There aren't many speaker designers you could name off the top of your head, much less those whose moniker isn't included within that od the company they work for, but Andrew Jones has made his own name designing excellent speakers for Pioneer and its spin-off TAD. The SP-SB803 is the company's first sound stand and based on the performance of the excellent Pioneer SP-SB23W sound bar we expect it will be a firecracker.
Multiroom music is all the rage right now but it is a lawless landscape with multiple "standards" vying for your attention. Instead of inventing its own as others have Monster has opted for Qualcomm's AllPlay initiative, so at least there'll be some cross-compatibility with other brands. With prices starting at $199 it's a system worth a look.
the addition of the $399 Link Mate and the $199 M3 Samsung now has the
strongest lineup of streaming products behind Sonos. The beauty of the
Link Mate in particular is that you can not only connect it to any
stereo system but also enable components like turntables to stream
around the house.
While you'll have to wait until 2015 to buy one of these "off the shelves" the lucky few who put in pre-orders via Kickstarter will get their hi-res players in October. Despite its awkward looking shape this device could be the Trojan horse that brings respectability and acceptance to high-resolution music formats.
It's hard to talk about Google's next play for the living room without bringing up the specter of Google TV. Previous mis-steps aside, one of the biggest and most welcome changes looks to be to the interface. While Google TV looked like an early and poorer version of Android, the eponymously named TV version looks nothing like a smartphone and more how a smart TV interfaceshould appear.
Another day another streaming system right? Not so fast. This one was developed Down Under--the home of Men At Work where everyone eats Blooming Onions and rides kangaroos to school--so it must be "fair dinkum", as they say.
The sun may have already set on the Walkman brand but the new Sony NWZ-A17 looks to be intriguing alternative to the Ponos and Astell and Kerns of this world. It doesn't do streaming or internet or even Sony's own DSD format but it does do other hi-res file types, and based on a brief demonstration it sounds pretty good.
Love it or hate it surround sound is here to stay, and Dolby Atmos is one of the first true innovations in the field since the 80s--at least when it comes to the cinema. Now, there are a handful of products offering support for the in-home version starting at around $500.
As one of the first receivers to officially support Dolby Atmos at its launch the Denon AVR-X4100W is nothing if not cutting edge.