As an audio guy I'm super curious about HD DVD and Blu-ray's high-resolution audio formats, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-Master Audio. Yes, they've been around for awhile now, but listening to the super duper formats hasn't been easy. I haven't yet heard them at home, and show demos haven't been of much help in determining the sonic advantages of the lossless formats. The potential for much better than standard Dolby and DTS sound is there, but getting there, well, I'm still waiting.
At CNET Download.com, we are very aware that--regardless of our large catalog of downloadable software, music, and games--our greatest asset is you, our users. When it comes to any development on the site, we think about you first.
We've always been grateful to have intelligent, respectful, and engaged users on CNET Download.com. Our user reviews of software are some of our most prized features, because they generally display an accurate opinion of the download community.
Pro-audio manufacturer M-Audio has unveiled a new $99 vocal recording package called Session Music Producer. Unlike their previous podcaster-targeted product, Podcast Factory, the Session Music Producer bundle consolidates the microphone and computer audio card into a single, idiot-proof USB microphone appropriately named the Producer USB. If nothing else, the sheer magnitude of M-Audio's 16mm cardioid capsule Producer microphone (see photo) will intimidate rival podcasters into submission.
Beyond its monolithic size and inexpensive price, there are two factors to the Session Music Producer bundle that are worth noting. First off, it comes bundled with M-Audio's capable Session multitrack recording … Read more
We can't help but be a little skeptical, but according to a Samsung representative, the new Samsung BD-UP5000 Blu-ray/HD DVD combo player will have onboard decoding for all high-resolution audio formats following a firmware update, including DTS-HD Master Audio. This is great news for high-def disc fans, as the BD-UP5000 would be the first player we're aware of that has onboard decoding for DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS's losslessly compressed soundtrack format. The same representative also confirmed that both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks can be output over the analog 7.1 outputs, which will … Read more
Just when we were about to begin a self-imposed moratorium on highest-end turntables, along comes another one that we simply can't resist.
The luxury edition of the "AAS-Gabriel" from Switzerland's Da Vinci Audio Labs looks more like fine porcelain than a piece of entertainment equipment, accented with 24-karat gold plate. As for its technical performance, Technabob offers this explanation: "The turntable is designed to produce absolutely zero noise or vibration, and goes so far as to completely isolate the pick-up arm from the rest of the player."
Makes sense to us, though that's … Read more
Logitech today unveiled the successor to the AudioStation--the Pure-Fi Elite High Performance Speakers. While any major updates over the AudioStation aren't immediately apparent, the Pure-Fi Elite maintains its LCD display, touch-sensitive buttons, wireless remote, digital AM/FM tuner, line-in jack, and video out (via composite or s-video) support for your photo or video iPod. Behind the grilles are two-way satellites, 1-inch dome tweeters, and 4-inch woofers--although it doesn't look like these grilles are removable like how we saw on the AudioStation. Unfortunately, one thing we wanted to see added to the system, an alarm clock, is surprisingly … Read more
One-foot cube subwoofers are all the rage, but if you really want to feel the bass, size still matters. These three uber subs at last week's Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) Expo in Denver, Colorado really shook me up.
Eminent Technology's TRW-17 Rotary Woofer ($12,900) will blow you away. Instead of a conventional woofer, it uses proprietary technology to create ultra deep bass, deeper than the largest and most powerful subs. Sure, it looks like an industrial strength fan, but the TRW-17's fluttering blades generate bass frequencies down to 1 Hertz (standard $1,000 … Read more
We've long had a weakness for tube amplifiers, partly because they remind us those bolts of electricity flying around Frankenstein's laboratory. But the latest model from Ayon Audio updates that retro look with a chrome finish that's more Dr. Evil than Dr. Jekyll.
Proving that it's not just a pretty face, the hand-built "Sunfire" provides 30 watts per channel along with its brushed aluminum chassis. Audio Junkies says there may be some trademark issues involved with its name, but we'll leave that to the lawyers. This thing looks like it could pulverize its … Read more
Polk Audio has taken the wraps off the I-Sonic Entertainment System 2, the follow-up to the company's impressive 2006 tabletop AV system. The new ES2 model gets the iPod dock that was missing from the original I-Sonic, but it loses the Swiss-Army-knife luster of that all-in-one model: gone are CD/DVD player and XM satellite radio support (though an auxiliary line-in port lets you connect any external device of your choosing). Video output (for the increasingly burgeoning number of video-capable iPods) remains, as does the dual alarm clock and HD Radio tuner. And it's the interaction between the HD Radio and the iPod where the new I-Sonic debuts a first-of-its-kind feature called iTunes Tagging. … Read more
If you guessed turntable, you're either a true audio aficionado or a cheater. We thought it was some kind of high-tech meat slicer.
Modestly dubbed the "Work of Art" by Basis Audio, the player in question boasts a list of technical specs as long as long as the title track of "Layla" by Derek and the Dominoes. Among its many attributes is an anti-vibrational technology called a "Resonance Annihilator," which makes us think that … Read more