Sound + Image April - May 2019

SOUND + IMAGE magazine offers a comprehensive package focused on lifestyle home electronic entertainment. It provides easy-to-read information about audio and video equipment and how ordinary consumers can assemble extraordinary systems that look and sound fantastic.

Future Publishing Ltd
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8 Issues

in this issue

3 min
out of my head

I was talking with a cinema system designer recently, who told me that early in his professional career he had sold high-end consumer audio, but he ended up quitting the hi-fi side of things for the apparently paradoxical reason that he loves music too much. This seems odd — there are few places that play music as much or at such high quality as do hi-fi shops. But he says that was exactly the problem. He was so busy listening for the differences between equipment that he was no longer listening to the music. Even in his spare time, listening to music became a bus-man’s holiday, and he lost the ability to immerse rather than analyse. I know exactly what he means, though it’s something from which, thankfully, I do not permanently…

4 min
the easy 4k replacement for benq’s w1070

BenQ has two new projectors for home cinema; we review the $3999 W5700 next issue. The other is the $2499 W2700, which comes loaded with features including Ultra-HD resolution (delivered by Texas Instruments’ four-flash DLP470TP digital micromirror device), support for High Dynamic Range in HDR10 and HLG flavours, and 95% delivery of the DCI-P3 colour space. But for many home cinema fans, its smartest feature may be that it’s been designed as a direct replacement for the highly successful W1070 and W1070+ projectors. That means users of those models can keep their mount and their screen, and simply swap in the new ‘4K’ W2700 model with the minimum of fuss, and no fiendish screen size and throw distance calculations required. The demonstrations at the launch were impressive, and we await a unit…

2 min
wisdom brings new insight

Wisdom Audio’s Insight range won a 2019 Sound+Image Award for the largest of the range, the L8i, which is a line-array design with a pair of two-foot-high membranes running the full height of the speaker, flanked by eight more conventional woofers. When we heard these extended line array speakers as part of a full surround set-up, they were supported with the smaller P2i models from the Insight range as rears; these use two of the dynamic woofers each with a smaller planar magnetic delivering the high frequencies, a point source rather than line array solution. Now the company has added two new point-source models to the Insight range, the compact P4m and P2m, which Wisdom says can be mounted on a wall, but could also be placed on a bookshelf. Both models…

2 min
sonos makes a lamp

The rumours are now confirmed — Sonos has collaborated with IKEA on a range of speakers to be called ‘Symfonisk’, selling through IKEA stores beginning in August. And the two announced models don’t simply offer a speaker; they combine other functionality with sound — one is a lamp, the other designed to be used as a bookshelf, though it can also be used in vertical orientation. For IKEA, the entry into the sound space hopes to “democratize the home sound system”, and continues its push into smart-home products, following smart lighting (TRÅDFRI) a couple of years ago and its connected blinds, which are just coming to market. “For IKEA, the smart home is not about gadgets, it’s about making life at home better with solutions that create a better atmosphere, make you…

3 min
what is... 4k pro-uhd

Three new projectors have arrived from Epson, all “crafted to a level” as it was nicely put to us at the Sydney launch, that level being a sub-$5000 price for what the company calls ‘4K PRO-UHD’ projection. But what exactly is 4K PRO-UHD? Well for starters, the 4K in 4K PRO-UHD is not native 4K. The three new Epson projectors use a 1920 × 1080 panel, pixel-shifted once to deliver around four million pixels, half the number of actual UHD, and overlapping too (we’ve never quite been able to get our heads around the geometry of this pixel-shifting method of resolution raising). Epson describes it as 4Ke, or ‘4K enhanced’. But hold on before you head off in search of the real thing. Epson has some good arguments for why their choices may…

3 min
epson, the f1 & seiko

There was a groan of disappointment as our group of mere scribes and media persons emerged from a black Mercedes van in the grounds of the 2019 Melbourne Formula One race. The van’s windows were heavily tinted and a crowd of enthusiasts had assembled and, seeing the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport logos, had obviously hoped for the appearance of Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas. The occasion was organised by Epson, a major sponsor of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team. Earlier in the day, before we disappointed the fans, Epson took the opportunity to talk about some of its newest technology, mostly its commercial range of projectors. The hero product was the Accent Lighting Laser Projectors, nifty units that look like spotlights. Put them on a shop ceiling and they become pretty much invisible,…