Subwoofers are used in most home theater systems, but subs can also radically improve the sound of stereo systems -- and not just the ones with small speakers. Subs can provide a foundation to the sound that few speakers can muster on their own. So adding a sub is not just about adding more and deeper bass; rather, a properly integrated subwoofer can improve the overall sound of the system.
The No. 1 question I get from readers is something along the lines of "What's the best speaker?" Some readers include a price range, which is a huge help, but there are a lot of factors that should be considered when selecting a speaker. Or to be more precise, a speaker system.
Speakers "play" the room, so room size and acoustics should be taken into consideration when buying speakers. The pair of 8-inch tall speakers that might sound great in a 10-by-12-foot bedroom probably won't cut it in a 25-by-40-foot living room, where you … Read more
At some point, you've probably considered hooking your computer up to your TV. Maybe you even purchased a video cable, only to realize that being hunched over your computer and tethered to the TV is far from the awesome setup you had in mind.
Hooking up your computer to your TV can be as simple or as complex as you want. A basic setup lets you stream the occasional Web video, while a more advanced rig lets you access movie and music files from computers across your home network.
But the most brag-worthy home theater PCs (HTPCs) include all … Read more
One of the things that separates high-end audio from mass market gear is that it's built to last and perform at a high level for decades. I bought a 20-year-old, mint condition Audio Research SP-6C tube preamplifier 10 years ago. It looked great and sounded wonderful, but a few years later I sold it to my cousin, who was just starting to get into high-end audio.
Late last year, I bought a 30-year-old Krell KSA 50 stereo amplifier from one of my old customers. He loved the amp and listened to it all the time, but he needed money … Read more
Most audiophiles' first "serious" speaker is a small, two-way monitor, so whenever I come across a little one that strikes my fancy I share it with my readers. The Teac LS-H265 is such a speaker, and priced at $199 a pair, it's definitely in the affordable price range.
The LS-H265 measures just 7.1x11.5x10.2 inches and weighs 9.7 pounds. It has a 1-inch dome tweeter and a 5-inch woofer. I can't get over how gorgeous the piano-black finish is; the LS-H265 looks better than a lot of $600 and $700 speakers! The speaker … Read more
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
It might seem like a daunting task to set up a new home router. But it doesn't have to be if you understand the most common way routers are managed: through the Web interface. The hardest part of using the Web interface is getting to it. Once you have gotten there, the rest, at least most of it, is self-explanatory.Note: Almost all home routers on the market come with an Web interface, which is a Web page … Read more
Of the 750-plus channels Roku has to offer, there's one big guy missing from the pack: YouTube.
Considering its front-and-center presence on other platforms -- like Apple TV and Samsung Smart TVs -- its conspicuous absence might seem odd. But, Roku's CEO offers a logical explanation, noting that "YouTube insists on using HTML5 for its UI," and seemingly refuses to build a Roku-specific app.
YouTube's absence hurts so bad that even third-party developers have created channels almost exclusively designed to stream YouTube, only to be pulled days or weeks later.
As of this writing, there … Read more
I bought a BDI stand for my TV 10 years ago, and it still looks great. That says a lot about BDI's quality -- I'm constantly swapping out gear, and the stand is good as new. They no longer make the mostly glass unit I own, but their range of new models is huge.
Most of BDI's current designs feature medium-density fiberboard (MDF) construction, with gorgeous, real hardwood veneers. MDF is better than solid wood in these types of cabinets, real wood shelves bow or warp when heavy gear is placed on them for long periods of … Read more