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A/V Product Reviews

Audioholics writes some of the industry's most thorough AV product reviews. Our reviews stand apart from the competition in that we do comprehensive objective measurements and analysis including taking the products apart to describe their operation from soup to nuts. Get the real skinny on how AV receivers, amplifiers and loudspeakers perform from our unbiased reviews.

McIntosh’s MC462 Stereo Amplifier is a Powerhouse

McIntosh’s MC462 Stereo Amplifier is a Powerhouse

The new 450-watt/ch McIntosh MC462 is the company’s most powerful stereo power amplifier. With 50% more filter capacity and 66% more dynamic headroom than its predecessor, the “Quad Balanced” MC462 is the result of some serious engineering work. As you would expect from McIntosh, it’s also built like a tank, nice to look at, and more than a little pricey. Read on to see what new enhancements McIntosh made to their latest stereo amplifier.

The new 450-watt McIntosh MC462 is the company’s most powerful stereo power amplifier. As you would expect from McIntosh, it’s also built like a tank, nice to look at, and more than a little pricey.

— August 10, 2018 12:00 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

RBH Sound R-5 Bookshelf and R-515 LCR Speaker Review

RBH Sound R-5 Bookshelf and R-515 LCR Speaker Review

RBH Sound has overhauled their acclaimed "Impression" speaker series, and Audioholics has managed to get their R-5 and R-515 speakers in for review. These affordable speakers keep the same great looks as the previous Impression speakers but add better build quality and enhanced performance. We explore the latest improvements RBH has made to this series though exhaustive measurements and listening tests. Read on to see if the RBH R-5 bookshelf and R-515 LCR speakers should have a place in your sound system.

RBH Sound has overhauled their acclaimed "Impression" series, and we managed to get their R-5 bookshelf and R-515 LCR speakers in for review. See the performance enhancements they now offer.

— August 07, 2018 00:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Outlaw Audio Model 7220 7CH Amplifier Runs Cool Enough For Mr. Freeze

Outlaw Audio Model 7220 7CH Amplifier Runs Cool Enough For Mr. Freeze

Looking for a cool new amplifier with enough power to blow you away? The new Model 7220 seven channel amplifier from Outlaw Audio may be your answer. This class AB, fully balanced, differential design is rated to deliver 220W per channel into an 8-ohm load with ALL seven channels driven. Outlaw Audio teamed up with ATI Audio technologies to develop a powerful linear amplifier into a moderately heavy unit without the use of massive heat sinks. Read on to find out how this amplifier stays cool enough for Mr. Freeze.

Looking for a cool running new amplifier? Outlaw Audio's Model 7220 is a seven channel class AB fully balanced amp rated to deliver 220W per channel into an 8-ohm load with all seven channels driven.

— August 02, 2018 12:00 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Monoprice Monolith USB DAC Amp and M1060C Planar Magnetic Headphones Review

Monoprice Monolith USB DAC Amp and M1060C Planar Magnetic Headphones Review

We got our hands on Monoprice's newest home audio additions for review, the Monolith USB DAC headphone amp and the Monolith M1060C planar magnetic headphones. At $99.99 and $329.99, respectively, these items are in contention with similar products from other manufacturers, but with Monoprice you usually get MORE than what you pay for. Monoprice intends to prove themselves in this regard by being available to those interested high quality sound on a budget. Read on to see if they indeed succeed.

We reviewed Monoprice's newest audio products, the Monolith USB DAC headphone amp and the Monolith M1060C planar magnetic headphones. At $99 and $329, respectively, you get MORE than what you pay for.

— July 30, 2018 09:00 in Headphone Reviews

Sleepbuds From Bose Promise Peaceful Sleep In Noisy Environments

Sleepbuds From Bose Promise Peaceful Sleep In Noisy Environments

The newest product from Bose may look like a wireless earphone (like Apple’s AirPods), but it has nothing to do with listening to music on the go. The $250 Sleepbuds are wireless, noise-masking ear buds designed to “block, cover, and replace” the sounds that keep you awake at night. Instead of hearing a noisy neighbor or snoring partner, you can drift off to the soothing sounds of rolling waves or rustling leaves. Sound intriguing? Read on to learn more.

The Bose Sleepbuds are wireless, noise-masking ear buds designed to “block, cover, and replace” the sounds that keep you awake at night. Is a good night sleep worth $250 to you? Read on to find out.

— July 26, 2018 01:00 in Headphone Reviews

6 Best Bookshelf Speakers for Under $100/Pair

6 Best Bookshelf Speakers for Under $100/Pair

Audioholics has recently completed a string of reviews of ultra-affordable bookshelf speakers from Monoprice, Dayton Audio and Polk that we thought could possibly punch above their price points. These speakers are priced in the $45 to $100 per pair range and bear some signs that the engineers who created them were really trying to get good sound out of modest components. In this article, we summarize our findings and discuss the advantages that each design brings to the table.

Looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers in the $45 - $100 range with sound quality good enough for an audioholic on a budget? Check out our roundup of 6 budget speakers to see how they compared.

— July 23, 2018 00:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Sonos Battles Polk to Beam Into Your Captain's Chair

Sonos Battles Polk to Beam Into Your Captain's Chair

If you're already in the Sonos environment and you're looking to add a soundbar to your whole home audio system, than you should check out the new Sonos Beam Soundbar with Amazon Alexa built in. At just 25" long and $300 Sonos might have an easy solution to add seamless multi-room sound to every room in your house including ones with TV's. Read on to see how we fit in a shameless Star Trek pun.

