Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

Home Audio Accessory Reviews

SPONSOR THIS SECTION - LEARN MORE

Audio Accessory Reviews

NuForce NE-700X Earbuds

nuforce-ne-700x-earbuds-teaserNuForce is a small company that has recently become quite visible due to their special editions of the venerable OPPO Universal Players. But, they also make their own products, including DACs and earbuds. The latter, namely the NuForce NE-700X earbuds, are reviewed here. They are inexpensive, fit in the ear canal in the most comfortable way I have ever experienced, and have low distortion. The price? $65.

Read more...

Marc Audio Red Line (Signature) and Black Line (Reference) RCA Interconnects and Red Line Speaker Cables

marc-audio-interconnect-teasermarc-audio-black-line-interconnect-teaser

Marc Audio - Update:  Black Line RCA Interconnects - The Reference Line.

Marc Audio is another new audio cable manufacturer that has just set up shop in October. I received a sample of their first product, an RCA interconnect that is going to be their mid-level line of audio cables, called the Red Line (as of June, 2011, they renamed them as the Signature Line). I thought it might just be more of the same. But, it turned out this one is different, and it is not even their top model. For one thing, it is totally a USA product.

Read more...

Panamax M4320-PRO AC Power Conditioner

Paradigm Reference Seismic 110 Subwoofer The Panamax BlueBOLT version 1.2 Remote Power and Energy Management Platform really caught my eye at the 2010 CEDIA Expo. This newest version of the BlueBOLT AC power conditioner system expands on the energy management features and provides new control options. With BlueBOLT, custom electronics installers, integrators and end-users can remotely monitor and control power to their equipment by accessing power management components over the internet from anywhere in the world. Here, we review the Panamaz M4320-PRO AC Power Conditioner.

Read more...

Nixeus Fusion HD Digital Player (Multi-media Streamer)

Nixeus Fusion HD Digital Player It seems only appropriate that I follow my recent review of the Apple TV with a look at another digital player, the Nixeus Fusion HD. This product is another example of a multi-media streaming device. It has the ability to play back a wide variety of formats for video, still photos, and audio. To this it adds Internet functionality in the form of a web browser plus access to services like YouTube and Flickr. It also offers file management in the form of BitTorrent and easy connectivity with your networked computers via Ethernet or WiFi.

Read more...

Furman F1500 UPS with Additional Battery Power

furman-f1500-ups-teaserFurman, long known for power conditioners, has introduced a series of UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) that go into operation if your home (or office) AC power goes off due to storms or other factors. From the point that your AC goes off, and the Furman supplies AC power to whatever is plugged into it, you have a certain amount of time to shut down the components you have plugged into it. The amount of time you have depends on the current draw of the connected components. The Furman F1500 is rated at 900 watts load. The optional BATT1500-EXT battery pack allows additional time. The F1500 UPS was designed with home theater users in mind, and since a sudden loss of power can corrupt receiver settings and damage bulbs in projectors, the addition of a UPS to your home theater is something to consider.

Read more...

Emotiva XDA-1 Differential Reference DAC for the Audiophile

Introduction to the Emotiva XDA-1 Differential Reference DAC for the audiophile

As general rule of thumb, I try not to review equipment from manufacturers of products that I personally own as it can lend an air of bias on my part. I'm just letting you know up front that I own a UMC-1 pre/pro and three amplifiers from Emotiva. I find their products to perform very well and are true bargains in the A/V world.

Read more...

Wyred4Sound DAC-2 AND STI-500 Integrated Stereo Amplifier

Wyred4Sound DAC-2 AND STI-500 Review

Recently the external DAC has made a bit of a comeback in popularity. While they were once most commonly paired with a digital transport, now you're more likely to see them hooked up as part of a home media server. With disk space now cheap enough that anyone can keep their entire collection archived in a lossless format, and even keep a backup copy of it around, people are using their PC to serve up their audio collection. However, getting the most out of that lossless archive has been a challenge for many as most computer sound cards left much to be desired in the audio quality realm. In this review, we cover the Wyred4Sound DAC-2 and STI-500 Integrated Stereo Amplifier.

Read more...

Marantz NA7004 Network Music Streamer

Marantz NA7004 Network Audio Player Almost every manufacturer these days is including some type of network support in their products. From receivers that connect to home music servers and disc players that stream music and video from the internet, we have lots of options for enjoying content with our home entertainment systems. While Marantz has been including network support in their products for a while, they have not offered a stand-alone network streamer until now: The NA7004 streams music from your computer, the Internet, and even USB thumb drives.

Read more...

Monster Turbine Pro Copper Professional In-Ear Speakers

fig-teaserRecently I reviewed Monster’s Turbine In-Ear Speaker, and my experience with that product made me curious about their professional line of similarly designed in-ear speakers. Enter the Monster Turbine Pro Copper, a more refined and ruggedly built version of the Turbines.

Read more...

Second-Generation Apple TV Media Streamer

Second-Generation Apple TV Ever since Louis Daguerre took the first photograph and Thomas Edison lowered the needle on the first phonograph, media has been a part of our lives. The reproduction of still and moving images and sound is an art form that we are unlikely to see the zenith of in our lifetimes. Since the early part of the twentieth century, sound and video reproduction usually came in the form of magnetic tape, film or vinyl records. Now with the proliferation of digital storage methods, evolution has accelerated. The Apple TV second generation media streamer tosses the hard drive storage from first generation model. What does it add? Read our review to see for yourself . . . .

Read more...

Bryston BDA-1 Digital to Analog Converter and Halide Design USB to SPDIF Bridge

Bryston BDA-1 Digital to Analog Converter and Halide Design USB to SPDIF Bridge

Digital to Analog converters (DACs) have been enjoying something of a renaissance in the past couple of years due to the widespread adoption of computer based music. Back before SACD, DVD-A and multichannel audio, DACs were the source component du jour for redbook CD. With the adoption of the new high-resolution formats, DACs fell out of favor, replaced by integrated universal disc players. Today, many people have gone to entirely computer based audio setups. The highest resolution digital audio available today does not come on a disc, but is available via download. This means DACs are back, and the Bryston BDA-1 is regarded as one of the best of the new breed of 24 bit 192 kHz DACs. Along with the Brytson BDA-1, we review the Halide Design USB to SPDIF Bridge.

Read more...