The "Spinal Tap" reference to the volume control that goes to "11" notwithstanding, there's a lot of confusion surrounding volume controls. There shouldn't be; the volume control setting has nothing to do with how loud an amp can play. Some folks mistakenly think that if you don't have to turn the knob up very far from the minimum setting to achieve high volume, that "proves" it's a powerful amp. No, not at all; the maximum volume level of any amp is determined not by how far you turn the knob, … Read more
Regardless of what you call the icons on your Apple TV -- apps or channels -- you're likely starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with the extra icons for channels you don't use on your Apple TV home screen. With the most recent addition of four new channels just this morning, I know my home screen is anything but organized.
At first glance it would appear, beyond the ability to rearrange the icons, there's no other method to organize your Apple TV screen. Thankfully, that is wrong. There's actually a quick and easy solution to fix … Read more
Last weekend I had a yard sale with a few pairs of speakers to unload. After the first wave of hard-core hagglers trampled through my yard I noticed that someone had trouble resisting the impulse to dent the center of my vintage speakers.
Since I was not about to let them spoil my day (or my profits), I rushed the speakers inside the house to fix them up. A quick online search for some DIY solutions bore some useful results, which I've gathered here.
Swabs and glue OK, honestly, this technique bubbled up from the dark recesses … Read more
The GoldenEar Technology Triton Seven is, as we audiophiles like to say, "transparent" -- it sounds like an open window to the sound of music. That's always the goal for high-end speakers, but only the very best ones take you all the way there.
The Triton Seven's slender cabinet leaves no doubt: this is a thoroughly modern design. The swept-back, nonparallel-sided cabinets, and high-gloss black accents are distinctive; I'm sure the Triton Seven will never be mistaken for just another big-box tower.
The Triton Seven's front, sides, and rear are covered with a wrap-around … Read more
About a year ago, Roku stole a little Apple TV thunder by adding "Play on Roku" capabilities to its iOS app, making it possible for users to stream music and photos from their mobile devices to their TVs via connected Roku boxes.
Last week, Play on Roku was updated to include support for videos. That brings Roku boxes one step closer to matching Apple TV functionality, at least for iDevice users. The Android version of Play on Roku still limits you to music and photos, at least for now.
Let's take a look at how to use … Read more
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
Mini-humans are an inquisitive bunch, poking, grabbing, and pulling everything in sight. If that "everything" is a loose glass of water, it's inconvenient. If a cat, it's potentially disagreeable. If it's a 65-inch television, the result can be...
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 43,000 people are injured each year in TV- and furniture-related incidents. And it's not just kids getting hurt, either. So let's figure out how to prevent your TV from falling over.… Read more
Andrew Jones has a degree in physics, but his real passion is speaker design. He started out as a research engineer for KEF in 1983, later moved to Infinity and now he's with Pioneer, and is chiefly responsible for their ultra high-end TAD Reference line of speakers that sell for upwards of $80,000! Jones not only designs speakers that sell for as much as a luxury Mercedes Benz, he's also made some of the world's best affordable speakers.
Jones, like most of the speaker designers I've ever talked to, started thinking about building speakers before … Read more
To hear Google tell it, you'd think its Chromecast practically installed itself. I can tell you from experience that this is not the case.
To Google's credit, Chromecast setup is a breeze compared with some of the hair-pulling experiences I've had involving the Apple TV, for which I suspect Apple designed the remote control out of metal in order to help you withstand the compulsion to throw that thing back into the useless hell it spawned from. But I digress. Here's how to set up your Google Chromecast.
Plugging it in Sounds simple enough. Grab your … Read more
It's got to be the No. 1 audiophile fantasy: someday we'll have a breakthrough that allows speakers to perfectly reproduce sound. Once the engineers find a new way of moving air -- presumably a more accurate method than a vibrating cone, dome, or flat diaphragm -- the heavens will part and we'll suddenly hear the sound of real instruments and singers through our hi-fis. Not so fast -- that would be a great start, but once the sound leaves the speakers and interacts with your living room's acoustics, all bets are off. Put aside the perfect … Read more