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Friday, 06 November 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Audioengine AW2 Wireless iPod Adapter Review
In the first quarter of its fiscal year 2009, Apple reported selling an astonishing 22,727,000 iPods. That was a new Apple record. Long before quarterly sales were approaching 23 million, it seemed like every company with a toe in the consumer electronics pool was producing some gadget to charge, protect, link, sense or sync iPods. On Amazon.com, alone, there are more 10,000 iPod Accessories and Supplies for sale. I can't think of another product with such second-hand “support.” But most of all people want to play iPods, and there are similarly hundreds of options for getting sound out of the 'Pod. Portable digital music systems such as Bose's SoundDock were soon the rage, letting users dock iPods directly into an integrated speaker system for playback with sound quality ranging from fair to pretty good. Still, the best way to get ...
Thursday, 24 September 2009 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Audioengine AP4 BookShelf Speakers Review
Imagine this scenario: You've just graduated top of your class from a well-known college of loudspeakers. You aced all your courses and now you're ready to set the audio world on fire with what could be akin to the next Klipschorn or LS3/5. Job offers pour in, and you accept one with an up-and-coming speaker manufacturer. You stride into work Monday morning ready to do anything, when the boss calls you into a meeting and asks if you'd like to take the lead on a.... before he can finish, you've already volunteered and have visions of greatness dancing in your head. Then the sentence is allowed to air. “I want you to design a 2-way passive speaker in a cabinet no larger than 9x6x6.” Your smile lessens. “It needs to work with a range of equipment, from the newer digital ...
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 Monitor Loudspeakers
Small, two way monitors have traditionally been revered by those who sought precise stereo imaging in smaller rooms, and by those whose listening tastes leaned towards a smaller scale. There was the usual trade off; the lack of any real bass weight and compression at much higher volumes.  Those who worshipped at the alter of classic BBC monitor sound were content with the warm, velvety midrange, at the expense of much musical information in the frequency extremes.Much has changed recently as many speaker designers have overcome the usual shortcomings of mini monitors. Advances in cabinet construction, drivers, and electronics have provided a canvas for some companies to produce smallish two ways that offer the usual strengths, while greatly, if not in some cases, eliminating the weaknesses.There are a few speaker models available that can play plenty loud without strain, offer ...
Tuesday, 07 April 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Allio ATVI-3G4542 LCD HDTV-PC
Silicon Mountain’s Allio sets out to be the realization of a concept tried and tested by a great many companies over the years: a fusion of PC and TV that doesn’t inhibit the abilities of either.  This was tested not only under standard conditions, but as part of a 14 hour long, post-apocalyptic film fest to push the limits of the machine.The Allio is as feature rich as they come.   The specific model under review was the ATVI-3G4542, the high end version of the television.  At 42”, the Allio features a 176 degree viewing angle, a 2000:1 contrast ratio, 1080p support, a 3D Y/C Digital Comb Filter and two 12 watt speakers.  If you don’t have a receiver to manage all your HDMI sources, the lack of connections on the rear of the Allio could be somewhat troublesome.  With only ...
Monday, 02 February 2009 ,  Written by Julianne Stilson
Audio Research Reference 3 Preamplifier
The Basics:Coming from audio equipment designer and manufacturer Audio Research, the Reference 3 Preamplifier is high-end, high-performance equipment whose internal components were designed from the ground up. This new design is characterized by an innovative, unique circuitry that features a tube-regulated power supply and uses four 6H30 twin triode tubes. This means the Reference 3 provides twice the energy storage than older models. As a result, this valve-powered, line-level preamplifier can offer some truly powerful capabilities.Its standout design includes a large, green vacuum-fluorescent display with enhanced functionally that surpasses LED readings in older models. A combination of text, numbers, and graphical scales deliver alerts like channel balance, tube life, volume, and more. In addition, the front panel is laid out cleanly with spring-loaded switches for input selection and volume on either side of the generous display. Below the display is ...
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