Stereophile magazine writer Wes Phillips is a friend of mine and we occasionally trade mix CDs. A few months ago, we were sitting around listening to our mixes over Wes Bender's tweaked out hi-fi--and this shot perfectly captured the vibe. I Photoshopped this image, shot by Bender.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm guessing 70 percent to 80 percent of you have a maximum of four sources hooked up to your AV receivers.
You've got a Blu-ray/DVD player, cable/satellite box, maybe a game and a VCR wired up, and you're done. Most of the jacks remain empty, nothing wrong with that, but all that extra capability adds to the complexity and cost of the receiver. Has connectivity gone wild?… Read more
At this point, it's safe to assume that most of your photo collection is digital and stored on your computer and (hopefully) a backup disk or two. But what about those boxes of slides sitting at the bottom of your closet (or in your parents' basement) that are slowly but surely fading and yellowing as the years progress? Now, you could go out and easily drop a $1,000 on a film scanner from Nikon, or you could go out and grab Ion Audio's Slides 2 PC scanner for $100. Its 5-megapixel (1800dpi) scanner will leave you with … Read more
Testing out a set of PC speakers is practically begging for an interoffice dance party, so when Lacie's USB speakers arrived at the office, we couldn't wait to bust open the box and get it started. Unfortunately, the speakers don't sound nearly as good as they look, and the high price tag is the final nail in the coffin.
French designer Neil Poulton helped Lacie design this set of PC speakers that use USB connectivity alone for both power and audio. We're typically all for a product that lets us chuck another wire out of the … Read more
To hear digital audio it has to be converted to analog. The chip that does that is called a digital-to-analog converter, and there's one in your iPod, computer, and CD, DVD, and Blu-ray players.
Thing is, the quality of the conversion has everything to do with the sound quality you hear. That's why audiophiles pay big bucks for the best ones, and Chord Electronics, a British high-end stalwart has just released the QBD76, which contains a real contender for world's best digital-to-analog converter (DAC) chip.
Chord Electronics are used in top studios, including Skywalker Sound, Abbey Road, … Read more
Some guys are into cars, some gamble, or blow the budget on high-end kitchens. Me, I'm an audiophile. I've met a lot of really intense tech geeks over the years, but this masterful YouTube video by Ken Barnes takes it to the extreme. The members of The Audiophile Club of Athens show off their stuff. It's a truly gorgeous video, lavishly produced and the short interviews are well done.
One guy admits, "I was a normal human being until I was thirty five years old." and then he found hi-fi, and he's been obsessed ever since. It's all about a love affair with exotic gear, sound, and yes, music.
Full video after the jump.… Read more
Recently, we asked the question, "Is the Logitech Squeezebox Boom the ultimate Wi-Fi radio?" Now that we've had two full weeks to play with it, we have an answer: Yes, it pretty much is. The Boom is the first product in this category we can enthusiastically recommend. Like its predecessor, the Logitech Squeezebox Duet, the Boom's garnered a CNET Editors' Choice Award. Check out the links below for the full review, the updated CNET Wi-Fi radio roundup (which includes some lower priced alternatives), and the overall list of best network music players.
Read: Logitech Squeezebox Boom … Read more
We've been fans of Oppo's upconverting DVD players for quite some time now, but it's been harder to recommend them recently with the company's latest player costing as much as a Blu-ray player. There has been tons of speculation over when Oppo might release a Blu-ray player, and it looks like it's finally going to happen: Oppo showed off the BDP-83 Blu-ray player at CEDIA.
Miranda IM lacks the slick design of many instant-messaging programs, but makes up for it by supporting most IM clients in one fully customizable package. There's also a portable edition, designed for carrying around on a USB key. Like Pidgin or Trillian, it's easy to add your various IM accounts--including AIM, Yahoo, ICQ and MSN--and you'll have the same icons and status messages for each program. You can even manage the personal information for all your accounts from one central control panel.
Miranda IM's plain, gray instant-messaging window offers just the basics for typing and viewing … Read more
Being a DJ can be an expensive and confusing proposition. Going the traditional route of turntables and vinyl offers simplicity and street credibility, but it also means back-breaking record crates, an investment in turntable needles, and the constant fear of warped or scratched records. A laptop-based DJ rig solves these problems, but with the movement still in its infancy, there's lots of confusion over what products to buy, and each choice comes with its own set of hurdles to overcome.