I didn't know the price of the M-Audio M3-8 when I first started listening, I just assumed it was $900 to $1,000 for the pair of speakers. No, the street price is closer to $600 for a pair, around the same price as for one of the reigning wireless champions, such as the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air or Bose SoundDock 10. And the M3-8s deliver so much more of the sound of your music than those two wireless models, it's not even close. For one thing a pair of M3-8s produce stereo, and the sort of … Read more
After you've set up your Xfinity X1 box, programmed a 30-second skip on the XR2 remote, and took the X1 Remote app for iOS out for a spin, you'll soon realize that neither the remote control nor the iPhone app features a jump-ahead-one-day button. On the old remote, the B and C buttons let you jump back and ahead one day,respectively, when browsing the guide, which came in useful when you were hunting for upcoming shows to record.
The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is held every October in Denver, and every year it's packed with the latest and greatest high-end audio goodies. High-end doesn't necessarily mean outrageously expensive, though; Schiit Audio was previewing its upcoming $119 Vali tube headphone amplifier, and I quickly auditioned Audioengine's soon-to-be-released $249/pair A2+ desktop speakers. I hope to get one of the first pairs in for review. Hifiman was showing prototypes of a sleek portable music player that comes with a set of the company's excellent in-ear headphones; the complete system price was $249.
Oppo, best known for … Read more
Let me be clear: the Xfinity TV X1 Remote app for iOS will not replace the XR2 remote that accompanies the X1 cable box. The app, however, offers a couple of features that may have you keeping your iPhone resting on your coffee table next to your cable remote.
The X1 Remote app has three primary screens. The first screen features four arrow buttons and an OK button for navigating the onscreen guide and menus. Swipe to the left for the second and third screens, which feature a number pad and playback controls, respectively. A static row with three buttons … Read more
I've been living with the Xfinity X1 box for about a week now and have some tips to disseminate regarding setting up the device. Before getting into the X1's settings, I would first direct you to a code to program a 30-second skip button on the XR2 remote that comes with the X1 box.
Now, onto some settings to investigate and tweak on the X1 box itself. To access settings, press the Xfinity button on your remote and arrow over to the gear icon from the top row of menu options.
In the first section, Device Settings, there … Read more
Every now and then I get e-mails from readers who like to listen loud -- really loud. One recent one asked, "Can you recommend a nice pair of tower or bookshelf speakers capable of keeping the party going?" Well, there's loud, really loud, and there comes a point where it's so loud your neighbors call the police.
The guy's budget was limited to around $600 for a pair of speakers, so I immediately thought of Klipsch; its larger bookshelf and tower speakers can play really loud, and sound good while raising the roof.
I rang … Read more
I recently met with speaker designer Andrew Jones at the CNET office in NYC to discuss his latest project, the new Pioneer SP-SB23W Speaker Bar. And after we finished, I picked his brain about the value of speaker specifications.
My take is that most, but not all, are nearly useless for providing consumers with information that could lead to opting for one speaker over another. For example, what exactly does "power handling" mean? When a manufacturer claims its speaker has a 100-watt power handling rating, can it be safely used with a 200-watt-per-channel amplifier? Or a 500-watt amp? … Read more
I am a Comcast Xfinity subscriber, and yesterday I got upgraded to the company's X1 cable box. I am enjoying the modern interface of the channel guide, the improved search functionality, and the potential to record four shows at the same time while watching a fifth. What I am not enjoying is the lack of a 30-second skip button, which I was able to program on my old remote.
I have come to rely on my 30-second skip button to zip through commercials and find it's a necessity this time of year for watching football and October baseball. … Read more
This is one feature many users will welcome, but for others it's something they'll want to keep off. Automatic software updates are convenient in that you don't have to keep tabs on when new software is available and remember to install it. But this can pose a problem when new software doesn't work as it should, which recently happened with Apple and the Apple TV. After the most recent update many users were complaining of a bricked device, so the update was pulled until Apple could resolve the issues.
With that in mind, you'll want … Read more
For the past five years I have been patiently waiting for the day when my son is mature enough to experience "Star Wars." Well, to be completely honest, I probably started the countdown when he was still in the womb.
The timing is critical. Too soon, and Darth Vader will inspire night terrors for years to come. Too late, and one of his blabbermouth friends at school will spill the beans on Luke's paternity test.
So we're working up to it, and with any luck someday soon his tiny brain will be imprinted with the opening … Read more