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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, 17 Feb 2018 06:00:00 -0000

 



British Prog Rock Band Marillion Releases Limited Edition Series of Live Albums

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 06:00:00 -0000

Often referred to as the leaders of the neo-progressive movement of the early '80s, Marillion are a great deal more than that. They are purveyors of soulful, powerful, and deeply-moving music, with a long-standing reputation of impressive live shows and an imposing, faithful and loyal global fanbase. From January through September 2018, a carefully curated and strictly limited (5000 copies each) and numbered series of Marillion live albums will be released in retail stores across the globe for the very first time.



Dayton Audio MK402 Bookshelf Speaker Teases Audiophile for only $70/Pair

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:00:00 -0000

Dayton Audio proudly announced the newest addition to their best-selling line of home theater speakers. The MK402 is a simple 2-way, rear ported speaker featuring a 4" woofer and a 3/4" soft dome tweeter, with bass extension down to 60Hz and a real crossover network all for the almost unbelievable low price of $70/pair. Can these really be an audiophile dream speaker for those on a tight budget? Read on to find out.



Dirac Live Room Correction Offers Sophisticated Calibration and Set Up

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 06:00:00 -0000

Among room correction EQ programs, Dirac Live has garnered a reputation for being one of the most effective solutions for removing the room from interfering with the sound. It accomplishes this by correcting problems with the time-arrival in sound as well as the frequency response. Other room correction equalizers ignore the time domain, but a complete solution isn't possible without addressing the time domain since latent arrivals from acoustic reflections are apart of what colors the frequency response in the first place. Let's take a brief look at how it accomplishes this, and some of the other neat features that comprise the Dirac Live package.



Control Drivers Now Communicate With and Command Klipsch and Jamo Amplifiers

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 14:55:00 -0000

Klipsch and Jamo audio companies announced that IP Ethernet network control drivers from Control4, Crestron, and RTI now communicate with and command its powerful DSP amplifiers for seamless control and optimal sound.



CES 2018 Best Sound Bars Roundup

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 06:00:00 -0000

This year we saw a big shift in the soundbar market from trying to recreate 3D sound through reflections to recreating 3D sound through discrete speakers. Also, with the popularity of affordable Smart home automation systems like products from Amazon, Google, and Roku, we’re seeing a push towards incorporating these products right into the soundbar. In this article and related YouTube video, we selected some of the most interesting soundbars we saw at the 2018 CES show.



PSB M4U TW1 Bluetooth Earbuds Preview

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 06:00:00 -0000

PSB announced the release of their first Bluetooth set of earbuds at CES 2018. The M4U TW1 looks to be a heavy hitter in the sound department housing high-performance 6mm drivers, advanced A2DP Bluetooth connectivity, and a five hour battery life. If the M4U TW1's offer the high level of sound quality that PSB's other headsets are known for, then they should be a phenominal deal at only $149!



Dayton Audio T652-AIR Dual 6-1/2" 2-Way AMT Tower Speaker Contest Giveaway!

Sun, 04 Feb 2018 21:10:00 -0000

To show some love to our loyal Audioholics readers, we’re partnering with Parts Express to give away a pair of their Dayton Audio T652-AIR Dual 6-1/2" 2-Way AMT Tower Speakers. Remember you gotta be in it to win it! Sign up before 2/28/18.



Epson Pro Cinema 6040UB 4K Enhanced Projector Review

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 06:00:00 -0000

If you’re in the market for a 4K/UHD-compatible projector that can deliver a taste of the full potential that 3840 x 2160 resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), and the BT.2020 expanded color gamut that today’s UltraHD Blu-rays can deliver, then you can’t go wrong with Epson’s Pro Cinema 6040UB. The 6040UB projector is simply superb. With the potential for 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut, 4K-enhancement technology, HDR10, and ISF support all in a price point well under $4,000, you have a winning combination.



