Future Publishing Ltd

Tech & Gaming
Best Buys – Audio & AV

Best Buys – Audio & AV Issue 2 - 2018

Best Buys Audio & AV is loaded to the gills with authoritative reviews on all types of hi-fi and home theatre products, from wireless speakers to valve amplifiers, AV projectors and streaming computer audio – it’s a must-read for those looking to assemble or upgrade their home entertainment systems. By publishing easy-to-read, well researched reviews, Best Buys Audio & AV provides at-a-glance summaries together with detailed reviews by Australia’s most experienced hi-fi and AV teams from Sound+Image and Australian Hi-Fi magazines.

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2 Issues

in this issue

8 min.
4k av projector benq tk800

The BenQ TK800 makes it four. That is, four Ultra-HD AV projectors from BenQ. The other three are from its W and X series — the letters it uses to mark its home cinema models. This one it calls a ‘Home Entertainment’ projector instead, and says in its release information that it’s ‘sport optimised’. EQUIPMENT Indeed, this projector is very similar indeed to the BenQ W1700 — the same weight and the same dimensions, inputs and so on. It shares a built-in five-watt speaker. And it uses the same 0.47-inch 1920 × 1080 Digital Micromirror Device with Texas Instruments’ four-flash XPR technology, thereby creating a 3840 × 2160 Ultra-HD image. We previously did a deep dive on how this produces actual on-screen UHD, partly because we’ve been unimpressed with various other pixel-shifting technologies.…

9 min.
13-channel av amplifier with heos denon avr-x8500h

The appropriate word somehow seems to be ‘Beast’ as the initial description for this, the Denon AVC-X8500H AV amplifier. Let us explain why. EQUIPMENT So, imagine a home theatre amplifier — not strictly a receiver, as there are no radio tuners in this unit — with each amplifier channel rated at 150W of output. That’s into eight ohms, across the full audio bandwidth, and with just 0.05% THD (measured with two channels running at a time). Now imagine this amplifier had not five of these channels, not seven, not nine… not even 11, as does the almost-equally leviathoneesque Marantz in a few pages time. Just 11? No, the Denon AVC-X8500H AV amplifier has 13 amplifier channels. Thirteen! Does that not make it a beast? We reckon it does. The unit, says Denon, incorporates…

3 min.
the hi–fi headlines

Sony VPL-VW760ES projector “…this projector creates some of the best images I have ever seen from a projector, irrespective of price.” Strong words, given that Toby O’Brien, who wrote them in a recent review on the Sony VPL-VW760ES projector for StereoNET, calibrates and reviews projectors for a living. This is a native 4K HDR projector (which is not as common as you may believe), but what distinguishes it from most others is that the light source is a laser rather than a traditional bulb. There are many advantages to this technology, the most practical being that the laser will last an estimated 20,000 hours at 100% brightness. That is ten times longer than most bulbs. Lasers are also capable of displaying a broader range of the colour spectrum. They can produce deeper and…

8 min.
ultra-short-throw projector epson eh-ls100

The Epson EH-LS100 AV projector combines two unusual features in one projector: ultra-short-throw projection, and a laser-diode light source. The lasers deliver long life and low maintenance, while ultra-short-throw allows the projector to sit at the foot of (or close to and above) the projection screen. They use mirrors and some pretty magical optics to cast a picture that’s focused and of comparable brightness across its dimensions, despite the seemingly ludicrous positioning. EQUIPMENT In this case, for a 100-inch display in 16:9 aspect ratio, the projector needs to be located with its projection window just 610mm away from the screen. Since the projection window is actually near the back of the projector, its body is 260mm from the plane of the screen for that display. We have to specify the aspect ratio because…

6 min.
screen speaker systems krix series mx

A few years ago, Scott Krix, the founder of Krix Loudspeakers in South Australia, and Don MacKenzie, Krix’s National Sales Manager, were discussing (over a couple of bottles of lovely McLaren Vale reds, we gather), home cinema and the issues of integrating a high-end home cinema into the modern Australian home. Scott Krix has been designing and installing audio systems for commercial cinemas throughout Australia and overseas since the early 1980s, and today Krix speaker systems are featured in more than 3000 commercial cinemas worldwide. He was bemoaning the fact that most home cinemas being installed today didn’t reproduce the overall experience or impact that a properly designed and calibrated commercial cinema does. In fact, most home cinemas were planned more on looks and budget rather than focusing the design on…

8 min.
11-channel av receiver with heos marantz sr8012

In Australia for the past few years, Marantz has gone up to ‘SR70xx’ in model numbers for its integrated AV receivers. But no longer, for here we now have an even higher model. Why? Because the SR8012 goes to a full 11 channels, making it capable of delivering 7.1.4-channel Dolby Atmos or DTS:X sound. EQUIPMENT And they are 11 very respectable channels. Each is rated at 140W, full audio bandwidth into eight ohms at just 0.05% THD, two channels driven. All channels also support four-ohm loudspeakers. There’s a special set-up function for setting the load impedance to four or six ohms rather than the default eight. For ultimate output levels, if you want to call it that, the amplifiers are rated at 175W into six ohms at 1kHz with 0.7% THD. All those…