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Recent AV Gadget Reviews

McIntosh MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier Preview

McIntosh MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier Preview

Introducing the new MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier from McIntosh. One of the most coveted names in home audio is doubling down on the headphone market, not long after launching its MHP1000 headphones, McIntosh is supporting its new cans with a high-end portable headphone amplifier and DAC. McIntosh says the MHA50 is designed to help you get the best possible sound out of your headphones. Is it worth a whopping $700? Only a true McIntosh fan may be able to answer that question.

Introducing the new MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier from McIntosh. One of the most coveted names in home audio is doubling down on the headphone market. Is it worth the price? Read on and decide.

— October 25, 2017 00:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Sony PlayStation VR & PS4 Review - Should You Go PS4 Pro or No?

Sony PlayStation VR & PS4 Review - Should You Go PS4 Pro or No?

I'll admit it, when Sony last year announced plans to release their own virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4 -- a five-year-old console -- I was skeptical. As positive press about the product started rolling in, I finally decided to purchase a unit earlier this year. But, despite all the great reports let's take a closer look and see if it's worth the significant investment.

The Sony PSVR virtual headset is an impressive looking device but is it worth adding to the aging Playstation 4? Read on to find out.

Brandon Dimmel — October 09, 2017 00:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

ALO Audio Continental V5 Portable Tube Amp Review

ALO Audio Continental V5 Portable Tube Amp Review

The ALO Continental V5 portable amp has been the result of a long-time collaboration between audio manufacturers ALO Audio & Vinnie Rossi. With a plethora of features and options for customizability, this amp offers a richly detailed sound bringing the best of the solid state and tube amplifier sound. At $799, the V5 features a single triode tube with an output power of 325 mW per channel and 9 hour playback. Read our review to find out more about this great device.

The ALO Continental Dual Mono DAC/Amp has a plethora of features and options for customizability. This headphone amp offers compelling sound and the ability to drive a wide variety of equipment.

Smit Patel — August 11, 2017 09:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Review

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Review

Media streaming is a must have feature these days for a modern home theater. Many Blu-ray players and HDTV's do a poor job serving this function, so external devices are usually the way to go. We look at the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV media streaming devices to see how they handle popular streaming services like Netflix, and Amazon Prime, as well as gaming apps. Check out our YouTube Video review for a detailed overview of these products and a tour of their navigation menus to see how they work.

Media streaming is a must have feature for a modern home theater. We look at the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV to see if they are a better alternative to streaming from your source device or HDTV.

— August 10, 2017 00:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

HiFiMAN SuperMini DAP Preview

HiFiMAN SuperMini DAP Preview

Looking for a super light weight super high quality portable player? HiFiMAN may have just your thing with their new SuperMini digital audio player. In addition to offering exceptional sound quality, the HiFiMAN Supermini supports all lossless file formats including DSD. With expandable memory up to 256 GB via micro SD card, 22 hours of playtime, and a MSRP of $399 this might be the best all around lightweight DAP. Read on to find out more.

HiFiMAN's new SuperMini DAP sports expandable memory up to 256 GB via micro SD card, 22 hours of playtime, and a MSRP of only $399. This might be the best all around lightweight DAP on the market.

— March 20, 2017 18:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL2.0 Tube Headphone Amp Review

Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL2.0 Tube Headphone Amp Review

The MicroZOTL2.0 is a tube amp which represents the latest configuration of the previously adored MicroZOTL by David Berning. The amp, although unconventional in its tuning, shares an agile and intelligible character which make tracks sound incredibly engaging and involving. The clear acrylic top and respectable build also add a touch of premium manufacturing and showcase quality engineering. To find out more about this $1,100 creation, read on…

The Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL2.0 is a tube amp with a clear acrylic top and respectable build. For $1,100 this headphone amp is definitely something worth listening to. Read on to find out more.

Smit Patel — November 27, 2016 20:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Questyle QP1R Digital Audio Player Review

Questyle QP1R Digital Audio Player Review

The QP1R is the latest flagship DAP of Questyle Audio, a company striving for audio perfection in the already crowded arena of portable players. Featuring a 2.35 inch screen, beautiful aesthetics and hi-fi charm, the QP1r reinvigorates your audio files by instilling detail, speed and dynamism in its arsenal of sonic prowess. Will this $899 DAP be the end-game for your portable needs? Read the review to find out.

Featuring a 2.35 inch screen, beautiful aesthetics and hi-fi charm, the Questyle QP1R reinvigorates your audio files by instilling detail, speed and dynamism in its arsenal of sonic prowess.

Smit Patel — November 05, 2016 19:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Parasound ZoneMaster 4 DAX Four-Zone DAC & Crossover Preview

Parasound ZoneMaster 4 DAX Four-Zone DAC & Crossover Preview

Parasound has introduced the ZoneMaster® 4 DAX, the first four-zone DAC with crossovers for the custom installation industry. The 4 DAX was designed in response to custom installers who create multi-zone systems based around the Sonos Connect®, Heos Link®, BlueSound Node® or Google Chromecast™ Audio, and are looking to upgrade their clients’ digital sound quality, with unique connectivity for subwoofers, stereo or mono speakers, and system control options.