The Biggest Failures in Consumer Audio/Video Electronics History

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 06:00:00 -0000

While we all enjoy the latest technologies afforded to us in consumer electronics, early adopters often pay the price by getting behind new formats that dry up as quickly as the cash they sunk into them. Let's take a look at what we feel to be the biggest product failures in consumer A/V electronics and try to figure out what went wrong and how missteps today may lead to success stories tomorrow. Some of these are well-known and familiar to everyone; while others are less well-known but their failure was no less spectacular.



NAD M22 V2 Masters Series Amplifier Preview

Sat, 27 Jan 2018 06:00:00 -0000

If you’re a fan of NAD electronics or if you’ve been thinking of upgrading your amp to a more sophisticated product brand you might want to check out NAD’s new M22 V2 Masters Series Amplifier released this year at CES, Las Vegas, Nevada. NAD’s new M22 V2 delivers a 20% increase in power over their previous model and adds bridging mode and an input sensitivity switch for system flexibility. Did they really offer a significant upgrade in performance without an increase in price? Read on.



Dayton Audio Breaks Price Barrier with AMT Tweeter “Air” Loudspeaker Series

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:00:00 -0000

The original Dayton Audio B652 has achieved something of a cult classic among speaker aficionados due to its extraordinarily low price. They were perhaps the least expensive, full-size bookshelf speaker that could be had in its day manufactured by a well-respected speaker component company. It was followed up by the 'B652-Air' to greater acclaim featuring an AMT tweeter. Now Dayton Audio has expanded on the 'Air' series with the release of a tower speaker, smaller bookshelf speaker, and center speaker. What kind of system can be had from the lowest-priced speaker set available to use AMT tweeters? Read on to find out.



2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Coverage

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 14:00:00 -0000

We kicked off the new year by covering the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which is held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our own Marshall Guthrie scouted the showfloor on a mission to seek out the latest AV electronics and cover them for Audioholics. He looked at the latest UHD OLED displays, AV receivers and Processors that break the 7.1.4 Immersive Surround barrier, smart powered speakers, and uber expensive "performance" Soundbars vying to lure the audiophile tight on space for discrete speaker systems, but not on budget.



GoldenEar DigitalAktiv 3 Wi-Fi Bluetooth Speaker Preview

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 06:00:00 -0000

Speaker manufacturer GoldenEar released details for their ultra-high performance powered/wireless DigitalAktiv 3 Bookshelf speaker. With a 6” cast-basket bass/midrange driver, the same HVFR tweeter used in the Triton Reference, and two inertially balanced 8” passive radiators, if these speakers sound as good as the numbers suggest, they may be among the best new wireless speakers we've seen in 2018…period.



StormAudio AV Immersive Sound Processors and Multi-Channel Amplifiers Preview

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 22:00:00 -0000

StormAudio was recently bought out by the Immersive Audio Technologies Group. The StormAudio lineup is much different than normal consumer products. There is NO OSD, no remote control. Everything is controlled via the web interface and/or an iOS App. But with all this flexibility and power comes a cost, in this case to your wallet. On the other hand, at this point in time, StormAudio has the most flexible bass management system we've seen in any AV preamp/processor and for those needing this level of sophistication, price may be no object.



JBL Announces Everest™ Headphones Optimized for the Google Assistant

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:00:00 -0000

Imagine the day when you can tell your headphones what music to play. Imagine no longer, thanks to JBL's latest Everest headphones armed with Google Assist. Now you can have the legendary sound JBL is known for with the convenience of voice commands to do your music bidding. JBL offers 3 models (Everest 710GA, 310GA, and 110GA) with battery life ranging from 8-25 hours of play (depending on model). Can you say "Google, I want these"?



Polk Command Bar Soundbar, Wireless Sub, and Built-in Amazon Alexa

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:00:00 -0000

Polk Audio announced their newest soundbar at the CES 2018 show, calling it the Polk Command Bar. Why Command Bar? How about integrated Alexa support built in! For a sub $300 price point the Polk Command Bar delivers the power and convenience of Amazon Alexa in what looks to be an excellent budget friendly home theater solution ideal for movies, music and wireless music streaming.



