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Brent Butterworth

Brent Butterworth Stereos Blog

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Denon Jumps Into WiFi Audio With HEOS

Monday June 2, 2014

Denon HEOSSeeing the success Sonos has had with its WiFi-based wireless audio systems like the Play:1, lots of other companies have launched competing, Sonos-like WiFi audio systems, including Bose, LG, and Samsung. But none of those companies (fairly or unfairly) is known as a serious audio brand. Denon is, which is why its new HEOS systems are so exciting. Read More...

PSB Launches Incredibly Affordable (for PSB) Imagine X Speaker Line

Tuesday May 27, 2014

AlPSB Imagine X speakersthough PSB makes some great affordable speakers like the Alpha, the company's best known for relatively costly speakers like the Imagine and Image series. The new Imagine X series bridges the gap. The Imagine X2T tower speaker costs $649 each, compared to $1,099 each for the current Imagine T tower. Yet the Imagine X2T has a more capable driver complement: two 6.5-inch woofers, a 5.25-inch midrange and a 1-inch tweeter, versus two 5.25-inch woofers and a 1-inch tweet in the Imagine T. That's a big wow. Read More...

Do Headphones Suffer Power Compression?

Monday May 26, 2014

B&W P7 power compressionI'm honored to be doing the headphone measurements for SoundStage! Xperience, a website devoted to home theater and portable audio products. Why am I proud? Because these guys do their speaker measurements in one of the anechoic chambers at Canada's National Research Council in Ottawa, so they know what they're talking about.

NAD HP-50 power compresionOne thing they asked me to check out is whether or not I should be doing the same kind of power compression measurements they do with speakers. In power compression measurements, you measure frequency response at a low level, then run the same measurement at higher levels, typically +3, +6, +9, +12 dB, etc. With speakers -- and especially subwoofers -- you can see the frequency response change at the higher level, usually because the bass output starts to give out. Read More...

Tivoli Audio's Bigger, Better Bluetooth Speaker

Sunday May 25, 2014

Tivoli Audio Model 3 bluetoothTivoli Audio has built a rep for really good-sounding little table radios, most with just one speaker. With the new $299 Model 3 Bluetooth speaker, it's taking its sound and functionality up a notch or two. Like the original Model One (still in frequent use in my home), the Model 3 uses a 3-inch full-range driver, but it's got two of them for stereo sound. It's also got a built-in rechargeable battery, making it suitable for portable use. And when your smartphone's battery runs out, pull out the telescoping antenna and groove on your favorite FM or AM station. An all-wood cabinet will cost you $100 extra. Read More...

New 360-Degree Electrostatic Speaker to Debut at T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach

Saturday May 24, 2014

Photo of Domain Omni ESL speakers provided by MuraudioThe Home Entertainment Show -- better known as T.H.E. Show -- hits Southern California next weekend, and one of the best reasons to go may be the introduction of what Canadian loudspeaker company Muraudio is calling the world's first omnidirectional electrostatic speaker, the Domain Omni ESL. The Omni ESL uses multiple electrostatic panels mounted in a circular array to deliver broad, consistent sound dispersion in every direction. Three aluminum-cone woofers reproduce the bass. Read More...

New High-End Headphone Amps: Beyerdynamic A2 and Simaudio Nēo 430HA

Sunday May 18, 2014

simaudioProbably the most exploding category in audio electronics right now is one that barely existed 10 years ago: dedicated headphone amps. The latest models have all the build quality, features and over-the-top engineering of the finest conventional amps. Plus prices to match: Simaudio just announced a new model for $3,500 -- plus another $700 if you want the USB digital-to analog converter option. And Beyerdynamic's new A2 comes pretty close, at $1,699. Both represent very serious efforts at state-of-the-art headphone sound. Read More...

Can This Man Save the Stereo?

Friday May 9, 2014

GordonWhite-WithRecord.jpgI have to admit I was skeptical when I first heard about the Save the Stereo Project. There have been other efforts to save -- or at least promote the idea 0f -- the traditional stereo system. And with good reason, because as most audio experts would agree, a traditional two-channel stereo system, with speakers in a room and the listener sitting equidistant from them, is still the best, most realistic way to experience stereo music recordings. Read More...

How Can You Tell What Subwoofer You Need for Your Room?

Saturday May 3, 2014

bassaholics logoA while back, Gene DellaSala, founder of the Audioholics website, asked if he could borrow the CEA-2010 maximum output measurement data from my recent reviews of the SVS PB-2000 and SB-2000 subwoofers to use in Tom Andry's review of both subwoofers. I'm honored that somebody I respect would trust my measurements enough to use them, but I'm even happier to realize that at long last, the audio industry has created a workable measurement standard -- a standard that can provide consumers with useful information. Read More...

Bayan Audio Intros New Bluetooth Speaker Line

Wednesday April 23, 2014

bayan audio soundbook X3Yep, I know, there's already 10 zillion trillion billion Bluetooth speakers out there. And now there are a couple more. But these look a lot more original than most of the others I've been pitched lately. And they're also from a company that's already had some success in the U.K., so maybe these guys have a chance of getting some traction. Read More...

New Headphone Reviews: Oppo Digital PM-1 and V-Moda XS

Monday April 21, 2014

VModa_main.jpgI just finished two headphone reviews in the last week that are well worth reading for headphone enthusiasts. And really, even for those just thinking about getting a new set of headphones. That's because these two models are so different yet both well worthy of consideration. Read More...

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