LATEST ADDITIONS

Barb Gonzalez  |  Mar 10, 2021  |  2 comments
Paramount+ launched last week, absorbing and adding to the CBS All Access app. The newly rebranded service adds content from several channels brought to CBS following the 2019 merger of CBS and Viacom. Find out more about the expanded streaming service.
Leslie Shapiro  |  Mar 10, 2021  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $130

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Long battery life
Comfortable fit
Compatible with SonarWorks SoundID app
Minus
Complicated LED indicators
No track controls on touchpads
Sound quality reduction with ANC off

THE VERDICT
Affordable true wire- less earbuds that work with the SonarWorks SoundID app might seem too good to be true, but that’s exactly what you get with the Monolith M-TWE.

Monoprice is an affordable direct-to-consumer brand, and its Monolith product line features sophisticated A/V gear including speakers, amps, surround sound processors, and now the new Monolith M-TWE earbuds. The M-TWE touts aptX Bluetooth audio, active noise cancellation (with cVc Echo Cancelling and Noise Suppression for phone calls), and SonorWorks SoundID, a feature that lets you customize sound to your preference, all at a very budget-friendly $130.

SV Staff  |  Mar 09, 2021  |  0 comments
Spring has nearly sprung, and that means people will soon be heading outdoors for socially distanced adventures. More good news: Your adventures can be soundtracked by the Roam, a new $169 ultra-portable smart speaker from Sonos that connects via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and has an IP67 rating to make it both dust- and water-proof.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 09, 2021  |  2 comments
The changes to how we watch media resulting from the closing of theaters due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been unprecedented. True, not all theaters are closed. Here in the wilds of Florida my local AMC has been open for some time. But its current slate of movies is hardly the stuff of dreams: Boogie, Chaos Walking, The Mauritanian (not The Mandalorian!), The Little Things, The Marksman, The Croods: A New Age, and Raya and the Last Dragon. The latter is the only one tempting me to break my year long hiatus from that theater's Dolby Vision and IMAX auditoriums, but not quite enough for me to do so even though I've now joined the few, the proud, and the vaccinated.

A whole spate of potential blockbusters have either been released to streaming or are being held over until the studios are confident that if they show them (in theaters) they will come.

Al Griffin  |  Mar 08, 2021  |  1 comments
Epson wants to protect you, the consumer, from misleading brightness claims in projector advertising. To that end, the company has reached an agreement with Philips and Screeneo Innovation that all future Philips NeoPix projectors designed, manufactured, and sold by Screeneo will use industry standard specifications (ISO 21118:2020) for brightness claims. The agreement is the latest chapter in Epson’s ongoing effort to cast light on deceptive advertising—a particular problem with cheap models sold on Amazon’s e-commerce site.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 05, 2021  |  0 comments
Performance
Sound
Show of hands, please—how many of you rate August 1973's Goats Head Soup as your favorite Rolling Stones album? Anyone? No? Can't say I blame you. Any record following The Stones' May 1972 career-defining double-album masterpiece Exile on Main St. would have an impossibly high bar to overcome, no matter what made the final cut. Fact is, Goats Head Soup had a master chef's menu stacked against it from the outset. And time has very much not been on its side, as Goats Head Soup has long served as a relatively underappreciated entry in The Rolling Stones' somewhat uneven mid-1970s studio-album canon.
SV Staff  |  Mar 05, 2021  |  0 comments
Canada’s Paradigm has announced its new Founder Series, the first speaker lineup to emerge from the company since it was reacquired by founder Scott Bagby two years ago. According to Paradigm, the new line, which is designed, tested, engineered, and manufactured at its Toronto, Canada facility, is an evolution of its Persona line and features new driver design and cabinet construction technologies.
Bob Ankosko  |  Mar 04, 2021  |  0 comments
The historic cold of Winter 2021 is almost behind us at last. As a new season beckons and we anticipate what “spring cleaning” might look like in a world moving quickly toward post-pandemic status, it’s a good time to take stock in all facets of your life, including the home entertainment setup that helped push you through the darkest days of COVID-19 isolation. Many of us took time during lockdown to upgrade our AV systems with bigger screens, better sounding audio gear, a new turntable, or perhaps a more functional setup. To help keep the wheels of progress turning, we present a sampling of the latest A/V news, which as it turns out is dominated by a gaggle of interesting speakers from brands old and new.
Al Griffin  |  Mar 03, 2021  |  4 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing
Dirac Live Full room correction
Fully backlit remote control
Minus
No Dolby Vision pass-through
Music streaming options limited to Bluetooth
Lacks setup and control app

THE VERDICT
Rotel's RSP-1576MKII lacks some features you'd expect to see on a surround sound preamp/processor circa-2021, but audiophile-grade sound quality and Dirac Live Full room correction help make up for any deficits.

Any new surround sound processor circa-2021 is bound to have a heap of demands placed upon it. Along with support for the latest immersive audio formats—Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, etc.—there's music streaming, Auto EQ/room correction, and HDMI video switching of the latest 4K/high dynamic range video formats. And because a surround sound processor serves as the main user interface in an A/V system, ergonomic considerations are paramount—how easy is it to switch between sources and tweak audio settings like surround, subwoofer, and center-channel levels on the fly?

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Mar 01, 2021  |  4 comments
First, congratulations on your company's many successes, including your recent decisions that helped you to weather the lock-down storm. You strike me as a company that is well-run, and I hope you will agree that every well-run company listens to its customers. So, on behalf of audio/videophiles everywhere, I am asking you – begging you – to take into account one very special need of our community.

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