• Speakers

    by Published on 08-20-2014 09:14 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Speakers,
    3. Music Hub / Controller,
    4. UPnP / DLNA

    My first exposure to a new Linn technology named Exakt was at the 2013 CEDIA Show in Denver. I didn't have a chance to listen to the system on display because the show floor was very noisy, but I talked to Linn's Managing Director Gilad Tiefenbrun about Exakt. I walked away from the conversation enthusiastic about the capabilities of Exakt and about the possibilities for better sound reproduction in home environments. I'm a big supporter of using technology, but only when it's appropriate. Linn's use of Exakt technology to send lossless digital data via CAT5/6/7 cables into the loudspeakers and keep that data in the digital domain, through the crossover and volume control, until just before the final amplification stage within the loudspeakers is what I call great use of technology. Less than one year after that CEDIA show I have an Akurate level Linn Exakt system in my listening room. I had reservations about setting aside my large analog equipment, state of the art digital to analog converter, and TAD CR1 loudspeakers in order to put the Exact system in place. There is no going in to this system half-way as it's fully active with amplification attached to the loudspeakers, digital to analog converters attached to the loudspeakers, and RJ45 ports rather than binding posts for receiving the incoming signal. I couldn't even use an Aurender music server if I wanted to with the Exakt system. None of this is good or bad in and of itself. It's just a fact of using any Exakt system. There's no hodgepodge of components to select, interconnect, and hope for a good synergy. Exakt works within its own ecosystem, and it just works. After the initial setup and two weeks of extensive listening I am very impressed with the Linn Exakt technology. In fact, the Akurate Exakt DSM and Exakt Akubarik loudspeakers comprise the best Linn system I've ever heard. Period. ...
    by Published on 12-09-2013 02:22 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Speakers,
    3. Wireless
    Article Preview


    We've all seen countless numbers of small speakers designed for use with an iPhone, iPad, or laptop. Most of them have sound quality equivalent to their prices, low and low respectively. Thus, I was a bit hesitant to embrace the foxL DASH7 pocket-sized loudspeaker when a colleague pulled it from his bag at Rocky Mountain Audiofest 2013. Granted this was a colleague whose opinion I respect greatly but I've heard the same story about small speakers sounding much bigger than their sizes one too many times. I proceeded to indulge my friend by connecting my iPhone 5 to the foxL DASH7 via Bluetooth and selecting some tracks from my favorite music service MOG. I was immediately blown away by the sound. RMAF 2013 hadn't officially started and I knew I'd already heard my favorite product of the show. Yet, this product wasn't even on display at the show. I spent the next thirty minutes listening to the foxL DASH7 placed on a few different surfaces with several different types of music. Following this impromptu listening session my next question was, "How do I get one for review?" ...
    by Published on 09-12-2013 04:17 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. Speakers,
    4. USB Interface,
    5. Preamp
    Article Preview

    Why do we listen to music? What motivates us to select a specific album or playlist? The answers to these questions may vary between all of us and even vary within us from day to day. I often listen to music and select certain albums because I've chosen to to write about music and equipment as a career. Recently I've been inspired to listen to music after watching videos emailed to me by friends. Three specific videos sparked me to listen to and enjoy more music in the last few weeks than I have in recent memory. One was an official music video, one was a poorly recorded public performance, and the other was an advertising campaign for a mobile phone. Three very different videos featuring very different music, yet the result the same. I delved into three artist's catalogs and did nothing but listen for hours on end. I cranked the volume when I felt like it, listened to deeps tracks that lead to deeper tracks, and listened to bootleg albums of concerts I attended. I was lost in my own little world where I wasn't concerned with writing about specifications and minute little details that the family Chihuahuas probably don't even hear. Analyzing this music with software in an attempt to learn about its provenance sounded about as fun as paying the IRS. Both of those activities couldn't have been further from my mind. I was busy rocking, bouncing, head bobbing, and feeling chills that only authentic experiences can evoke. ...
    by Published on 05-30-2013 07:02 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Speakers,
    3. Wireless
    Article Preview

    How do I review this product without sounding like a book of audiophile adjectives exploded on my keyboard? The Peachtree Audio deepblue music system will likely be reviewed countless times and have more HiFi one-liners written about it than I've ever heard. To use an idiomatic phrase I guess it is what it is. deepblue is a surprisingly better product than I thought could come from its smallish size. There are only so many ways to rearrange drivers in a small chassis. Most products like this offer different spins on the same thing. Average performance using average components sold at above average prices. The deepblue music system offers much better performance than I've heard from anything in its class and at a better price than even commodity components from giants of this industry. A $399 product that sounds this good and is very easy to use is a dream come true for audiophiles looking to spread the word about our wonderful hobby. Take note, the new HiFi ambassador to the world is here and its name is deepblue.




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    by Published on 03-26-2013 05:33 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Speakers,
    3. Wireless

    Paging through audio magazines over the years Computer Audiophile readers have likely noticed something not quite right about many advertisements. That something is a look that's far too clean for a functioning audio system. Advertisements rarely show all the cables required to connect components to each other and to loudspeakers. Dynaudio on the other hand doesn't have to show this unsightly necessity when advertising its new Xeo wireless speaker system. The speakers cabinets contain nearly everything required for great sound such as amplification and digital to analog conversion components. A single power cable for each speaker and a wireless transmitter connected to a computer is all that's required to complete a Xeo system. The Xeo 3 speakers wirelessly connected to either my MacBook Pro or CAPS v3 server sounded great. The Dynaudio Xeo 3s aren't the type of ear splitting speaker that can only be tolerated for 30 minutes at a time. Rather the smooth sound and surprisingly deep but ...
    by Published on 03-14-2011 11:29 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Speakers,
    3. Wireless

    The name Philips is not mentioned all that often in computer audio circles. Philips technologies on the other hand are mentioned all the time even though audiophiles might not put two and two together and attribute some technologies to Philips. The Sony / Philips Digital InterFace (S/PDIF) comes up in nearly as many conversations as USB. I'm willing to bet the market penetration of DACs with an S/PDIF interface is over four nines (%99.99). Then there are Philips retail products. These products are more likely to be in an audiophile's kitchen or bathroom than listening room. Last week I was invited to the Philips Winter Media Event in Barcelona, Spain. The event was like a miniature CES with only Philips products presented. Engineers for every Philips product were on hand to answer just about every question. Although the 21:9 3D HDTV on display was stunning it, and most other products, fell outside the scope of Computer Audiophile. Two products that caught my eye and may catch CA readers' eyes are the Philips Fidelio SoundSphere with AirPlay® and the Philips HiFi Multiroom System. Neither product is what I call high-end but I see many scenarios where either product could satisfy the needs of computer audiophiles for a reasonable price.
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