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Home Audio Accessory Reviews

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Audio Accessory Reviews

Bryston BDA-2 DAC

Bryston BDA-2Following on the highly successful BDA-1 DAC, Bryston has raised the bar with the addition of an asynchronous USB input and reduced distortion in their new BDA-2 DAC. Take a look at what I found. The performance is quite a surprise.

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Anthem Room Correction (ARC) System - Part 1

Anthem Room Correction ARC System-Part 1Among the numerous room correction systems I have tested, the Anthem ARC currently stands out as the best for consumers. In this mulit-part review, I take you through how room correction works, and give you some results I obtained in several rooms of my home.

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Audeze LCD3 Planar Magnetic Headphones

Audeze LCD3 Planar Magnetic HeadphonesAt $1,995 MSRP, Audeze has produced an elite set of headhphones called the LCD3 that most would consider out of their financial reach. However, think about how much would it cost to build a two-channel full size speaker system capable of the performance of the LCD3? Maybe $4K?

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HiFiMAN HE-300 Over-the-Ear Headphones

HiFiMAN HE-300 headphones

HifiMAN headphones are well known around these parts in the Secrets community. A Headphone of the Year award will do that for you. In a possible effort to "spread the wealth" and grant access to their awesome headphones without breaking the bank, they've introduced the HE-300 over the ear headphones.

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iRule Home Automation System Review - Controller Application

iRule Home Automation System Review - Controller Application

Ever since I built my first AV system, I have wanted a slick touch-screen remote to control it all. Let's face it; once you have more than just a TV in your media room, you need a way to integrate that pile of remotes into an...

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XTZ Room Analyzer II Pro Room Acoustics Analyzer Kit

XTZ Room Analyzer II ProWe've all heard the adage a dozen times: your room is far more important to the sound that you get out of your system than the system itself. While this statement may very well be true, the process of tackling "your room" is far more difficult than deciding what type of receiver or speaker wire you should buy. Welcome to the world of acoustics: incredibly complicated and undoubtedly intimidating. The XTZ Room Analyzer may just be the thing to help get you into this world a little easier.

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Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint® Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint® Active Noise-Cancelling HeadphonesAudio Technica's ATH-ANC9 Over-the-Ear Headphones don't have an overly heavy duty look to them, which makes them unassuming and clean looking. But, of course, headphones are about functionality. Read our review to see how they functioned.

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MartinLogan Mikros 90 On-Ear Headphones

MartinLogan Mikros 90 HeadphonesNot wanting to be left out of the lucrative headphone market, MartinLogan has released the noise isolating Mikros 90. Instead of going the exotic, high-end route of designing a pair of electrostatic headphones to mimic their famous loudspeakers, MartinLogan has created a pair of lightweight, portable headphones called the Mikros 90 that at only $299, fall directly into the low-priced high-end headphone sector.

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PSB M4U 2 Noise Cancelling Headphones

PSB M4U 2 Noise Canceling HeadphonesPSB is one of the latest speaker companies - joining the likes of Focal, B&W, Velodyne, and Paradigm - to jump into the booming headphone arena. In this review, we take a close look at their M4U Over-the-Ear Headphones.

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Meridian Explorer USB DAC

Meridian Explorer USB DACComputer audio is all the rage now, with many people moving their entire digital collections to music servers, and the laptop taking the place of the CD player in many systems. The technologies behind USB DACs have evolved rapidly to where the interface is now on the same level as Coaxial or Optical interfaces. One area that hasn't been addressed as well is the portable audio market, as most USB DACs are rack-sized components that require a wall power supply. This is certainly not a convenient option for those of us that want high-resolution audio on the go.

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NAD M51 Direct Digital DAC

 NAD M51 DAC

Most audio component manufacturers have a DAC in their product lineup, and NAD is no exception. However, the NAD M51 is unusual in that it takes the incoming digital PCM bitstream and converts it directly to a PWM bitstream, which is then fed directly to the output. The idea has been around for about a decade, but the technology for implementing it was not fast enough in those early days. Now, with modern technology and techniques, NAD has produced what they call a "Direct Digital DAC", where the digital signal does not go through digital to analog conversion in the normal sense, but converted to PWM at 844 kHz sampling, with 35 bit word length. As you will see with the bench tests, the results are quite amazing, and the price is very affordable.

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