The most common question we get at CNET is, "what should I buy?" Unfortunately, instead of just spitting out a product name, that question usually forces us to follow-up with our own questions--how much do you want to spend, what features are important, and so on. However, last year when people asked "which audiovisual receiver should I buy", we actually had a pretty simple answer: the Onkyo TX-SR605. At $400, it was right in the "budget" sweet spot, and it included more next-generation features--such as onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and analog upconversion--than any other receiver in its price class. Unless you were looking to spend a lot more money, the TX-SR605 was by far the best value.
So which AV receiver should you buy in 2008? Well, it's not that easy this year.… Read more
The Sony NWZ-A820 series Walkman has arrived, and it's a stunner. As a follow-up to our beloved NWZ-A810, the A820includes a larger screen, brilliant EX-style earphones, a detachable kickstand, and best of all--wireless Bluetooth audio.
As we reported back in February, the NWZ-A820 comes in both 8GB and 16GB capacities, priced at $270 and $320, respectively. If you don't care about Bluetooth, an identical-looking version of the player (the NWZ-A720) can be snatched at a discount.
When Onkyo released the budget TX-SR605 AV receiver last year, it rocked the industry with its low price and high-end features such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-Master Audio decoding. Other manufacturers pretty much had to stay on the sidelines as TX-SR605s flew off the shelf, but it looks as if Sony is ready to fight back with its new line of budget AV receivers. The company's 2008 line of AV receivers includes four new affordably priced models--the STR-DG520, STR-DG720, STR-DG820 and STR-DG920--and they look pretty good from the spec sheet. Here are the details:
Key features of the Sony STR-DG520:5.1 channels, 100 watts of power Two HDMI inputs Supports 1080p pass-through at 60 and 24 frames per second Available in March for about $200
Step-up features on the STR-DG720:7.1 channels, 105 watts of power Three HDMI inputs… Read more
You've probably heard of Sony. It's done a few things here and there over the years, including the building of a damn-near indestructible MiniDisc player. Today it's showing off its new Walkman lineup, which includes new versions of the NWZ-A810 series, not surprisingly called the NWZ-A820 series, and is led by an 8GB Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player called the NWZ-A828. There's also a 4GB version, the NWZ-A826.
It's aesthetically a little different to its predecessor, with a central navigation pad and other buttons in new and exciting positions. It's also got a 61mm (2.4-inch) … Read more
Sony refreshed its car stereo lineup for 2008 here at CES with the debut of six new models in Xplod lineup including two with as-standard iPod connectivity, and two new Bluetooth-equipped head units. At the top of the range, the CDX-GT820IP comes with a 30-pin iPod connector enabling drivers to control their music libraries directly via the stereo itself. The system features Sony's Quick BrowZer technology and "Jump mode", which make it easier for drivers to navigate large digital audio libraries on connected players. The CDX-GT820IP also features a multi-line fluorescent display, a front-panel aux-input jack, 4-volt … Read more
Looking for a deal on a high-end tabletop radio? Cambridge SoundWorks has cut the price on its four newest models:Cambridge SoundWorks 705 (was $120; now $80): This retro-styled AM/FM radio also features a line-in port, so it can double as an iPod speaker.
Cambridge SoundWorks 820HD (was $300; now $200): The only Cambridge model that receives all-digital HD Radio broadcasts also doubles as an excellent alarm clock.
Cambridge SoundWorks 735i (was $300; now $200): More conservatively styled than the 820HD, the 735i adds a dedicated iPod dock to its AM/FM clock radio functionality.
Cambridge SoundWorks 745i (was $… Read more
I like flip phones. I like smart phones. But I have yet to see a cell phone manufacturer successfully combine the two into a nice-looking package. Motorola came out with the i930, but there's no way I was going to carry that big honkin' phone around, and it was definitely catered toward the Nextel bunch. Then, HTC had a go at it with the Cingular 3125, but I don't know, I still find the design just ... weird. Now, Verizon Wireless has picked up the clamshell Pantech PN-820 (aka Verizon Wireless PN-820) smart phone, and it actually looks decent. … Read more