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Preview: Audioholics Reviews and News from Audioholics

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: Sun, 15 Oct 2017 17:00:00 -0000


KEF Q50a Dolby Atmos Enabled Speaker Preview

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 17:00:00 -0000

Audio manufacturer KEF released their newest addition to the Q series line, the Q50a. The Q50a is a Dolby Atmos-enabled two-way closed box speaker that sits atop your existing speaker. The speaker fires its sound upward, creating the vertical dimension programmed into any Dolby Atmos recording. Will they work as well as discrete ceiling mounted speakers? Based on the laws of physics, we doubt it, but if ceiling mounting isn't an option than the KEF Q50a might be an amiable alternative if you want to experience immersive audio in your home theater system.

Fluance AB40 High Performance Soundbase Review

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Looking for improved sound from those wimpy little TV speakers? Sure you could go with one of those ubiquitous soundbars being sold in any of the big box stores, but why not buy a soundbase instead? The Fluance AB40 Soundbase goes under your TV rather than in front of it. Does the larger cabinet equate to larger sound? Read our in depth review of the AB40 to find out.

Goldenear Invisa Signature Point Source In-Wall Speaker Preview

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Looking for a truly supreme in-wall speaker with a sound to justify the cost. You may want to give the Goldenear Invisa Signature Point Source In-Wall Speaker a second look. The Invisa Signature was recently released at the 2017 CEDIA Expo show and at $1,000/ea stands to be one of the best new release, hi-end, in-wall speakers that we saw at CEDIA. Read our in-depth article to find out why.

Sony PlayStation VR & PS4 Review - Should You Go PS4 Pro or No?

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 05:00:00 -0000

I'll admit it, when Sony last year announced plans to release their own virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4 -- a five-year-old console -- I was skeptical. As positive press about the product started rolling in, I finally decided to purchase a unit earlier this year. But, despite all the great reports let's take a closer look and see if it's worth the significant investment.

Focal Clear Over-Ear Headphone Review

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 13:00:00 -0000

Focal, the high-end speaker manufacturer out of Saint-Étienne, France has expanded its high-end headphone line with a new entrant called Clear. The new headphones will retail at $1,500 putting it just above the price of Focal's $1,000 Elear and well below the $4,000 Utopia. With such a close product to Elear - is it possible that perhaps Clear stands to one day replace Elear? We'll examine what you get for the extra $500 over the price of Elear.

Star Trek Discovery - Stranded in Compressed, Two-Channel Subscription Space

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 22:00:00 -0000

CBS has done it again, they’re treating Star Trek fans like a Gorn warrior treats Captain Kirk on Cestus III. CBS/Paramount are exploiting fan’s dedication to their favorite TV franchise by holding the new series hostage behind its video-streaming subscription service, CBS All Access. Will die-hard fans be willing to pay for this service to see their beloved Star Trek on TV again? Read on to see our thoughts why we remain skeptical.

Yarra 3DX Immersive Sound Projector Giveaway!

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 01:00:00 -0000

To show some love to our loyal Audioholics readers, we’re partnering with YARRA 3DX again to give away one of their YARRA 3DX Immersive Sound Bar and subwoofer systems. Yarra's beaming technology has to be heard to be believed and if you enter this contest you may just get a chance to do that. Enter now and win big!

Walter Becker & Steely Dan: Engineering the Passion Behind the Sound

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 05:00:00 -0000

On September 3rd, 2017, the world lost another musical legend - Walter Becker, one half of the duo named Steely Dan. Becker was the kind of misanthrope that would roll his eyes at yet another gushing tribute to his genius. So, I’ll spare you the sentimental fawning and just cut straight to why I think the life and career of Walter Becker mattered to music.

Hsu Research VTF-1 mk3 Ported Subwoofer Review

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Hsu's latest subwoofer, the VTF-1 mk3, is a little powerhouse on paper with a 10" driver, 250-watt amplifier, and dual 3.5" diameter ports. We have been interested in seeing what it can do ever since it was announced late last year. Now that we have finally had a chance to give it a few laps around our test track, we are ready to report what is delivered from Hsu's $400 subwoofer (price not including shipping). Read our review of the VTF-1 mk3 to learn about this point of entry to high-fidelity subwoofage.