Marantz AV8805 13.2CH 4k UltraHD AV Processor Preview

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 19:00:00 -0000

What do you get when you mix Denon digital know-how with Marantz analog finesse? The AV8805 13.2CH AV Processor! The AV8805 boasts an audiophile grade preamp section while supporting ALL 3 immersive surround formats, 3 pairs of height channels, and flexible preamp assignability for multiple speaker configurations. All of your high-resolution music streaming needs are met thanks to full HEOS support and their related app to allow easy multi-room listening. The latest in HDMI will is HDR and Dolby Vision compatible and upgradeable to HDMI 2.1 and 8K resolution. Read on for more details on why the AV8805 should be on your short list of upscale preamp/processors.



JBL Releases Updated Iconic JBL L100 Speakers

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 22:00:00 -0000

Vintage JBL enthusiasts know what a jewel the L100 speakers, even 50 years after their inception. In fact, according to Harman, they're among the all time best selling speakers from JBL. Harman just announced an update to this legendary design with completely new modernized drivers and crossover components designed by Chris Hagen, the original designer of the L100T3s. Now you can get a refresh to a classic, but it's going to cost you some dough. Read on to find out.



Denon AVR-X8500H World's First 13.2CH AV Receiver Preview

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 21:00:00 -0000

The world's first 13.2CH Immersive Surround Receiver is what Denon is calling their new AVR-X8500H. This 51lbs monster is the king of all AV receivers at CES 2018 as we don't know of any other product that supports ALL 3 immersive surround formats, 3 pairs of height channels, with a HDMI 2.1 upgradability path. While it's asking price may seem a bit spendy, it's really not when you consider the arsenal of processing power this baby has and how flexible it will be for even the most upscale home theater installations.



Sound United Announces Acquisition of Classé Audio

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 14:00:00 -0000

Sound United LLC, parent company to Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Polk BOOM, HEOS, and Boston Acoustics, today announced it has acquired Classé Audio, a leading maker of high-performance music and theater components. Classé Audio will join the Sound United family of brands, representing some of the most renowned names in the industry. Through this acquisition, Sound United will continue to drive its global growth and recognition, spearheading innovation in the category and increasing its footprint in the consumer audio space.



Philharmonic Audio Mini Philharmonitor Bookshelf Speaker Demo Report

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 06:00:00 -0000

If you are looking for a price friendly desktop or surround loudspeaker with an audiophile RAAL tweeter, Zapf audio woofer and superb crossover network than look no further than the Mini Philharmonitor from Dennis Murphy and Philharmonic Audio. The Mini Philharmonitor is a relatively new speaker and you'll be amazed how well they handle many genres of music for dedicated music listening. At this price point, the Mini Philharmonitors are the only speakers with a RAAL tweeter that we could find. Please read on to see how these did in a sound demo in an in-home audition.



Disney Expands Media Empire with 21st Century Fox

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 06:00:00 -0000

With Disney soon to own a majority of Fox TV and film Studios, the stars may have just aligned for the creation of the most powerful media conglomerate ever created. We also have plenty of possible new story lines to look forward to. Will mutants join the Marvel cinematic universe? What will the future of Hulu and Disney direct-to-consumer look like? And most importantly, how will the Simpsons deal with being employees of the House of Mickey Mouse? These are sure to be interesting times for comic nerds and cord-cutters alike.



JL Audio IWS-SYS-108/208 In-wall Subwoofer Preview

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 22:00:00 -0000

For those of you looking for a premiere in-wall sub, JL Audio released their IWS-SYS-108 and IWS-SYS-208. The newest models from JL Audio have a very small grille opening that will please customers looking for a visually unobtrusive solution while still capable of delivering true JL Audio sub-bass performance. To see all their features read on.



2017 Audioholics Product of the Year Award Winners

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 06:00:00 -0000

2017 marked the year when smart devices infiltrated home theater and Ultra HD became more attainable. As if AV receivers didn't do enough already, now they come armed with Alexa Skill, music media streaming and the latest in HD immersive audio and video support. We selected the best speakers, AV receivers, and preamps, UHD Blu-ray players, etc for this model year that we reviewed or personally demoed and chose them as our 2017 Product of the Year Award winners. Continue reading to see our picks.



