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Recent 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

Line 6 Firehawk FX Multi Effects Pedal Review

Line 6 Firehawk FX Multi Effects Pedal Review

Say goodbye to your guitar amp. If you’re a traveling musician who is tired of lugging around heavy equipment and spending time setting up pedal boards, then the Line 6 Firehawk FX Multi-Effects Pedal is an ideal affordable solution. It packs 200 amplifiers, speaker cabinets, and effects into a compact, sturdy, color LED backlit, easy-to-use lightweight foot control pedal. Line 6 has made me ponder the necessity of large amps and huge pedals boards with this 21st Century solution. Read on to find out why.

The Firehawk FX Multi Effects Pedal by Line 6 is a compact, sturdy, color LED backlit, easy-to-use, lightweight foot control pedal that may cause you to rethink carrying around bulky guitar amps.

Steve DellaSala — February 05, 2016 10:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

ALO Continental Dual Mono DAC/Amp Review

ALO Continental Dual Mono DAC/Amp Review

The ALO Continental Dual Mono DAC/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 can easily replace the desktop set-up taking up a smaller footprint than larger competitors. At $1,495, the Continental Dual Mono comprises a hybrid set-up with dual mono tubes and solid-state capability. Also included is the option for a balanced input and DSD support. Read this review to find out more on this spectacular device.

The ALO Continental Dual Mono DAC/Amp has a plethora of features and options for customizability this amp can easily replace the desktop set-up taking up a smaller footprint than larger competitors.

Smit Patel — December 04, 2015 16:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Yamaha MusicCast Wireless Music System Revolutionizes Whole Home Streaming

Yamaha MusicCast Wireless Music System Revolutionizes Whole Home Streaming

Yamaha has just announced their new whole-house wireless audio ecosystem, called MusicCast. With MusicCast you get Sonos-like ease of use with a much broader and compatible set of products and sources. With support for high-resolution music and a cool and flexible cross-platform mobile app, MusicCast may be the first wireless music solution tailored towards the demanding music lover. Read our in-depth report and see why we are so excited by Yamaha's announcement.

MusicCast is Yamaha's wireless whole-house music system with support for diverse music sources, streaming services, and high resolution music over WiFi alone with AirPlay and Bluetooth compatibility.

— August 26, 2015 18:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Fiio X5 2nd Generation Digital Audio Player Preview

Fiio X5 2nd Generation Digital Audio Player Preview

Fiio have pulled out all the stops to release their latest DAP – The Fiio X5 2nd Generation. Sporting a brushed metal chassis, an all-new amp combination and DSD support, the 2nd Generation device looks to be yet another solid device from the electronics giant. Unlike the iBasso DX90, the 2nd generation X5 features a scroll wheel for navigation and a decent looking user interface. To find out more, read the review.

Fiio have pulled out all the stops to release their latest DAP – the Fiio X5 2nd Generation which features a scroll wheel for navigation and a decent user interface. To find out more, read the review.

Smit Patel — August 21, 2015 09:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Apple Watch Sport Review

Apple Watch Sport Review

The Apple Watch line of wearables, including the Apple Watch Sport is like all things from Apple. What the Apple Watch can do, it does very well, and does so with a slick interface including new gesturing and haptic feedback. However, there are enough drawbacks to make the watch feel more like a beta test than a ready for primetime wearable. The Apple Watch is definitely a great piece of hardware that is in need of a software update. We go though all of the details to help you decide if this type of product is for you.

The Apple Watch Sport is a jack of all trades master of none device. The Apple Watch line has great potential but currently requires a software update to reach more of its potential.

Eric Shelton — August 19, 2015 10:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Probox2 EX Extreme Media Player Review

Probox2 EX Extreme Media Player Review

Powered by Amlogic S802-H Cortex A9 Quadcore processor with latest Android 4.4 Kitkat OS, the Probox2 EX Extreme Media Player may arguably be the most powerful Android-based media player available. With HDMI 1.4 support plus a surprising array of physical input options and a slick, air mouse remote, the Probox2 EX promises to cater to both the avid content consumer and gamer alike. But does all of this hardware make it a great media player comparable to an Apple TV? We don't think so. Read on to find out why.

The Probox2 EX Android based Media Player is armed with Quadcore processing, 2GB of RAM, and everything but the kitchen sink. But the user experience was as lacking as the multi-channel audio support.

— July 30, 2015 15:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

iBasso DX90 Portable Digital Audio Player Review

iBasso DX90 Portable Digital Audio Player Review

The iBasso DX90 has generally been well-regarded as an excellent choice amongst the audiophile community as a mid-tier digital audio player (DAP). Incorporating a touch-screen, and high reference DAC the device makes hi-fidelity sound a portable option for the masses. However, with rival Chinese company Fiio recently launching the Fiio X5 2nd Generation DAP, can the DX90 be knocked off its perch? Read on to find out.

The iBasso DX90 has generally been well-regarded as an excellent choice amongst the audiophile community as a mid-tier digital audio player (DAP). Portable listening has just got interesting.

Smit Patel — July 07, 2015 10:00 in AV Gadget Reviews