This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Bryston BIT-15 Isolation Transformer & Surge Protector Review
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
Thiel TM3 Loudspeaker Review
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Saturday, 01 July 2006 ,  Written by Bryan Southard
Sennheiser HD 650 Reference Level Headphones
Introduction The consumer headphone market has evolved considerably over the last 30 years. Headphones have been used for better than a half-century as an integral tool in the studio for recording and mastering due to their accuracy and immediacy. As a teen, I owned a pair of higher-end headphones that I used to defy my music curfew. They allowed me to listen to my raucous music at concert volumes without disturbing or, better yet, even alerting the rest of the household. Although the sonic pureness of headphones has rarely been in question, the fact remains that headphones, regardless of size, have always been plagued with the reputation of being fatiguing to both wear and listen to for extended periods of time. Additionally, there has been resistance from many audiophiles, who place huge stock in soundstage accuracy and instrument placement. Sennheiser is no newcomer to the world of headphones. In fact, most recognize Sennheiser as the world ...
Wednesday, 01 February 2006 ,  Written by Matthew Evert
Antex XM-3000 Triple Play Satellite Receiver
Introduction Satellite radio has been gaining lots of attention the past few years, as millions upon millions of consumers continue to discover its benefits over traditional radio broadcasts. Nationwide availability, commercial-free music stations and vast amounts of talk shows are just part of satellite radio’s attraction. XM and Sirius are the two major companies providing satellite radio content for a combined population of nearly nine million subscribers in the United States and Canada. Many of the satellite radio products have been focused on portable and car deployments of the technology until recently, when Polk introduced one of the first home audio systems. Antex Electronics saw this vacancy in the growing satellite radio portfolio and produced a high fidelity XM radio receiver of its own. Based in Torrance, CA, Antex is no stranger to the audio industry, boasting over 20 years of experience. In fact, Antex introduced the world’s first PC soundcard with 16-bit stereo CD quality sound ...
Tuesday, 01 March 2005 ,  Written by Matthew Evert
Polk Audio XRT12 XM Satellite Radio Tuner
Introduction Satellite television has been at the epicenter of the home theater boom for more than a decade and now enjoys over 20,000,000 subscribers between the two major services. Satellite radio is banking on following in DirecTV and Dish Network’s path. Anyone who watches Wall Street or has been to a car dealer lately now knows XM and Sirius are the two primary players in the satellite radio market. XM reports having over three million subscribers. Sirius recently topped one million. Many car radios support one of the two satellite radio services, if not both. Portable XM radio players, as small as the size of a deck of cards, are available to consumers at all sorts of mass market consumer electronics locations. With the unquestioned boom in satellite radio, the consumers who have been forgotten are the serious audio enthusiasts. Until now. Polk Audio has been a lauded brand name in home and ...
Tuesday, 01 March 2005 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
JVC HM-DH40000U D-VHS Player
Introduction I remember one glorious day in the early 1980s when my dad and I traveled to the local shopping mall in Echelon, New Jersey in search of some new electronic gadgets. The store in the mall was called Video Concepts and it was like a surreal playground for a nine-year-old. My dad, in his mid-30s, seemed to be having some fun, too. He turned the event into a shopping spree of epic proportions. We bought a fold-down big-screen TV, an Intellivision game station, a good dozen games and a VHS videotape recorder that resembled something the military would use to record Soviet spy activity. With movies costing a mere $100 per, we picked out some classics but rented even more. I can remember the salesman suggesting that this VCR was built to last a lifetime – even at nine, that seemed like a long time. 21 years later, VCRs have finally given ...
Monday, 01 December 2003 ,  Written by Richard Elen
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro PC Sound Hardware
Introduction Despite its enormous name, the Audigy 2 is a worthy successor to the original Audigy and, in addition to prodigious capabilities aimed at the pro or semi-pro musician, it also is the first computer-based system to play DVD-Audio discs. The Audigy 2 ZS is a complete kit for Windows PC (there is no Macintosh version), incorporating an external I/O hub, audio card and accessories, which include a compact IR remote. The card fits into a PCI slot in the usual way, and you can also install the included joystick/MIDI bracket in an adjacent slot if you wish. The I/O box is the coolest (and most visible) part of the system, providing inputs and outputs, with the exception of speaker connections, for the system. The box is 7.75 inches by eight inches by 2.25 inches in size (WDH). It is linked to the installed card via a dual cable, one leg with special high-density ...
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