Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, surround-sound music looked like the next big thing, but in the intervening decade and a half, precious little rock, jazz, or world music has been recorded in surround. True, in the early days of SACD and DVD-Audio formats there were hundreds of remixes of older stereo recordings, and some were recycled on Blu-ray, but the number of newly recorded 5.1 titles remains paltry. Looking back, the early 2000s should have been an ideal time to launch surround music; multichannel home theater was peaking, so there was a large number of households … Read more
Sound visionary and founder of Dolby Laboratories Ray Dolby died Thursday at his home in San Francisco. He was 80.
The company said that Dolby had been living with Alzheimer's disease in recent years and was diagnosed with acute leukemia in July.
Dolby is credited with revolutionizing how people experience sound with his multitude of audio technology inventions. Besides his pioneering work in noise reduction, Dolby also invented surround sound. He held more than 50 US patents.
Up until recently the classic, five-speaker home theater setup, with three front speakers -- left, center, and right, plus two surround speakers, and a subwoofer -- was the de facto home theater standard. According to Dolby, surround speakers should be placed to the sides and slightly behind your couch or main listening position. If you want to step up to 7.1 channel home theater the two extra surround speakers go behind the listening position, which is next to impossible if your couch is up against, or near a wall. If your room is large, and the couch is out … Read more
Everybody loves Monoprice. I know this because whenever I mention, say, a cheap HDMI cable from any other source, readers invariably chime in to say, "I get all my cables at Monoprice."
A couple years back, the company branched out into its own line of tech products, including some surprisingly decent speakers at surprisingly low prices. Today, one of them is surprisingly even lower.
Today only, in fact, and while supplies last, Monoprice has its 8247 5.1-channel home theater speaker system for $71.11. It normally sells for $84.10, so the savings aren't that dramatic … Read more
Much as I like sound bars and other compact, affordable audio solutions for the living room, there's something to be said for an old-school speaker setup -- especially when it's still affordable.
From now until May 9, Fluance has the AVHTB 5-speaker surround-sound system for $199.99 shipped. That's after applying coupon code AVCNET at checkout. Regular price: $249.99.
When I said old-school, I meant it: this is a five-piece, wood-enclosed setup consisting of two floor-standing towers, two compact surround (i.e. rear) speakers, and a full-size center channel.
What's missing, alas, is a subwoofer, … Read more
Surround Video is not an app in the sense that you can actually do anything with it. There are no buttons to create your own videos and no way to edit or add content to the existing videos. The content that is provided is almost entirely technical demos of what Surround Video can do, but it is still an interesting experience. As more of these videos are added it will be interesting to see what filmmakers choose to do with Surround Video.
When you open this app, you will find four technical demos of what Surround Video does. The technology … 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
There's no doubt that the best of today's receivers sound great and come jam-packed with a vast range of features. Even entry-level models paired with a decent 5.1 speaker/subwoofer system can do a fine job, but some buyers aim higher. They may have invested in a 65-inch or larger display, or maybe a video projector and a 120-inch screen. They crave a sound that matches the grandeur of the picture, and they can get that only with separate components like the Outlaw Audio Model 975 Surround Processor and Model 7125 Power Amp.
The Model 975 Surround … Read more
Monoprice wants to disrupt the home theater industry. The company got its start selling cheap HDMI cables, and has recently expanded to full-fledged consumer electronics, with a bold mission of rolling out new products only when it can charge about half the price of traditional retailers.
The Monoprice 9774 ($249, plus shipping) 5.1 speaker set is the company's most audacious effort yet: a clone of the outstanding Energy Take Classic 5.1 ($394 street) speaker system for nearly $150 less. And "clone" is barely an exaggeration. The 9774 system performs and looks almost exactly like Energy'… Read more
DTS demonstrated its new Headphone:X surround processing system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month. The system is capable of reproducing up to 11 channels of surround sound over conventional stereo headphones. I didn't hear it, but a few friends at the show who heard the Headphone:X demo came away impressed with its ability to project a sound field well outside the confines of the headphones. DTS is promoting Headphone:X technology as HTiP -- Home Theater in Pocket, and claims that the system can emulate the DTS reference listening room or a … Read more