Al Griffin

Al Griffin  |  Oct 28, 2020  |  0 comments

Speakers
Performance
Build Quality
Value
Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $8,360 (as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Great overall sound with movies and music
Integrated Atmos Elevation speakers
Impressive clarity from center speaker
Minus
Pricey sub with limited features
Boxy design for Focal speakers

THE VERDICT
Focal's 5.1.4 Chora system delivers impressive performance for the price and is equally adept at movies and music.

Some may see France's Focal as a maker of $100,000-plus speakers and $4,000 headphones. But while the company does maintain a high profile in the high-end through products like its Utopia towers, the reality is that Focal makes speakers—and headphones—that cover a wide range of price points. It's been nearly ten years since Sound & Vision reviewed a full-scale Focal home theater speaker system—a $25,000 rig with Beryllium tweeters. This time out we're looking at the company's affordable new Chora series, a lineup that notably includes speakers with upfiring drivers to handle Dolby Atmos and other immersive audio formats.

Al Griffin  |  Oct 22, 2020  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My new Denon A/V receiver has an eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) HDMI connection, and my TV has a regular HDMI ARC connection. Here’s my question: Will the Denon A/V receiver be able to decode both Dolby Atmos/Dolby True HD and DTS:X/DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks that are routed to it from the TV’s HDMI ARC port, or do I need to connect sources such as an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and streaming box directly to the AVR to make that happen? —Andrew Last, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 01, 2020  |  7 comments
It seemed like a miracle when Christopher Nolan’s new film Tenet was released in theaters a few weeks ago. But there was a dilemma. I live in New York State, and the governor hadn’t yet cleared movie theaters for reopening. And that’s still the case.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 29, 2020  |  1 comments
Canada’s Bluesound, maker of multiroom wireless streamers, amps, speakers, and soundbars, has added a new subwoofer to its product lineup. With a larger 8-inch driver and 150-watt Smart DSP amplifier, The Pulse Sub+ ($749) appears to be a significant improvement over the company’s previous offering, the Pulse Sub. The new model can also be set up and adjusted via the company’s BluOS Controller app—a feature the earlier Pulse Sub lacked.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 17, 2020  |  0 comments
One highlight of LG’s CEDIA Expo Virtual 2020 booth is the GX 3.1 soundbar, a model that the company rolled out in July to accompany its GX Gallery Series TVs such as the 65-inch 65GXPUA that Sound & Vision recently reviewed.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 16, 2020  |  0 comments
The centerpiece of Monitor Audio’s packed CEDIA Expo Virtual 2020 booth is its new Bronze speaker lineup, which we had previously reported on in early July. These handsome speakers, now in their sixth generation, have been designed to deliver dynamic, attention-grabbing performance, and feature an 8-ohm nominal impedance to allow pairing with a wide range of A/V receivers and electronics.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 16, 2020  |  0 comments
Back in 2019 at in-person (not virtual) CEDIA, we reported on Epson’s new LS500 Laser Projection TV. It’s taken a while, but that model is officially available as of today.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 16, 2020  |  2 comments
Samsung is using CEDIA Expo Virtual 2020 to show off its growing portfolio of custom installation-centric display solutions. Included in this group are The Premiere 4K ultra short throw laser projectors, The Wall MicroLED displays, The Terrace, and the lifestyle-oriented The Frame TVs. Samsung’s full lineup was covered in a press conference on Tuesday and is now being exhibited virtually in the company’s virtual booth.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 15, 2020  |  0 comments
Sony Electronics has announced a trio of native 4K (4096 x 2160) SXRD projectors aimed at the consumer and custom installation channels. The new models are the VPL-VW715ES, VPL-VW915ES, and flagship VPL-GTZ380.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 15, 2020  |  1 comments
At CEDIA 2019, we reported on the PWM2, a 36-inch-long, 3.5-inch deep on-wall offering from Canada’s PSB Speakers. That model has now been joined by the PWM1 and PWM3. At 28 and 48 inches long, respectively, PSB’s slim, new on-walls provide a wider range of options to mate speakers with flat-panel TVs in a design-conscious home theater.

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