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

Recent Shopping Tip Articles

When Should I Upgrade My AV Receiver?

When Should I Upgrade My AV Receiver?

We often get asked by our readers if they should upgrade their A/V receiver. Some of them asking this question bought a new receiver as little as a few months ago, while others are still pimping a vintage 1970’s era silver-wood panel wonder with quadraphonic stereo. This helpful guide and our Youtube Video attempts to answer this question in the best possible way to accommodate your circumstances.

Is it time to upgrade your AV Receiver? This guide should help you decide based on functionality, feature set, and intended usage. Do you need the latest in HDMI audio/video? More speakers or zones?

— December 13, 2014 08:00 in How to Shop

Buying Guide: How to Shop an A/V Receiver

Buying Guide: How to Shop an A/V Receiver

We'd like to say that we've created a definitive guide on receiver buying. Of course, every person's needs are unique. What we have tried to create is a general guide on how to whittle down your choices. Once they are down to a reasonable level, choosing between the available options will be as much an emotional decision as it is a rational one. Our hope is that, in the end, you purchase a receiver with all the features you need without paying for features you don't. Read on to find out how to get all the receiver you need without paying for features you may never use.

We've crated a general guide on how to whittle down your A/V Receiver choices. Choosing between the available options will be as much an emotional decision as it is a rational one. Happy shopping!

— November 18, 2014 09:00 in How to Shop

Best $500 AV Surround Receivers Compared

Best $500 AV Surround Receivers Compared

Are you in the market for a new A/V receiver? Do you happen to have roughly $500 to spend? This is the article for you. We've taken a look at five different models from Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, and Yamaha, and determined which models offer the most value to the consumer. To make it so easy even a caveman can do it, there's also a handy chart. Want to know which receivers should be on your short list? Read our 2014 $500 AV Receiver comparison article to find out.

Audioholics compares five AV receivers from Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer, Sony and Onkyo priced around the $500 mark to find you the best value. Features, power and specs all compared.

— October 01, 2014 08:00 in How to Shop

6 Free Software Every Audiophile Should Download

6 Free Software Every Audiophile Should Download

How often is it that you can get something for your system for nothing? Almost never. This article covers our six favorite free pieces of software that we think every audio enthusiast should download and try out. From CD ripping to improving your ability to critically listen, this list has something for everyone. This list doesn't cover everything out there, so read through and let us know what your favorite software is.

Audio Software: From tweaking your home theater or recording studio, to comparing compression of songs, this list of our favorite free audio software has something for everyone.

— December 30, 2013 08:00 in How to Shop

2013 Midpriced AV Receiver Comparison: The Best AVR for $1,000?

2013 Midpriced AV Receiver Comparison: The Best AVR for $1,000?

In the market for a midpriced A/V receiver this holiday season? Curious what $1,000 can get you these days? As luck would have it, Audioholics has done some of the legwork for you, comparing and contrasting the feature sets of seven $1,000 receivers (+/- $100) to help guide you to the best solution. Yamaha, Denon, Marantz, Sony, Onkyo, Harman/Kardon, Pioneer, we've got them all here compared side by side. Use our guide to help spend your XMAS bucks wisely. Happy hunting!

In the market for a midpriced AV receiver this holiday season? Audioholics has done some of the legwork for you, comparing seven $1,000 receivers (+/- $100) to help guide you to the best solution

— December 28, 2013 10:00 in How to Shop

2013 Budget AV Receiver Comparison: The Best AVR for $500?

2013 Budget AV Receiver Comparison: The Best AVR for $500?

$500 is a good chunk of change; you could use that dough to purchase roughly 2400 BIC Cristal Pens from Amazon, or alternatively splurge on a foot or two of your favorite snake oil infused speaker cable. But just how far does $500 go in the world of A/V receivers in 2013? As it turns out, you can get quite a lot for your investment with a bit of careful shopping. Our top three picks were the offers from Sony (surprised?), Pioneer, and Yamaha. Harman Kardon almost made it up there, but we're a little wary of their switch mode power supply. Which receiver is right for you will depend on your specific needs and wants, but with this comparison we aim to help you find that perfect fit. Use this AV Receiver Guide to make a wise purchasing decision with those after XMAS specials.

Comparing 2013 mid-level receivers? Wonder which $400 to $500 AVR is the best? You might want to take a peek here to see our thoughts on the latest receivers from Yamaha, Sony, Pioneer, and more.

— December 27, 2013 10:00 in How to Shop

Best Subwoofers for Under $500

Best Subwoofers for Under $500

$500 is a pretty tough price point to find a subwoofer that doesn't make huge compromises in both performance and aesthetics. However, we've found six subs that do their best balancing act to provide good value. Each one offers a unique mix of traits that may suit you better than the others, but we feel all six represent the cream of the crop at this level. Keep reading to see who our contenders are and what they bring to the table.

$500 is an extremely competitive price point in the subwoofer market, and Audioholics has 6 top picks to look at. Which one is right for you? Keep reading to find out.

— September 12, 2013 08:00 in How to Shop

Ditch the Soundbar: 7 Great Compact Speaker Systems for Any Budget

Ditch the Soundbar: 7 Great Compact Speaker Systems for Any Budget

We get it, large speakers that have all of the aesthetic value of a refrigerator aren’t necessarily what every home theater enthusiast is looking for. To some folks, a small and attractive setup is much more palatable, especially if a spouse is in the picture. But, building a compact, clean looking system without making big sacrifices in performance can be a challenging task, especially when real world budgets are taken into consideration. Every system recommended here (a total of 7) uses a particularly compact receiver/amp that should be easy to place in any room, and bookshelf speakers to save even more space. Some have a sub, others rely on bookshelf speakers with above par bass response. Somewhere in the mix, nearly anyone should be able to find a system they would be happy with.

