Grace Notes

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Leslie Shapiro  |  Jul 15, 2019  |  0 comments
As a long-time subscriber to SiriusXM, I tend to ignore emails and notices from them. I pay and renew every six months and forget about them in between payment dates. So I’m glad I spotted the latest email from them because they’ve announced a host of new features, stations, and exciting new ways to listen to SiriusXM outside of the car.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jul 01, 2019  |  0 comments
When you’re going truly wireless, your only option is to use Bluetooth, so it has to be the best quality that Bluetooth affords. The new Cleer Ally earphones use Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX, so for the moment, they're pretty much as good as it gets.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jun 17, 2019  |  0 comments
While researching noise-cancelling headphones, I kept reading comparison after comparison with the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones. Needless to say, I had to try out the Sony headphones on a trip and see for myself. Were they as good as other reviewers made them out to be? Will they become my new favorites? Here’s a hint: the hype is real.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jun 03, 2019  |  0 comments
When Dirac Research releases a new product, it always causes our ears to perk up. The company that made great strides in reference room-correction software has just released Dirac 3D Audio, an software solution that delivers 360-degree surround sound via any standard headphone or gaming headset.

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?

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