“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Recent Home Theater 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

Brick and Mortar AV Retail vs Internet Direct: Which is Right for You?

Brick and Mortar AV Retail vs Internet Direct: Which is Right for You?

Retail or Internet? Are you having a tough time deciding which is best for you? Both avenues for buying audio/video gear can be great experiences, and each has its distinct advantages (and disadvantages.) A veteran of the Retail Wars gives you his perspective, rife with confessions, anecdotes, tips, and observations. Do your homework by researching online and seeking out a reputable dealer or manufacturer that can guide you on making the best purchasing decisions to build the ultimate two-channel or home theater system.

Retail or Internet? Are you having a tough time deciding which is best avenue for you to purchase your AV home theater gear? We discuss the pros and cons of each along with entertaining anecdotes.

— September 02, 2015 17:00 in Editorials

The Rotating Immersive Surround Speaker Concept

The Rotating Immersive Surround Speaker Concept

Lately it seems the new craze is MORE is better. We are seeing this with inflated power ratings in AV receivers, and also with the "necessity" of adding more speakers to the home theater to achieve immersive 3D surround sound. How can the manufacturers and their tech partners like Dolby and DTS figure out a way to add more speakers when the current technology becomes yesterday's news? We have the solution. Read on to find out what the next generation of surround sound speaker technology may look like.

In an industry where MORE is better, what happens when the existing Atmos & DTS:X technology becomes yesterday's news? We propose a new rotating surround sound speaker for the next sound generation.

— August 07, 2015 16:00 in Editorials

Four Cool AV Gadgets Born By Combining Health and Consumer Electronics

Four Cool AV Gadgets Born By Combining Health and Consumer Electronics

How does Occupational Health and Consumer Electronics go together? Read the following editorial to find out that when these two markets combine, the most innovative and coolest products are born. The union of these two areas of life allow communication with the outside world. For those audiophiles that are home bound, this might help relieve the separation anxiety and social isolation from technology and family. The products in this article might be the answer to your call!

How does Occupational Health and Consumer Electronics go together? Read the following editorial to find out that when they do the most innovative and coolest products are born.

— July 17, 2015 09:00 in Editorials

Harman Research vs Consumer Product Development Are They Related?

Harman Research vs Consumer Product Development Are They Related?

A talking point of a YouTube Video we did last year covering loudspeaker myths put in question whether the research loudspeaker companies claim to do actually trickles into their products. A subscriber pondered this question about Harman, claiming their consumer products are often "decidedly average" despite all of the incredible research they produce. I gave this statement some thought and responded on our channel but also elaborated further in this editorial. While products come and go, knowledge is forever. On that point alone, Harman should be commended for their research regardless of what one thinks about a particular product they produce at the moment or if their research always benefits their products.

Our loudspeaker myths YouTube video put in question whether the research loudspeaker companies claim to do actually trickles into their products. Does Harman's research benefit their products?

— June 01, 2015 08:00 in Editorials

AIX Records, Revel Speakers, Benchmark Audio 5.1 High Resolution Demo

AIX Records, Revel Speakers, Benchmark Audio 5.1 High Resolution Demo

What do you get when you combine five Revel Salon2 speakers, audio equipment from Benchmark Audio and Oppo and music from AIX records? A state of the art multi-channel surround experience that will satisfy even the most critical audiophile. AIX Records put on quite the demo at AXPONA 2015 that even diehard two-channel audiophiles had to take pause for a listen. Check out what we thought about this demo experience.

What do you get when you combine five Revel Salon2 speakers, audio equipment from Benchmark Audio and Oppo and music from AIX records? An incredible mult-channel surround experience at AXPONA 2015.

Michael Kneznekoff — May 15, 2015 08:00 in Editorials

History of High Fidelity Headphones & Hearing Preservation

History of High Fidelity Headphones & Hearing Preservation

Audiophiles from all eras are not only interested in enjoying the best sound experience via a surround system but on a personal level as well. Many types of headphones have been developed over the years starting from the early first hand made earpiece headphones by Nathaniel Baldwin all the way to the latest in surround sound and wireless technologies. But as technology evolved, so did our listening habits; making it easier and more convenient than ever to get your hi-fi fix on. But, are we listening at safe levels or are we doing some serious damage to our hearing in the long term?

Audiophiles enjoy getting their hi-fi fix on a personal level with headphones. The technology has evolved to support surround sound and wireless convenience. But, are we listening at safe levels?

— May 12, 2015 08:00 in Editorials

Where are all the Dolby Atmos-enabled Speakers?

Where are all the Dolby Atmos-enabled Speakers?

It's been a little over a year since I wrote my article the Dolby Atmos Home Theater Paradox. In it, I discussed the struggle it would be to require consumers to add more speakers into their home theater systems in a market that is demanding less. Dolby introduced an Atmos-enabled speaker solution in hopes of addressing this very issue. Rather than promoting it as a last resort option, they touted it as a "preferred" solution over discrete speakers. Both Dolby and most of the press hailed them as "the greatest breakthrough in audio in 20 years". One year later, I can count on one hand the number of manufacturers making this speaker and the sales figures aren't too flattering. Will the Atmos-enabled speaker really impact the industry or will it sink into the abyss like 3D HDTV? Let's take a look at the year of Atmos to reflect on this question.

Dolby introduced the Atmos-enabled speaker to add height to existing systems in support of immersive surround sound. It was marketed as the "preferred" option, but one year later where are they now?

— April 27, 2015 08:00 in Editorials