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Recent Home Theater Editorials

Literary Transgressions of the Audio Community

Literary Transgressions of the Audio Community

We live in an audio world of cliché, hyperbole, misinformation, lies, factoids, and general horsehockey. And those of us who toil in this arena are all somewhat guilty. It’s hard to come up with “new stuff” to say about audio and video. In this article we guide you through some of the most commonly overused audio terms in the industry. The thing you have to remember is that a tired, worn out cliché is…a tired, worn out cliché. Be sure to share your favorites in the related forum thread.

It’s hard to come up with “new stuff” to say about audio and video. In this article we take you through the most common overused audio terms and clichés. Be sure to share your favorites with us.

— June 20, 2016 00:00 in Editorials

CBS/Paramount are Copyright Trolls - Beyond Bored of Star Trek Reboot

CBS/Paramount are Copyright Trolls - Beyond Bored of Star Trek Reboot

After success at the box office, the Star Trek franchise reboot has proven it's profitable to turn out forgettable action movies that bear only superficial similarity to the Star Trek universe. Meanwhile, fanfiction like Axanar Productions have earned recognition with high production quality this becoming easier to obtain with today's digital technology. So, why is Axanar being sued instead of hired to make the next Trek movie? Why do some Trek fans think Axanar is bad for all fanfiction? Bad rap or is Axanar Productions getting the shaft from BIG Corp?

Paramount is a Copyright Troll and I’m Beyond Bored of This Star Trek Reboot. See how Axanar Productions is slugging it out with them to produce its own fanfiction along with the legal ramifications.

— May 18, 2016 20:00 in Editorials

Yamaha AVENTAGE AV Receiver DTS:X Firmware Listening Test Results

Yamaha AVENTAGE AV Receiver DTS:X Firmware Listening Test Results

After months of planning and executing a UHD/4k upgrade to my home theater, it was time to implement the final piece of the puzzle; a firmware update to my Yamaha RX-A2050 AV receiver that enables two key elements - DTS:X and HDMI 2.0a (for HDR). This article takes you through the process of the firmware upgrade and summarizes my experiences and listening tests of the new DTS:X format and how the upmixer compares to DSU and Yamaha's own DSP modes.

After upgrading my home theater to UHD/4k, it was time to update the firmware of my Yamaha RX-A2050 AV receiver to enable DTS:X and HDMI 2.0a (for HDR). We include listening tests of DTS:X upmixer.

— April 12, 2016 08:00 in Editorials

Exciting New AV Gear Debuts at CES 2017 Revolutionizes Home Audio

Exciting New AV Gear Debuts at CES 2017 Revolutionizes Home Audio

Audioholics is always at the forefront when it comes to finding innovative new audio products. Our industry experts search out the latest and greatest, and we separate the serious, significant products from the snake oil and the frivolous. Here is just a sampling of some of the ingenious new custom speaker items (and more) we have an advanced scoop on that will debut at next year’s Consumer Electronics Show that may just revolutionize your two-channel audiophile experience. Remember you saw it here first!

We have an advanced scoop on new custom AV products debuting at CES 2017 including revolutionary new speakers and other products that are sure to revolutionize the home theater experience!

— April 01, 2016 00:00 in Editorials

Listening Evaluation of DTS:X on the Denon AVR-X7200WA Receiver

Listening Evaluation of DTS:X on the Denon AVR-X7200WA Receiver

The wait is over. DTS:X is finally here and the Denon AVR-X7200W/WA has the distinction of being the first AVR to get the DTS:X firmware update. With our Denon X7200WA on-hand, we took DTS:X for a spin, providing the real story about its supported speaker layouts, and our listening impressions of DTS' next generation audio codec. We also checked out DTS Neural:X upmixer, which coverts legacy content to 3D immersive audio; and interactive dialogue control for up to 11.2 channels.

Denon X7200WA becomes the first AVR to get DTS:X. Downloading the free firmware installs DTS:X; DTS Neural:X, which coverts legacy content to 3D audio, & interactive dialogue control for 11.2 channels

— February 12, 2016 00:00 in Editorials

Circuit City How the Once Mighty Have Fallen... and Returned

Circuit City How the Once Mighty Have Fallen... and Returned

Circuit City is getting the band back together. Yes, that Circuit City. Once the largest consumer electronics retailer in America turned cautionary tale for executive mismanagement, has announced that it will begin opening new retail outlets and an online store in June 2016. The stores will include a mix of in-store products and kiosks on which visitors to the new stores can order from a library of over a million products. Do you think they will succeed this time? Read on and please share your thoughts in our forum discussion.

Circuit City. Once the largest consumer electronics retailer in America, has announced that it will begin opening new retail outlets and an online store in June 2016. But, will they succeed this time?

— February 08, 2016 16:00 in Editorials

Potential Audioquest Rigged HDMI Demo Exposed

Potential Audioquest Rigged HDMI Demo Exposed

Audiophile drama is unfolding as an Audioquest HDMI cable demo, featuring an Audioquest employee showing unrealistic changes in sound, was seemingly debunked as fraudulent by Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, in a recent blog post. A subsequent "Open Letter" from Audioquest owner William Low admitted he heard the video a year ago, found the audio difference "unbelievable", but did not ask to have the video removed until after Mark Waldrep published his findings a year later. Is this an isolated incident, or just the latest in a string of misleading behavior perpetuated in the high-end cable industry? Read on to find out and be sure to watch our recently added YouTube video discussion for further insights.

