My fondness for big speakers is longstanding, but I'm almost as big a fan of smaller speakers that sound big. Take Definitive Technology's StudioMonitor 55 speaker ($299 each). Measuring 13x7.8x12.3 inches it's not all that big, but it weighs a hefty 15.4 pounds. The StudioMonitor 55 is a handsome, but conventional-looking design, until you peel off the cloth grille on the top of the speaker and see the "racetrack bass radiator." It's a unique Def Tech feature, and one that really helps the StudioMonitor 55 outperform similarly sized speakers.… Read more
Streaming can only take you so far. It's nice to carry at least some of our tunes and videos with us in our mobile devices, but most of us have run into space limitations. SD cards can only hold so much, but compressing your files can help you cram more onto your device. Note that higher levels of compression almost always mean lower levels of quality, but most of us won't notice much difference.First, clear off extraneous files. You may have old pictures, videos, and other detritus that can be better stored on your computer or … Read more
Outdoor speakers are a little out of my area of expertise, and most of the ones I've seen at shows look like plastic rocks. Leon Speakers' Boundary B404 is definitely a big step up from those sorts of things.
I moved recently, and though I hired pros and consider myself to be fairly well organized, it was still stressful and exhausting. I did manage to save myself some time and heartache by planning ahead regarding my home network, media centers, and other devices. Here are some tips to make your own move a little simpler:Deal with your ISP and other providers ahead of time. Just like utilities providers, magazine publishers, employers, and everyone else who needs your new address, your ISP needs plenty of heads-up to make your move as seamless as possible. This is doubly true … Read more
A couple of years ago, we had 40 movies on this list. But as new releases have arrived, we've gradually pruned the list, and today we're down to a mere 15 top movies that aren't out yet on Blu-ray.
Yes, there are several other great movies that still haven't gotten the Blu-ray treatment. But like I say with the top 40 must-have Blu-rays list, feel free to express your opinions, and if you have a legitimate case, I'll update the list with new picks.
For the latest round we've dropped "The Sting" and "Chariots of Fire," and several other movies, including "Jaws," "Titanic," and the "Indiana Jones Trilogy," are due to come off the list in the coming months because they're already available for preorder, so stay tuned for a big revamp of the list this fall.
Live concerts are louder than ever, but home audio systems that sound great turned up loud are increasingly rare. If you're into loud music and lucky enough to live in a place where maximum volume won't get you evicted or arrested, or earn the wrath of neighbors, treat yourself to a set of big speakers.
Sure, small satellite speakers with a powerful subwoofer can sound great, but not in the same league as large speakers. Big systems really do have huge performance advantages over even the best small ones. If you've got the space to accommodate a pair of Klipsch Reference RF-7 II speakers, they deserve an audition. The only downside to listening to the RF-7 IIs is you'll never be satisfied with a Bluetooth speaker ever again.… Read more
Even if it's just an inexpensive iPod or Bluetooth speaker, careful placement can really make a difference in the sound. Specific placement requirements vary with the type of speaker, but it's usually wise to have speakers at least 36 inches off the floor, close to the height of a seated listener's head. If the speakers have to be placed lower or higher, angle them toward the main listening position. Try to place speakers at least a few feet away from corners and large pieces of furniture that reflect sound.
Placing speakers close to boundaries -- walls, corners, … Read more
Hi-fi has a dated, almost "Mad Men" ring to it, but it predates Don Draper's 1960s time frame. Sound-quality advances in hi-fis first grabbed the public's imagination 10 years earlier, in the 1950s.
A hi-fi system could be configured in a variety of ways, but the basic setup had a turntable, amplifier, and a pair of speakers. That sort of rig, with a CD player, still works for today's audiophiles, but they're probably 1 percent of all music listeners. For the other 99 percent, their "hi-fi" is in the car, or maybe … Read more
As I previously warned, and will warn again, installing a beta operating system is for developers who are testing applications. It is not for individuals. There will be bugs and issues, sometimes rendering your device near useless.
You will need to be part of the iOS Developer Program with Apple and have access to the proper files, as well as access to registering the UDID (Unique Device Identifier ) of … Read more
Since most people listen to music on free earbuds, plastic computer speakers, or car audio systems, it's easy to understand why great-sounding new recordings are rare. Even so, exceptional ones sneak through from time to time, and when I have a stack of candidates, I cover the best new releases here.
"The Raconteurs: Live in Montreux 2008" (Blu-ray) The Raconteurs were formed in 2005 by Jack White of the White Stripes, but this show from 2008 has just been released. The band's ferocious performances sound great here in DTS Master Audio. I like the two Raconteurs … Read more