Clean looking home theater/stereo setups that offer audio enthusiasts an alternative to a soundbar while still making the wallet, ears, and spouse happy are not easy to put together. Here's our take.

— August 27, 2013 09:00 in How to Shop

Hi-Res Music Playback Software Comparison

Hi-Res Music Playback Software Comparison

Choosing the right audiophile playback software can be a daunting task. While audible differences can occur in going from an entry-level software like iTunes to one of the audiophile playback engines mentioned below, the transition between high-end software boils down to a preference between real cherry flavor and artificial cherry flavor. However, the differences in supported file formats, file management systems, user experience vary greatly. Read on for our hands on impression of 7 of the most popular playback software for hi-res music files.

We rounded up and tested 7 of the top lossless/hi-res music playback software on the market. Read on for a full report on sound quality, features, and usability of each piece of software.

Ryan Mintz — August 14, 2013 09:00 in How to Shop

9 Great Soundbars For Any Budget: TV Speakers Be Gone!

9 Great Soundbars For Any Budget: TV Speakers Be Gone!

Are you intrigued by the form factor of the soundbar, but mystified by the abundance of options out there? We might just have some answers for you. In this article we take a gander at some of the best soundbars for the money, ranging from entry level units costing as low as $300 to much more expensive top shelf systems. If you're looking for an improvement over your TV's built in speakers, and don't want to deal with receivers, speakers, and a mess of wiring, keep reading.

Looking for the best soundbar on the market? From entry level to high end, we put together a list of our top picks for almost any situation.

— July 18, 2013 08:25 in How to Shop

How to Choose a Flat Panel TV Wall Mount

How to Choose a Flat Panel TV Wall Mount

Choosing a TV wall mount can be a difficult decision because there are many different sizes, brands, and types of mounts. This guide breaks down the three most common types of mounts, full-motion/articulating, tilting, and low-profile, and then provides a few tips on what to look for in a good wall mount. Ultimately, as long as the wall mount you purchase is rated to handle your TV you shouldn’t worry about the TV falling off the wall. All of the extra features we talked about are great to have, but not always necessary. The real trick is knowing how to install the TV so it is secure and looks good. There are a lot of specialty mounts not covered in this article. The best place to find detailed information is on the manufacturer's website. If you take a look at some of the major manufacturers like Peerless, Sanus, Chief, and Omnimount you should be able to find a solution that fits your needs.

This guide breaks down the three most common types of mounts, full-motion/articulating, tilting, and low-profile, and then provides a few tips on what to look for in a good wall mount.

— November 16, 2012 00:05 in How to Shop

How to Pick the Right Loudspeakers

How to Pick the Right Loudspeakers

This is a simple, direct (but accurate) guide about everything an inexperienced shopper needs to know when choosing speakers for their home theater system. We discuss the various speaker options that are best suited for particular applications or budgets along with citing examples. If you’ve got an family member or friend that needs advise on a pinch, just print this article out and hand it to them. It even has nice pictures to supplement the text making for a more pleasant read. Your brother-in-law will be so grateful that he’ll buy you dinner (for once!) and you’ll look like the pro that you are for explaining it so clearly and thoroughly. Help a budding Audioholic today by empowering them with the knowledge of choosing the right speaker system for their needs.

This is a beginners guide on choosing the right loudspeakers for your home theater system. Various options are presented based on application and budget.

— June 05, 2012 20:01 in How to Shop

Buying the Right Kindle Cover

Buying the Right Kindle Cover

So you bought a Kindle. Welcome to the new way to read. The Kindle is a phenomenal product that is revolutionizing the way we read and store books. On top of that, it's gaining even more traction as "cloud computing" becomes more and more mainstream and consumers look to digital consolidation for all of their reading materials. This is especially true for students and those who would need a large amount of reference material. But like all new implementations of portable electronic technology, the Kindle needs to be protected - unless you don't mind having to buy a new one if you drop it accidentally. We surveyed the landscape of Kindle covers and located 5 solid solutions that we really feel top the charts for users of all different walks of life.

like all new implementations of portable electronic technology, the Kindle needs to be protected - unless you don't mind having to buy a new one if you drop it accidentally.

— October 24, 2011 07:20 in How to Shop

LED Lamps to Replace Incandescent Bulbs - But When?

LED Lamps to Replace Incandescent Bulbs - But When?

Have you been keeping up with the LED lighting movement? I'd even go so far as to call it a "transition". The future is here - it's just a tad expensive right now. What is driving consumer and professional fascination with LED bulb technology is that it lasts longer, uses less power and should, eventually, cost less. LED lamps produce more light than heat - and that means they are more efficient. They are also safer - both for you (they don't shatter) and for the environment (they are toxin-free). You can also run LED lighting with existing dimmers. Right now they have a higher threshold for dimming than their incandescent counterparts, but they do indeed dim. The other thing we like about LED lighting is that it doesn't require the expense or bulk of a ballast system. That's less to troubleshoot, and less to pay for. It also makes LED lamps smaller - giving them the potential of being used in some pretty creative and compact scenarios where fluorescent technology fell flat on its face. For home theater, LEDs represent the next logical step for projectors - and they've already made their way into the backlighting systems of flat screen televisions.

Have you been keeping up with the LED lighting movement? I'd even go so far as to call it a "transition". The future is here - it's just a tad expensive right now. That's going to end soon. Real soon.

— October 03, 2011 03:10 in How to Shop