equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
Thiel TM3 Loudspeaker Review
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
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Monday, 28 December 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Sony Bravia KDL-65W5100 LCD HDTV Preview
Sony’s KDL-65W5100 is the largest in the BRAVIA W series of LCD televisions.  The 65” HDTV features a 1080p resolution, a solid contrast ratio and a few extra features to help kick up the video quality.  It’s also one of what is still a relatively small number of TVs with streaming video and DLNA compliance. This sixty five inch BRAVIA W offers viewers a full 1080p picture at sixty frames a second, or at an optional twenty four through one of its four HDMI inputs.  The KDL-65W5100 also features Sony’s Motionflow technology, which grants 120Hz of smoother, less juddery picture. While not LED backlit, the 65” Bravia W has a pretty decent contrast ratio for an LCD screen.  It offers a dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000:1 and an on-screen ratio of 2,000:1.  Those certainly aren’t plasma numbers, but they’re not bad either.  ...
Monday, 28 December 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Sonance Visual Performance VP89 In-Wall Speakers Preview
Sonance Visual Performance Series speakers are designed with not only audio performance, but installation, spacial consideration and a discrete look in mind.  The VP89 is the flagship of the VP series, offering the highest quality Visual Performance speaker Sonance has to offer. The VP89 is a subtle speaker in appearance when fully installed.  Thanks to new micro-trim grilles from sonance, the portion sticking out from the wall measures a mere fifth of an inch.  The grille is simple to remove, paint and reattach.  Rather than using a more invasive method, powerful magnets hold the grille in place. Rather than the carbon fiber construction seen in previous models, the VP89 has beryllium drivers which Sonance says were utilized in order to deliver reference-quality sound.  The 8” woofer sports a rubber surround and an extended pole piece, which helps to ensure a smoother response.  ...
Monday, 28 December 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Samsung UN46B8000 LED HDTV Preview
The UN46B8000 is a 46” LED backlit LCD television from Samsung that offers – among other things – edge based LED backlighting, impressive energy efficiency and a slick, slim design. Samsung’s 46” Series 8 television stands just a bit under 30” tall when set up on the stand, and weighs in at right about 50lbs.  The frame is black with a grey Touch of Color.  It’s a slim television, with a depth of 1.2”.  It’s not the thinnest television out there, but it certainly doesn’t have many competitors. Thanks to LED edge lighting, the UN46B8000 has a stated dynamic contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1 and provides dark blacks and bright rich colors.  LED lighting is also responsible for energy use much lower than that of standard LCD televisions and a cooler running unit overall. A 240Hz refresh rate is the main thing separating ...
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Sony BDP-S560 Blu-ray Player Review
It’s natural to assume that technology-initiator Sony would be a market leader in the player category, though the widespread implementation of the PS3 might be a bit of a shock. For those who weren’t swayed towards using a video game machine as a high-definition unit, Sony also wedged into the mix with their BDP-S350 and S550 models – both of which are excellent players.  Naturally, Sony has followed up their previous line with the S360 and their step-up model reviewed here, the S560.  As with their other players, Sony’s BDP-S560 naturally stand up against the company’s versatile PS3 – now available as a slim, less expensive unit  -- and it does so with admirable quality, though it’s a tug-of-war between the benefits and negatives between the two.At first glance, Sony’s player will look strikingly familiar. It carries the signature dark-blue ...
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Sony Bravia KDL-70XBR7 LCD HDTV Preview
The Sony KDL-70XBR7 BRAVIA is one of a small number of options available to the consumer looking for a seventy inch picture but not wanting to use a projector.  The largest of the XBR7 series, the 70” KDL-70XBR7 offers a large screen and 1080p resolution along with a range of picture enhancement technologies. Sony’s 70” XBR7 offers a full 1080p/24 experience, as well as Motionflow 120Hz technology, which effectively doubles the frame rate of HD content to help smooth out fast movements.  An on screen contrast ratio of 1,500:1 is achieved through the Advanced Contrast Enhancer circuit, which creates darker blacks without losing fine details. 10-bit technology is featured in both the KDL-70XBR7’s processor, but in the panel as well.  The combination of the two allows a much greater ability to transition between colors and helps to eliminate sharp changes. With the BRAVIA ...
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