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Recent Home Theater Editorials

What Sony PlayStation 4 Brings to Your Home Theater System

What Sony PlayStation 4 Brings to Your Home Theater System

Sony finally unveiled PlayStation 4 with all the hype and showmanship we expected. A lot of time was spent emphasizing the company's commitment to a social gaming experience, mobility and an anywhere/anytime gamer-centrism. My initial response as an Audioholic: No mystical social experience controls my destiny. It sounded like a lot of simple tricks and nonsense. When it comes to getting the most out of your home theater system; hokey touchscreens and social sharing is no match for good hardware specifications by your side, kids. So, let's dig into what PS4 is really going to mean to us.

The PlayStation 4 looks like it will deliver exactly what the gaming public wants in a big-screen media experience: More power, more connectivity, smoother frame rates and better all-around graphics

— February 24, 2013 04:15 in Editorials

Speaker Manufacturers: Internet Direct vs Brick and Mortar

Speaker Manufacturers: Internet Direct vs Brick and Mortar

Many disagree about advantages and disadvantages of Internet direct (ID) manufacturers versus manufacturers with traditional distribution models (brick and mortar store sales chain). Some claim that ID brands have lower overhead costs and skip the middleman; therefore they can produce products for less. Others argue that traditional manufacturers tend to sell more units so they can buy parts cheaper, and save on costs by shipping in bulk, so they are in a position to provide better products. There are good points on both sides of the argument as well as some not-so-good points. This article and YouTube video aren’t the definitive word on the debate, but we offer a few ideas to give you a more well-rounded viewpoint.

Many disagree about advantages and disadvantages of Internet direct (ID) manufacturers versus manufacturers with traditional distributions models. Here's our two-cents with our YouTube discussion.

, — February 13, 2013 06:00 in Editorials

Farewell Sony MiniDisc

Farewell Sony MiniDisc

Sony quietly announced the release of the last stereo system that will ever feature its MiniDisc format, effectively killing the format. Frankly, we were surprised to hear the 20-plus year old disc format was still alive at all. MiniDisc never caught on with the mainstream and outside of a few professions that regularly use digitally recorded audio, it was living as quietly as it has thus passed. Hearing of the end of MiniDisc, Audioholics presents a eulogy for a format that most of you may have ignored but one that long ago etched a magneto-optical pitted groove into the hearts of many music fans through the 1990s.

Sony quietly announced the release of the stereo system to feature its MiniDisc format. Frankly, we were surprised to hear the 20-plus year old format was still alive at all. MiniDisc never caught on.

— February 06, 2013 05:45 in Editorials

MartinLogan Interview on Electrostatic Speaker Design

MartinLogan Interview on Electrostatic Speaker Design

We recently swung by MartinLogan's headquarters in Lawrence, KS for a tour around the facility and an interview with Joe Vojtko, the company's Chief Audio Technologist. While anyone in the audio industry should know of Martin Logan, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding electrostatic loudspeakers (ESLs). Additionally, many people have preconceived notions about ESLs that don't take into account advancements made over the last 50 years. We covered some of this in our review of the MartinLogan Theos, but we decided to go straight to the source for the best answers possible.

We recently took a tour of the MartinLogan headquarters in Kansas and sat down for an interview with their Chief Audio Technologist, Joe Vojtko.

— January 02, 2013 07:00 in Editorials

DIY Loudspeakers: Can You Build "Better" Than Professional Designs?

DIY Loudspeakers: Can You Build "Better" Than Professional Designs?

Loudspeakers are in a class by themselves. No matter where you find yourself on the audio enthusiast spectrum, there is no doubt that people have very strong feelings about them. This article discusses why so many enthusiasts feel like they’ve got a grasp on making their own loudspeakers. The speaker industry is probably unique in the high-tech consumer products field in that its followers—amateurs, admittedly—actually think they can design and build the product themselves. They often think they can do it better than the loudspeaker company itself! Do you have what it takes to be a loudspeaker designer? How would you build a better speaker system? What design aspects are important to you. Please share in our Forum and Facebook page.

