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Hi-fi


— Home Entertainment

Yamaha breathes new life into MusicCast multi-room music streaming

By - August 21, 2015 13 Pictures

Since launching in 2005, Sonos has pretty much dominated the multi-room wireless speaker scene. But it may surprise you to learn that Yamaha customers could stream music around their homes at least a couple of years earlier courtesy of the company's MusicCAST network audio system. Originally comprising a CD ripper/hard drive server and receiver stations, Yamaha revamped the digital audio streaming platform in 2009 and included a touchscreen remote controller, the ability to connect to a portable music player over Bluetooth and support for streaming music services and internet radio. Now, MusicCast has been updated again, with Yamaha promising a range of more than 20 enabled products by the end of 2015.

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— Music

Auris bluMe adds modern Bluetooth wireless to classic audio equipment

By - August 17, 2015 6 Pictures

Bluetooth wireless is so pervasive in our modern lives, it can be easy to forget about all the non-wireless, classic audio equipment out there. Although stereo receivers and high-end speakers are still a mainstay of many home entertainment systems, the convenience of wireless streaming tends to trump such cabled connections. While there are many gadgets that provide Bluetooth audio capability to legacy devices, the Auris bluMe does it with range and power.

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— Music

Aqua enhances mobile music without bulk, battery, or breaking banks

By - August 5, 2015 3 Pictures

Smartphones and tablets are convenient ways for consumers to enjoy music on-the-go, but they have limits for audio reproduction – the internal hardware is able to accomplish only so much. Portable digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and AMP products solve this by providing the necessary power, but most options tend to be bulky, battery-operated, expensive, or all of the above. The Nexum Aqua aims to deliver an audio experience without any of those drawbacks.

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— Home Entertainment

Walker Audio lowers price of entry for audiophile disc spinners

By - June 24, 2015 5 Pictures

There are turntables and there are turntables. Living room decks by such manufacturers as Thorens, Music Hall, Project and Technics will likely be sufficient for the high quality audio needs of most mortal vinyl lovers. But for audiophiles with a fine-tuned ear and a bottomless wallet, names like the DaVinci, TechDAS, TriangleArt and Walker Audio will be more familiar. The latter's Proscenium turntables have been on the receiving end of numerous awards from industry experts and audio journalists since the release of the first version two decades ago. Now the premium audio equipment manufacturer has announced a new turntable named Procession that comes in at a fraction of the cost of the latest Proscenium – which essentially means US$45,000 instead of $110,000.

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— Home Entertainment

Floating Record makes spinning vinyl stand up and stand out

By - June 23, 2015 7 Pictures

According to Nielsen, US vinyl album sales have grown by 260 percent since 2009. So, if you want to get in with the hip 12-inch disc crowd but find that your home hi-fi system doesn't sport a turntable, some eye-catching help may be at hand. Gramovox, the Chicago-based firm behind the horny Bluetooth Gramophone from 2013, has designed a stylish new sound system that boasts audiophile-grade components and plays records vertically.

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— Home Entertainment

Axiom Audio puts the power of Pi into new wireless speaker

By - June 12, 2015 6 Pictures

Canadian loudspeaker maker Axiom Audio reckons its new AxiomAir brings something new to the wireless speaker system table. It's been designed to liberate listeners from the single user, low powered, low fidelity confines of Bluetooth portable speakers into the higher quality streaming world of Wi-Fi. But what really sets this speaker apart is the fully functional Raspberry Pi computer beating at its heart. While this allows future Axiom updates to be installed with the touch of a button on the user interface, it also opens the door to user-created applications.

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— Electronics

Schiit drops new consonant-heavy high-end DAC

By - April 22, 2015 3 Pictures
No need for a second take, the company is indeed called Schiit Audio and it's pronounced just as you'd expect. Though rather suggestive of audio products best avoided at all costs, the company actually has excellent pedigree in the shape of Mike Moffat. The firm's co-founder is the inventor of the DS Pre, the first DSP-based outboard digital to analog converter on the market. Moffat and company have spent the last five years researching digital filter algorithms, a quest that has ended with Yggdrasil, a flagship multi-bit DAC with a true closed form filter. Read More
— Electronics

Tiny Uamp turns your music-playing smartphone into a portable hi-fi

By - March 4, 2015 7 Pictures
The speakers on many smartphones can be painfully lacking in detail and bottom end, and really start to distort when the volume is pushed to levels guaranteed to annoy fellow commuters. Listening to music with the help of the built-in headphone jack will almost certainly offer an improved sonic experience, but high quality? Probably not. External headphone amps can help to increase the quality of mobile music devices, but (with some notable exceptions) these can add significant bulk to your pocket. A tiny new headphone amp named Uamp is making a bid for production on Kickstarter and, though small in size, its makers reckon that portable music lovers are in for a clearer, louder and richer listening experience. Read More
— Home Entertainment

BeoSound Moment chooses music to match your mood

By - January 8, 2015 4 Pictures
As you might expect, Bang & Olufsen's take on the one-stop-shop wireless music system for the living room is both stylish and expensive. The two part BeoSound Moment system comprises a hub that's compatible with B&O's entire range of wired and wireless speakers, including those boasting the company's Immaculate Wireless Sound technology, and a tablet-like wireless touch interface. When used together, they integrate digital music collections and streaming services into one unit that can match tunes to a listener's mood. Read More
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