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Featured Reviews, News and Announcements

Power Sound Audio Enters the Loudspeaker Arena (MT-110 and MTM-210) and Mints a New Relationship with miniDSP
Sep 27, 2014 - 3:16 PM - by Todd Anderson
Power Sound Audio (PSA) is no longer the new kid on the block. Launched two years ago behind the thrust of three subwoofer designs (XS15, XV15, and XV30), the company has thrived using an internet direct sales model. Founders Tom Vodhanel and Jim Farina have yet to throttle back, all the while upholding their desire to keep prices reasonable and customer service exceptional; simply surf the threads of audio forums and you’ll find nothing but praise for the PSA buying experience. Of course, this goes without mentioning that PSA subwoofers deliver the boom. If you caught our review of PSA’s entry-level XS15se sub, then you’re well aware that Power Sound Audio is serious about build quality and performance.


PSA's new MT-110 loudspeaker.

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2 Replies | 371 Views
The Marantz HD-DAC1 Premium Headphone Amplifier Ships This October
Sep 23, 2014 - 12:06 PM - by Todd Anderson
The name Marantz screams quality all on its own, born from the finer touches the company applies to its spectrum of AV gear. Recently it unveiled yet another tasty delight, the gorgeous HD-DAC1 headphone amplifier. Much like hi-fi speakers that sing with juice flowing from a quality power amplifier, good headphones also benefit from a good source. We’ve seen quite a few audiophile grade headphone amplifier DACs (Digital to Analog Converter) hit the streets in recent years, with Marantz now joining the ranks of manufacturers offering a specialized (and pricey) product to feed our ears with better, more nuanced, resolution and detail.



Marantz's new HD-DAC1 Headphone Amplifier.

While small in stature (9.8-inches W x 10.6 D x 3.5 H), the physical features of the HD-DAC1 aren’t too surprising. Its smooth aluminum faceplate features a glass porthole and attractive curved wood paneling graces its sides. Keeping the design simple, Marantz...

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2 Replies | 398 Views
BenQ Simplifies Placement Requirements with Its New HT1075 and HT1085ST Projectors
Sep 19, 2014 - 10:01 AM - by Todd Anderson
In the past year, Home Theater enthusiasts have been smacked silly by a never-ending parade of new Hi-Def and Ultra Hi-Def flat panels, all of which seem to grow bigger by the week. While many of these new displays have a tantalizing allure – loaded with fancy technologies and attention grabbing bells and whistles – buyers need to remember they aren’t the only option for a large crisp image; projectors can do that too. For many, a flat panel represents the easiest of options because installation is routine and the effect of normal in-home ambient light conditions on image quality is negligible. However, large flat panels are typically placed in one location and remain there for their useful days. That isn’t to say that ceiling mounted projectors aren’t equally stationary (many enthusiasts prefer them to stay that way), but folks looking for a big picture from a source with flexible placement requirements can’t ignore the benefits of a capable projector.



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2 Replies | 496 Views
PowerSound Audio XS15se Subwoofer Review
Sep 16, 2014 - 9:06 PM - by theJman
PowerSound Audio XS15se

By Jim Wilson (theJman)




Introduction
The subject of this review is the PowerSound Audio XS15se, an acoustic suspension subwoofer utilizing a down-firing 15" driver. The BASH amp is rated at 550 watts RMS and a staggering 1650 watts peak. PowerSound Audio (PSA) lists the frequency response as 23Hz-200Hz +/-3dB, and they go on to state "9Hz-16Hz typical in-room extension". The XS15se weighs in at 68 pounds and measures 19.5"x17"x18" (HWD), which certainly doesn't make it unwieldy for a subwoofer boasting a 15" driver.

This is my second look at a PSA product; I was one of (if not the)...

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0 Replies | 956 Views
Sony Releases Its New ES Z AVR Lineup
Sep 16, 2014 - 11:05 AM - by Todd Anderson
Sony Electronics’ high-end ES receiver lineup is growing bigger. Several days ago, the electronics manufacturer revealed specs and pricing details for its new ES Z Series of receivers. Loaded with features, this new add-on line is aimed at custom installers and consumers looking for greater control over customization, home automation, and device connection. Sony says its three new receivers have been “redesigned to deliver the best integration experience possible” by including features suggested through feedback from dealers and professional installers.


Sony's STR-ZA3000ES features an aluminum face plate and striking new looks.

At first glance, receivers in the ES Z Series feature a physically distinct aluminum faceplate with a protruding upper brow (opposed to other Sony designs featuring sunken and flat-faced upper façades). Bellow the two-line display screen on the upper brow is a multitude of install-friendly cursor keys and a...

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7 Replies | 611 Views
Prepare Your Systems...Dobly Atmos is Primed to Invade on Blu-ray
Sep 10, 2014 - 10:48 AM - by Todd Anderson
Dobly Atmos content for the home environment is less than a month away. Yesterday, Dolby Laboratories revealed that Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. would be the first two companies to release Dolby Atmos titles on Blu-ray and VUDU. VUDU is the first (currently only) streaming service to announce Dolby Atmos support.

Paramount’s first Atmos entry will come on September 30, 2014 with the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction. The film will be offered as a Blu-ray Combo Pack and 3D Combo Pack, both of which will carry a Dolby Atmos soundtrack encoded in Dolby TrueHD. If previous Transformers Blu-ray releases are any barometer (Dark of the Moon, in particular) then home theater enthusiasts are in for quite an audio treat. The company is planning on announcing more Atmos enabled titles later this year.


Transformers: Age of Extinction is primed to be the first Dolby Atmos Blu-ray release.


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13 Replies | 886 Views
14 Blades Blu-ray Giveaway Contest Winner Announcement
Sep 10, 2014 - 8:31 AM - by Todd Anderson
Our 14 Blades Blu-ray Giveaway Contest winner is:

willis7469

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11 Replies | 456 Views
TiVo Mega: The Granddaddy of Them All
Sep 08, 2014 - 1:47 PM - by Todd Anderson
Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) were first introduced during 1999 at the Consumer Electronics Show, a time in which VHS tapes and printed television guides ruled the home video recording world. Now, over a decade later, we find ourselves in an era of set-top DVR boxes, navigable screen menus, and convenient options (like season passes) that have practically simplified recording shows to a few clicks of a remote. The DVR has been a game changer on so many fronts, all of them for the better (unless you’re an advertiser).


The TiVo Mega boasts 24 Terabytes of storage.

One of the weak points of DVR technology has been hard drive space (which directly dictates how many shows a user can store). Manufacturers have certainly addressed this issue by increasing drive sizes and improving user storage management software, but some folks apparently need more -- as in: a lot more. Today, TiVo acknowledged that need by announcing one whopper of a DVR (by...

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11 Replies | 653 Views
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