DIY enthusiasts often think they can build a better loudspeaker than a professional. This article explores why this is often the case surrounding speakers but not other devices. Share your thoughts.

— December 27, 2012 14:45 in Editorials

Tip of the Day: The Audio Sweet Spot

Tip of the Day: The Audio Sweet Spot

Every experienced listener knows exactly what I'm talking about. That one magical place in any listening room where sound waves meet to transform the lucky occupant to audio nirvana. Ideally one should set up their theater room so every seat is a good seat but the stars will always align in one or maybe two locations in your room where sound perfection is achieved. Here are some tips to live by regarding the sweet spot to get the most enjoyment out of it.

The sweet spot is that one magical place in any listening room where sound waves meet to transform the lucky occupant to audio nirvana. Some tips to enjoy that location.

— December 19, 2012 22:02 in Editorials

FCC Forces Cable Companies to Support HD Streaming on Network Devices

FCC Forces Cable Companies to Support HD Streaming on Network Devices

Sometimes I feel that we are too critical of cable companies, but the FCC surely doesn’t feel that way because they are forcing all cable companies to support streaming HD content to network devices by 2014. This means that you will be able to watch your shows, live and recorded, on any device on your home network. Additionally, cable companies are required to allow you to record HD content on any device in your home. We think cable companies should already be supporting this technology, but in typical fashion they are resisting change and trying to keep the status quo.

The FCC is forcing all cable companies to support streaming HD content from a cable box to network devices by 2014.

— December 10, 2012 08:00 in Editorials

2012 Audioholics GTG Event Sneak Peek

2012 Audioholics GTG Event Sneak Peek

The 2012 Audioholics GTG event is HERE! There will be live demos ALL Day Saturday October 27th from 9am to 6pm EST. I thought it would be good measure to give our attendees a little sneak peek on what to expect to hear and see at our show. There will be five (5) demo rooms each packed with some of the latest gear offered from our sponsors. You can expect many of them to also be giving away party swag and prizes. Check out this sneak peek of demo equipment at our event and come on by the front lobby registration area to meet the Audioholics staff and get your registration badges to be sure you will get all of our great home cooked food for lunch and be eligible for prizes and other event perks.

This is a sneak peek of our 2012 Audioholics GTG event this October 27th that gives you an idea of the equipment being demoed and also hints at prizes and other perks. Register now

— October 26, 2012 18:40 in Editorials

Spock's Beard Progressive Rock Band Informational & Interview

Spock's Beard Progressive Rock Band Informational & Interview

Currently working on their eleventh studio release, Spock’s Beard have been widely recognized as a premier progressive rock band since their first album titled The Light in 1995. The Band was founded in 1992 by brothers Neal and Alan Morse and had a stable line up until Neal’s departure in 2002, just shortly after the release of two of their best musical masterpieces to date including V (2000) and their epic double concept album, Snow (2002). There hasn’t been much spotlight on Spock’s Beard since 2010. That is, until now. Audioholics caught up with Spock’s Beard in the studio while finishing up work on their pending title which will have a limited edition release in January 2013 and record label release in February 2013. Check out this comprehensive interview with the members of Spock's Beard and also get some great background info on the band. It's a Spocktacular read.

Spock’s Beard have been widely recognized as a premier progressive rock band since their first album titled The Light in 1995. This detailed interview of the band provides also background.

Steve DellaSala — October 22, 2012 22:15 in Editorials

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 Blu-ray Review

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 Blu-ray Review

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 leaps from the pages of the original 1986 four-issue comic book series into magnificent DC home video animation on Blu-ray. The original full-motion animated retelling of the story, originally written and drawn by Frank Miller (300, Sin City), is faithfully reproduced but not a slavish effort to recreate every frame of the graphic novel. Bat-fans can rejoice as justice is served to one of the most culturally influential comics in modern history. In this review I will make the case that in Dark Knight Returns - Frank Miller may have invented the 90s.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 leaps from the pages of the original 1986 four-issue comic book series into a magnificent DC home animation on Blu-ray.

