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


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.

Auro-3D Listening Evaluation on a Denon AVR-X7200WA

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 05:00:00 -0000

You might not know it but Auro-3D is the granddaddy of immersive audio. Armed with Denon's AVR-X7200WA receiver, we took a good hard look at Auro-3D's technology, how to take advantage of it at home, and how it performed in a real-world setup. We give you our candid thoughts about what makes Auro-3D special among competing immersive formats and some of the downsides that come with trying to run parallel Auro-3D, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X immersive surround speaker installations.

Google's Home Max Speaker: Impressive Sound, Strong Features, High Price

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Home Max expands on Google's 2016 release of Google Home, a smaller and more affordable speaker designed to compete with Amazon's Echo, which uses that company's Alexa personal assistant technology. Launching in December, Home Max will be bigger, heavier version of Home and Google promises it will sound much better too.

McIntosh MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier Preview

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 05:00:00 -0000

Introducing the new MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier from McIntosh. One of the most coveted names in home audio is doubling down on the headphone market, not long after launching its MHP1000 headphones, McIntosh is supporting its new cans with a high-end portable headphone amplifier and DAC. McIntosh says the MHA50 is designed to help you get the best possible sound out of your headphones. Is it worth a whopping $700? Only a true McIntosh fan may be able to answer that question.

RBH Sound Sidekick Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 05:00:00 -0000

RBH Sound introduced their first portable Bluetooth speaker armed with a Class D amplifier rated at 10 watts/ch and dual 45 mm drivers in stereo configuration with a patent pending oval 70mm bass radiator for extended bass. The Sidekick incorporated Bluetooth 4.0 for up to 33 ft of range, supports MP3 and WMA file formats via the microSD reader, and has a play time rated up to 6 hours. Is this product a Sidekick or Superhero in its category? Read on to find and be sure to watch our Youtube Video review.

Is the Netflix Empire Built on a House of Cards?

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 05:00:00 -0000

The company that started life as a subscription DVD rentals has built an entertainment empire on award winning but expensive original content on a bleeding-edge streaming service. Earnings statements for Netflix have been rosy as revenue and subscribers grow at an incredible pace. But how much longer can Netflix continue to grow at its present rate? With high powered competitors like Amazon, Apple and Google moving into its market, some analysts think it may only be short lived.

Paradigm Persona 5F Tower Loudspeaker Review

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 05:00:00 -0000

The Paradigm Persona 5F tower speaker is a three-way tower speaker featuring beryllium midwoofer and tweeter, and three 7" bass drivers. This highly-regarded Canadian loudspeaker manufacturer has launched themselves into the high-end speaker market with their Persona product line; their first foray into speakers with five-figure price tags. While no one doubts that Paradigm has the resources and expertise to make a high-end super-speaker, the question is how well have they accomplished that task, and how will the market respond? In our review, we attempt to answer the former question, and we are very interested in learning the answer to the latter question, which is yet to be determined.

Harman Joins WiSA: Is the Connected Car Company Plotting Connected Home Domination?

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 20:00:00 -0000

Harman International has joined WiSA, the Wireless Speaker and Audio Association. This will give Harman access to wireless audio standards that will help new audio products establish seamlessly connectivity. This could be great for home theater and new Harman speaker systems. But, it also signals the future direction of in-home connectivity. Could WiSA enable Harman to do for the connected home what it's already done for the connected car?

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.