Dynaudio Unveils Sub 3 and Sub 6 Smart Subwoofers

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

If you're a Dynaudio fan than things just got better for you. Dynaudio recently released their Sub 3 and Sub 6 at CEDIA in San Diego, California. The Sub 3 and 6 are designed to match seamlessly with your Dynaudio speakers… intelligently. Both subs feature brand-new driver designs, sophisticated DSPs and full parametric EQ to help ensure a tailor-made fit for your set-up. Are the everything that Dynaudio claims them up to be? Read on to find out.

Anthem STR Preamplifier and STR Power Amplifier Preview

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Anthem Electronics released their STR Preamplifier and STR Power Amplifier at the 2017 CEDIA Expo. Like the STR integrated amplifier they released last year, the new separates both feature a fresh industrial design and premium audio circuit components and Anthem ARC room correction. The power amplifier is a no holds barred class AB rated to 800 watts/ch into 2 ohms. The entire series is proudly designed, engineered, and Crafted in Canada. Check out all of the details to see if these babies will be in your next two-channel rig.

ELAC Adante Loudspeaker Series Aims to Raise Bar on Performance/Value

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 01:00:00 -0000

ELAC announced the general availability of its new Adante Series of loudspeakers that includes the AF-61 Floorstanding Tower Speaker, AS-61 Stand Mount Speaker, AC-61 Center Channel Speaker, and the ASW-121 Powered Subwoofer. Designed and built with precision engineering and superior craftsmanship, the series is said to set a new value-to-performance benchmark for affordable loudspeakers. Be sure to check out our YouTube interview with loudspeaker designer Andrew Jones to get the full details.

Control4 Introduces New Triad Designer Series In-Ceiling Speaker Line

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:00:00 -0000

Control4 Corporation announced the availability of the new Triad Designer Series of high-performance in-ceiling speakers. The Triad Designer Series in-ceiling speakers are said to deliver rich, full sound from a tiny four-inch, flush-mount speaker grill, making them the ideal solution for both beautiful sound performance and elegant home design. But, we also wonder if they would serve equally well as a height channel for Atmos/DTS:X installations. Read on to find out why.

Bang & Olufsen Unveils BeoSound Shape Wireless System

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

The BeoSound Shape System by Bang & Olufsen is a unique modular wireless speaker system that can be infinitely customized to fit your room and your personal sense of style. The speaker system consists of hexagonal tiles with either speakers built in or dampening material letting you simultaneously fill any room with sound while contouring the sonic footprint for the room using stylish, decorative tiles. We got a chance to check them out at the 2017 CEDIA Expo so read on for more details.

Definitive Technology Demand Series Bookshelf Speaker Preview

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

It's been a while since Definitive Technology has released a new bookshelf speaker. So when they announced that they would be showing a new series of bookshelf speakers off at CEDIA in San Diego it made heads turn. The three new models D7, D9, and D11 range in price from $499 to $999 a pair. If they're anything like other versions of Definitive Technology Bookshelf speakers we've reviewd in the past, they're gonna be GREAT! Read our preview to find out why.

NAD T 777 V3 7.1CH Dolby Atmos 4K UHD AV Receiver Preview

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0000

Audio company NAD released a beast of an AV receiver recently at CEDIA in San Diego, California. The NAD T 777 V3 features a robust, honestly rated 7-channel amplifier and is packed with the latest audio and video technologies, including Dolby Atmos and 4K UltraHD video pass-through. Their new AV receiver hosts a wide array of connections for excellent flexibility and MDC slots allow for further feature expansion and future upgrades. All this combined with their wireless streaming and whole home audio option called BluOs makes for a monster of a receiver. At $2,500 it isn't the cheapest receiver out there, but is it worth the money? Read on to find out.

