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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: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:00:00 -0000


Beam Me Up, Scotty! Acoustic Tractor Beam Now a DIY Project

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:00:00 -0000

The tractor beam has long been the stuff of science fiction, but it turns out that this technical milestone of nerd culture already exists thanks to developments in acoustic technology. Today, you can find instructions online to build your own tractor beam with a 3D printer. However, because it uses sound, the technology is limited to very small but visible objects. But it’s already being used to study the effects on life in space and shows potential as a component in a future medical tricorder. This is just another example of technology predicted by Star Trek.

2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Coverage Page

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 02:00:00 -0000

We're starting off 2017 with a bang by bringing you the latest and greatest AV Electronics product coverage announced at CES in Las Vegas. Check out the latest speakers and subwoofers from Revel, Goldenear, Elac, Emotiva, SVS, etc and impressive new Soundbars from Polk, Pioneer and Nakamichi. Details emerge on the new 16CH Atmos/DTS:X Emotiva RMC-1 Processor and we've got some cool stuff to show you in wireless and cordless Bluetooth headphones and developments in UHD HDTV.

Emotiva BasX S8, S10, and S12 Subwoofer Preview

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:00:00 -0000

Emotiva, the company that’s known for its high quality amplifiers at affordable prices released three newly enhanced subwoofers at the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. The BasX line come in 8", 10", and 12" models and with pricing at $199, $299, and $399, respectively. Emotiva is making a convincing argument of getting a quality subwoofer at a great price has never been easier. Check out our preview for the BasX S8, S10, and S12 to see what you get as you progress through their model lineup.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 Soundbar Preview

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:00:00 -0000

Has audio company Nakamichi gone too far with their new 9.2 soundbar, the Shockwafe Ultra? Check out this preview of the new and exciting 9.2 soundbar system that eliminates speaker wires and minimizes power cords. Dual subs, 4 modular surrounds, and an 8 speaker soundbar (total of 18 speakers) for around $1000? This might be the surround system you've been waiting for. Read on to find out.

SVS PB-2000 Subwoofer Giveaway!

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 06:24:11 -0000

To show some love to our loyal Audioholics readers, we’re partnering with SVS to give away a PB-2000, 500 Watt DSP Controlled, 12” Ported Subwoofer! The award-winning SVS PB-2000 Subwoofer adapts technology from the legendary Ultra Series to take the title as best ported subwoofer under $1,000. To enter, simply register to receive the SVS email newsletter and why you want to win it in our forum thread. Then respond using that same address if you are contacted as the winner. It’s just that easy. Enter now before Feb 5th for your change to win!

Polk Signa S1 Universal TV Sound Bar and Wireless Subwoofer System

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 02:00:00 -0000

With soundbars at every booth at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, Nevada vying for your attention, will Polk Audio's Signa S1 be able to break out? For $179 not only do you get an impressive 5.1 slim soundbar that connects easily through an optical cable (included), you also get a wireless sub for extra bass. What more could you ask for? Check out our preview of the Polk Audio Signa S1 to see if it might be your new soundbar.

Norway Kills The FM Radio Star – Could It Happen Here?

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 01:00:00 -0000

Norway became the first country to begin a campaign of shutting down FM radio signals this week. The nation’s “Radio Digitization” program began on 1/11 at 11:11 am – a start time with a very “digital” feel. The FM shutdown will run through 2017 county by county, until the last FM signal is squelched and the airwaves over Norway go cold and silent in mid-December. Is Norway the first of what may eventually become a global push to 86 FM forever?

Polk Signature Series Speakers Preview

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 23:00:00 -0000

We got a glimpse of Polk's Signature Speakers series at the CEDIA last fall, but our second viewing at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada really wowed us. The whole line of Signature Speakers from Polk Audio looks like it will make a fantastic setup for any audiophiles listening needs from two-channel to a full DTS:X immersive surround sound home theater room. With 8 styles to choose from, this reasonably priced but high quality speaker line might be for you. Read on to find out more.

