Bluesound is a relatively new player in the world of wireless multi-room music system. Its products, however, demonstrate maturity way beyond the company's young age. The products from the Bluesound ecosystem reviewed here: the Vault, Powernode, Duo, and Pulse, instill quite a positive impression and excitement on the future trend of wireless music systems.
Audio Accessory Reviews
Compared to mounting a flat panel TV, installing a projector is a pain. You need to get the screen perfectly level and flush with the wall. Then you have to mount the projector to precisely line up with the screen. It has to be perfectly parallel to the screen or you'll see distortion. Getting the projector perfectly level usually means lifting it up to make small adjustments to the feet, placing the projector down, and checking again. Since I review multiple projectors every year, I do this dance too many. By the time I get a projector perfect it's almost time to box it up and send it back to the company. The PJT40 projector mount from OmniMount is designed to make this easier than before and so I decided to install one in my home theater to find out.
The ADE-24.1 Analog Digital Enhancer is an accessory that has been around for a long time. It works at low voltage (e.g., RCA analog output from CD player, iPod, etc.) and manipulates the harmonics. I got one of these units at the California Audio Show and the demonstration definitely indicated that it could improve sound (make it sound more appealing, and widen the sound stage), so I decided to bench test it to see what it does.
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.
Among 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Comects is a Hong Kong-based company that makes A/V accessories, including switchers. We have reviewed a few of their products, and at this point, I had stopped reviewing HDMI switchers because most receivers and processors have HDMI input switching built-in. However, the Comects Neptune 4x2 HDMI switcher is unique, in that it has four inputs and two outputs, and you can route any of the four inputs to either of the two outputs, simultaneously (meaning that it is called a "matrix" switcher). So, for example, if you have a satellite box, Blu-ray player, and media server in your home theater, and you also have an HDTV in an adjacent room, you can route the Blu-ray player to the receiver (which forwards the video to your HDTV or projector) in your home theater, while the satellite box or media server is routed to the HDTV in the adjacent room.
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.