Amazon has added Compact Discs to an existing trade-in program that already embraces Blu-ray, DVD, games, books, and electronics. There are two categories: Like New, for unscratched discs with original packaging and artwork in mint condition; and Good, for playable discs with light scratches and other disc or packaging blemishes. Send your stuff to Amazon, with free shipping, and a virtual gift card will be credited to your account. Trade-in lucre might be anything from $1.40 for Adele’s 21 to $5.30 for the Special Edition of Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick 2 to $35 for the 13-disc Rolling Stones box set. Of course, some people like having physical media in their libraries, and others may want to keep their audio-codec options open for future reconversions. But if you really hate all that plastic—so much that you want it gone now—here’s your chance to get rid of it and get paid. Amazon will gladly let you consume the credit as new downloads. Search eligible items on amazon.com.
Klipsch HD Theater 600 Speaker System
As long as you’re OK with its elegant high-gloss black finish, you shouldn’t have any problem integrating HD Theater 600 speakers into your room. Each satellite speaker is only 6 inches tall, and the center speaker is 9 inches wide. OK, the subwoofer with its 8-inch driver, 100-watt amp, and 30-hertz capability is pretty big, but it tucks away nicely in a corner. Wall brackets are included, or you can mount the satellites on optional floor stands.
For the past nine years, Lutron Electronics has brought together a number of editors and writers in the industry to review and judge a towering stack of anonymous submissions from dealers vying to win one of the lighting control company’s annual Excellence Awards. This year, six writers/editors plus myself were locked in a room at Lutron’s Residential & Commercial Experience Center in Irvine, California, and told we couldn’t leave until—after much discussion, arguing, hair-pulling, and some brutal name-calling—we had collectively decided which projects were the most amazingly cool, excellently conceived, and beautifully implemented in their categories.
From a Wi-Fi-enabled Blu-ray player you can control with your smartphone to a $900 video projector that's so bright you won't have to black out your windows, we present a handful of the latest products, including one that would make a sweet gift.
Wondering what it means when you see a Blu-ray Disc with a gold seal that says “Dolby TrueHD Advanced 96K Upsampling”? In its never-ending quest to squeeze every last drop of detail out of movie and music soundtracks, Dolby Labs has created a tool that enables studios and authoring/mastering facilities to take sound quality to an even higher level.
4K x 2K video with to-die-for resolution now has an official name. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has decreed that it will be called Ultra High-Definition or Ultra HD. The latter rolls trippingly off the tongue, doesn’t it? Try it a few times. Ultra HD sets must have at least 8 million pixels, 3,840 horizontal x 2,160 vertical, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 or wider, and at least one digital input must provide that minimum resolution without upconverting.
Planning to replace your main TV any time in the near future? Households in 14 markets around the world are now replacing TVs every 6.9 years, according to the NPD DisplaySearch Global TV Replacement Study, which is a year and a half sooner than the 8.4 years reported in last year’s study.
Women are embracing technology more than ever before, buying tablets, e-readers, smartphones, cameras, PCs, and other electronics for themselves and their families. And when it comes to the traditional audio/video categories, there’s no question that the gentler sex is an equal partner in major buying decisions. If she doesn’t like the big-screen TV hubby is drooling over, chances are it ain’t gonna happen.
Let the holiday shopping begin! New products for your consideration, ranging from a 55-inch 3D HDTV to a unique pair of noise-canceling headphones featuring solid wood earcups to a sleek on-wall surround speaker.
Looking for a little extra holiday spending money? If you purchased an LCD TV between 1999 and 2006 and live in one of the 24 states listed below, you may be entitled to a piece of a $1.1 billion settlement pie.
Home Theater's new Top Picks app for your iPad is now available for free at the iTunes App Store.
The app provides instant access to our list of Top Picks recommended products across 12 categories. Each pick has a short blurb explaining why our reviewer's liked the product and includes a link to the full review.
Sennheiser IE 800 Earphones
When a company that’s been making headphones since 1945 announces that its latest earphones deliver “detailed lifelike sound” with a super-wide frequency range of 5 hertz to 46 kilohertz, your ears perk up. The heart of Sennheiser’s IE 800 “ear canal phones” is a miniature, 0.28-inch wide-range driver that’s said to eliminate slight jumps and delays in music repro-
duction that occur with the multidriver configuration used in some high-end earphones. Other sound-enhancing features include a venting system that reduces distortion (notice the tiny silver ports) and an absorber that prevents high-frequency resonances from masking quiet sounds in the midrange.
For Any Ear: Sennheiser provides a selection of oval and round silicone adapters to ensure a perfect fit. Price: $787.
Sennheiser • (860) 434-9190 • sennheiserusa.com
Denver may seem like an odd place for a high-end audio show. As a medium-sized city, you wouldn’t expect it to be a hotbed of passionate audiophiles. But when you add the attendees who drive or fly to the mile-high city to a core of local enthusiasts you have what has become the biggest consumer audio show in the U.S. Last June's Orange County (CA) show reportedly drew bigger crowds (no surprise given the huge Southern California market). But the RMAF appeared to attract more exhibitors.