GoldenEar Triton Reference Series Tower Speaker Preview

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 15:00:00 -0000

Speaker company Goldenear has made some big impacts in the audio world in the last three years with their line of Triton speakers. Their Triton One came out in 2014 with the goal of making a great speaker for the fiscally responsible. In fact, the company slogan “We make high end affordable” describes this speaker line to a T. Goldenear introduced their Triton Reference edition speaker at the CES 2017 last week. Read our preview and demo results of this fantastic new product from Goldenear and our little comparison to their Triton 1 to see what you’re getting when stepping up to their new flagship speaker system.

Emotiva RMC-1 16CH Atmos/DTS:X AV Processor Preview

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 02:00:00 -0000

Emotiva announced their long awaited RMC-1 Dolby Atmos/DTS:X AV Processor, a no-holds-barred model that supports full 4K UHD video, with high speed video switching. Armed with 16 fully balanced channels for Dolby Atmos and DTS-X object-oriented surround sound, including an all-analog preamplifier section, precision 32-bit AD/DA conversion, and an advanced 4K UHD video management system the RMC-1 leaves nothing for the audiophile or videophile to desire other than to wait for its unannounced shipping date. Read on for more details.

Revel Performa3 Be Concept Loudspeakers Preview

Sat, 07 Jan 2017 00:30:00 -0000

Revel by Harman today previewed the Performa3 Be concept loudspeakers, based on the award-winning Performa3 Series product range, at CES 2017. Based on Revel’s Performa3 F208 and M106 models, the Performa3 Be concepts include two new models: the F208Be 3-way floorstanding loudspeaker and M106Be 2-way bookshelf loudspeaker. The concepts feature the latest waveguide geometry, Beryllium and Deep Ceramic Composite (DCC) transducer technology and premium crossover network designs. While we were already big fans of the Performa3 series, the addition of these upgrades in this concept series just makes our audio taste buds salivate.

Pioneer Elite FS-EB70 Network Atmos Sound Bar System Preview

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 03:25:00 -0000

Supplying surround sound in a slim design is Pioneer's Elite® FS-EB70 Network Sound Bar System which includes the 3.1.2 Atmos soundbar, amplifier module and wireless 8" subwoofer all for $1,000. This was one of the most impressive soundbar systems we've heard last year at CEDIA so we are excited that its finally a released product so we can do a formal review. Read on for more details.

HDMI Forum Announces Version 2.1 Of the HDMI Specification

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 05:25:00 -0000

HDMI Forum, Inc announced the upcoming release of Version 2.1 of the HDMI specification that supports higher video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, Dynamic HDR, and increased bandwidth with a new 48G cable. Backwards compatibility is supported with earlier versions of the HDMI specification. The new spec will be available to all HDMI 2.0 Adopters by Q2 2017. See what other benefits HDMI 2.0 provides by reading on...

RBH Sound I-12/e Ported Subwoofer Review

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 06:00:00 -0000

For years I've been suggesting that RBH Sound build an affordable HUGE subwoofer to compete with the ID subwoofer greats. Not only has RBH succeeded with the I-12 and I-12/e subwoofers, but they've managed to do so in an attractive package that goes beyond just the standard square box. Both subs feature the same 12" aluminum driver while the I-12/e sports a 500 watt amplifier and DSP boost to earn our Large Bassaholics rating. Read on to find out more and be sure to check out our YouTube video preview.

Goodbye 2016: Lemmy to George Michael - The Year the Music Died

Sat, 31 Dec 2016 16:00:00 -0000

It's been a tough year of loss for so many of the musicians we love, especially those that grew up in the 80s and revered them as icons. Yet, I know it’s ridiculous to blame the arbitrary goal posts in time we call a year for the loss of the many beloved celebrities gone in 2016. I’m certain our perception of 2016 is skewed, yet I can't help but be glad to see an end to this year. Rest in peace 2016. And good riddance.

Fluance Signature Series 3-Way Floorstanding Speakers Review

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 17:00:00 -0000

The Fluance Signature Series Hi-Fi Three-Way Floorstanding speakers were recently relaunched after significant improvements were made to its crossover. This large tower speaker uses two 8" woofers, a fiber-woven 5.25" midwoofer, and a silk-dome tweeter in a wave-guide, and it promises serious bass extension well below 40 Hz. This impressive driver array is set in a gloss black front baffle with some stylish touches that belie the very affordable speaker cost. Initial enthusiasm about the earlier version of the Signature Floorstanding speakers gave way to mixed reactions due to a problematic crossover, but we have the redesigned version in our hands. So, let's see how it performs in our listening tests and subjective measurements to determine if this is the best $700 deal for tower speakers today.

