Audio & Video

Roombox

Arcam rCube

The Arcam rCube is another high-end iPhone dock to hit the home audio market along the lines of the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air. What sets Arcam’s offering apart from the rest is the Sonos-like ability to wirelessly network up to four rCubes throughout the house, using an included USB dongle, for a complete home...

The virtual DJ your party's been waiting for

In-Depth: Pioneer Mixtrax

Services like Pandora and Apple’s Genius technology changed the way many of us consumed music, by intelligently mixing and matching songs to fit a particular theme or mood. These jukeboxes of the digital age, however, still fall well short of what professional DJs do best — the continuous mix. Pioneer’s newly launched Mixtrax music software...

Not so nano

Behringer iNuke Boom

Yeah, we know. Another day, another iPod Dock. But unlike the one sitting in your bedroom, the 8-foot by 4-foot Behringer iNuke Boom ($30,000) probably won’t fit on your nightstand. Then again, it won’t win any awards for classy product names either. Inside the 700 pound stereo beast, the iNuke has been endowed with 10,000...

Home sweet home theater

Gift Guide 2011 | 10 Picks for the Home Theater Buff

As rabid movie, music fans and gamers, we’re always on the hunt for gear that can push our home entertainment experience to 11 (much to our better half’s chagrin). This roundup includes some of our favorite home theater products out today that we’d love to host in our living room. Continues after the jump.

Good things come in pairs

Talk Shop: In Living Stereo

Ahh, that musty smell of dusty, disorganized vintage record shops. Or how about the high-pressure unapproachability of hi-fi audio retailers? Instant turn-off, right? Not so fast. The crew at In Living Stereo prove that purveying fine audio gear and records can indeed live in harmony. With a recent move from deep in the East Village...

Can-do attitude

Kickstarter: Hidden Radio & Bluetooth Speaker

We credit the Rams’-like looks of the new hidden radio & Bluetooth Speaker on Kickstarter for catching our eye this morning — despite our luke warm feelings about most Bluetooth audio. The monolithic can avoids spoiling its clean lines with external buttons by incorporating a simple but effective twist top design. The first twist turns...

Beats goes Business Class

Beats Executive Headphones

It’s hard to believe that only three years have passed since Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine launched a line of headphones designed to bring their studio sound to the masses. History now shows the move was a prescient business decision that spawned a title wave of copy-cat products endorsed by anyone with a hip-hop single....

Pro Cast

Yeti Pro

Whether or not you’ve got ambitions to host the next All Things Considered or Howard Stern Show, quality sound (besides subject material) is essential. Poor quality audio causes listener fatigue — a troublesome notion when you’re waxing poetic about everything from Apple to Aaron Sorkin. The Yeti Pro ($249) combines a traditional analog XLR output...

This Schitt is for real

Schitt Headphone Amps

Knowing that nearly all of us are guilty of what co-founders Jason Stoddard and Mike Moffat would consider an abomination is an interesting notion. The crime? Listening to the music coming through today’s primary audio consumption tool. Headphones. Luckily, the duo also have a hefty, if not vigorous, solution: Schitt Headphone Amps ($250+). Obvious moniker...

Bedstand Meets Bandstand

West Elm Parsons Audio End Table

One serious benefit of Apple’s decision to revamp only the guts of the new iPhone is that all of the iPhone 4 cases, accessories, and peripherals received an extended lease on life. West Elm’s new Parsons audio end table ($400) has an integrated dock for charging your precious iPhone or iPod and it’s apparently compatible...

Sound Footing

Woo Audio Aluminum Headphone Stands

Full-sized, over-the-ear headphones (known as Circumaural cans to you purists) typically provide a level of audio fidelity that measly earbuds can’t match. The trouble is they don’t exactly store nicely when not in use on your desk. These Woo Audio Aluminum Headphone stands ($60-$75) can help remove clutter from your workspace or listening station by...

