When I dropped by the Park Avenue Audio NYC showroom, I was on a mission to find an audiophile bookshelf speaker that wouldn't break the bank. The store's selection covers a wide gamut, but the majority of speakers are $1,000-plus per pair. Then I ran across the Monitor Audio "Silver" RX1; it's a medium-size bookshelf speaker, measuring a tidy 12.3 x 7.3 x 9.4 inches. At 15 pounds, it feels surprisingly heavy for its size. It has a 1-inch ceramic-coated aluminum/magnesium-alloy dome tweeter and a 6-inch metal woofer. The speakers … Read more
Regular readers of this blog know we're living in the golden age of desktop audio. The speakers just keep getting better and better, and digital converters from the likes of Schiit Audio, AudioQuest, Hifiman, FiiO, and HRT have all made computers sound better than ever.
Now along comes the Meridian Explorer, a sleek, extruded aluminum converter with line- and headphone-level 3.5mm output jacks and a USB input. The line-level output internally bypasses the headphone amp and volume control. Meridian is best known for its ultra-high-end digital converters that sell for thousands of dollars -- the Explorer is their … Read more
Eyeball a car magazine or two on a newsstand and there's a good chance you'll spot a 200-mile-per-hour dream machine gracing the cover. Why not? They're gorgeous weapons of speed, and they all sell for more than the price of your house. Supercar MSRP inflation shows no signs of letting up, all (three) of the $3.9 million, 750-horsepower Lamborghini Venenos are spoken for. Ferraris are priced somewhat more competitively; the legendary Italian maker will soon offer 499 editions of their $1.15 million carbon-fiber-bodied, hybrid V-12/electric LaFerrari, which has 963 horsepower and can reach 217 … Read more
Back in the days of the Car Tech Live podcast, I was often (ahem, every week) asked, "What's the best way to add a lot of tech to my car without spending a lot of money?"
The answer I most often gave was, "Check out Sony's MEX line of single-DIN car stereos. For about two Benjamins, you'll add Bluetooth hands-free calling, wireless audio streaming, and USB and auxiliary inputs, and upgrade the audio quality of your car's wimpy car stereo."
The Sony MEX-GS600BT is one of the latest units in the MEX … Read more
As part of the change, users can play and record from Audiobus-supported apps back into Garageband. That includes iOS apps from Korg, along with Animoog, DM1 - The Drum Machine, Loopy, ThumbJam, and others.
Other changes include a fix for a feedback issue from the headphone jack, along with the option to turn off grid snapping.
Audiobus came onto the scene late last year as a way for music apps to share data and continuity between one another. It's since been … Read more
For most people, sound bars are the best way to get better sound quality in the living room. They're simple and inexpensive, and don't have all the frustrating wires that come with a true surround-sound system. Sound bars don't sound as good as true separate speakers -- especially with music -- but if you're mostly looking for better sound with movies and TV shows, they're vastly better than your TV's built-in speakers.
Onkyo's rightfully known as the king of AV receiver value and its new 2013 line looks worthy of that reputation.
The company announced its new AV receivers this morning, with the step-up TX-NR626 and TX-NR727 models getting two big new features for 2013: built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. All of the models are also packed with HDMI connectivity, with even the entry-level TX-NR525 offering six inputs.
Here's how I'd break down the most-important features:
TX-NR525 ($500): 5.2 channels, six HDMI inputs, Audyssey MultEQ, networking, unpowered second zone TX-NR626 ($600) step-ups: 7.2 channels, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, … Read more
The real audio power comes from the low end, the bass. When you feel the rumble in your chest, that's bass.
Most of us want this at home, but with myriad subwoofers out there -- and even more specs and sizes -- what's the best choice? Though the simple "the biggest, most powerful you can afford" is easy to say, the correct answer is little more complex.… Read more
Back in February I first posed the question, "Do separate components sound better than AV receivers?" when I checked out the Outlaw Audio 975 surround processor and 7125 power amp and compared their sound with a Denon AVR-1912 AV receiver. The Outlaws handily trumped the receiver.
I ran another comparison with the Denon, this time with the Emotiva UMC-200 seven-channel surround processor ($599) and UPA-500 five-channel amplifier ($399). If you just go by the numbers, the AVR-1912's 90 watts per channel might appear to be slightly ahead of the Emotiva UPA-500 amp, which has 80 watts per … Read more
FreeRIP extracts and converts your audio tracks, as well as detecting CD and song info and making all of that info editable right from the interface. It's easy to start right up with FreeRIP, which supports the most common audio formats--MP3, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, and WAV. It can also convert files between any of those formats, play your audio files, and edit tags. With the release of version 4.0, the app now adds burning audio CDs to the mix of features that free users can access.
FreeRIP's bare-bones interface is set up for easy access and … Read more