GRACE NOTES

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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.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 15, 2018  |  0 comments
It’s about freaking time. Amazon has just released the Echo Sub’ a subwoofer that pairs with a single or stereo pair of Echo smart speakers to finally address the bottom line. It’s a fact: small speakers can’t produce impactful bass, so the Echo Sub does the job. The past few years have seen an influx of small smart speakers that are certainly convenient, but not a single one had a decent bass response. Finally, Amazon has addressed the problem, and in my opinion, hit it out of the park.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Sep 24, 2018  |  0 comments
Ever get a pair of headphones that you love for their style or comfort, but you’re just not in love with the sound profile? Sonarworks True-Fi makes it easier than ever to get “reference” studio-quality sound for over 200 headphone models.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Sep 10, 2018  |  0 comments
The Maverick from Cavalier Audio is a WiFi/Bluetooth speaker featuring Amazon’s Alexa voice control that seamlessly transitions from the home to portable with an elegant charging base. Alexa, pack your bags. We’re heading outside.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  0 comments
Next time you’re at a concert, look around. Want to know how to spot the audiophiles? They’re the ones with cotton balls and Kleenex sticking out of their ears. Anyone concerned with protecting their hearing knows how dangerous loud concerts and even movie theaters can be. Usually, the only options were earplugs that blocked frequencies unevenly, making it hard to understand lyrics and dialogue. Want to be a cool audiophile? Check out Decibullz Professional Filters, Earplugs, and Earphones.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Aug 06, 2018  |  0 comments
While everyone and their sister is coming out with wireless earphones (thank you, Apple), clearly there’s a need for companies to give themselves an edge in a very crowded marketplace. The new Edge Pulse earphone from Cleer clearly has an edge over the competition.

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