Grace Notes

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Leslie Shapiro  |  May 20, 2019  |  0 comments
I’ve got an insanely long airplane trip coming up and, no surprise, my very first thought was, which noise-canceling headphones should I bring for the flight? Great news for me; Jabra just released the Elite 85h. Besides having a sound that competes with the best ANC headphones out there, they’re the only ones with enough battery life to last for my entire journey. Let’s see if they sound good enough to stay on my packing list.

Leslie Shapiro  |  May 06, 2019  |  0 comments
I’ve always wanted to be a hipster. However, the reality is that I’m too curvy for skinny jeans, I like having brakes and gears on my bicycle, and I prefer Nespresso’s convenience to single-origin third wave pour-over coffee. And while I appreciate vinyl, I equally appreciate the convenience and portability of digital music files. How do I get my music both ways? With the Denon DP-450USB turntable that easily creates WAV or MP3 files from my beloved vinyl collection, I can get my music however I want. Totally hip.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Apr 22, 2019  |  3 comments
There’s no denying that a killer song makes any workout better. Music is an integral part of most workouts — nobody prefers working out in silence. But, at what price? Peloton Interactive, leader of the upscale indoor cycling fad sweeping the nation is finding out that nothing in life is free, especially music. The biggest appeal of Peloton might be their large selection of online video classes that feature fabulous soundtracks. Too bad they (allegedly) aren’t paying for the music.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Apr 08, 2019  |  2 comments
After SiriusXM purchased Pandora for $3.5 billion in February, there was a bit of speculation about how each company would benefit each other. Today, the first evidence of the collaboration launched with the unveiling of Pandora NOW, the first Pandora station available on the SiriusXM platform featuring the most-played music currently trending on Pandora.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Mar 25, 2019  |  1 comments
“Attend first-run movies in theaters...FREE!” That’s the Kickstarter headline that caught my eye. Who doesn’t love free movies? However, what lengths will you go through to get those free movie theater tickets? PreShow is a new app launching on Kickstarter by the founder of MoviePass. If funded and launched, the PreShow app will play 15-20 minutes of advertisements in exchange for one free movie ticket credit. How they ensure that you watch the ads is completely freaking me out.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Mar 11, 2019  |  0 comments
Get ready Detroit. Dust off your guitar, warm up those vocal chords. No, American Idol isn’t holding auditions. The music streaming service TIDAL is now accepting applications for a $1 million grant program designed to discover and develop new musical talent in Detroit.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Feb 25, 2019  |  0 comments
While teased last summer, a new video just released is showcasing Symfonisk, the collaboration between smart-speaker manufacturer Sonos and IKEA, maker of meatballs, build-it-yourself furniture, and all things Swedish and practical. The speakers that will come from this new venture promise to deliver the exceptional sound that Sonos is known for with the functionality and budget-friendliness of IKEA.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Feb 11, 2019  |  0 comments
It’s quite tragic; a Stradivarius violin creates arguably the most beautiful musical sounds created by man, but it’s only a limited time before the instrument goes to sleep, to be silenced forever. After producing brilliant sounds and melodies for centuries, the tone of the violin changes and it becomes too fragile and delicate to play; effectively the instrument is silenced in deep slumber. Fortunately, phase one of an ambitious project has just wrapped up in an attempt to save the sound of a precious few of these string instruments for generations to come.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 21, 2019  |  9 comments
The Monster press conference at CES has typically been an electrifying, high-energy love-fest with the company’s boisterous CEO, Noel Lee, leading the charge. This year, the tone was definitely different as a dialed-back, subdued Lee announced this was the end of an era.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 09, 2019  |  0 comments
Relative newcomer Edifier is showing off an impressive array of new speakers at CES 2019. As the first serious audio brand from mainland China to make an impact on the world market, the brand is probably making some of the older, more established brands a bit nervous.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Dec 18, 2018  |  0 comments
Have you ever wondered how you could get your son or daughter more involved in your love of audio equipment, music, or engineering in general? STEM is an important agenda item, but what can you do, right here, right now to spark an interest in your children? Bose has the answer. Instead of buying your children a pair of headphones or a speaker they’ll open and use, how about you all work together to build them up from a complete kit?

Leslie Shapiro  |  Dec 10, 2018  |  0 comments
Go big or stay home is my version of that common saying. If you’re going to go for a hike, make it epic. If it’s a run, make it a marathon. Bike ride? Better be a century. Ultra is in and you need gear that’s up for the challenge. If your legs can take a 14-hour run, why can’t your headphones?

Leslie Shapiro  |  Nov 26, 2018  |  0 comments
Who doesn’t love waking up on Thanksgiving morning and turning on the Macy’s Day Parade? It’s a tradition in our house, even as adults. The clowns, the floats, the marching bands, the performers, and of course, Santa. What could possibly go wrong with an almost 3-mile long moving performance that goes on live, with most of the nation tuned in to watch? Well, plenty.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Nov 12, 2018  |  0 comments
After checking out the Amazon Echo Sub recently, I thought the sound and features of the new Amazon Echo Plus (2nd generation) deserved a review of its own. It certainly performed admirably when paired with a second Plus and the Echo Sub, but how does it sound as a stand-alone player?

Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 29, 2018  |  1 comments
These days, audiences want movies that are real and authentic. It’s a good thing stars want to make movies that are authentic as well. Here, we take a look behind the scenes and backstage at the fourth reiteration of A Star is Born, this time starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who also directed. A timeless tale of an aging star in decline (in this case, Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine isn’t just an alcoholic, he’s also losing his hearing) crossing paths with Ally, a rising star, played believably by a stripped-down, fresh-faced Lady Gaga.

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