JBL Link 10, 20, 300 smart speakers Review

Smart speakers seem to come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors these days. Of course, the speakers themselves have their own sonic and feature-related pros and cons, as do the voice assistants living installed within. Though Alexa may be the most omnipresent assistant in smart devices, she’s not exactly the most omnipotent. Nor is she necessarily the most seamlessly integrated. JBL’s Link smart speaker series is one of a few to feature Google Assistant and Chromecast built in, which ostensibly bolsters its prowess in home integration. As the name suggests, all the speakers in this lineup can “link” up to one another and create a whole-home audio solution.  "

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Posted on Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 15:18:14 UTC in JBL by Wesslan


Razer Nommo Chroma Speakers Review

Razer launched its Nommo family of speakers back at CES 2018, with three devices in the range. At £99.99 we have the Razer Nommo that is the most basic model and connects to your PC via 3.5mm jack, while the top dog in the family is the Nommo Pro at £499. Today we are reviewing the middle child of the family – the £149.99 Nommo Chroma which sports RGB lighting and connects via USB. Is it worth the money?  "

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Posted on Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 14:21:40 UTC in Razer by Wesslan


Edifier e255 Surround Sound Speaker Review

You have to say that Edifier’s design is amazing. The streamlined Ferrari-looks make many traditional speakers seem like boxy Volvos from the seventies. However, speakers are not about looks, they are about audio, so we’re encouraged to make this kind of buying decision based on sound quality alone. That said, design has become a significant factor in so many buying decisions in recent years, so the question we have to ask ourselves is: While beautiful to behold, is the Edifier e255 speaker set really worth £600? When trying to create a cinema in your living room, there is no real limit on how much you can spend or how many holes you can make in the wall. There is some anecdotal evidence of enthusiasts trying to build the perfect system with 48 or more speakers. Your home cinema experience will only be as good as the weakest link between your source and your speakers.  "

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Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 18:53:05 UTC in Edifier by Wesslan


SVS SB16-Ultra Sealed Subwoofer Review

After the positive impression that SVS’s PB16-Ultra left with us in our review late last year, it wasn’t long afterward when we inquired about the possibility of reviewing its sealed counterpart, the SB16-Ultra. The PB16-Ultra had set the bar very high for our expectations, and we wanted to see what SVS could do in a sealed subwoofer using much of the same technology employed in the PB16-Ultra. However, we also knew that the SB16-Ultra wasn’t simply a PB16-Ultra with a smaller, sealed enclosure. In our review of the PB16-Ultra, we stressed in the measurement analysis section that since there are some significant design differences in the driver from the SB16-Ultra, it would be misguided to judge the SB16’s performance from the PB16’s measurements. We were curious to see how the SB16-Ultra would compare to the sealed mode performance of the PB16-Ultra and also how it would stand on its own apart from comparisons to its larger brother. In this review, we will see what SVS brings to the market of sealed subwoofers for its $2k price point.  "

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Posted on Tuesday, June 06, 2017 @ 10:54:32 UTC in SVS by Wesslan


MartinLogan Cadence Soundbar and Dynamo 700w Subwoofer

Boasting nine 2.5” drivers with 135 combined watts from nine amplifiers, the MartinLogan Cadence is the slightly more powerful of their two new soundbars. With wireless capabilities, Dolby Digital & DTS 5.1 sound processing, ARC (Anthem Room Correction), an Ethernet input, and the ability to stream music over your network using DTS Play-Fi, Apple AirPlay, and Bluetooth, the Cadence is designed to fit nicely under a 50” or larger flat panel television. It can be wall-mounted (with a depth of less than 4”) or placed directly under the TV on a shelf. With ARC, it can deliver optimal sound no matter which way you chose to mount it. The subwoofer can be of any make or model, but MartinLogan’s Dynamo 700w is a great choice to mate with the Cadence.  "

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Posted on Thursday, June 01, 2017 @ 18:58:26 UTC in MartinLogan by Wesslan


