Newest Updates - Quick View
- Music Everywhere: Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro Bluetooth Speaker-Powerbank-Flashlight
- Does a Product's Backstory Matter?
- Oppo Digital PM-3 Headphones
- Torque Audio t402v Headphones
- "Odd Man Out'
- Optoma NuForce DDA120 Direct Digital Integrated Amplifier-DAC
- Music Everywhere: Polk Audio Hinge Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- The Five Best Earphones (According to Me)
- Laura Marling: "Short Movie"
- Phiaton MS 100 BA Earphones
- Paradigm Reference Signature S6 v.3 / C3 v.3 / ADP3 v.3 / Sub 1 / PBK Home-Theater Speaker System
- Paradigm Reference MilleniaOne / Seismic 110 Home-Theater Speaker System
- Paradigm Reference Signature S6 v.3 Loudspeakers
- Monitor Audio Silver RX6 / RX Centre / RXFX / RXW-12 Home-Theater Speaker System
- Anthony Gallo Acoustics Nucleus Reference 3.5 Loudspeakers
- Logitech Squeezebox Touch WiFi Music Player
- From "Home Theater & Sound" to "SoundStage! Xperience"
- Oppo Digital Does It Again: The BDP-93 Blu-ray Player
- Velodyne Optimum-10 Subwoofer
- Anthem MRX 700 A/V Receiver
A YouTube video I recently watched got me thinking more deeply about my work than I have in a while. No, it wasn’t a video by some great audio scientist or famed writer or philosopher of aesthetics. It was a program from VH1 Classic’s series Rock Icons 2015, featuring none other than Officer of the Order of Canada (and Rush bassist and singer) Geddy Lee -- and he wasn’t even talking about sound.
I like Outdoor Tech -- the imaginative company comes up with devices like no others. A few years ago they came up with the Buckshot, a little cylindrical speaker that could be fastened to a bicycle handlebar or hung from a backpack loop. Now they’ve expanded that design into the Buckshot Pro, which adds a flashlight and a battery charger.
Oppo Digital PM-3 measurements can be found by clicking this link.
In just one year, Oppo Digital has become one of the biggest names in audiophile headphones. The new PM-3 closed-back headphones ($399 USD) follow on the impact Oppo made with its other models, the PM-1 ($1099) and PM-2 ($699). Not only is the PM-3 the least expensive model Oppo has made, it’s their first closed-back model, which opens it up to a much wider audience. Closed-back headphones provide some degree of isolation from sounds around you, so you get less noise and more music. I’d guess closed-back headphones outsell open-back models by 100 to 1.
Torque Audio t402v measurements can be found by clicking this link.
It’s a good thing most headphones are relatively inexpensive, because they’re the riskiest purchase an audio enthusiast can make. Headphones vary greatly in tonal quality -- more than speakers do, at least according to my ears and my measurement gear. Listeners’ opinions of headphones also seem to vary more than do their opinions of gear in other audio categories. Yet it’s rare to be able to listen to headphones before you buy. Sometimes you can check them out at a headphone meet or hi-fi show, but for the most part you have to rely on reviews written by people who may or may not share your taste in music and/or sound.
Carol Reed’s First Masterpiece Gets the Blu-ray Treatment
The Criterion Collection 754
Odd Man Out, directed by Carol Reed and first released in 1947, is not your ordinary crime movie. With its blend of German expressionism, the poetic realism of 1930s France, and cinematographer Robert Krasker's moody black-and-white photography, it's hard not to think of it as a British film noir.
Look around on the Internet and you’ll find innumerable lists of the best five or six or ten of a given type of product. It’s wise to be skeptical of such lists. Their compilers may or may not have any real knowledge of their subjects, and may not even have actually tried every item on a list. Still, I often Google things like “best hybrid cars” or “best torque wrenches” or “best coffeemakers” or “best bass amps.” I sometimes get good advice, and at the very least, I usually find out about a few products I wasn’t aware of. So in that spirit, this month I offer my list of the five earphones that have most impressed me as delivering outstanding sound for the price.
Most headphones look similar to other headphones, but Polk Audio’s Hinge Wireless on-ear model ($199.95 USD) is subtly different. Add to its looks good sound and easy use (for some), and you have headphones that are not just for the fashion conscious. Still, the Hinge Wireless has some problems . . .
NuForce, the California-based audio brand best known for their proprietary class-D power amplifiers, was recently acquired by Optoma Technology, known to many as a major maker of DLP projectors. Also recently, the high-end division of NuForce was spun off as a new company, NuPrime, which will manufacture more expensive products, such as the amplifiers based on NuForce’s high-end, class-D amplifier modules with Cross Matrix Array (CMA) capacitor boards.
NuForce itself will continue to manufacture less costly products, but gone from their product line are many of the very small models -- e.g., the Icon integrated amplifiers -- which were popular for use with desktop systems. However, NuForce continues to offer compact stereo and home-theater components, and high-quality earphones. Thankfully, my favorite NuForce product, the DDA-100 Direct Digital integrated amplifier (discontinued), now lives on as the DDA120, which adds some key new features and a slight increase in price, from $549 to $699 USD.
Ribbon Music B00R8SN5U4
At 25, and after creating five albums, British singer-songwriter Laura Marling is no longer the startling young ingénue she was when she scored three Mercury Prize nominations, but she can still stun you with the freshness of her music and the depth of her emotion.
Phiaton MS 100 BA measurements can be found by clicking this link.
The new MS 100 BAs -- Phiaton’s first earphones with balanced-armature drivers -- make me wonder once again why there’s not more controversy or disagreement about balanced armatures. Look at all the stuff audiophiles do disagree about: tubes vs. transistors, the benefits (or lack thereof) of high-resolution audio, whether or not cables make a difference. Well, the audible difference between using balanced-armature and conventional dynamic drivers in earphones is much more significant than the differences you’d hear in any of the pairings just mentioned.