Andrew Jones has a degree in physics, but his real passion is speaker design. He worked as a research engineer for KEF, Infinity and now with Pioneer, and he's chiefly responsible for their ultra high-end TAD Reference line of speakers that sell for upwards of $80,000! So a few years ago when I first heard that Jones was working on a line of superaffordable speakers for Pioneer, I didn't believe it. I said, "You mean that Andrew Jones? No way." Well, it was that Mr. Jones, and the speakers were astonishingly good. The now-discontinued 5.1-channel, … Read more
I know it doesn't make sense, but it's true: most musicians don't have good hi-fis.
To be fair, most musicians don't have hi-fis at all, because like most people musicians listen in their cars, on computers, or with cheap headphones. Musicians don't have turntables, CD players, stereo amplifiers, and speakers. Granted, most musicians aren't rich, so they're more likely to invest whatever available cash they have in buying instruments. That's understandable, but since they so rarely hear music over a decent system they're pretty clueless about the sound of their recordings.… Read more
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Congrats to Kevin A. of Beverly, Mass., for winning last week's giveaway, a $300 gift certificate from device accessory maker iSkin.
We still have a few weeks left of summer, and that's a few weeks that could be spent traveling and playing outdoors with this week's multitasking prize, a Braven 625s rugged and portable Bluetooth speaker/speakerphone/device charger.
The all-in-one device delivers wireless stereo streaming from as far away as 33 feet for up to 16 hours per battery charge. It also charges your mobile device and takes hands-free calls through the built-in speakerphone. (If your device isn't Bluetooth-compatible, you can still connect using the included 3.5mm audio cable.)
The Braven 625s measures 6.3 inches by 2.5 inches by 1.8 inches and weighs just 11.6 ounces, so it's easy to tote in its water-resistant carrying bag. It even comes with a little USB-powered LED flashlight if you happen to be taking it out into the woods. Bear repellent not included. … Read more
Speaker docks rock. They not only amplify your playlists and Pandora stations, but also power and recharge your docked device at the same time.
In my house, where pretty much everyone owns an iPhone or iPod Touch, that dock is in constant demand -- mostly for charging purposes. That's why I'm enamored with today's deal, which supplies two, two, two docks in one product.
While supplies last, Ben's Outlet has the Altec Lansing Octiv Duo speaker system for $34.99 shipped. It's new, not refurbished, and it originally sold for $99.
True to its name, … Read more
The day the iPhone 5 goes on sale, millions of people will happily line up to buy Apple's latest marvel. How could they resist? What with the temptations of the iPhone 5's rumored smaller 19-pin dock connector, in-cell technology that enables the screen's touch sensors and LCD to be consolidated into a single layer, global LTE networks, and oodles of other goodies, it's no wonder Americans on average replace their cell phones every 21.7 months. Computers, digital cameras, tablets, and other gizmos have somewhat longer useful lives, but their owners never develop long-term, decade or … Read more
Both models feature an integrated iPhone/iPod dock as well as the aforementioned AirPlay feature, which allows you to stream music directly from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (or from a Mac or Windows PC running iTunes).
To set it apart from other audio docks on the market, Denon says its designers gave it a super glossy look "with a contemporary twist" that's unique because the clear plastic enclosure (on the back of the unit) is painted from the inside. And to add to that "seamless" appearance, all connections are housed in a solid metal base. … Read more
I first spotted Josh Ray's Urban Fidelity Kickstarter project on the Stereophile Web site, and it looked really interesting. The speaker is less than an inch thick and uses a made in the U.S.A. 8-inch driver. Completed speakers will sell for $399 a pair! The Urban Fidelity speaker is an "open baffle" design that uses sound from the front and back of the 8-inch driver. The speaker panel is made with formaldehyde-free wood sourced from North American forests and manufactured in Los Angeles, and the paints and inks are water-based and free of harmful chemicals. … Read more
My fondness for big speakers is longstanding, but I'm almost as big a fan of smaller speakers that sound big. Take Definitive Technology's StudioMonitor 55 speaker ($299 each). Measuring 13x7.8x12.3 inches it's not all that big, but it weighs a hefty 15.4 pounds. The StudioMonitor 55 is a handsome, but conventional-looking design, until you peel off the cloth grille on the top of the speaker and see the "racetrack bass radiator." It's a unique Def Tech feature, and one that really helps the StudioMonitor 55 outperform similarly sized speakers.… Read more