The world's first 13.2CH Immersive Surround Receiver is what Denon is calling their new AVR-X8500H. This 51lbs monster is the king of all AV receivers at CES 2018 as we don't know of any other product that supports ALL 3 immersive surround formats, 3 pairs of height channels, with a HDMI 2.1 upgradability path. While it's asking price may seem a bit spendy, it's really not when you consider the arsenal of processing power this baby has and how flexible it will be for even the most upscale home theater installations.
Sound United LLC, parent company to Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Polk BOOM, HEOS, and Boston Acoustics, today announced it has acquired Classé Audio, a leading maker of high-performance music and theater components. Classé Audio will join the Sound United family of brands, representing some of the most renowned names in the industry. Through this acquisition, Sound United will continue to drive its global growth and recognition, spearheading innovation in the category and increasing its footprint in the consumer audio space.
If you are looking for a price friendly desktop or surround loudspeaker with an audiophile RAAL tweeter, Zapf audio woofer and superb crossover network than look no further than the Mini Philharmonitor from Dennis Murphy and Philharmonic Audio. The Mini Philharmonitor is a relatively new speaker and you'll be amazed how well they handle many genres of music for dedicated music listening. At this price point, the Mini Philharmonitors are the only speakers with a RAAL tweeter that we could find. Please read on to see how these did in a sound demo in an in-home audition.
With Disney soon to own a majority of Fox TV and film Studios, the stars may have just aligned for the creation of the most powerful media conglomerate ever created. We also have plenty of possible new story lines to look forward to. Will mutants join the Marvel cinematic universe? What will the future of Hulu and Disney direct-to-consumer look like? And most importantly, how will the Simpsons deal with being employees of the House of Mickey Mouse? These are sure to be interesting times for comic nerds and cord-cutters alike.
For those of you looking for a premiere in-wall sub, JL Audio released their IWS-SYS-108 and IWS-SYS-208. The newest models from JL Audio have a very small grille opening that will please customers looking for a visually unobtrusive solution while still capable of delivering true JL Audio sub-bass performance. To see all their features read on.
2017 marked the year when smart devices infiltrated home theater and Ultra HD became more attainable. As if AV receivers didn't do enough already, now they come armed with Alexa Skill, music media streaming and the latest in HD immersive audio and video support. We selected the best speakers, AV receivers, and preamps, UHD Blu-ray players, etc for this model year that we reviewed or personally demoed and chose them as our 2017 Product of the Year Award winners. Continue reading to see our picks.
Renowned sub manufacturer Rythmik Audio recently released an 18" triple ported subwoofer, the FV18. This subwoofer sports a newly developed black anodized aluminum driver that is driven by an also newly developed 900 watt Hypex class D amplifier. This beast of a sub is made for those who require more ultra low end output. The FV17 does not behave like a typical ported sub. It has the output in spades, but also the articulation Rythmik is known for. Check out the sound demo report on how this sub performs with a variety of source material in an in-home audition.
Looking for a high end turntable to spin your vinyl? Look no further than the new № 515 Turntable from Mark Levinson. With help from VPI Industries this ultra precise turntable incorporates a 3D printed tonearm, precision-machined pulley and triple belt drive, and a a highly damped vinyl-wrapped composite and aluminum sandwich main chassis. If money is no object and you have the $10,000 to spend on a really fancy record player then this might be the unit for you.
What are the characteristics that determine the sound quality of an audio system? This is a question that for too long has been shrouded in mysticism as if there were some ephemeral magic that touched some systems and not others. But, the truth is this question can be approached objectively, and indeed that is what Dr. Floyd Toole has been doing with over a lifetime of scientific research. The results of his research is presented in a clear, concise third edition of his book 'Sound Reproduction,' which makes for an enlightening read for neophyte audio enthusiasts and long-time audiophiles alike.
Legacy's latest flagship product, the Valor, is a speaker that pushes the state-of-the-art in high-fidelity further than ever before as a 2,750 watt, 11-driver behemoth that is packed with the latest advances in audio engineering. The sound from the Valor is tightly controlled so interference from room acoustics is greatly reduced, and imaging from the original signal is preserved with greater clarity. The methods used by Legacy to reconstruct the original stereo image go well beyond traditional room correction equalization. Read our overview and watch our YouTube Video of the Legacy Valor to find out more.