Rythmik FV18 Servo Subwoofer Sound Demo Report

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 04:00:00 -0000

Renowned sub manufacturer Rythmik Audio recently released an 18" triple ported subwoofer, the FV18. This subwoofer sports a newly developed black anodized aluminum driver that is driven by an also newly developed 900 watt Hypex class D amplifier. This beast of a sub is made for those who require more ultra low end output. The FV17 does not behave like a typical ported sub. It has the output in spades, but also the articulation Rythmik is known for. Check out the sound demo report on how this sub performs with a variety of source material in an in-home audition.



Mark Levinson № 515 Turntable Preview

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 06:00:00 -0000

Looking for a high end turntable to spin your vinyl? Look no further than the new № 515 Turntable from Mark Levinson. With help from VPI Industries this ultra precise turntable incorporates a 3D printed tonearm, precision-machined pulley and triple belt drive, and a a highly damped vinyl-wrapped composite and aluminum sandwich main chassis. If money is no object and you have the $10,000 to spend on a really fancy record player then this might be the unit for you.



Sound Reproduction: Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:00:00 -0000

What are the characteristics that determine the sound quality of an audio system? This is a question that for too long has been shrouded in mysticism as if there were some ephemeral magic that touched some systems and not others. But, the truth is this question can be approached objectively, and indeed that is what Dr. Floyd Toole has been doing with over a lifetime of scientific research. The results of his research is presented in a clear, concise third edition of his book 'Sound Reproduction,' which makes for an enlightening read for neophyte audio enthusiasts and long-time audiophiles alike.



A Historical Perspective of the Loudspeaker Impedance Specification

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 06:00:00 -0000

Audio specifications run the gamut from merely “nice to know” to “genuinely useful.” A speaker’s impedance rating should be one of those genuinely useful specs, but you can’t always trust them. What does it really mean when a company rates their speaker as 8 ohms, or 4 ohms? Read on to get an "insider's look" at loudspeaker impedance spec rating and the marketing behind it that you won't read anywhere else.



Oppo UDP-203 & UDP-205 Ultra HD Blu-ray Players Review

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0000

We reviewed Oppo's newest Ultra HD Blu-ray players, the UDP-203 and souped-up audiophile UDP-205. Both had very responsive interfaces, silent operation, and exhibited state of the art audio and video playback performance with every type of source material thrown at them. The UDP-203 and 205 leave videophiles wanting very little and both players should satisfy even the most critical audiophiles. So what does the UDP-205 offer for more than 2X the price of the UDP-203? Read our in-depth review to find out.



Title II is Not the Net Neutrality You’re Looking For

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 06:00:00 -0000

The end is nigh for net neutrality as it exists today. Trump-appointed FCC chief Ajit Pai put forth a plan last week that promises to roll back Obama’s net neutrality policies. All that’s left is for the five FCC commissioners to vote in December, making the rollback a virtual certainty. But, will the principles of net neutrality die with the FCC? Considering Obama's net neutrality was built on laws designed for a depression-era phone company, perhaps the door is open for modern law that govern the Internet.



SVS 4000 Series Subwoofers Offer Significant Gains Over Discontinued Models

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0000

SVS has launched a new subwoofer line to replace their venerable 13-Ultra Series: the 4000 Series, which imports much of the technology from their flagship 16-Ultra line and mates it with the 13-Ultra designs. The result is an improvement in every way over the 13-Ultra subwoofers, especially in the realm of control and signal processing. What is better is that this substantial improvement comes at little to no price increase. Read our preview of the SVS 4000 Series subwoofers to see what SVS has done to make a worthy successor to the now-classic 13-Ultra subwoofers.



Legacy Audio Valor Loudspeaker Overview & Demo

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 01:00:00 -0000

Legacy's latest flagship product, the Valor, is a speaker that pushes the state-of-the-art in high-fidelity further than ever before as a 2,750 watt, 11-driver behemoth that is packed with the latest advances in audio engineering. The sound from the Valor is tightly controlled so interference from room acoustics is greatly reduced, and imaging from the original signal is preserved with greater clarity. The methods used by Legacy to reconstruct the original stereo image go well beyond traditional room correction equalization. Read our overview and watch our YouTube Video of the Legacy Valor to find out more.



