Sound + Image March - April 2021

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
8 Issues

in this issue

4 min
springsteen under b?

In high school, my Friday nights were spent with a group of friends up at a house which hosted an impressively-curated vinyl collection. We would choose an album side each (in rotation, as it were), enjoying the music at some volume. It’s a curious continuance of custom that 40 years later, on the other side of the world, I now meet up with friend Stew every Friday night to play music, only one track at a time now, as we are playing them on a two-and-a-half-hour ‘themed’ music show on community radio (that wonderful Australian system that enables those with deep and obscure interests of no possible commercial or public value to command local airwaves under the valuable support of the Community Broadcast Foundation). Our show draws heavily on Stew’s capacious…

12 min
what denon & heos did next

The latest release in Denon’s new ‘Home’ range is the $999 Denon Home Sound Bar 550, due for a May release in Australia, and confirming Denon’s shift away from separate HEOS-branded products. HEOS will remain as the platform enabling streaming and multiroom operation within ever-increasing numbers of products from Denon and Marantz (and potentially other brands under Sound United). Meanwhile the Home soundbar joins three wireless Home speakers in an expanding range to directly replace the outgoing HEOS products. And in a sign of carefully planned interoperability, any of the Home wireless speakers can be used as rear surround speakers with the new bar. And with HEOS inside, they will all also integrate with any existing HEOS products in a home. The soundbar claims Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D surround delivery…

10 min
make it short

Ultra-short-throw projectors are going great guns. Even mainstream companies not previously or no longer involved in projection (LG, Samsung, Hisense) have realised that a projector sitting on a bench can deliver a large-screen ‘TV-like’ experience with a convenience that a conventional projector cannot when it has to be pushed back in the room or hung on a ceiling. As a consequence the ultra-short-throw is rapidly evolving. Since it’s going to work like a TV, shouldn’t it have speakers? Shouldn’t it be smart, like a TV? Yes it should. So here comes Epson, a company which declares itself the world no.1 in projection (on the reasonable basis it has been declared so by Futuresource Consulting for the last 17 consecutive years), with new models for just this space, the EH-LS500 (see overleaf)…

4 min
the ‘4k pro uhd’ eh-ls500

Here in Australia there wasn’t much time between Epson’s September 2020 release of the EH-LS500 (which went on to win a Sound+Image Award) and the January 2021 release of the EH-LS300. But in fact the LS500 was first unveiled in 2019, so there’s as much as a full year of development between the two. It is not, therefore, simply a case of the LS300 having 1920 x 1080 resolution versus the LS500 doubling that, using a 4K input signal and Epson’s 4K Pro UHD technology to deliver something of more impressive and smoother resolution. Notably the smarts are much more developed in the newer model, whereas the LS500 originally lacked a TV interface at all, until it was bundled with a stick as the ‘Android edition’ to enable it to be…

9 min
the speed of light

Much of the fun goings-on in big picture projection these days is in 4K. So why look at full-HD projectors? Well, all the most affordable 4K projectors are based on 2K panels anyway (they jitter around and use multiple hits to produce extra pixels). And for some applications, there are more important things than ultimate resolution. Which brings us to BenQ’s TH585. Equipment First, let’s work out exactly what the BenQ TH585 is. BenQ places it not under its ‘Home Theatre Projector’ line, but ‘Home Entertainment Projector’. The difference? The home theatre models are optimised for movie viewing and include such features as motion smoothing (and, frequently, that 4K capability). BenQ labels the TH585 as a ‘low input lag console gaming projector with 3500lm’. So that’s the, ahem, focus here. Responsive and…

9 min
v6 movie engine

Well, well, well. Yamaha is shaking up its home theatre receivers for the first time since the Aventage line was launched a decade ago. And here’s one of the first two results of that shake-up: the Yamaha RX-V6A. Equipment Yamaha RX-V receivers have been around for a good long time. We looked back through our reviews and found we’d reviewed an RX-V receiver back in 1999… our own digital records get sparse beyond that, but to save us searching in basement filing cabinets, Yamaha reminds us that the 1999 model was far from the first of the breed, as Yamaha began shipping the RX-V850 and RX-V1050 receivers in 1991. They were radi-cal back then, because all other Dolby Pro Logic decoders of the day were analogue, “with mediocre separation and steering between…