Remember George? The iPod-friendly tabletop radio from audio start-up Chestnut Hill Sound garnered mostly positive reviews when it debuted earlier this year, thanks largely to its unique wireless remote control, but the $550 sticker price limited its appeal. Well, as of today, it's a decidedly better deal. Chestnut Hill has lowered the price to $500 and will bundle in the outboard remote charging stand--pretty much a must-have accessory--at no extra cost for units sold through the end of the year. To date, the charging stand cost an extra $50 as well, so the net savings on the new deal … Read more
There are plenty of critics who claim, however erroneously, that Second Life is a mess both structurally and technologically. And Linden Lab's decentralized and laissez-faire approach to the largely user-created virtual world, it could be argued, has allowed its identity to be shaped by its most prominent and press-worthy residents--who are, on occasion, blowing up buildings, stealing identities, and barraging lectures with oversized flying man-parts.
We won't really know until tonight … Read more
Now that Logitech's excellent Z-5500 Digital 5.1 speaker system has been around for a few years, it's available for considerably less than its original $400 asking price. But desktop owners looking for another option now have an even more affordable alternative in the form of the company's just-announced G51 surround-sound system. The all-analog 5.1 speaker system features stereo and 6-channel inputs, the latter matching the outputs found on nearly all surround-capable PC sound cards. The G51 features two matrixing modes--one for games and one for music--that can synthesize a 5.1 surround track from a … Read more
Sony just sent me the XDR-S3HD tabletop HD Radio to review. I'm not quite done with it yet--I'm still evaluating the sound quality and reception versus the Polk Audio i-Sonic--but it appears to be a perfectly capable HD Radio. The big advantage of the Sony is that it's the first name-brand tabletop HD Radio that's available for under $200. That edges out the earlier Sangean HDR-1 ($250), as well as the Boston Acoustics Recepter HD and Cambridge SoundWorks 820HD (both $300). (While the Radiosophy HD100 is available for a scant $99, the photos alone don't exactly inspire confidence). The relative advantages and disadvantages of the Sony versus those competing models will be covered in the full review later this week, but the bigger question I keep running into when reviewing these products is this: is the HD Radio format good enough to justify the purchase of a dedicated radio?
HD Radio's extra stations For me, the supposed increase in sound quality just isn't that much of a selling point--you're just hearing those same lame Clear Channel playlists, albeit on a digital rather than an analog band. But the multicast (or HD2) stations are a different story. They're substations that offer alternative programming that's unavailable on the analog dial. For instance, New York's WPLJ offers adult contemporary music on its main station (analog and digital), but has two multicast stations--95.5-2 and 95.5-3--that play '70s and '80s music only, respectively. And because the industry is trying to hook people on HD Radio, these HD2 stations--for the time being, anyway--often broadcast free of commercials.
OK, now we're getting somewhere: there's some exclusive content dispersed throughout the HD Radio dial, so maybe it's got some value after all. But then I remembered something. When Tivoli Audio announced its two new NetWorksGo Wi-Fi radios last June, CEO Tom DeVesto defended their lack of HD Radio reception by saying that it was essentially superfluous: most of the multicast HD2 stations would still be available, just via Internet streaming instead of over the air. So I decided to put DeVesto's claim to the test.
The new beta version of the classic streaming-media app RealPlayer lets users record both audio and video streams to their hard drives. In this Quick Tips video from CNET TV, Tom Merritt shows you how it's done.
I heard on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that it was 30 years ago that NASA sent Voyager 2 into space with the music of Louis Armstrong, Chuck Berry, Beethoven, Bach, and a wide selection of world music. The disc that also contained images of Earth, and the sounds of whales, a baby crying, and waves breaking on a shore. The NASA scientists must have felt sound was one of the best ways to communicate human experience of the 20th century to intelligent life in the distant future.
The gold-plated, 12-inch copper disc was an all-analog recording, probably because that … Read more
You have music, and you have a personal music player. You likely haven't purchased either from Philips, but the Dutch electronics maker wants to be the relay guy that passes music from your device to a home or office audio system.
The best example of Philips doing that is the BTM630, a Bluetooth-enabled desktop audio system with a lot going on. An iPod dock/charger is embedded in the top, along with an SD card slot and a USB port. The slot-loading CD drive on the front can be used--besides playing music--to rip audio files that can then be … Read more
The very best high-end systems don't have a sound per se, they sound like the music they're playing. That's the goal at least, and the $350,000 system I heard at Bill Parish's GTT Audio & Video shop in Long Valley, New Jersey, was one of the best ultra high-end systems I've heard. And I've heard a lot.
The wild looking MBL 101E Radialstrahler Reference speakers ($49,900/pair) employ utterly unique woofer, midrange, and tweeter technology to radiate sound with perfect, 360 degree dispersion. Sounds technical, but trust me you don't have … Read more
Add Sirius Satellite Radio to the roster of content choices available on the Sonos Digital Music System. The version 2.3 firmware, available today as an automatic upgrade, delivers access to more than 80 Sirius stations to Sonos' line of multi-room digital audio products. Because the stations are streamed via the Sonos' broadband Internet connection, there is no need for any additional hardware, such as a satellite receiver add-on. After a free 30-day trial, access to the Sirius channels costs $3 per month (for existing Sirius subscribers) or $13 a month (for new subscribers who just want the service on … Read more
Our recent Editors' Choice MP3 player might be getting a significant boost in storage capacity. A press release on Cowon's Korean Web site lays out the details for a 16GB version of the iAudio 7, as well as a version of the Cowon D2 that's been beefed up to 8GB and is capable of using 8GB SD expansion cards. No word yet on pricing or availability in the United States. Along with Creative's announcement of its 16GB Zen V Plus last week, there's a good chance that 16GB players will be filling the shelves for the … Read more