As is our annual tradition, we have put together our 2017 Audioholics AV electronics Christmas gift guide of relatively affordable audio gear and accessories that can really enhance your enjoyment of your favorite music and/or movies. Whether you're shopping for a new AV receiver, media streaming device, speakers, or even a smart balance board, we've got you covered. Pay extra attention to the limited time special pricing on some of the products on this list. We hope you enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas!
Audio specifications run the gamut from merely “nice to know” to “genuinely useful.” A speaker’s impedance rating should be one of those genuinely useful specs, but you can’t always trust them. What does it really mean when a company rates their speaker as 8 ohms, or 4 ohms? Read on to get an "insider's look" at speaker spec ratings and the marketing that you won't read anywhere else.
We reviewed Oppo's newest Ultra HD Blu-ray players, the UDP-203 and souped-up audiophile UDP-205. Both had very responsive interfaces, silent operation, and exhibited state of the art audio and video playback performance with every type of source material thrown at them. The UDP-203 and 205 leave videophiles wanting very little and both players should satisfy even the most critical audiophiles. So what does the UDP-205 offer for more than 2X the price of the UDP-203? Read our in-depth review to find out.
The end is nigh for net neutrality as it exists today. Trump-appointed FCC chief Ajit Pai put forth a plan last week that promises to roll back Obama’s net neutrality policies. All that’s left is for the five FCC commissioners to vote in December, making the rollback a virtual certainty. But, will the principles of net neutrality die with the FCC? Considering Obama's net neutrality was built on laws designed for a depression-era phone company, perhaps the door is open for modern law that govern the Internet.
SVS has launched a new subwoofer line to replace their venerable 13-Ultra Series: the 4000 Series, which imports much of the technology from their flagship 16-Ultra line and mates it with the 13-Ultra designs. The result is an improvement in every way over the 13-Ultra subwoofers, especially in the realm of control and signal processing. What is better is that this substantial improvement comes at little to no price increase. Read our preview of the SVS 4000 Series subwoofers to see what SVS has done to make a worthy successor to the now-classic 13-Ultra subwoofers.
The economics of videogames is serious business. Budgets for high-profile games routinely outclass those of blockbuster movies, not to mention the GDP of small independent nations. But, did EA take a step too far in trying to wring even greater profits from games through overuse of microtransacations? The gaming community seems to think so, never has the backlash against a videogame been so great as what we saw last week during the launch of EA's Star Wars Battlefront II. Is it fair to reward advantages to players that pay?
Sound United and DTS have announced the availability of an important DTS Virtual:X firmware update for many Denon and Marantz A/V receiver models. Even more models are getting the update over the next couple of months. DTS says its Virtual:X technology can bring increased levels of immersion to your surround sound system whether you're using your receiver for stereo, 5.1 or 7.1.4. Check to see your receiver is on the list getting update right away.
Subwoofer manufacturer Rythmik Audio recently released three massive new subwoofers that push their products' performance farther than ever before: with the F18 and FV18, Rythmik has entered in the 18" cone weight class, both powered by a 900-watt amplifier, and their dual 15" woofer, 1,800 watt FV25HP topping out their product line as their new flagship. With specs like those, sheer power is assured, but what about sound quality? Read on to see how Rythmik has scaled their famed sound quality to new levels of output.
Cambridge Audio recently released two new AV receivers CXR120 and the CX200. Like most higher end audio companies, the Cambridge units focus more on the audio with powerful A/B amplifier sections, but lag a bit on features when compared to many of their competitors. These particular units lack Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing. Will audiophiles be content without the latest in immersive surround sound? It all depends on their focus.
It's been a few years since the official unveiling of DTS Headphone: X, a new technology that promises to change how we listen to music, movies, and television using our favorite headphones. Now, that technology is finally starting to roll out, with the most recent introduction of the Nubia Z17S Android smartphone, initial reviews are mostly underwhelmed. With a limited and expensive music library thus far, will DTS Headphone: X make waves in hi-fi, or is it destined to remain just another smartphone app?