well to give Fluance's new DB12 subwoofer a try. The DB12 is an unusually compact subwoofer for a ported 12” design. Its polite size and refined finish allow it to fit in very aesthetically demanding situations. Check out our preview on this compact sub for $300- Shipping included! Bass enthusiasts serious about sound will want to pick up a pair of these subs for improved bass response and output for the entire seated area.