While I love the sound quality that a full-bore home theater system offers, sometimes all a user really needs is simplicity. Whether for a bedroom system, or a small family room or den, sound bars answer the call of many users by offering good sound and great ease of use in a very cost-effective package. The Vizio SB4051-D5 Sound Bar System takes things a bit further, as it is a true 5.1 channel package with a dedicated subwoofer and real surround speakers.
I know many audiophiles who have ditched their analog-based music setups and gone strictly digital. Whether that means entirely computer-based (be that MAC or PC), network-attached storage (NAS)-based, large racks of round plastic discs (CDs), or a combination of the above, these folks no longer use a single analog-based device. Their music lies entirely within the realm of zeros and ones. It is for this customer that McIntosh has designed their new D1100 2-Channel Digital Preamplifier.
In an effort to bring the critically-acclaimed sound quality of their Focus SE speakers to a larger audience, Legacy Audio has created the Signature SE Tower Speaker. Sporting very similar drivers in a smaller cabinet, the Legacy Audio Signature SE strives to bring the big Legacy sound to those with smaller rooms or a lower budget.
Renowned Italian speaker manufacturer Sonus faber, famous for producing stunningly beautiful (and expensive) hand-made speakers, has come to the table with their first true budget speaker line – the Principia. On hand for review here is the Principia 3, the larger of two bookshelf models in the line.
Consider me sold on the SV Sound SoundPath Isolation System. They work even better than I imagined, doing a great job of not only keeping your bass waves where you want them, but also improving overall bass output, clarity, tightness and punch...
One of the original Internet-direct subwoofer manufacturers, Hsu Research is well-known within the home theater and audio community. For over 20 years, their products have been leaders in the realm of high performance for relatively low cost. On hand today is the new ULS-15 MKII – a sealed subwoofer with a large 15-inch driver.
Long known for making products that are as appealing to the eye as they are to the ear, Sonus faber has released their new Olympica line of speakers. I have a full surround system on hand for review, starting with the flagship Olympica III towers for the front mains, the matching Olympica Center for center channel duty, and a pair of the Olympica I bookshelf speakers for use as surrounds.
Sumiko has decided to enter the somewhat crowded subwoofer market with a new line of subwoofers. Not merely content to make a big box that pipes out loud, one-note bass, Sumiko has decided to pursue the more difficult goal of making subwoofers that blend seamlessly with high quality speakers and truly increase the dynamics and weight of an audio system.
The Dynaudio Excite line has been thoroughly updated for 2014. On hand for review is a fantastic sounding surround system anchored by the flagship Excite X38 towers, the bookshelf Excite X14s for use as surround channels, and the Excite X24 center channel speaker.
Since being introduced about 10 years ago, the Polk LSi series of speakers was one of the first lines I'd recommend to people who cared about sound but didn't want to break the bank. Fast forward to 2012 and we have a new from-the-ground-up version of the LSi: the LSiM.
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.