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Recent FAQ Articles

How to Buy a Subwoofer

How to Buy a Subwoofer

Today Audioholics goes over how to make an educated purchasing decision when buying a subwoofer for your home theater system. We've created a handy checklist of items that need to be considered and balanced, including cost, size, aesthetics, and output. We also touch on the pros and cons of going with a sealed subwoofer versus ported. Last but not least, other factors like warranty, customer service, and return policy need to be accounted for.

Let us show you how to make an educated purchasing decision when buying a subwoofer for your home theater system, taking into account size and aesthetics as well as performance. How to shop subs? Here

— October 30, 2014 09:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

How To Calibrate and Level Match Your Speakers

How To Calibrate and Level Match Your Speakers

Today Audioholics walks through the process of manually level matching your speakers. Why bother when we've got advanced auto-calibration like Audyssey MultEQ on board? Even today's automatic setup systems make the occasional mistake, so it doesn't hurt to double-check their work. To start, you'll need to break out your trusty SPL meter, and head to your A/V receiver's trim settings / tone generator. Wonder why it's recommended to calibrate your speakers to a 75dB SPL reference? We discuss in detail in this must read article and recently added related YouTube Video tutorial.

We walk you through the process of manually calibrating and level matching your speakers so you can double-check the results of auto-calibration. You'll just need an SPL meter to get the job done.

— October 23, 2014 08:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

Q&A: Using the A/B Speaker Selector for Comparisons

Q&A: Using the A/B Speaker Selector for Comparisons

Recently, a reader asked us if it was possible to use the A/B speaker selector to compare speaker cables. The short answer: because the A and B binding posts represent the same amplifier connection, you can hook up two sets of cables to your speakers for comparison purposes without risking damage. However, you can do a lot more than just compare cables with the A/B switch. You can also run your very own in-home speaker comparison with nearly instant switching. Pretty cool stuff.

Tech article: A reader asked us if it was possible to use the A/B speaker selector to compare speaker cables. The short answer: yes, you can do that, and compare speakers with instant switching.

— October 16, 2014 20:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

Q&A: I Have A Bose Acoustimass 10 System, What Receiver Should I Buy?

Q&A: I Have A Bose Acoustimass 10 System, What Receiver Should I Buy?

Today a reader wants to know what A/V receiver to use with his Bose Acoustimass 10 system. We review the system's rated impedance and power handling to get an idea of how much amplification the system needs. From there, we discuss whether or not it's worthwhile to spend more than the bare minimum given the compromises imposed by the compact system. Want to see our analysis and recommendations? Click to keep reading!

Frequently Asked Questions: A reader wants to know what A/V receiver to use with his Bose Acoustimass 10 system. We discuss the system's power ratings, and if its worthwhile to go beyond the minimum.

— August 17, 2014 10:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

Retrofit an Old Flagship A/V Receiver or Upgrade?

Retrofit an Old Flagship A/V Receiver or Upgrade?

A reader wrote in asking whether it was possible to breathe new life into his aging Yamaha DSP-A1 Integrated Amplifier/ AV Processor. The Yamaha in question is a Flagship 5.1 model from the Dolby Digital/DTS era with two additional channels for proprietary DSP post processing effects. It lacks HDMI inputs and the latest TrueHD/DTS-HD decoding, networking and all of the other bells and whistles we've come to expect from modern AVRs. We outline the reader's options, including buying a separate pre/pro and treating the DSP-A1 as an amplifier only, or moving the Yamaha to a second system where it's shortcomings aren't an issue and its excellent amp section and DAC's can still be used for a high fidelity experience.

FAQ: A reader wants to know if its possible to breathe new life into an outdated flagship A/V receiver by adding a preamp or re-purposing it. The Audioholics run through his potential options.

— August 12, 2014 08:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

How To Read a Review - An Insider's Perspective

How To Read a Review - An Insider's Perspective

With the decline of Brick and Mortar stores, being able to read a review is imperative. Obviously, arming yourself with knowledge about the product you are buying is the key to your success. You won't be able to accurately gauge the veracity of a review without knowing a lot about the product. If you are shopping for in-ear headphones but expect them to fit like earbuds (or a minivan that you expect to handle like a Corvette), you can't know if a product is being misused. You also need to read a ton of reviews of all sorts of gear. This way you can identify the industry jargon and see past the backhanded compliments. In the end, you should trust your ears. And us. You can definitely trust us.

With the decline of B&M; stores, being able to read a review is imperative. Obviously, arming yourself with knowledge about the product you are buying is the key to your success. We help.

— May 20, 2014 09:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

Headphones Shopping Guide: Which are Right for You?

Headphones Shopping Guide: Which are Right for You?

What is most important to you in a set of headphones? If it is sound quality, any of the options can sound very good, though over-ear models generally hold an advantage. If fit is your primary concern, then you'll need to look at how you use the headphone (on the go, at home, while exercising, etc.) to determine what will work best for you. We've assembled a Cheat Sheet to help you narrow down your choices along with a helpful guide on the different headphone types.

