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2012 was yet a second strong year of economic recovery in the A/V industry. Many of the major A/V manufacturers built upon successes of past generation products with a model line refresh with either minimal or no cost increase to the consumer. Getting more performance without a cost increase is always a win in our book. This year we've also seen an array of incredibly high performance budget gear hit the mainstream from the likes of Emotiva and Pioneer. A newcomer subwoofer brand named Power Sound Audio headed up by former SVS founder Tom Vodhanel launched an incredibly high value performance line of subs. After a 10 year sabbatical, Status Acoustics, the high end division of RBH Sound, decided it was time to unleash a reference level, cost no object speaker system into the high end realm. Classé, a brand of solid reputation, warmed our hearts with their cool running, rugged line of amplifiers and Oppo once again reigned king of the hill with their new line of Universal Blu-ray players.
I think Christmas is coming sooner and sooner each year. At least it sure feels that way. We've geared up our annual Electronics Christmas Gift Buying Guide in an effort to let you know about what we think is great and enticing in the market. It may not be largely home theater-based, but that's because this is the time of year when we branch out into other areas and just include what we think is compelling, innovative, or well... just plain bizarre. In either case we hope this electronics buying guide serves you well as you prepare for the Christmas buying frenzy.
Dad doesn't need more gadgets this Father's Day, but you know he wants them. Here is our annual gift guide where we go beyond home theater to bring you the latest and greatest gadgety gizmos gifts and great products that your Dad will be sure to love... or at least like better than a tie.Interspersed you'll find some more traditional home theater recommendations as well. This year one of my friends' wives bought him a flat panel TV. Now THAT is a Father's Day gift! What are you planning to do? Look at the list below and let us know if any of it appeals to you - and tell us what you ended up buying for Dad this year.
Every year I take it upon myself to educate you in the art of bringing our collective mothers into the 21st century properly. And lest you think that's going to be accomplished by brainwashing her into listening to uncompressed music on a separates system while waxing eloquent on the merits of 10 gauge lamp cord speaker cables... well, let's start a bit smaller. The larger items on our list will be there simply because they represent a way to deliver "audio-creep" into your living space in a way that is attractive to a mom, thus enabling you to get a foothold and encourage her to enjoy a little bit more of the hobby. Other items are just cool gadgets that we think she'll really enjoy. Still others are items designated for moms already well-integrated into the digital age. If you've got that kind of mom, or wife, then consider yourself fortunate!
This Valentine's Day why not dazzle your loved one with a gift that will make her life easier? Or perhaps just give her a new convenience he or she never had before? or beautify the home theater room with a new accessory or connectivity device? There are numerous ways to send an electronics gift that will say "I love you" - and most of them cost far less than a diamond tennis bracelet or anniversary ring! (though we doubt this will have exactly the same level of impact on the female of the species...) Following are a few of our favorite recommendations that will impress, update, or even (heaven forbid) help your loved one feel the love - audioholics-style...
Media makes a casual and affordable Christmas gift. Sure, everyone wants brand new hi-fi gear, there’s nothing like receiving a new subwoofer or receiver as a Christmas gift. But those elite-level gifts are given and received among few on your list. But everyone loves receiving new disc-based or downloadable media. It’s the media we play-back on the audio/video system we’ve worked so hard to perfect that gives it its value. An unexpected sleeper-pick on Blu-ray can breathe new life into your surrounds and re-introduce the pop into your display that you may have been missing watching Netflix and over-compressed on-demand Cable TV. While we won’t claim this is a definitive list but it does contain, in no particular order, some sure winners for nearly anyone on your Christmas-list this Holiday Season.
2011 Audioholics Product of the Year Award Winners
Gene DellaSala — December 18, 2011 22:52
Gene DellaSala — December 18, 2011 22:52
2011 proved to be a year of economic recovery in the A/V industry. It seemed apparent to us that many of the major manufacturers came out of hiding with a slew of new and improved products to entice fellow Audioholics to upgrade their A/V systems. Velodyne, for example, saw the high-end subwoofer market passing them by and decided to revamp their entire Digital Drive line to put everyone in checkmate. Yamaha took a good thing and made it better. Sherbourn got a much-needed restructuring in management and subsequently a new series of high performance products at competitive prices were born. RBH Sound took their highly successful Signature Reference line and updated their aesthetics - birthing the SX/R series. Oppo kept doing what they do best and made it even better by producing incredibly high value, high performance Blu-ray players that do everything right. If you are contemplating an upgrade to your home theater, the following products should help you accomplish that goal of achieving sonic and visual nirvana.
We love this time of year - when we bring out some of the most unusual, compelling, cute, different, or just plain interesting products across a wide swath of the consumer electronics industry. To help us sort them out, we took each product and assigned it as a thoughtful gift for him, her, "that person who has everything" - you get the idea. Many of the products here are different from that which we'd typically review, but this is the time of year we get to play and expand our horizons. The result is this Christmas Electronics Gift Guide which we hope you find enjoyable, entertaining, helpful... shop well!
It's that time again. Kids are going back to school and parents are looking for the perfect items to stick in their bags to equip them for the many tasks and experiences they will face in the big beyond. While not all of the electronics we'll suggest here will be task-oriented, they will all guarantee to at least put a smile on your favorite student's face. From headphones to iPhones, we cover all of the goodies that are sure to be huge hits this back-to-school season. Without further ado, hold on to your hall passes and be sure not to miss the bus as we take you on a tour of some of the greatest gizmos hitting the shelves this year. Expect some new, and some not-so-new, but in all cases, we'll cover the best things you can purchase for little Suzie or Johnny as they head off to school or college.
2009 Consumer Excellence Award Winners Bertica Molinares-DellaSala — August 26, 2010 01:24