I occasionally check in with local high-end audio dealers to see what's new, and they're never at a loss to demonstrate something to catch my ear. Th listening rooms at Audioarts have been refreshed since my last visit, and the store is now the best appointed shop in town. Audioarts doesn't cover entry-level or midrange gear, but there are plenty of other shops covering that market here in New York City.
Happy National Consumerism Day, everyone! By which I mean, of course, Black Friday. Feel like maybe it's lost its mojo? Like you couldn't possibly discover any deals better than what you see all year long? Think again. I come to you bearing not only some surprisingly excellent bargains, but also a smattering of Cheapskate exclusives. Starting with this one:
Talk to the hand You know how it's winter? And you know what a hassle it is to hold your phone up to your ear when it's freezing cold out? Forget that -- just hold your gloved … Read more
If you've been vested in the iDevice ecosystem for a while, you probably own a speaker dock that has a 30-pin connector -- one that is now incompatible with your current-generation iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Those newfangled Lightning ports make docking out of the question.
So, what happens to that perfectly good speaker? Craigslist? Garage sale? Landfill?! (Horrors.) If it's a higher-end speaker that you want to keep using, consider giving it a wireless makeover. The Auris Skye is a small receiver that endows 30-pin speaker docks with AirPlay, DLNA, and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities.
If that sounds … Read more
My advice to speaker shoppers who prioritize sound quality is go for a good set of big speakers. They conjure the sound of music more realistically than tiny ones. I know all too well that most folks settle for something smaller, and usually it's a case of the smaller, the better. That's why designers are always trying to get bigger sounds out of smaller speakers. Enter the Vanatoo Transparent One, a 10-inch-tall powerhouse armed with a 5.25-inch aluminum woofer, a separate rear-mounted 5.25-inch passive radiator, and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter. This little speaker made a … Read more
I first encountered the Braven brand a few months ago, when I reviewed the Braven 850 and found it to be one of the best Bluetooth speakers I'd ever used -- though a decidedly pricey one at $299.
I can't say with any certainty that all the company's speakers are that good, especially the lower-end models, but I know they make at least one damn fine product.
Today only, and while supplies last, Tech.Woot has the refurbished Braven 570 portable Bluetooth speaker for $29.99, plus $5 for shipping. Price if purchased new: $99.99.
Any … Read more
I've always had a soft spot for great-sounding big speakers, like the SVS Ultra Tower. It stands 45 inches tall, and the cabinet has a unique, aggressively styled trapezoidal shape. Decked out in a gleaming piano-black finish or black oak veneer, the Ultra Tower projects a distinctly high-end aura; it looks a lot more expensive than it really is. The three-way design features a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter sitting between twin 6.5-inch composite glass-fiber midrange drivers, and mounted on the lower side flanks, a pair of 8-inch woofers. All three drivers are proprietary SVS designs. The speaker weighs … Read more
Apple products don't get to have all the fun when it comes to weird, excessively expensive smartphone accessories. The HTC One has now been honored with an $8,000 phone trumpet for battery-free sound amplification. The Gramohorn II looks like a cross between a ram's horn and an ear trumpet, with an HTC One mounted in the middle.
The high-end Gramohorn II from Wolter Designs is made from stainless steel powder and infused bronze. It's built to dock an HTC One and increase the sound from the phone's speakers using an old principal for amplification.… Read more
I'm about to make/ruin your weekend. Make it, because I've rounded up five seriously sweet deals. Ruin it, because you're going to want to buy them all. Food, clothing, feh -- who needs 'em?!Answer the Call of Duty
Can't afford the $60 price tag on the hot new Call of Duty: Ghosts? Give it time; in six months or so, you'll be able to get it for half as much, maybe even less.
It wasn't that long ago that desktop "computer" audio was synonymous with awful-sounding, cheap 'n' cheerful plastic speakers, but over the last few years Audioengine, Emotiva, Adam Audio, and many others started making seriously good high-quality monitors, with prices starting around $200 a pair.
I mostly focus on desktop speakers a la carte, but this time out I'm checking out PSB Speakers' ultracompact Alpha PS1 monitors paired with the almost-as-small SubSeries 100 sub. This three-piece system reaches lower into the bass than any of the aforementioned monitors without breaking the bank. Alpha PS1s run $299 per … Read more
NEW YORK -- When Bang & Olufsen decides to go wireless, it doesn't mess around.
The company today unveiled a trio of new wireless speaker products: the BeoLab 17 bookshelf speaker, the BeoLab 18 tower speaker, and the BeoLab 19 subwoofer. The three are the first commercial speakers to utilize the new WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio) standard, which opens the door to the possibility of interoperability with potential future WiSA-certified products from other manufacturers.
The only wire required for each speaker is the power cord.
As you'd expect with B&O, these are luxury speakers -- … Read more