MartinLogan EM-ESL X

I have always loved electrostatic speakers ever since I first heard a pair at a high end shop in San Francisco many years ago. These ElectroMotion ESL X speakers from MartinLogan caught my eye at the 2016 CEDIA Expo. I was not able to listen to them at the show but the description of the various advancement as well as the specifics of the design were more than enough to pique my interest.Well it didn’t take very long for me to make a formal request for a review pair of ElectroMotion ESL X. I think it is well worth it for you to take a few minutes and read my entire review of these speakers because they may be just what you are looking for.  "

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Posted on Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 19:38:57 UTC in MartinLogan by Wesslan


Sound BlasterX Katana

For living rooms, it used to be a big push for multi-speaker configurations with a big receiver. For some people, this is still the goal, especially for surround sound. But recently there has been a trend where people have been moving to soundbars. They take up a lot less space while still being an audio improvement over your TVs speakers and they better fit with today’s ultra-thin TVs. There are some downsides though and performance can be a little limited. Well, Sound Blaster came out with the Sound BlasterX Katana and they don’t even like to put it in the same category as a traditional sound bar. They call it an Under Monitor Audio System aka a UMAS. This is because beyond having speakers under your monitor it has a built-in 224 bit DAC, a Dolby Digital 5.1 Decoder, and 5 drivers all with their own amps. With my wife getting a new desk, we started to look at her options and the Katana from Sound Blaster looked to be a good fit to keep the desktop footprint low by using unused space under her monitors. So today I’m going to check the Katana’s out and see just how they perform.  "

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Posted on Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 19:03:12 UTC in Creative by Wesslan


Speakers: Audioengine HD3

Audioengine HD3 Review

Our HD Series was designed for the way people listen to music today— streaming wirelessly, digital downloads, vinyl, etc. HD3 sets a new standard for compact mini music systems because of its versatility and ability to play all of your music from any device.Connect to HD3 any way you like: wirelessly or wired, digital or analog. Stream your music library, TIDAL, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc. to HD3 from just about anywhere in your house without dropouts. Wireless setup is a breeze and only takes about a minute. And if you’re using HD3 on your desktop, connect up with a USB cable. The USB input bypasses your computer’s built-in low-quality headphone jack for a high-end listening experience. But if you’re not keen on USB or wireless you can still use any audio cable to connect.  "

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Posted on Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 17:23:45 UTC in Audioengine by Wesslan


Polk MagniFi Mini 2.1-Channel Soundbar Reviewed

In this era of the ever-shrinking soundbar, thin is most certainly in. Particularly in the sub-$500 market, the goal for most soundbar manufacturers seems to be making the bar as short and shallow as possible. See my recent review of the $500 VIZIO SB4551-D5 as an example. That soundbar measures just two inches high by two inches deep, but you'll notice that it's still 45 inches long. When we think soundbar, we think long, skinny box--and that part of the design really hasn't changed.  Perhaps that's why Polk's MagniFi Mini soundbar might catch your eye as you peruse the many soundbar options available for $200 to $300. It doesn't really look like soundbar at all. To my eye, the MagniFi Mini looks more like a Bluetooth speaker--and technically, it is a Bluetooth speaker. One that just so happens to come with a wireless subwoofer and a host of TV-friendly features that you won't find in many Bluetooth speakers.  "

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Posted on Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 11:31:06 UTC in Polk by Wesslan


JBL 4367 Studio Monitor

The JBL 4367 is a more consumer-friendly distillation of the highly acclaimed JBL Professional M2 Master Reference Monitor. Using essentially the same 15-inch bass driver as the M2 and the identical dual diaphragm compression driver for the upper-mid and high frequencies, the 4367s definitely bring more than a little pro-audio “cred” to the table. Despite their non-inconsequential size, these speakers are extremely efficient and relatively easy to drive making them an appealing option for the tube amp crowd. On the other side of the coin, these fairly sized, ported enclosures with 15-inch woofers are capable of producing plenty of low distortion bass. These features, combined with the patented waveguide horn design on the compression driver, give us a speaker with enviable dynamic capabilities.  "

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Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2017 @ 16:02:35 UTC in JBL by Wesslan


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