Hsu Research CCB-8 Bookshelf Speaker Preview

Mon, 26 Dec 2016 17:00:00 -0000

It has been awhile since Hsu Research has released a new speaker, so their announcement of the new CCB-8 bookshelf speaker at the 2016 RMAF audio show came as a welcome surprise. The CCB-8 is a coaxial speaker design that uses the pole piece and cone shape of its 8" woofer as a constant directivity horn for its high-sensitivity tweeter. This design promises to rectify many of the problems inherent in conventional loudspeakers, especially concerning the center speaker. Read our preview to see if the Hsu CCB-8 is the cure for your loudspeaker ailments.

2016 Audioholics Product of the Year Award Winners

Sat, 24 Dec 2016 14:00:00 -0000

This year wasn't a leap forward in AV receivers, but the loudspeaker and subwoofer market really dazzled us with higher performance, and higher value products. We put a list together of the most memorable products we've reviewed in 2016 including an Atmos/DTS:X AV processor, budget and midpriced bookshelf and floorstanding speakers and subwoofers and more. Check out these great products and our detailed product reviews to see if they should be in your home theater room in the near future.

OPPO UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player Preview

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0000

After a quick peek of OPPO's UDP-203 at CEDIA we were chomping at the bit for more information on this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Well it's finally here; The OPPO UDP-203 will be available in early Spring 2017 for $549. A great price for ANY 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, but with a name like OPPO you can bet it will be great. Read on for more in depth information on this awesome new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player from OPPO to see if it should be on your post Christmas list.

Marantz SA-10 SACD/CD Player/DAC and PM-10 Integrated Amplifier Preview

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 02:00:00 -0000

Hi-Fi company Marantz released information on their new audio products in preparation for the January 2017 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their Premium 10 series is their most advanced Hi-Fi combination to date and includes the SA-10 SACD/CD player/DAC and PM-10 fully balanced Integrated Amplifier. This duo features Marantz’ renowned audio technologies designed to deliver great sound from high-resolution audio formats and CDs alike. So if you’re in the market for a great new SACD/CD player and Integrated Amplifier pair, the Marantz SA and PM-10 might be right for you. Read on to find out more.

How to Calibrate Your HDTV For Better Picture Quality in Minutes!

Sun, 18 Dec 2016 19:00:00 -0000

This is a very basic guide on how to calibrate a new HDTV display. We offer a step by step procedure on how to take the display out of torch mode and how to disable many of the auto features that cause deleterious effects on picture quality. We also show you how to properly set black level to ensure the best picture quality. Be sure to also check out our YouTube Instructional Video on how to Calibrate an HDTV Display using the Spears & Munsil Blu-ray.

SVS PB16-Ultra Ported Subwoofer Review

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 19:00:00 -0000

SVS just put the rest of the subwoofer ID market in checkmate with their new 16-Ultra series subwoofer which come in sealed and ported models. SVS has touted their new 16-Ultra series as the most advanced subwoofers in the world, so we were very excited to have SVS send us their new ported super-sub for review to confirm, the PB16-Ultra. The PB16-Ultra sports a 16" driver with an 8" voice coil powered by a 1500 watts (continuous) amplification. Will this sub bust our Extreme Bassaholics rating? Read on to find out.

Anthem AVM 60 11.2CH Preamp/Processor Review

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 23:00:00 -0000

They say good things come to those who wait. Well, the wait is over for Anthem's long-awaited AVM 60 preamp processor. The company's first 11.2 immersive audio-capable preamp brings the latest and greatest audio and video support including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2, HDR, and BT.2020. While it slims down some features over its predecessor, the new AVM 60 is a sonic powerhouse featuring the superb ARC-2 room correction system. We put the AVM 60 to a full workout in separate two channel and 7.1.4 channel Dolby Atmos setups and came away mightily impressed.