2017 Audioholics Christmas Gift Guide

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0000

As is our annual tradition, we have put together our 2017 Audioholics AV electronics Christmas gift guide of relatively affordable audio gear and accessories that can really enhance your enjoyment of your favorite music and/or movies. Whether you're shopping for a new AV receiver, media streaming device, speakers, or even a smart balance board, we've got you covered. Pay extra attention to the limited time special pricing on some of the products on this list. We hope you enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas!



Star Wars Battlefront II: EA Embraces the Dark Side of Gaming

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:00:00 -0000

The economics of videogames is serious business. Budgets for high-profile games routinely outclass those of blockbuster movies, not to mention the GDP of small independent nations. But, did EA take a step too far in trying to wring even greater profits from games through overuse of microtransacations? The gaming community seems to think so, never has the backlash against a videogame been so great as what we saw last week during the launch of EA's Star Wars Battlefront II. Is it fair to reward advantages to players that pay?



Denon, Marantz Receivers Get DTS Virtual:X Firmware Update

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:00:00 -0000

Sound United and DTS have announced the availability of an important DTS Virtual:X firmware update for many Denon and Marantz A/V receiver models. Even more models are getting the update over the next couple of months. DTS says its Virtual:X technology can bring increased levels of immersion to your surround sound system whether you're using your receiver for stereo, 5.1 or 7.1.4. Check to see your receiver is on the list getting update right away.



3 New Rythmik Super Subwoofers Aim to Shatter Performance/Price Barrier

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0000

Subwoofer manufacturer Rythmik Audio recently released three massive new subwoofers that push their products' performance farther than ever before: with the F18 and FV18, Rythmik has entered in the 18" cone weight class, both powered by a 900-watt amplifier, and their dual 15" woofer, 1,800 watt FV25HP topping out their product line as their new flagship. With specs like those, sheer power is assured, but what about sound quality? Read on to see how Rythmik has scaled their famed sound quality to new levels of output.



Cambridge Audio CXR120 & CXR200 AV Receivers Boast Power Over Immersive Surround

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0000

Cambridge Audio recently released two new AV receivers CXR120 and the CX200. Like most higher end audio companies, the Cambridge units focus more on the audio with powerful A/B amplifier sections, but lag a bit on features when compared to many of their competitors. These particular units lack Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing. Will audiophiles be content without the latest in immersive surround sound? It all depends on their focus.



Why DTS Headphone: X Isn’t Ready For Fans of Surround Hi-Fi

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 18:00:00 -0000

It's been a few years since the official unveiling of DTS Headphone: X, a new technology that promises to change how we listen to music, movies, and television using our favorite headphones. Now, that technology is finally starting to roll out, with the most recent introduction of the Nubia Z17S Android smartphone, initial reviews are mostly underwhelmed. With a limited and expensive music library thus far, will DTS Headphone: X make waves in hi-fi, or is it destined to remain just another smartphone app?



Nakamichi Shockwafe DTS:X Ultra 9.2 Soundbar Preview

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0000

Has audio company Nakamichi gone too far with their new 9.2 DTS:X soundbars, 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 only $1,199? This might be the surround system you've been waiting for. Check out our updates comparing the configuration options available and recent improvements to the products currently shipping.



RBH Signature SV-61R Bookshelf Speaker Review

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 14:00:00 -0000

When you asked for the best possible medium-sized bookshelf speaker, respected loudspeaker manufacturer RBH Sound delivered. You get a lightning-quick AMT tweeter, a premium 6.5" woofer with a chrome phase-plug, a rounded cabinet with an exquisite veneer, and RBH's highly-regarded engineering acumen. These are certainly promising ingredients for a loudspeaker, but how well do they add up in actuality? In our review of the RBH Sound SV-61R, we get our hands on RBH's best efforts for a medium-sized bookshelf speaker and see how well it performs not only in our laboratory testing but also with our favorite music.