Back in 2014, Panasonic reanimated the not-dead-just-sleeping Technics brand with the launch of two high end audio ranges. We got a brief ears-on in the listening room and liked what we heard. Very much. But there was something missing. For many party animals of a certain age, the good times were fueled by discs spun on the DJ weapons of choice – a pair of Technics SL-1200 decks. The brand confirmed plans to appease vinyl lovers at IFA 2015 by introducing a new direct drive motor assembly for an upcoming turntable. Now, the picture is complete with a CES reveal of the brand new Grand Class SL-1200G.
After a good deal of pre-release positivity from audio community reviewers and industry pundits, V-Moda's flagship Crossfade M-100 headphones were finally made available to buy at the end of 2012. Though many market competitors have since embraced the music-buying public's increasing desire for wireless freedom and added Bluetooth models to their ranges, V-Moda has stubbornly resisted the call to ditch the cable. That all changed in September, however, with the launch of the Crossfade Wireless headphones – the company's Val Kolton calling them the "best sounding and most versatile" Bluetooth headphones he'd ever tried. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks finding out if mobile convenience can be as sonically fulfilling as cumbersome cables.
Vinyl records are growing in popularity, with Nielsen reporting a 260 percent growth in US sales since 2009. So now might be a good time to cable up your old turntable again and bring down the once treasured collection from the attic. When the cartridge coughs up a fur ball big enough to rival the household cat, though, it may be time to consider a vinyl cleaning machine. The VC-S from Austrian audio house Pro-Ject is claimed capable of washing and drying a 12-inch disc up to three times faster than the competition.
Unwelcome color, nasty distortion and unnatural reproduction. Those are the kind of annoying qualities that loudspeaker housing made from cheap materials can add to the listening experience. This has led some audio designers to look for a high density and weighty solution to the cabinet vibration problem. Concrete. Though that does perhaps produce images in the mind of boring and ugly monoliths dropping through the living room floor to the basement below, Germany's Concrete Audio and Italy's Digital Habit(s) would beg to differ. Now Los Angeles-based Hult Design is hoping to join the concrete party with a crowdfunding effort aimed at bringing its Pavilion speakers to market.
The Sugr Cube is a portable, Wi-Fi-enabled speaker block that plays tunes from multiple sources and packs a powerful audio punch for such a small unit. We tested the Kickstarter-funded speaker to see how it measures up against comparable speakers offered by the likes of Sonos.
At CES 2009, Sennheiser launched what was to become an audioholic favorite – the HD 800 open-back headphones. We got the opportunity to go ears-on at IFA a few months later and were duly impressed. This month, the German audio house is releasing an improved model, the HD 800 S, with the promise of bringing listeners "one step closer to the perfect sound."
From Netflix to iTunes and everything in between, there's now a plethora of services for delivering video over the web. Those TV shows and movies don't look their best on your 13-inch laptop though, which is why we've also seen a rise in the number of boxes, dongles and streamers built to get content from the internet up on the big screen in your living room. Join us as we break down the best streaming boxes and other streaming devices of 2015.
Getting surround sound quality for your home theater can often mean some budget-busting options requiring multiple speakers, subwoofers, and an amplifier that could run a Five Finger Death Punch concert. Fluance takes the cost and the hassle out of that predicament, with its SXBP High Definition Bipolar Surround Sound Speakers.
Australian-born artist and designer, electrical engineer and recording engineer Kostas Metaxas started making and selling high-end audio systems in 1981. He considers art and design to be "visual music" and has combined haute horology watchmaking techniques, electrical and mechanical engineering and fine art for his latest eye-popping project – the Ikarus integrated amplifier. First revealed earlier this year in a series of computer-generated images, the Ikarus is now being readied for release.
We were mighty impressed by the Mo-Fi headphones from Blue Microphones when we reviewed them last year, but they were a little weighty and quite expensive. Today the company has revealed the Lola headphones, which feature the same 50 mm custom drivers, "ear-shaped" pads and multi-jointed headband as the Mo-Fi, but are lighter and cheaper. They are lacking in one important area though.