If you're already in the Sonos environment and you're looking to add a soundbar to your whole home audio system, than you should check out the new Sonos Beam Soundbar with Amazon Alexa built in.

— July 21, 2018 01:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Dayton Audio B452-AIR Bookshelf and C452-AIR Center Speaker Review

Dayton Audio B452-AIR Bookshelf and C452-AIR Center Speaker Review

Would you believe that you can get a reasonably good sound from a $45 pair of bookshelf speakers? What's more, would you believe that speakers of this cost actually use sophisticated AMT tweeters? In this review, we look at the least expensive speakers that Audioholics has ever covered, the Dayton Audio B452-AIR bookshelf and C452-AIR center. Read our review to see why you don't need to spend thousands of dollars or even hundreds of dollars to get a better sound.

Dayton Audio just shattered the price barrier with their B452-Air speakers armed with an AMT tweeter for only $45/pair. Read our review to see how they performed.

— July 16, 2018 14:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Yamaha’s YAS-108 Sound Bar Promises Immersive Sound From A Tidy Package

Yamaha’s YAS-108 Sound Bar Promises Immersive Sound From A Tidy Package

The new Yamaha YAS-108 sound bar hopes to hit the low-price, high-performance sweet spot at $199. The compact and lightweight YAS-108 uses DTS Virtual:X 3D processing to deliver enveloping sound from any movie or TV soundtrack — no surround speakers or additional subwoofer required. Will the YAS-108 be another best-seller for Yamaha, or will stiff competition from LG, Polk Audio, Vizio, and Sonos thwart Yamaha’s efforts?

The Yamaha YAS-108 sound bar hopes to hit the low-price, high-performance sweet spot at $199. Armed with Virtual DTS:X, and built in subs, Yamaha claims convincing surround sound from a single box.

— July 13, 2018 21:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 DTS:X Soundbar Review

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 DTS:X Soundbar Review

Is the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 Soundbar actually a Home Theater System replacement? With DTS:X processing, nine discrete channels, and two subwoofers, the Nakamichi is as much a soundbar as a jalapeno popper is a vegetable. Read our review before you settle for an average soundbar or decide to sell your AVR and surround speakers to see if this product is right for you.

We reviewed the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 DTS:X Soundbar which straddles the line between a premium soundbar and a full home theater speaker system with dual wireless subwoofers and 4 satellites.

— July 12, 2018 14:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

MartinLogan Revamps Dynamo Subwoofers

MartinLogan Revamps Dynamo Subwoofers

The original Dynamo subwoofer series were a smash hit for MartinLogan, but they are not a company to rest on their laurels or past accolades. The redesign of their Dynamo subwoofers was massive project years in the making that we got to see first-hand. These new subs place an emphasis on wireless technologies, with smartphone app control of the subs functions, app control of automated room equalization, and optional wireless signal transmission. They are loaded with a plethora of other innovations and performance enhancements. To find out more, read our preview of the new MartinLogan Dynamo subwoofers.

MartinLogan has totally redesigned the Dynamo subwoofer series in a massive project that was years in the making. To find out more, read our preview of the new MartinLogan Dynamo subwoofers.

— July 11, 2018 08:00 in Subwoofer Reviews

RBH ProStereo H2 Wireless Earphones Review

RBH ProStereo H2 Wireless Earphones Review

RBH has done it again! Another premium Bluetooth in-ear monitor. But this time the product is built specifically for hi-res audio. A lot has changed in Bluetooth technology with the addition of aptX HD and LDAC and the new ProStereo H2 features both hi-resolution audio codecs, making it an important musical companion for anyone streaming from an Android phone. Read our review and check out our YouTube video to see if these are the right wireless earphones for you.

RBH has done it again with their feature packed ProStereo H2 earbuds armed with high fidelity 4.2 Bluetooth audio. The H2s support ALL Android-compatible codecs with an impressive 10hr battery life.

— July 10, 2018 00:00 in Headphone Reviews

New Marantz Slimline Receivers Add Alexa, Heos, And Apple Airplay 2 Support

New Marantz Slimline Receivers Add Alexa, Heos, And Apple Airplay 2 Support

The $549 NR1509 and $749 NR1609 from Marantz pack new features into their slim and elegant chassis. Now with Alexa compatibility and support for multi-room music via Denon’s Heos and Apple’s Airplay 2 protocols, the latest slimline receivers do it all. If you have a small space, a limited budget, and high expectations, these new receivers from Marantz might be just what you’ve been waiting for.

The Marantz NR1509/1609 slimline AV receivers are ideal If you have a small space, a limited budget, and high expectations. They support HD audio and video, multi-room HEOS, Apple Airplay 2 and more.

— July 07, 2018 00:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Monoprice Monolith Portable Headphones/Amps Preview

Monoprice Monolith Portable Headphones/Amps Preview

Monoprice Monolith series of products attempt to elevate the brand as evident with their latest USB DAC Headphone Amp, Portable Headphone Amp and DAC with THX AAA Technology, and M565C/M1060C Over-Ear Closed-Back Headphones . Most of these are available now, but the Portable Headphone Amp and DAC with THX AAA Technology have yet to be released. Read on to determine if these items are products of interest or "one hit wonders".

The Monoprice Monolith USB DAC Headphone Amp, Portable Headphone Amp and DAC with THX AAA Technology, and M565C/M1060C Over-Ear Closed-Back Headphones are the newest editions to the Monoprice line.

— July 06, 2018 00:00 in AV Gadget Reviews