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Mazel tov! Birth of DirectStream Junior DAC announced

Back in 2014, to much appreciative applause from industry pundits and the audiophile community alike, the DirectStream DAC was released. The digital-to-analog converter takes any digital input format and converts it to Direct Stream Digital for output that's touted as being "near-perfect analog." At just under US$6,000, however, it's eye-wateringly expensive. Maker Colorado's PS Audio has spent the last two years looking into delivering similar performance in a cheaper package. This quest has led to the development of the DirectStream Junior.Read More

Sky Q's "Fluid Viewing" puts TV anywhere, any time

European TV giant Sky has launched the next generation of its home entertainment system in the UK and Ireland. Sky Q is aimed at providing a seamless viewing experience: like similar offerings from US providers Dish and DirecTV, Sky's version of the modern TV ecosystem lets users watch shows on different TVs and devices, pause and resume in different rooms and save recordings onto tablets.Read More

Sentio headphones offer open or closed listening choice

Open-back headphones, where the outer earcups are perforated to allow air and sound to pass freely in and out, can bring a more natural, spacious feel to music listening. But sound leakage is a big drawback – users can hear much of the world around them and anyone nearby can clearly hear sounds coming from the headphones. Closed-back headphones, where the outer cups are solid, offer more isolation, but staging can feel restricted and the listening experience very much in your head. The Sentio headphones from British audio house Rock Jaw combine both headphone designs in one.Read More

Akai Pro responds to market demand with hybrid turntable

Though lossy digital music formats like MP3 offer today's music lover many advantages, including the chance to carry whole collections around on one portable device, the listening experience can be less than satisfying. Not surprising then that modern audioholics are fueling an upsurge in analog formats like vinyl, with media analyst Nielsen recording a rise of 30 percent in US sales last year. Singapore-based Akai Professional is looking to tap into this growing market with a stylish new turntable named the BT-500 that's said to offer "no-compromise audiophile performance," together with analog-to-digital conversion and wireless streaming capabilities.Read More

BeoSound 35 music system will fill the room, empty your wallet

Denmark's Bang & Olufsen has been showing off a rather lengthy all-in-one music system in Las Vegas this week. Crafted in aluminum and sporting soundbar-like styling, the pentagonal BeoSound 35 is a meter long and comes with the promise of premium sound, with a price tag to match. In fact, you won't get much change from US$3,000.Read More

Sony's new turntable allows for Hi-Res digital recording

After looking like they were going the way of the audio cassette tape, vinyl records are on a bounce back. Just this week, Nielsen reported that sales of 12-inch discs in the US rose for the tenth consecutive year, accounting for 9 percent of total physical album sales. Though there are portable turntables like those from Pyle Audio and Crossleys, enjoying vinyl on the move isn't exactly pocket-friendly. But converting records to run on an MP3 player means an inevitable loss of precious fidelity. Fortunately, Sony's new HX500 turntable boasts a built-in 24-bit analog-to-digital converter that allows audiophiles to transfer their beloved vinyl collections to high quality digital formats.Read More

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