CEDIA 2017 Expo Show Coverage

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 01:00:00 -0000

The 2017 CEDIA Expo show was held at the San Diego Convention Center in California this year, hosting over 500 exhibitors who showcased their newest Ultra HD audio and video gear and custom integrated solutions. Our coverage focused on the AV gear that really stood out among its peers at the show. What seems to be the theme this year? Amazon Alexa’s Smart Home Skill. Check out our coverage for more details.

Marantz Unveils SR7012, SR8012 AV Receivers and AV7704 Processor with Alexa Skill

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 14:00:00 -0000

Marantz® announced the expansion of its latest home cinema line-up with two high-end network AV receivers, SR7012 and SR8012, along with the AV7704 multichannel AV preamplifier/processor. These are among the first AVRs on the market compatible with Amazon Alexa’s Smart Home Skill for Entertainment Devices. Of the three products displayed by Marantz at the 2017 CEDIA Expo, the SR8012 AV receiver really stood out to us due to its apparent roots back to the super receiver days of not too long ago. See what makes these products so special to live up to the reputation and legacy of the Marantz name.

Polk MagniFi MAX SR 5.1 Sound Bar and Wireless Surround Sound System

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

We recently reviewed Polk's foray into a niche small soundbar market with their MagniFi Mini Soundbar and Sub. With all the acclaims of their mini sound bar last year Polk decided to unleash a full sized model based on the MagniFi Mini and announced the release of their MagniFi Max at the 2017 CEDIA Expo last week in San Diego, California. For $600 you get a premium soundbar plus a wireless subwoofer AND two wireless surrounds! Read on to find out more details.

Paradigm Décor Custom Built TV Speakers in 3 Days!

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Want better sound from your new 4K UHD TV but you don't like the looks of a soundbar and don't want to setup a full stereo system? Paradigm may have a product for you with their new Décor series of custom built speakers. Each speaker is hand made to fit your TV in just three days. With several different speaker options available this may be a must have for detail oriented small spaces. Read on to see why.

Monoprice Monolith Unveils 10", 12" and 15" THX Ported Subwoofers

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Monoprice has announced a new line of subwoofers at the 2017 CEDIA Expo: a 1,000 watt 15", a 500 watt 12", and a 10" model. They are all THX certified and expand Monoprice's high-end Monolith product group as a solution for heavy-duty home theater and high-fidelity audio applications. They feature drivers that have a tremendous amount of excursion, beefy amplifiers, and hefty cabinets, so they have all the necessary ingredients for extreme performance, even notwithstanding their THX certification. Their pricing is very aggressive, so we expect them to make a big splash in the subwoofer market when they hit the streets. Be sure to also check out our YouTube sneak peek video to get a better look.

Bluesound Pulse High-Res SoundBar and Sub- IN WHITE!

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:00:00 -0000

Last year at CEDIA Bluesound released their Pulse Soundbar and Sub. With 6 Integrated high-performance speakers and 2 Passive Radiators The PULSE soundbar from Bluesound has LESS speakers than many other soundbars on the market, but that doesn’t mean that it’s less of a product. Why mess with a good thing? They didn't. This year you can have the Pulse Soundbar and Sub in WHITE.

MartinLogan Expands Motion Series with New Bookshelf & Floorstanding Speakers

Sat, 09 Sep 2017 01:00:00 -0000

MartinLogan released 5 new models from their Motion series of loudspeakers this week at CEDIA in San Diego, California. The newest products include two new bookshelf models, two small floor standing models, and a passive soundbar. All models feature their Folded Motion Transducer and other technologies unique to the brand. With prices starting at $180 each for the Motion 2i bookshelf, these newest round of Motion speakers look to be a great deal for a quality speaker.

Denon AVR-X4400H & AVR-X6400H AV Receivers Add Alexa Integration

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

The Denon AVR-X4400H and AVR-X6400H, boast the highest quality build, components and power output within their new series of AV receivers. These new models integrate HEOS whole-house music playback and are some of the first AVRs on the market enabled to support Amazon Alexa’s Smart Home Skill for Entertainment Devices. Ultra HD 4K Video? Immersive Audio? Yea they've got that. In fact, both models support 11.2 channels of processing so the end user can utilize a full 7.2.4 speaker configuration. Denon leaves very little to be desired with their latest AV receivers.