Paranoid Android

Parrot Asteroid Receiver

In-car telematics are a losing proposition. As many features as brands tout it seems like it’s hardly 6 months before your $3000 navigation and audio system are outdated. If you’re like most American’s and own your vehicle anywhere close to the average of a decade then forget about it — you’re lucky to even have...

Tower Records

Revo K2 Digital Radio

Shrouded in gleaming aluminium and molded rubber, the Revo K2 ($470) tower not only out-looks other, plebeian docks, but also offers access to virtually every radio signal under the sun including old-fashioned over-the-air and internet streaming stations including last.fm. Perfect for your morning dose of NPR. Besides a dearth of plastics, the K2 also features...

Force Factor

NuForce Icon HDP

Buying a great pair of headphones is a big first step in upping your audiophile cred. Many of the models we’ve covered before can be an ear opening experience to what music is meant to sound like. That said, most of us listen to music in digital format these days, whether it be from out laptop,...

Boom Stick

Yamaha YAS-101 Soundbar

Most TV speakers have the acoustical chops of a cowbell orchestra. We put up with them simply because alternatives are pricey, bulky, and a pain in the ass to install in a clean and proper manner. The Yamaha YAS-101BL Front Surround System improves on these common drawbacks in several ways. It’s relatively easy on the...

Strum, As You Are

Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar Guitar

At the helm of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain was crowned by many as the voice of Generation X. The distinctive guitar he used in his final three years of his life just happened to be from another generation — 1965. In celebration of his talents and lasting influence, Fender has meticulously reincarnated his unique lefty axe...

Got To Guetta One

Pioneer DDJ-T1

Don’t feel like shelling out for a Pioneer DJM Nexus, but still want proper Pioneer DJ gear? Vault the Pioneer DDJ-T1 ($899) to the top of your list. A lower price doesn’t mean a half-baked controller though. Pioneer has infused the DDJ-T1 with pro performance jog wheels that are both ruggedized and responsive, touch search...

Bombs Awake

Thunderclap Alarm Clock

It may look like something snagged for three cents out of the bottom of a bargain bin, but bedroom style is a necessary bedside sacrifice for a particular type of sleeper. You know — the kind who could doze through a taser to the jugular. The Thunderclap Alarm’s 113-decibel ringer provides the same get-the-hell-up-and-go drive...

Ahead Phones

Audez’e LCD-2 Headphones

Using planar magnetic technology, essentially a thin-film diaphragm housed between two magnetic structures, and an arsenal of knowledge pooled from a cache of industry sound engineers Audez’e (pronounced “odyssey”) has managed to create what might be the smoothest pair of headphones we’ve ever auditioned. Sure, the Audez’e LCD-2 Headphones ($945) may cost a pretty penny,...

Sound Off (the Hook)

Pioneer Elite SC-57 Receiver

The Elite SC-57 receiver’s ($2,100) biggest claim to fame is power. Its proprietary D3 digital amplifier assumes the throne as the most powerful amp of any multichannel A/V receiver in the industry and is the only one of its kind to receive THX Ultra 2 Plus certification. From a capabilities standpoint, this unique power plant...

Can Touch This

Smithson Martin Emulator Multi-Touch Professional DJ System

Old school DJs were just as much showmen as they were beat droppers. Then computers made the whole craft much more nerdy. As it turns out, clicking on trackpads just isn’t as engaging as tearing up vinyl. Replace the laptops of today with an enormous, transparent touch panel display, and the pendulum could swing back...

You Mess 'Em Up, It Ties 'Em Down

CableGuy by Michiel Cornelissen

Dutch designer Michiel Cornelissen has devised a clever product to tame Apple’s ubiquitous ear buds. The CableGuy ($13) features four slots for holding the ear buds and 3.5mm plug in place, leaving room in the middle to wrap up the pesky cord in a nice ‘n tidy fashion. There’s also a built-in clip for attaching...

