Taking a page from the boombox trend of the 1980s, iPod-docking alarm clocks are taking on an absurd amount of features in an effort to stand out from the herd. Case in point: the iLuv iMM183, a dual-dock alarm clock capable of charging two iPhones or iPods. This little bedside beauty comes with a remote control, FM radio, EQ control, aux input, and last but not least--an NOAA emergency alert system with localized weather warnings.
The Philips universal remote line has a new top dog. The Prestigo SRT9320 combines a 2.8-inch color touch screen on the top half with hard buttons on the lower portion. The screen handles both channel favorites (replete with familiar icon logos) and customized commands. The SRT9320 can control up to 20 devices, and it's completely programmable as-is--including learning modes and multidevice macros--without the need to connect it to a PC. (A USB port is included only for future software updates--presumably things like additional channel icons.)
While the Prestigo SRT9320 has a premium $249 price tag, it's missing … Read more
Philips' line of Streamium products was one of the pioneers in the network audio realm, but it never really clicked with consumers (at least in the U.S.), even as competitors like Sonos and Logitech's Squeezebox began carving out their own niches. But Philips is hardly throwing in the towel: the company has unveiled two new models, the Streamium NP2500 and the Streamium NP2900.
Both models offer the same basic features of the earlier Streamium NP1100: streaming non-DRM audio files from networked Windows and Mac PCs, as well as the ability to stream Rhapsody content (subscription required) and thousands … Read more
The 2009 Consumer Electronics Show will be the sixth consecutive CES event I've attended. And for most of those, we've had to write up previews of what we're expecting or anticipating at the show as a whole, or in one category. Looking back at those pieces, you can see how far a lot of the technology has come in just half a decade (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008). Indeed, plenty of features, options, and product categories we take for granted today didn't really exist just five years ago. But you can also note how some predictions … Read more
You won't find a more institutionally conservative category in the consumer electronics space than home audio. More than any other industry segment, audio is one where technological advances tend to be lamented rather than celebrated, viewed with suspicion rather than embraced. And that's understandable: Subpar speakers are now passed off as good enough and used to listen to digital music, which is often highly compressed compared with CD or (even better) LP equivalents. And the music itself is coming from a dying recording industry, struggling to stay alive in the digital age, and often relegated to background music--fewer … Read more
Anthony Gallo Acoustics (AGA) is displaying its all-new Reference 5LS line source loudspeaker at CES '08. The towering speaker stands 78-inches tall, boasts twelve aluminum 4-inch woofers, seven cylindrical tweeters, and eight 4-inch carbon-fiber midrange drivers, each housed it its own 5-inch spherical enclosure. The brushed stainless steel design is a knockout. I have heard the 5LS and think it'll likely become an audiophile classic (I have a review coming in a future issue of Home Entertainment magazine). The 5LS projects a gigantic, life-size sound. Yes friends, size still matters.
This loudspeaker is the culmination of more than 25 … Read more
Ion Audio had a slew of new USB turntables on display at CES this year. Of all the new models, the turntable I'm the most interested to get my hands on is the LP2CD, a direct-to-CDR vinyl archiving solution.
The LP2CD includes an all-metal platter, an LCD display, a USB connection, a switchable line/phono audio output, and a front-loading CD player and recorder. At $449, the LP2CD turntable doesn't come cheap. There's something to be said, however, for paying a little extra to take a computer out of the vinyl archiving equation (although the LP2CD can … Read more
While the mid-fi brands scramble to load on the latest techno gizmos and race to the bottom with ever cheaper prices and quality, high-end audio brands shoot for the moon. Take Loiminchay Audio, manufacturers of limited-edition speakers for well-heeled audiophiles are introducing their wares at CES in Las Vegas today.
The Loiminchay Audio speakers are artisan-crafted from sensually shaped layers of solid Birch MultiPly. The interior space of each speaker is machined out, the driver holes opened, and substantial bracing added, resulting in a tremendously non-resonant driver support structure. The speaker is then finished with sixteen coats of lacquer--Loiminchay's … Read more
Today in Las Vegas, Burmester Audiosysteme, Germany's legendary manufacturer of ultra high-performance electronics and speakers, is exhibiting its 069 Reference Line CD Player. This amazing machine draws oohs and aahs even before it makes a sound, it's that gorgeous.
The 069 CD Player is a cutting-edge digital playback system, created for well heeled connoisseurs of music and German industrial design. Its audiophile credentials come in the form of its proprietary belt drive motor system that spins the CDs (instead of the off-the-shelf direct-drive mechanisms other manufacturers use).
The 069 CD Player's spiked feet may be set directly … Read more