Audio Accessory Reviews


Pioneer Elite N-50 Network Audio Player

Pioneer currently offers two network audio players in their Elite product line. Both models are best described as media streamers since they do not store music within the player's chassis but rather acquire music from external music servers or devices. The first model is the N-30, which offers the ability to stream high-resolution digital music via Apple's AirPlay or from DLNA-compatible servers. The second model and subject of this review is the N-50 that builds upon the functionality of the N-30 by adding an asynchronous USB DAC as well as optical and coaxial digital inputs so the N-50 can be used as an outboard D/A converter.


Anthem Room Correction (ARC) System – Part 2 – Including a Subwoofer

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the Anthem ARC (Anthem Room Correction) firmware that is present in their SSPs as well as the AVRs which have a  reduced filter bank size. By far, the most significant sonic issue for acoustic music when a subwoofer is deployed occurs around the crossover from the subwoofer to the main speaker. In Part 2 of this series, we take a look at Anthem's ARC (Anthem Room Correction) when adding a subwoofer to the system.


XTZ Room Analyzer II Pro Room Acoustics Analyzer Kit

We'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.

Audio Desk System Vinyl Cleaner

Audio Desk System Automated Vinyl (LP) Cleaner

For all of these years that I've been extolling the virtues of analog (LP a.k.a., vinyl) playback I've known that it just isn't really practical for most people. Even less practical, is the necessity to clean your LPs once in a while to keep those pops and ticks out of the music. Several companies make devices that clean your LPs. The Audio Desk System Automated Vinyl Cleaner is one of them, and we review it here.


D-Wings Cable Management

All of us have had to deal with cable management in our audio and home theater systems. What we usually end up with is a tangle of wires that look like a mess. There are a number of cable management systems out there, but they most often involve tubes through which you pass the cables. D-Wings, marketed by UT-Wire, represent a completely different, and much easier to use, cable management product.


Wireless HDMI Round Up

Now that our TVs are thin enough we often want to hang them on a wall, and manufacturers keep pushing the limits of thickness year after year. CES this year saw the advent of OLED TVs that are just millimeters thick as they no longer need backlighting systems, and serve double duty as a cheese slicer with their razor-thin profiles.


Accell UltraCat HD HDMI Extender

During CEDIA 2011, one technology that caught my attention was HDBaseT. It provided a solution to the all too familiar cable clutter problem. Below is a picture that I took at their booth which shows a set of cables whose signals could all be transmitted over a single Cat5e/6 cable at distances up to 100m.