Denon Introduces Heos Super Link 4-Zone Preamplifier

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 17:38:24 -0000

Denon just introduced the HEOS Super Link at the 2017 CEDIA Expo show. Super Link is a networked multi-room pre-amplifier that is said to take the company’s pre-existing HEOS Link to the next level. Supporting four HEOS zones in a rack mountable yet compact framework, the HEOS Super Link provides custom installers with optimal aesthetics, user appeal, performance and more. Denon is banking on multi-room audio ease of convenience to be a big win for them and after seeing this product first hand, we understand why.

Yamaha Adds Amazon Alexa with MusicCast Wireless Multiroom Audio to AV Products

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 14:00:00 -0000

Not to be outdone by their competitors, Yamaha is ramping up integration of Amazon Alexa with more than 40 of the company’s MusicCast wireless multiroom products through an Alexa skill, making it faster and easier for audio enthusiasts to control their home entertainment experience. The Alexa skill and associated product firmware updates represent an initial step for integration of Alexa control with Yamaha AV products. Yamaha plans to offer deeper integration of Alexa in AV products by this winter.

Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series 2 Debut and Demo Report

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 05:40:00 -0000

With the success of the CM Series since its debut in 2014, Bowers & Wilkins is aiming to take performance and value to the next level by borrowing technologies from their venerable 800 D3 series and giving birth to their new 700 Series 2. B&W's design objective of "not just beating their rivals but blowing them away", is quite ambitious for this series. From carbon tweeters to Continuum midrange and Aerofoil cone woofers, to their painstaking control of resonance and breakup modes, and premium part usage in the crossover designs, they may just be able to pull it off. Read on to find out our initial impressions.

Philharmonic Audio BMR Philharmonitor Bookshelf Speaker Demo Report

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

If you're in the market for a magnificent 3-way bookshelf speaker for a price that won’t break the bank you might want to check out the BMR Philharmonitor from Philharmonic Audio. With the Philharmonitor you get quality instead of quantity. The BMRs can play a wide variety of music really well relying on the superb craftsmanship of the RAAL tweeter. Check out our full demo report of the Philharmonitors to see if they're right for you.

Onkyo and Pioneer Announce Support For DTS Play-Fi

Sat, 02 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Onkyo and Pioneer, two of the biggest names in audio technology have announced that they're jumping into DTS Play-Fi technology with a selection of wireless speakers. Firmware updates should be launched throughout September to make several of both company's wireless speakers compatible with DTS Play-Fi multi-room Wi-Fi speaker system. Read on to find out why this is a cool feature to have in your favorite Onkyo and Pioneer products.

Denon AVR-X3400H 7.2 Ultra HD Receiver w Alexa Integration Preview

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 05:00:00 -0000

If you're looking for a new full featured 7.2CH AV receiver and you have an Amazon Alexa, you would be hard pressed to find a better option than the Denon AVR-X3400H. It comes with 105 watts per channel, tons of input and output ports, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Vision, 4K scaling, HEOS multi-room music streaming and much more. All for under $1000! Read our preview of this highly anticipated receiver to see what you get over last year's 3300 series model.

Polk MagniFi Mini Home Theater Sound Bar System Review

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 02:00:00 -0000

If you want surround sound for your living room or man cave, but you just don’t have the space for a large, bulky system, then look no further than the Polk Audio MagniFi Mini Sound Bar System. The MagniFi Mini is a quality sound system that can fit in just about any limited space and at a reasonable price. The sound bar itself is about the size of a large alarm clock radio and includes a small subwoofer to help with the bottom end. Even though it’s tiny, the system still offers a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound experience exemplifying again that good things do come in small packages. Check out our recently added YouTube video review.

