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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, 03 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0000


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.

Questyle QP1R Digital Audio Player Review

Sun, 06 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0000

The QP1R is the latest flagship DAP of Questyle Audio, a company striving for audio perfection in the already crowded arena of portable players. Featuring a 2.35 inch screen, beautiful aesthetics and hi-fi charm, the QP1r reinvigorates your audio files by instilling detail, speed and dynamism in its arsenal of sonic prowess. Will this $899 DAP be the end-game for your portable needs? Read the review to find out.

Epson's 2016 Budget Friendly 4K Enhanced Projector Preview

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 14:00:00 -0000

We got a chance to see Epson's new line of 4K Enhanced projectors at CEDIA in Dallas, Texas and couldn't believe the price for the quality. OK, OK, they're not truly 4K projectors, but even Epson reps will ask you, "Is the 4K stamp really worth twice the price?" Epson has done some slick stuff with these new projectors that may make the answer to this question very easy for you to decide. Read the following preview to find out.

Hearing Protection and Listening Safety

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 15:00:00 -0000

If you are an Audiophile, then you are probably familiar with the years of hard work and stress your ears go through. The goal for every audiophile should be to enjoy hi-fi for a lifetime. But, in order to do that, care must be taken to not over stress or abuse your ears with sustained excessively loud sounds. This article talks about the importance of hearing safety and how to combat tinnitus using active hearing aids and soundscapes.

2016 CEDIA Surround Sound Bar Overview

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 13:00:00 -0000

So you bought a new TV and the sound is as thin as your new flatscreen. Don't fear. Almost every company at CEDIA had their own version of a soundbar and boy has technology sure come a long way in the last 15 years. Tight on space and can't accommodate a discrete 5.1 speaker system? Then check out our preview of some of the newest soundbars coming out on the market this year so you can decide for yourself if a soundbar and wireless sub is right for you.

Yamaha YSP-2700 MusicCast Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer Preview

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 15:00:00 -0000

Yamaha released their YSP-2700 MusicCast Sound Bar and wireless subwoofer at the CEDIA Expo in Dallas, Texas. A 7.1 soundbar with a 5.5" wireless sub at $1199.95 puts it in line with other higher end soundbars/sub systems. The YSP-2700 comes with built in MusicCast for music streaming, three 4k/60p HDCP 2.2 compatible HDMI inputs and one output. Is it worth it? Read on to find out.

$500/pair Tower Speaker Round-up for Two-Channel and Home Theater Listening

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 23:00:00 -0000

Looking for some floorstanding speakers to listen to your CD collection, Internet radio, LP’s, or just looking for some quality front/all channel speakers for your home theater for around $500 a pair? We have compiled a short list for your consideration. Some are available at your local big box retailer and some are only available online. Take a look at this list and feel free to post your suggestions in the related forum thread.

Parasound ZoneMaster 4 DAX Four-Zone DAC & Crossover Preview

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:00:00 -0000

Parasound has introduced the ZoneMaster® 4 DAX, the first four-zone DAC with crossovers for the custom installation industry. The 4 DAX was designed in response to custom installers who create multi-zone systems based around the Sonos Connect®, Heos Link®, BlueSound Node® or Google Chromecast™ Audio, and are looking to upgrade their clients’ digital sound quality, with unique connectivity for subwoofers, stereo or mono speakers, and system control options.

KEF Ci200QSb-THX and Ci200TRb In Wall Subwoofer Preview

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:00:00 -0000

Looking for a great in wall sub to add bass to your home theater, outdoor patio, or yacht? Check out KEF's new Ci200QSb-THX and Ci200TRb in wall subs. The Ci200QSb-THX is a great 8" sub that can be configured with other Ci200QSb-THX subs to make them THX Select 2 or even THX Ultra 2 certified for larger home theaters. If you're looking for great bass but don't have the floor space, Kef may have your solution with these new in-wall products.

Atlantic Technology LCR2 Compact Speaker Preview

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:00:00 -0000

Atlantic Technology has introduced its new LCR2 ultra compact speakers in white or high-gloss black finish for a wide variety of audio and home theater applications. They seem to be going after the high value ultra compact form factor that so many ID companies already have successfully capitalized on for quite some time. At $200/ea and given their reputation, we'd have to say Atlantic Technology has just offered a compelling alternative to the already crowded ID marketplace. What do you think?

Razer Buys THX: What This Could Mean for Your Future Man Cave

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:00:00 -0000

On Monday THX announced that it was purchased by Razer, a computer gaming hardware company. Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan promises to let THX run independently. Tan added that there will be collaborations bringing together THX audio experience and Razer computer technology. But many see the deal as yet another low point for the once proud THX logo. Let's take a closer look at what the deal could mean to the future of home entertainment and how it could possibly leap forward Virtual Reality technologies.