Like a G-17

Klipsch Gallery G-17 Air

AirPlay continues to invade the home and this time, packed into the Klipsch Gallery G-17 ($530) wi-fi portable speaker system. The G-17 touts four individually powered drivers: two 10-watt Tractrix-horned tweeters alongside dual 20-watt woofers alongside all the usual ports like USB and 3.5mm inputs. Charge up its batteries (or plug-in directly), and take it...

Well Sounded

Sonos Play 3

Long before AirPlay was on the scene, Sonos products made streaming music wirelessly throughout the home an easy affair. The company’s new Play 3 ($299) speaker is no exception. Designed to act on its own as a small but mighty audio solution for apartments, or as part of a larger Sonos system, its 5.2 x...

The Sound and the Fury

Jeff Rowland Criterion Preamplifier

The dictionary defines criterion as “a standard of judgment or criticism; a rule or principle for evaluating or testing”, so it goes without saying that christening your flagship product with such a definitive term shouldn’t come casually. It’s a good thing then that “casually” describes anything but the Jeff Rowland Criterion Preamplifier ($18,000). Built to...

Coming Soon: Portable B&W

Bowers & Wilkins C5 Headphones

We’d be hard pressed to find an answer if you asked us to identify two pieces of audio gear we love listening to more than our Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin or PS5 headphones. But, we doubt you’d ever see us using them. Neither are exactly portable. That may soon change though with the upcoming release...

Do Rock the Jukebox

Wurlitzer Digital Lyra Jukebox

The Wurlitzer Digital Lyra Jukebox ($4,700) is not your father’s jukebox. Controlled through a 15″ touchscreen this modern interpretation of the jukebox can consume music from nearly every medium. Whether its CD’s, cell phones, memory cards or USB, the Lyra stores your entire library and playlist to its 320GB of built-in memory and can even...

Upstaged

Marshall Major Headphones

Famous amp maker Marshall shook up the audio world when they released the Marshal Major and Minor headphones. A little over a year later, they’ve now added some phone-friendly additions to their flagship Major ($120) cans in the form of an integrated mic and remote. Both features function as you’d expect, allowing users to answer...

Free (Jay)Bird

Jaybird JF3 Freedom Bluetooth Headphones

Jaybird’s new JF3 Freedom Bluetooth Headphones ($100) are built from the ground up to be the workout accessory you’ve always wanted. Their Bluetooth connectivity allows them to connect to your iPhone, or any stereo Bluetooth device wirelessly, which is a huge plus for anyone whose nearly been garotted by their current wired set mid-lift. They’re...

Total Axcess

Gibson Custom Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess

Today marks Les Paul’s 96th birthday and even if the Google homepage has made it possible to pick away at your own rendition of Stairway to Heaven, we thought it worthwhile to divert your attention to a truly amazing instrument worthy of Les Paul, the Gibson Custom Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess ($6,174). Prog rock...

Audiophile turntable, Best Buy price

Pro-Ject RPM 1.3 Turntable

When it comes to spinning vinyl, there are a lot of choices under $500, but not all of them are awesome, especially if you care about the way your turntable looks as much as the way it plays. Whether you’re a vinyl junkie or making a foray into the great you’d be hard-pressed to find...

Abbey (on the) Road Studios

Zoom R8

About the only thing music production and portability share in common are the letter ‘p’. That is, unless you find yourself equipped with the new Zoom R8 ($299). The 8-track portable controller takes Zoom’s renown on-the-go audio capture capabilities and meshes it with an all-new controller capable of 2-track simultaneous recording via its built-in mics...

All Together Now

Denon AVR-3312CI

Network-ready A/V components have been around for a few years now, but most fail to do much more than provide awkward interfaces for streaming video and music services – hardly a compelling ‘integrated’ experience. But Denon, long hailed in Japan and abroad for a history of audio innovation that stretches back over 100 years, is...