Audiophile drama is unfolding as an Audioquest HDMI cable demo, featuring an Audioquest employee showing unrealistic changes in sound, was seemingly debunked as fraudulent by Mark Waldrep, Dr. AIX.

— February 01, 2016 21:00 in Editorials

Headphone Fashion Guide: Does Style Trump Sound Quality?

Headphone Fashion Guide: Does Style Trump Sound Quality?

It's safe to assume that Audioholics readers are the kinds of people who choose headphones, or any audio equipment, on the merits of sound quality first. But headphones are one of the oldest wearable technologies that have become highly mobile in recent years, so it makes sense they have also morphed into one of the fastest growing fashion trends in recent years. Although our primary requirement from a pair of headphones is sound quality, these days is it even possible to totally avoid headphone fashion trends?

Today, headphone fashion is infinitely more complex. Frank Zappa once said: “No change in music style will survive unless it is accompanied by a change in clothing style.” His words were prophetic.

— January 29, 2016 09:00 in Editorials

CEDIA 2015 DTS-X and Dolby Atmos Demos Updated

CEDIA 2015 DTS-X and Dolby Atmos Demos Updated

One of the highlights of the CEDIA show are the demos. There was no shortage this year of Atmos demos and the ones we've heard have been pretty spectacular. We were also pleased to hear the very first DTS:X demos from JBL Sythesis and Denon. Immersive Audio was abound at the show and it came in many forms via discrete box speakers all around, in-walls, in-ceiling and the less impressive Atmos reflection speakers. In case you missed it, our demo show report includes our experiences with MartinLogan, Paradigm, RBH Sound, and JBL. Also check out our recently added Goldenear, Triad and Auro 3D demo experiences and our YouTube video discussion of new products and various DTS:X demos.

We were pleased with the immersive surround demos by MartinLogan, Paradigm, RBH Sound, JBL and others at CEDIA 2015. We heard the very first DTS:X demos and discuss them in our YouTube video report.

— December 17, 2015 08:00 in Editorials

Apple Wages War on 3.5-mm Jack, Promotes Economy Through Planned Obsolescence

Apple Wages War on 3.5-mm Jack, Promotes Economy Through Planned Obsolescence

Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus users are complaining about their phones 3.5-mm headphone jacks failing. Meanwhile speculation is circulating that Apple may do away with the standard connector altogether in future iterations of the iPhone, starting with iPhone 7. Where does that leave all those people who spent a little extra to upgrade their headphones? How thin do our phones really need to be when we wrap them in thick protective cases anyways?

Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus users are complaining about their phones 3.5-mm headphone jacks failing. Meanwhile speculation is circulating that Apple may do away with the standard connector altogether

— December 10, 2015 05:00 in Editorials

Is Vintage Better than Modern for Audio Equipment?

Is Vintage Better than Modern for Audio Equipment?

Are the glowing memories of vintage audio gear and vintage automobiles justified, or were they just mediocre machines whose performance has somehow "improved" over the decades? Read this old-timer's assessment of both vintage muscle cars and vintage audio, based upon hands-on experience with both. Let us know in our forum if your still running vintage gear or if you ditched it to embrace the new.

Are the glowing memories of vintage audio gear and automobiles justified? Read this comparison to see how vintage vs modern pans out and if you should keep your old gear or embrace the modern era.

— December 03, 2015 00:00 in Editorials

What Makes the Biggest Audible Differences in Home Theater?

What Makes the Biggest Audible Differences in Home Theater?

While some focus on minutiae to “improve” the fidelity of their home theater or Hi-Fi playback system with esoteric tweaks and snake oil exotic cables, we instead suggest focusing on the big three that matter most; the quality of the source, the room acoustics, and the speakers. If you don’t get those three things right, you're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Read this article to get the facts.

While some focus on minutiae to “improve” the fidelity of their Hi-Fi system, we focus on the three areas that matter most, the quality of the source, room acoustics and speakers. Read on to see why.

— November 06, 2015 00:00 in Editorials

Tidal: The Worst Music Service Online — Except for All the Others

Tidal: The Worst Music Service Online — Except for All the Others

Tidal has earned notoriety as a new online music business since it arrived last spring. But, unfortunately, it’s making headlines for everything but its CD-quality music stream. Sadly, a Tidal Hi-Fi subscription is your only option (known today) in North America for an all-you-can-hear online music service that provides greater than 320Kbps. It’s nothing less than a crime that CD audio resolution is what the music industry now refers to as Hi-Fi, and that it’s so rare.

Tidal has earned notoriety as a new online music business since it arrived last spring. But, it’s making headlines for everything but the high quality music it can stream.

— November 05, 2015 00:00 in Editorials

Art vs Science of Audio Reproduction: Which Team Are You In?

Art vs Science of Audio Reproduction: Which Team Are You In?

In this latest YouTube video, Hugo and I discuss the art and science of audio as well as which is the right way to approach. If you think measurements don't matter or everything can be equated down to a neat little formula to determine product superiority , then I'm sorry to say you are sorely mistaken. In order to have a Zen line balance in audio and in life in general, you must embrace all aspects of the art and science of sound. Let us know your thoughts in our forum after watching our YouTube video and reading this article.

In this latest YouTube video, Hugo and I discuss the art and science of audio as well as which is the right way to approach. In order to have a Zen line balance in audio, you must embrace both sides.

— October 07, 2015 11:00 in Editorials