KEF LS50 Wireless Active Speaker System Preview

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 21:00:00 -0000

If you had a product as successful as KEF's LS50, how would you improve upon it? How about making it a fully active speaker system, adding dual mono amps and dual DACs to each channel, and a killer streaming preamp in a footprint that isn't much larger than the original. KEF's new LS50 all-in-one wireless speaker system is all this and more. Designed to celebrate the company's 55th anniversary, we think the LS50 Wireless Speaker is going to be a real winner. Read on for our in-depth preview.

Anthem ARC Mobile App Preview

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 18:00:00 -0000

Anthem's ARC was a real game-changer in electronic room correction when it launched nearly a decade ago. Until now, using ARC has required an external PC running Windows. Mac and Linux users were left in the cold. That's all about to change. Anthem's heralded ARC room correction is going mobile for iOS and we have all the details. Did using ARC just get a whole lot easier? Read on to find out.

Pioneer Elite SC-LX701/801 & SC-LX901 Atmos/DTS:X AV Receivers Preview

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 15:00:00 -0000

Pioneer's exclusive Elite line has always represented the company's best. Topping the Elite line are three new Dolby Atmos/DTS:X network AV models. The SC-LX701 and SC-LX701 are 9.2 channel monsters with nine channels of on-board amplification for full 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support. The flagship SC-LX901 ups the ante with 11 onboard amplifiers. Factor in HDMI 2.0a, HDR, BT.2020 color support, hi-res music streaming, FireConnect wireless speaker support and that classic Pioneer sound and you have a solid offering with a focus on performance not gimmicks....well except maybe how they've rated amplifier power. Read on to find out.

Power Manipulation in Dolby Atmos AV Receivers

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 21:00:00 -0000

We've noticed a recent trend with the latest Dolby Atmos/DTS:X AV Receiver releases. Instead of publishing unclipped full bandwidth power with at least 2CH driven into 8 ohm loads per FTC mandate, many of the major AV receiver manufacturers are now touting power with only one-channel driven, at 1kHz, into a 6 ohm load at up to 10% distortion. What does this mean? Are you really getting more power with these new receivers or more clever specsmanship? Read on to find out and be sure to watch our related YouTube video discussion for further insights.

SVS PB16-Ultra and SB16-Ultra Subwoofers Preview

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 21:00:00 -0000

While the 13-Ultra series of subs proved to be outstanding flagship subwoofers for SVS, many years have passed since their introduction. SVS needed to do something to stir up some excitement among bassaholics, and they have most definitely accomplished this mission with the new 16-Ultra series. These 16" woofer, 1,500 watt subs promise to be more than just a small improvement over SVS's previous standard-bearers. SVS may have good reason for the claim of the 16-Ultras being some of the most advanced subwoofers in the world. Read on to find out why.

Procella Audio V18 Dual 18 Inch Subwoofer Preview

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 15:00:00 -0000

Procella Audio, manufacturer of high-performance high-definition speaker systems for home and professional cinema and music applications, announced their new flagship subwoofer, the V18 Bass Engine at CEDIA 2016. The V18 sports dual 18" drivers in a large sealed box powered by dual 1200 watt amps boasting a blistering continuous output up to 137 dB, with peak output of 143 dB. Can this sub make Grandpa Simpsons teeth shatter? Read on to find out.

GoldenEar SuperSub X Ultra-compact Subwoofer Preview

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 13:00:00 -0000

If you want deep bass you need a big sub. But big subs cause big problems—especially spousal and aesthetic ones. GoldenEar wants to give you both domestic peace and rock the house with their new SuperSub X Ultra-compact subwoofer. This tiny, just over 12 1/2-inch squared enclosure sports four drivers (two active and two passive) a 1400-watt, 56-bit DSP-driven amplifier. It looks like it has the tools to rock the house.

Monoprice Air Motion Bookshelf, Center Channel & Subwoofer Preview

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:00:00 -0000

Online speaker retailer Monoprice unveiled their Monolith Air Motion Cinema Series Speakers at the 2016 CEDIA Expos in Dallas, Texas. The series features two way bookshelf speakers and a three way center channel geared towards great sound at an affordable price. Both models feature their AMT tweeter and cast basket woofers to offer serious performance atypical at these price points. Monoprice also showcased a surprise monster 15" sub that will surely get your Bassaholic adrenaline pumping. Read on for more information.

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini Sound Bar and Wireless Subwoofer Preview

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 16:00:00 -0000

Polk Audio released their MagniFi Mini soundbar and wireless sub at CEDIA in Dallas, Texas. For $299 you get a great sounding mini soundbar and a wireless subwoofer. The new system features Polk’s patented Voice Adjust technology, which is designed to emphasize vocals, independent of program material and volume level. Is this the soundbar deal of the year? Read on to find out.