Sweetz Beatz

Korg Wavedrum Mini

Your next tour with the Rolling Stones may be years and dreams away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the smash set with you. Korg’s all-new Wavedrum Mini offers up 100 samples, 10 audio effects and 100 rhythms which can then be recorded with an unlimited number of overdubs using the on-board looper. Battery...

Welcome to a new wall of sound

KEF T Series Surround Sound System

Take the following quiz: You’ve had your ultra-sharp flat-screen TV hanging on the wall like a piece of modern art for years now, but your speakers are still sitting on (choose one): a) the far end of the bookshelf, b) a mantle about 4 inches too shallow, c) mismatched speaker stands, d) the floor.

Where do we go from here?

Cambridge Audio DacMagic

You have a personal music library that would take two months of straight listening to get through from beginning to end. You subscribe to a dozen online streaming services and can instantly satisfy even the slightest musical whim (like calling up that one song from A-Ha’s second album that you really like but are afraid...

Dynamic Duo

Boston Acoustics TVee Model 25

Tired of that tiny, distorted and generally otherwise underwhelming sound emanating from your stock TV speakers, but hate the thought of wiring up surround sound? Go for a sound bar. The newly updated Boston Acoutics TVee Model 25 ($350) provides an enveloping audio experience without the fuss at an affordable price. Consisting of only a...

Small Wonder

Harman Kardon MAS 102

Bookshelf systems may not be at the top of your gear-acquisition list, but to us, nothing really beats the sexiness of a well-designed compact system. It seems Harman Kardon feels the same way because the new tuxedo-clad MAS 102 ($999) certainly looks the part. Designed to perform like a separate component setup, the system still...

The (True) Sound of Music

Paradigm Studio 10 Reference Speaker (v.5)

Believe it or not, there is an entire generation of ‘audio-orphans’ who have never known that music isn’t meant to come out of undersized, mass-produced, plastic boxes. And standing right behind them is a slightly older generation who may know better the virtues of quality speakers, but have been caught in the spell of ‘digital...

Slow Speaker Movement

Blumenstein Ultra Fi Orca Speaker

The result of four years of R&D, the handmade all-wood Blumenstein Ultra Fi Orca Speakers ($550) are designed with a singular purpose: deliver bone-tingling sonics from a bookshelf speaker without a wallet annihilating price. Hi-Fi buffs (and common sense) will tell you that one of the best ways to make this happen is to reduce...

Fine Noise Makers

MT. Man Speakers by Carrot Grant

Etsy isn’t the first destination that comes to mind for audio gear, but stumbling across these jaw-dropping Mt. Man Speakers ($900) from Philadelphia-based maker Jesse Gerard, aka Carrot Grant, is a welcome surprise. Designed and made by hand from solid cherry, each speaker features twin copper-clad woofers, gold-plated binding posts for banana plugs or 12...

On the record

Tascam DR-07mkII Handheld Recorder

Since built-in gadget mics are about as useful as a 56k modem circa 2015, we rely on our trusty Zoom recorders here at GP for our recording needs. But, after testing out the new Tascam DR-07mkII ($150) we’re going back to double check our levels. As the latest iteration of Tascam’s popular handheld recorders, the...

Making Master Control Look Weak

Pioneer VSX-1021-K Receiver with AirPlay

The Pioneer VSX-1021-K 7.1 Home Theater Receiver ($550) has iPhone and iPad integration oozing out of its amplified pores. First and foremost, it’s the first midrange receiver out of the gate to ship AirPlay ready — which allows iOS and Mac users to stream music wirelessly to their main home theater system, as well as...

Wireless Black Belt

AKG K 840 KL Wireless Mini Headphones

Wireless audio. A convenient technology that, like many modern conveniences, comes at the peril of quality. When it comes to a great pair of cans, we’re a picky lot here at GP and tend to keep ours plugged into an amp via cables — for better or worse. So, when AKG asked us a few...