— September 27, 2012 19:20 in Editorials

It's Official: All Pop Music is Loud and Sounds the Same

It's Official: All Pop Music is Loud and Sounds the Same

According to a report on Reuters, our original take on the shrinking Dynamic Range was spot on. Scientists in Spain were able to more or less use a database of the past 50 years of music to "prove" that modern pop music really is louder and, yes, it does in fact all sound the same. The researchers used a huge music archive called the Million Song Dataset to compare the last 50 years of music. It's a database that actually catalogues and analyzes audio and lyrics into numbers that can be crunched. The database is filled with pop songs dating all the way back to 1955 and is current up to 2010, which is apparently when all of the scientists committed ritual suicide after listening to one too many Lady Gaga remixes...

According to a report on Reuters, our original take on the shrinking Dynamic Range was spot on. Scientists in Spain were able to more or less use a database of the past 50 years of music to "prove"

— July 27, 2012 08:35 in Editorials

Status Acoustics Titus 8T Loudspeaker System Q&A Interview

Status Acoustics Titus 8T Loudspeaker System Q&A Interview

We were fortunate enough to have Shane Rich (Chief Engineer for RBH Sound / Status Acoustics) on site to help install their new Titus 8T Flagship speaker system in our Premier Audioholics Showcase Theater Room. After a long day of hauling these 345 pound behemoths up two flights of steps, and endless tweaking to find the ideal positioning, we sat down for a little Q&A session with the man responsible for the creation of these super speakers. It was 2am in the morning mind you, but Shane was up for the task of answering some of the questions on my mind to help gain a better understanding of this system. Shane is the fellow on the left of the 8T tower and I am on the right side. This photo was taken in the Audioholics Showcase Theater Room.

We were fortunate enough to have Shane Rich (Chief Engineer for RBH Sound / Status Acoustics) on site to help install their new Titus 8T Flagship speaker system in our primary reference room.

— July 23, 2012 10:25 in Editorials

Contest: Be the First to Audition the New SVS SB13-Ultra Series Sealed Subwoofer and Win It!

Contest: Be the First to Audition the New SVS SB13-Ultra Series Sealed Subwoofer and Win It!

Be the First to auditionthe New SVS SB13-Ultra Series Sealed Box Subwoofer! Audition It and You Could Win It! This fall, SVS will release its newest addition to its Sealed Box Subwoofer Line and Audioholics members have the chance to be the first people in the world to audition it… Plus, the member with the most comprehensive perspective on the new sub [as voted by the community] will win the first production unit to keep! Sign up and tell us why you should be selected as one of the three Auditioners. If selected by the Audioholics staff, SVS will ship you their new subwoofer to spend two weeks testing and auditioning it and writing up a detailed report of your findings.

Sign up and tell us why you should be selected as one of 3 Beta Sub Auditioners. If selected by Audioholics, SVS will ship you their new SB13-Ultra sub to spend two weeks testing and auditioning it!

— July 10, 2012 22:20 in Editorials

Interview: Michael J. Koss Introduces STRIVA Wi-Fi Headphones

Interview: Michael J. Koss Introduces STRIVA Wi-Fi Headphones

Audioholics recently had an opportunity to sit down with Michael J. Koss, President and CEO of Koss Corporation and son of the company's founder, John C. Koss. The historic company that produced the original Stereophones, the world’s first music headphones, has developed another first for the digital age - STRIVA, the world’s first wi-fi headphones. But to describe the STRIVA line as merely wi-fi headphones sells the vision short. STRIVA goes beyond wireless by putting your head directly into the cloud, letting you create a personal Internet-radio experience that you can navigate right from your headphones. I also learned the system can be used to broadcast your own audio content through the Internet to your STRIVA headphones from anywhere to anywhere with wi-fi – but Michael Koss' enthusiasm for the STRIVA system is so infectious I’ll just let him describe it in his own words a bit later.

Audioholics sat down with Michael J. Koss, President and CEO of Koss Corporation and son of the company’s founder, John C. Koss. The historic Koss headphone company is now producing wi-fi headphones.

— June 07, 2012 05:00 in Editorials