Bob Ankosko

Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 23, 2019  |  0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $80 ($70 on amazon.com)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Satisfying sound
Effective noise canceling
Light weight and not overly bulky
Minus
Sound could be fuller
Some discomfort after an hour or so of listening

THE VERDICT
If you’re looking for wireless, noise-canceling headphones that won’t break the bank, the E9s provide satisfying sound with effective active noise canceling for 80 bucks (or less).

If you’ve never heard of Mixcder, you’re not alone. The company with the awkwardly spelled name — pronounced “mix-see-der” — has only been around for a few years. It’s based in California and specializes in super low-priced headphones sourced in China with a current lineup comprising 10 models, all wireless and ranging in price from $19 to $90 for a set of full-size wireless headphones with active noise canceling (ANC).

Bob Ankosko  |  Apr 22, 2019  |  0 comments
When Silicon Valley startup EVA Automation acquired the iconic speaker brand Bowers & Wilkins (a.k.a. B&W) in 2016, founder Gideon Yu described the mission as “reimagining the audio/video experience by making products that will change how people interact and think about the home.”
Bob Ankosko  |  Apr 19, 2019  |  0 comments
Fifty years ago on this day in Beatles history (Friday, April 18), George Harrison recorded to perfection the raucous guitar solo on “Old Brown Shoe” in Studio Three at EMI Recording Studios. After nailing the solo, he joined producer Chris Thomas in the control room to mix the song, which would be released six weeks later as the B-side to a song John Lennon and Paul McCartney had recorded a few days earlier: “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.
Bob Ankosko  |  Mar 28, 2019  |  0 comments
Audio Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $270

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Super compact
Nice build quality
Easy to set up and use
AccuVoice modes aid the hearing impaired
Minus
Sound could be fuller
Surround sound is subtle

THE VERDICT
The AV203 TV speaker just might be a godsend for viewers with hearing loss who have difficulty discerning voices and movie dialogue.

The small rectangular box sat in my foyer for days before I realized it was the Zvox soundbar I’d been waiting for. My god, this thing is small, I thought as I pulled the AccuVoice AV203 TV Speaker out of the box. I was immediately impressed with its heft and build quality and as curious as ever about how the diminutive bar would perform.

Bob Ankosko  |  Mar 13, 2019  |  0 comments
How much would you be willing to pay to improve the sound of a live concert put on by one of your all-time favorite artists? That was one of many questions I pondered as walked to my seat at Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour last week at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. And what a seat it was: left of center, 11 rows from the stage and aligned perfectly with Elton’s grand piano.
Bob Ankosko  |  Dec 04, 2018  |  0 comments
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,500/pair

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Rich, powerful sound
Robust build quality
Easy to set up
Minus
Glitchy volume control
No Wi-Fi streaming or multiroom capability
No visual feedback
No app or remote control
Expensive

THE VERDICT
The Shinola Bookshelf Speaker delivers powerful sound from a relatively compact speaker of impeccable build quality but lacks key features that would make it much easier to use.

Exquisite—that was the first thought that popped into my head when I cued up one of my go-to test tracks: a 24/96 download of Holly Cole singing “Larger Than Life” from 2007’s Holly Cole. Her rich, sultry voice was in the room, accompanied by the gentle underpinnings of an accomplished quartet. Everything sounded just right: the sparkling piano, sumptuous bass, understated brushwork, and tasteful sax fills. With the lights down and my eyes closed, it was easy to imagine sitting close to the stage in a small jazz club.

Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 26, 2018  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $330

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent sound quality
Compact and well-built
Easy to set up and use
Great value
Minus
No Wi-Fi streaming
No visual feedback
No grille cover

THE VERDICT
Kanto’s SYD is a simple, high-performance Bluetooth speaker that will wow you with rich, powerful sound that belies its size.

I could tell SYD was a serious speaker the moment I heard Joni Mitchell singing “A Case of You” from 1971’s Blue. Her angelic voice was mesmerizing in a way I didn’t expect from a speaker this size, not to mention a 47-year-old recording — and I was streaming from my phone.

Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 21, 2018  |  10 comments
15 Minutes with David Solomon

Move over Tidal. Qobuz (pronounced “ko-buzz”) is coming to the States this fall, armed with a 2-million-track arsenal of hi-res music and a web portal that makes Tidal’s slick homepage seem confined. We checked in with AV industry veteran David Solomon, newly appointed Chief High-Res Evangelist for Qobuz, to learn more about the music service and its unusual name.

Bob Ankosko  |  May 31, 2018  |  Published: May 30, 2018  |  1 comments
15 Minutes with Futurist Dave Evans

You can’t see the Internet of Things but, trust me, it’s there — and growing rapidly as every imaginable kind of “thing” becomes (or at least tries to become) net savvy. But what exactly does IoT mean? And if we move beyond the quaint Jetson-esque vision of the future, what are IoT’s real-world implications? To get a handle on where our increasingly interconnected world is heading, we tracked down Dave Evans, former chief futurist for Cisco and co-founder of the Silicon Valley IoT startup, Stringify. Strap on your seat belt and prepare for an exciting ride into the future.

S&V: Let’s start with the basics. We’ve been hearing a lot about IoT — the Internet of Things — over the past couple of years. It so all-encompassing. How do you define it?

Bob Ankosko  |  May 02, 2018  |  0 comments
James Loudspeaker sells just about any kind of speaker you could want—or imagine. You can choose among its dozens of high-performance models and buy “off the shelf” or have a particular model customized with a special finish or feature. Or, you can get creative and dream up your own speaker design. The California-based company prides itself on its ability to meet the unique needs of its customers, whether that means solving an installation problem or creating something special…and personal. James built more than 300 custom products in 2017 alone, but the Steampunk Speaker is perhaps its most interesting—and unusual—project.

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