Parasound has introduced the ZoneMaster® 4 DAX, the first four-zone DAC with crossovers for the custom installation industry to create high performance multi-zone systems with subwoofer management.

— October 25, 2016 22:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Schiit Yggdrasil DAC and Ragnarok Amplifier Review

Schiit Yggdrasil DAC and Ragnarok Amplifier Review

The Schiit Yggdrasil & Ragnarok represent Schiit’s finest creations to date. With multibit architecture and a thoroughly engineered component system, the pair offer incredible sound without compromise. At $2299 and $1699, respectively, the models are a big investment which in my opinion, is worth taking considering the durable design and exceptional sonics. Coupled with the Ragnarok’s great versatility and the Yggdrasil’s adept technical abilities, there really is no room to go wrong. Read the review to find out more

The Schiit Yggdrasil DAC & Ragnarok amp represent Schiit’s finest components. With a thoroughly engineered component system, this pair offer incredible sound without compromise, but at a high price.

Smit Patel — August 21, 2016 08:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Optoma-NuForce Audio DAC80 D/A Converter Review

Optoma-NuForce Audio DAC80 D/A Converter Review

What happens when a seasoned video projector giant from China like Optoma purchases a California-based hi-fi company like NuForce? The projector company gets its own hi-fi line dubbed — Optoma-NuForce. You’d think Optoma would completely realign NuForce to fit a projector-centered, home theater vision. But Optoma-NuForce is not only lingering in the two-channel hi-fi niche, but is also putting out new products with the NuForce pedigree. The DAC80 D/A Converter is such a product that we've had the privilege to review today.

The newly minted Optoma-NuForce brand has wasted no time getting new lines of hifi audio products to market. The DAC80 is the result of the company's push into high-end. Read on to see how it sounds.

— April 19, 2016 10:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Fluance RT80 & RT81 Turntables Preview

Fluance RT80 & RT81 Turntables Preview

Fluance is dabbling into the audiophile market, first by unveiling their Signature Series speaker like with high end aspirations and now with two turntables. That's right, Fluance wants you to spin vinyl with them and best of all, they are helping you do it affordably with the RT80 ($199) and RT81 ($249), respectively. They both come armed with some serious sonic chops including Audio Technica cartridges and stylus and solid wood body construction (RT81), and RCA phono outputs instead of a fixed length cable. We like what we're seeing here so if your on the fence about dabbling in Vinyl, these two turntables from Fluance may be your best bet.

Fluance announced two high performance turntables; the RT80($199) and RT81($249). Both feature Audio Technica cartridges and stylus. This may be your best bet for getting into Vinyl on the cheap.

— April 08, 2016 10:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC & Mjolnir 2 Hybrid-Tube Headphone Amp Review

Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC & Mjolnir 2 Hybrid-Tube Headphone Amp Review

With the employment of trickle-down technology from their flagship Yggdrasil DAC, Schiit have unveiled the new addition to their already booming line-up: The Gungnir Multibit. The DAC presents with a natural yet detailed sound which competes very well for its price. Also unveiled, was the Schiit Mjolnir 2, a tube-hybrid balanced amp which pairs and stacks nicely with the Gungnir Multibit. With the ability to tube roll and its various modalities of input, therefore, the Mjolnir 2 enables users to tweak sound to their preferences. To find out more about this incredible pair read on.

Schiit has unveiled a new addition to an already booming line-up: The Gungnir Multibit. Also unveiled was the Schiit Mjolnir 2, a tube-hybrid balanced amp which pairs nicely with the Gungnir Multibit.

Smit Patel — March 27, 2016 09:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Fiio X7 Android-Based Digital Audio Player Review

Fiio X7 Android-Based Digital Audio Player Review

The X7 is the latest flagship Digital Audio Player (DAP) of growing Chinese audio company Fiio. The DAP is the first android-based device of the company with an incredible array of features including a patent-pending exchangeable headphone amp module. Also featured is a 3.97 inch multi-touch screen complete with Fiio’s own dedicated music app and option to play streaming services such as Spotify and Tidal. Is this the end-game DAP for an audiophile’s portable needs? Read the review to find out.

We review the X7, the latest touch-screen Android-based DAP from Chinese audio giant Fiio. It hosts a plethora of features including an exchangeable amp module and ability to use streaming services.

Smit Patel — February 28, 2016 17:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

ELAC DS-101 Discovery Music Server Preview

ELAC DS-101 Discovery Music Server Preview

With so many ways to play, stream, and store music these days it’s hard to find one that has the functionality and quality that a discriminating audiophile needs. With that in mind, ELAC introduced their DS-101 Discovery Music Server last month at CES in Las Vegas. With a lifetime license to the Roon software and the ability to play eight different contents to eight areas of your home, the ELAC DS-101 may be the music server for you. Read on to find out and be sure to check out our YouTube Video overview with Elac to get all of the exclusive details.

Easy management and playback of your audio library has always been tricky. ELAC has it solved with their DS-101 Discovery music server and integrated Roon software which they unveiled at CES 2016.

— February 09, 2016 08:00 in AV Gadget Reviews