Razer Unveils Thresher Ultimate Wireless Headsets for PC, Xbox One & PS4

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 13:00:00 -0000

Razer unveiled its new Thresher Ultimate headsets at E3 promising wireless 7.1 surround sound to the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for $249.99, putting them firmly into the premium headset market. Running 2.4 Ghz wireless at a 40-foot range, 50 mm drivers and leatherette-wrapped memory foam ear cups and boasting a 16-hour battery life, these are built to be premium cans for gaming and personal home theater applications.

JVC DLA-X570R 4K e-Shift4 Projector Review

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 05:00:00 -0000

While native 4K/UHD projectors remain out of reach for mortal men, JVC is leading a crop of projectors featuring pixel shifting technology that will generate a stunning 4K/UHD image from native 1080p projectors. The DLA-X570R offers Full compatibility with native 4K/UHD sources, dual HDMI 2.0b inputs at full 18Gbps bandwidth, HDR 10 and HLG HDR support plus fully automated calibration capabilities with JVC's free Projector Calibration Software. Couple that with lens memory features and extensive options to fine tune the JVC to any installation scenario and there isn't much more you could ask for in at a $4,000 price-point.

Marantz SR5012 / SR6012 4K UltraHD AV Receivers Preview

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Audio manufacturer Marantz recently released their newest feature packed AV receivers, the SR5012 and SR6012. For $999 and $1,499, the SR5012 and SR6012 offer the most technology at this price point that we've seen to date. They are both equipped with the latest versions of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and both offer the convenience of multiroom music playback via HEOS integration as well as full 4K Ultra High-Definition compatibility to create an immersive home theater and entertainment experience. Want an affordable 11.2CH Immersive Surround Processor? Get a Marantz receiver!

V-MODA REMIX Bluetooth Speaker Review

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0000

V-MODA has brought some impressive headphones to market over the last several years and this is the company's very first try at a portable Bluetooth speaker. The speaker carries an unexpected feature of doubling as a portable headphone amplifier that might be a great fit for those who travel constantly. It's by no means a budget speaker but does it live up to V-MODA standards? Let's find out!

What Goes into Naming a Consumer Product?

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:00:00 -0000

Ever wonder how companies come up with the names for their products? Why is it the Revelator and not the 100x? How important is the name? Does the name really affect the sales and market acceptance of a product one way or the other? People have wildly differing views on the topic, based on their own experiences and their perception of their own expertise. Read on to find out more.

ALO Audio Continental V5 Portable Tube Amp Review

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 14:00:00 -0000

The ALO Continental V5 portable amp has been the result of a long-time collaboration between audio manufacturers ALO Audio & Vinnie Rossi. With a plethora of features and options for customizability, this amp offers a richly detailed sound bringing the best of the solid state and tube amplifier sound. At $799, the V5 features a single triode tube with an output power of 325 mW per channel and 9 hour playback. Read our review to find out more about this great device.

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Review

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Media streaming is a must have feature these days for a modern home theater. Many Blu-ray players and HDTV's do a poor job serving this function, so external devices are usually the way to go. We look at the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV media streaming devices to see how they handle popular streaming services like Netflix, and Amazon Prime, as well as gaming apps. Check out our YouTube Video review for a detailed overview of these products and a tour of their navigation menus to see how they work.

Hsu Research CCB-8 Bookshelf Speaker Review

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Ever since Hsu Research announced their new coaxial CCB-8 bookshelf speakers, we had been anxious to get our hands on a pair to see what they could do. The CCB-8 is an audacious new design featuring an 8" woofer utilized as a waveguide for a center-mounted tweeter. Hsu sent us a set, and for the past couple months we've been giving them a workout on a variety of music and movie content, plus a full battery of testing in our labs. To put it mildly, we were impressed by Hsu's latest offering. To see what they did exactly that left such a good impression, read our full review.

Focal Sib Evo 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos Home Theater System Preview

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 05:00:00 -0000

With every speaker company vying to get their product into the 3D immersive sound arena, will Focal's new Sib Evo 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos enabled system stand out? You know how We feel about Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, but with cheap plastic housings and a minimalistic 8" sub will Focal be able to compete? They've made some outstanding speakers in the past. Read our in depth preview of the Focal Sib Evo to find out.