RIVA WAND Arena and Festival Wireless Speaker Preview

Sun, 02 Oct 2016 21:00:00 -0000

Riva Audio announced the release of their new line of multiroom wireless speakers at the 2016 CEDIA Expo in Dallas, Texas. The new WAND series includes the RIVA Festival for $499 and the smaller RIVA Arena for $249. With lots of competition from well know companies such as Sonos, Sony and Bose in this market will Riva be a serious competitor in this crowded field? Read on to find out.

Anthem STR Stereo Integrated Amplifier Preview

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:00:00 -0000

Anthem is strengthening its presence in the two-channel audio space with the introduction of the STR Integrated Amplifier which they unveiled at the CEDIA 2016 Expo show. Built with high end components, a MC and MM phono preamp and high resolution 32-bit/384 kHz DAC, the STR is ready to meet your audiophile needs. Able to pump 600 watts into 2 ohm loads, it can also easily power the most demanding loudspeakers as well. Looking to get your two-channel fix? Try Anthem!

Integra Research DRX-R1 AV Receiver /DRC-R1 Processor Preview

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:00:00 -0000

Integra's new Research Series is sure to make custom installers salivate with the new DRX-R1 network AV receiver and DRC-R1 network preamp. This receiver and preamp are built with the latest immersive audio configurations with full support for 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos and DTS:X setups. Just about any hi-res audio format, the latest streaming services (including Tidal), and MQA are major additions to the mix. Custom installers will love all the standard features such as three independent zones, HDBase-T, RS-232, IP, and IR repeater options. Factor in HDMI 2.0a and the latest video standards and you have two networked AV beasts that can serve as the center of any connected home.

Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Sneak Peek

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:00:00 -0000

Oppo gave us an exclusive look at their new UDP-203 Ultra HD Universal Blu-ray player at the CEDIA 2016 Expo. What can you expect from this new player? The best in HD audio and video, with a quick responding interface unlike the current offerings from other manufacturers. But you will have to give something up (at least initially). Read on to find out and be sure to check out our sneak peek YouTube Video interview with Jason Liao of Oppo.

RBH Signature Reference Speakers Enhanced with New AMT Tweeter

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 21:00:00 -0000

RBH Sound is further refining its Signature Reference line-up with the announcement of a new Air Motion Transducer (AMT) for the series. The proprietary design, co-developed by RBH and Aurum Cantus® engineers, promises extended high frequencies and increased fidelity and is destined for the company's flagship Signature Reference speaker models. RBH Signature Reference speakers were already among the best we've reviewed. Can a good thing get even better? Read on to find out.

SVS Prime Elevation Speaker Preview

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 05:00:00 -0000

SVS just announced their new Prime Elevation speaker that can used for height effects or as a front, center, rear surround, side surround and/or LCR speaker when ideal placement isn’t possible. Instead of offering the typical compromised Dolby Atmos-enabled bouncy house speaker for marketing appeal, SVS instead chose to engineer a real solution for uncompromised performance and versatility. Check out all the installation possibilities this speaker offers by reading on.

GoldenEar's Invisible Dolby Atmos System Demo at CEDIA 2016

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 05:00:00 -0000

GoldenEar wanted to prove that you can have all the benefits of Dolby Atmos (and by extension DTS:X) in an all-architectural installation. We love immersive audio but want to make sure we give accurate impressions—not just marketing gimmicks. We sat in on GoldenEar's self-proclaimed "invisible Atmos" demonstration for a listen to see if they could pull it off. Read on to see what we thought about it and check out our little YouTube video teaser of their new impressive SuperSub X compact subwoofer.

CEDIA 2016 Expo Show Coverage Page

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 16:00:00 -0000

The CEDIA 2016 Expo was once again in Dallas Texas and we covered it live from the lovely Omni Hotel. We scouted the showfloor in search of new gear and tech reporting on some of the latest Atmos/DTS:X AV receivers and their inflated power ratings. We heard demos of the coolest new high end loudspeakers, soundbars and subwoofers and even got a sneak peek at a new Oppo UHD Blu-ray player. DTS:X software was still scarce and those dreaded Atmos upfiring speakers still failed to impress us despite Dolby's latest marketing push to convince otherwise. Be sure to also check out our YouTube video show coverage.

Onkyo TX-RZ3100/1100 Atmos A/V Receivers & Inflated Power Ratings

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 02:00:00 -0000

Custom home theater installers will be happy to see Onkyo’s new lineup of A/V receivers this week at the CEDIA show in Dallas, Texas. Built with custom integration in mind, each Onkyo RZ Series receiver contains features to make installation and integration with control systems easy. The THX Select2 Plus-certified 11.2-channel TX-RZ3100 Network A/V Receiver and the 9.2-channel TX-RZ1100 Network A/V Receiver, along with a flagship THX Ultra2 Plus-certified 11.2-channel PR-RZ5100 Network A/V Processor are some of the best Onkyo products we've seen despite their ridiculous power ratings. Read on to find out why.