Audioholics Christmas Gift Guide 2016

Sun, 11 Dec 2016 20:00:00 -0000

It's that time of year again. Forget that boring dress shirt, or glamour tie, give the ongoing give of audio to spread the holiday cheer that will last the whole year. We've put together our annual gift guide of affordable and cool must have AV related products that will surely be a big hit for that special Audioholic on your list. Feel free to share your own personal suggestions to the Audioholics Santa in the related forum thread.

Emotiva BasX MC-700 7.1CH AV Processor Preview

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 17:00:00 -0000

Emotiva Audio Corporation just announced their new BasX MC-700 7.1CH Surround Sound AV Processor. It comes armed with 4K UHD support, Dolby TrueHD/DTS HD decoding, dual subwoofer outputs (1 balanced) and Emo-Q room correction and eleven user-programmable fully parametric equalizers per channel. What's the best thing about this new Pre/Pro? The Price! Emotiva's retail price of $599 is pretty amazing, but their limited time introductory price of $499 (includes shipping) is just insanely awesome!

Samsung Galaxy Phones Drop Headphone Jack: Harman Audio to the Rescue!

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:00:00 -0000

Samsung is rumoured to have dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack from its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. It’s not an unexpected omission considering Apple has done the same thing to make way for ever-skinnier designs. Considering Samsung’s upcoming purchase of Harman, the door is open to Harman and its many audio companies to come to the rescue with supporting peripherals like wireless headphones and digital-to-analog audio adapters.

Integra Home Theater DLB-5 3.1.2 Surround Bar Preview

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0000

Looking for a way to upgrade to DTS:X and Dolby Atmos enabled content without running miles of cables and finding places for all those speakers? Integra Home Theater might have a compromise to installing rear, side, ceiling, and front mounted speakers while also increasing your WAF (wife acceptance factor) with their new DLB-5 Network Object-Based Surround Bar System. It includes a wireless sub and a separate receiver. If it performs like other three piece immersive soundbar systems we’ve heard recently at CEDIA, it might be one to keep an eye on. Check out our preview on this system for more information.

KEF Ci4100QL-THX In-Wall Speaker Preview

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 05:00:00 -0000

Looking for a great in-wall speaker for your custom designed home theater? We got a chance to demo KEF's new Ci4100QL-THX in-wall speaker at the 2016 CEDIA EXPO and were impressed by its great sound. It features (3) 4" bass drivers, and (1) 4" Uni-Q concentric driver with an integrated .75" tweeter. At $600/each and a name like KEF, this speaker might be just what you're looking for. Read on to find out more.

Netflix Offline Viewing - Just Short of Awesome

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0000

Netflix subscribers – rejoice! The feature you’ve been waiting for is finally here. The streaming video service has been dropping hints that it was coming for the past six months, but the wait is now truly over. Netflix finally lets you download err... some of your favourite movies and TV shows. But, of course some conditions apply. Read on to find out what.

Hsu Research VTF-2 mk5 Subwoofer Review

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:00:00 -0000

The VTF-2 has been a part of Hsu Research’s VTF subwoofer line for 17 years and has developed considerably in that time through a number of iterations. Through every version, it has steadily grown and improved, and the newest VTF-2, the mk5, sports a front-firing 12” driver, a 350 watt BASH amplifier, and 3.9 cubic foot enclosure. Read our review of the Hsu VTF-2 mk5 to see what a modern day mid-range subwoofer from a top-tier subwoofer manufacturer can do. This could very well be one of the best performing subs in its price class!

Paradigm and Revel Outdoor Garden Speakers Preview

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 02:00:00 -0000

A real theme at CEDIA in Dallas, Texas this year was bringing the sound of the indoors to the outside. Many manufacturers such as Revel and Paradigm are making quality weatherproof loudspeakers capable of blending into the landscaping while also providing flexible installation options. Imagine the surprise on your friends and families faces when they try to figure out where all that great sound is coming from. Read on to find out how.

Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL2.0 Tube Headphone Amp Review

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 02:00:00 -0000

The MicroZOTL2.0 is a tube amp which represents the latest configuration of the previously adored MicroZOTL by David Berning. The amp, although unconventional in its tuning, shares an agile and intelligible character which make tracks sound incredibly engaging and involving. The clear acrylic top and respectable build also add a touch of premium manufacturing and showcase quality engineering. To find out more about this $1,100 creation, read on…

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless Headphones Preview

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 14:00:00 -0000

B&W has released a wireless version of it's acclaimed P7 over-the-ear headphone. The new P7 Wireless maintains all the luxury, fit, character and sound of the original. With support for Bluetooth 4.1 and the aptX codec, you can get near CD-quality streaming. With both a wireless and wired mode, the P7 Wireless looks to be a go-to for audiophiles craving music without wires. Read on to find out more...

MartinLogan Neolith ESL Loudspeaker Review

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 14:00:00 -0000

Take the legendary name of MartinLogan and marry it with a cost-no-object loudspeaker and you've got the Neolith. This is largest and most expensive loudspeaker that MartinLogan has ever produced. Do the 6ft, nearly 400lb Electrostatic Neoliths deserved to be mentioned in the ranks of the best-of-the-best or did we uncover some chinks in the loudspeaker's armor? Watch our recently added YouTube Video Overview and read our review to find out.

Outlaw Audio 7140 7CH Amplifier Preview

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0000

Outlaw Audio had lofty goals when redesigning their 7125 into the new 7140. How do you take a great amplifier and give it increased power (140wpc x 7), improved performance, greater reliability, AND an enhanced user experience for only $100 more than the original price of their 7125? They kept their classic AB amplification and added some amazing redesigns. But, was it worth it? Read on to find out.

Samsung Buys Harman - Connected Car Biz or Hi-Fi Pride?

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 16:00:00 -0000

As soon as Samsung announced that it would buy Harman in an $8-billion cash deal. Analysts have been playing up the business implications of a wireless, cell phone and semiconductor company buying a top connected car technology provider. Brilliant move. But the business-side of the story could simply be the financial justification for the real reason Samsung wanted Harman – acoustic pride! Is Samsung positioning itself to go up against Apple and Google? Read on to find out...

Archeer A320 2.1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 13:00:00 -0000

Looking for a great portable Bluetooth speaker that looks as good as it sounds? We did a full test on the Archeer A320 2.1 channel portable Bluetooth speaker and were impressed by the incredible amounts of low end bass from this little unit. With a beautiful bamboo finish and easy connectivity the A320 is a no brainer, especially at their limited time pricing of $79.99. It's rare that we say this, but this deal is unbeatable!

HSU VTF-1 MK3 Subwoofer Preview

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0000

From the humble little audio company HSU Research, located in Anaheim, CA, comes a new addition, the VTF-1 mk3 subwoofer. This is the latest version of their VTF-1 model with a higher powered amp, slightly larger enclosure and a front-firing orientation. Although it is now their lowest price of the bunch (5 subwoofers in total), do not count this subwoofer out in the least. After all, it is an HSU. Dr. HSU hasn't been in business for 25 years for nothing. Take a minute to read this preview and see for yourself.

FAQ: Set Up and Equipment Advice for Home Theater

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0000

We gathered up some of the most frequently asked questions on our Facebook and YouTube pages over the last month and answered them in our YouTube video along with written responses in this article. Questions ranged from set up / configuration issues causing performance problems, to surround speaker and Atmos/DTS:X processor recommendations. Chances are if you're in the market for a new home theater system, you may have similar questions on your mind that we covered. So take a look and feel free to submit unanswered questions in the related forum thread.

Legacy Audio Calibre Bookshelf Loudspeaker Preview

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 02:00:00 -0000

Making a debut this year at RMAF (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest) the premium audio company Legacy unveiled their Calibre loudspeakers. We are really excited about seeing this new line of speakers from Legacy which will begin shipping this month and we’re hoping that it raises the bar for what a compact speaker can do. It’s designed to meet the high performance standards of recording studios and bring a level of resolution to audiophiles in a compact design. Similar in size to Legacy’s Studio HD, the Calibre loudspeakers are several inches deeper and taller. Check these babies out.