Headphones Shopping Guide: comparing earphones can be difficult. We've assembled a Cheat Sheet to help you narrow down your choices along with a helpful guide on the different headphone types.

— May 16, 2014 08:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

DACs: Do You Need an External Digital to Analog Converter for your Hifi System?

DACs: Do You Need an External Digital to Analog Converter for your Hifi System?

A Digital to Analog Converter, or DAC, takes your digital content and transforms it into analog so that your hifi system can amplify it and play it through your speakers. If you think you already have DACs in your system, you would be correct. So, if you already have DACs, why would you need an external one? More to the point, could you actually use it and would it make a difference? We walk you through the reasons you might need an external DAC and what problems you can expect it to fix.

A Digital to Analog Converter (DAC), takes your digital content and transforms it into analog so that your hifi system can amplify it and play it through your speakers. Do you need a new one? Read on.

— May 14, 2014 10:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

Headphones: Are You Ready for an Upgrade?

Headphones: Are You Ready for an Upgrade?

Let’s be honest: if your headphones came with your player, you need an upgrade. But what if you have some newer, fancier headphones? This article discusses the various types of headphones and appropriate applications of each. Do you still need to upgrade? We help you out with a handy chart to fill out and a lot of information about what to consider when you are shopping.

If your headphones came with your player, you need an upgrade. But what if you have some newer, fancier headphones? Do you still need to upgrade? We help you out with a handy chart to help you decide.

— May 04, 2014 11:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Subwoofer?

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Subwoofer?

Wondering if it's time to upgrade your old subwoofer to a newer, more powerful model? Audioholics goes over what factors should play into your decision, including room size and listening habits. In addition, we give you a method so that you can personally determine whether more subwoofage is a worthwhile investment. If you're curious to find out if your subwoofer is holding your system back, click to keep reading! If you're a true Bassaholic, you probably already know the answer ;)

Sub Upgrade: Wondering if you need a new powered subwoofer? Audoholics goes over the factors to consider in your decision, and we give you a tool to determine if your sub is holding your system back.

— May 01, 2014 18:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

HDTV: When is it time to Upgrade Your Display?

HDTV: When is it time to Upgrade Your Display?

We may be called "Audioholics," but we definitely watch our fair share of movies and TV. We love accurate images almost as much as we love bone-crushing bass. Sometimes it is hard to know when you are ready for a TV upgrade. We run through not only how large a screen you need, but break down the features manufacturers are convinced you want. We recommend you hide your wallet while you read this guide. We can't be held responsible for your impulse buying.

HDTV: When is it time to upgrade your Display? Our TV upgrade guide will help you. We run through not only how large a screen you need, but break down the features manufacturers are convinced you want

— April 30, 2014 22:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

AV Receivers vs. Separates: Which One Is Better?

AV Receivers vs. Separates: Which One Is Better?

If you've ever spent much time browsing the Audioholics forums, the odds are good that you will find someone asking which is better: AV receivers or separates. Oftentimes, such a question brings about a fierce debate with solid arguments on both sides of the table. Ultimately, what's best for the end user depends on what he or she is looking for. Keep reading (and watching) as Audioholics analyzes the topic and gives you the skinny on what AV receivers and separate preamplifer/processors and amplifiers bring to the table.

AV receivers vs. Separate preamplifier/processors and amplification has been hotly debated for decades, with valid arguments on both sides of the table. Read on to see what the Audioholics think.

— February 24, 2014 08:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

Reader Question: DACs - What Do You Recommend?

Reader Question: DACs - What Do You Recommend?

I am considering replacing my Marantz CD player SA300 with an Oppo BDP-95. I have an older but high quality system consisting of Levinson 23.5 power amp, Roland Consonance Pre, Sota Sapphire Table with SME 309 arm, Wilson Watt II/Puppy III and various cables and interconnects. The weak link in my system seems to have always been my digital component.I just replaced my Theta Transport and DAC with the Marantz player and the improvement in the sound was pretty nice. Now I want to go one strep further regarding digital playback. One of my friends suggested I use the Marantz as a transport and buy a new D/A converter. I live near Nashville, TN and there is no longer a high end store here, so I am relying on your suggestions/recommendations. What do you recommend?

I am considering replacing my Marantz CD player SA300 with an Oppo BDP-95. I have an older but high quality system consisting of Levinson 23.5 power amp, Roland Consonance Pre, Sota Sapphire Table

— April 09, 2013 20:15 in Frequently Asked Questions

Why are TVs Typically Brighter than Front Projectors?

Why are TVs Typically Brighter than Front Projectors?

A front projection system is very different, fundamentally, than a flat panel TV. A front projector is sending light to a passive screen from the front. This has two very important implications: 1) the only way you can get "black" is by the absence of light, and 2) any light hitting the screen also reflects back into the room and causes the potential for true 'black' to decrease. On top of that, a third factor would be that you are also measuring light output from a reflected surface, rather than from the emitted source itself.

A darker room and less light output is the key for getting a very dynamic, deep image on a projector screen. With a flat panel TV, you can get a much higher contrast ratio by increasing light levels.

— November 09, 2011 06:40 in Frequently Asked Questions