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Sound + Image

Sound + Image October - November 2015

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.

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Future Publishing Ltd
8 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
getting the whole story...

I read an article (well, a blog) just recently which whinged about the IFA show in Berlin as being somewhat short on news and major launches, with little but iterative releases of ongoing product. Poor bloggie diddums — I fear this is a sign of a jaded author rather than a jaded show. I don’t remember ever having so many news stories all piling in close to press day as they have for this issue, and many of them have come out of Berlin. For sure, if you only go searching for ‘the next big thing’, it may not always stare you in the face or come to you on a handy platter, even at a big event like IFA. And yes, when the marketers can’t deliver a ‘next big…

3 min.
the hi–fi headlines newsletter no.222

It is natural when thinking about Hi-Fi to think in terms of major components, such as amplifiers, speakers etc. At the same time there are many smaller components and accessories that go into the fabric of this market, and we have had a bunch of these come through in recent times. Another product packing an amazing amount of technology into a very small space is the ExplorerUSB DAC from Meridian. It has been some time since the Explorer has been available in Australia, but the Explorer is a solid step forward on the old model. This minute DAC, designed to fit into the USB port of a computer, has 24bit/192kHz processing, and is MQA (you will hear more about this in the future) enabled. Possibly the best news is that under…

3 min.
yamaha’s musiccast has a bluetooth bonus

Yamaha has used an old name for a new product — MusicCast is the new wireless multiroom platform with which it will take on the likes of Sonos, HEOS, Bluesound and the rest. While it has taken its time getting the system to market, it has strong differentiators to give it an edge, not the least of them the enormous range of device options on offer that will integrate with the app-control MusicCast — 25 different AV receivers, two hi-fi amplifiers, two audio systems, two wireless speaker systems and three soundbars… and that’s just what’s available during the initial launch roll-out. The other big news is that MusicCast can send music to any Bluetooth speaker/device you already own, irrespective of make or model. This may leave competitors somewhat agog — Sonos…

1 min.
bluesound’s generation 2 is on the way

A second generation of the Bluesound wireless multiroom system will expand its abilities and introduce two fresh speaker unit models at lower price points than the original Pulse. Updates include a Node 2 (digital and line-level outputs into an existing audio system), a Power Node 2 (just add speakers), and a Vault 2 with its internal CD ripper and a doubled 2TB hard drive plus add the usual Bluesound streaming abilities. All these now have new designs (by designer David Farrage of DF-ID) with less of the crazy angles in evidence, and will use upgraded DACs delivering 32-bit/192kHz performance, and also built-in Bluetooth including aptX. These will be joined by a trio of new wireless speaker units – the expected Pulse Mini, also a Pulse 2 to replace the current Pulse, and…

1 min.
iot hubs

Who will rule the ‘internet of things’? Our focus last issue on connected things for smart homes presaged a three-fold announcement of smart-home hubs from major players who are bypassing the connected products themselves to deliver central controllers that will link a variety of products, thereby getting over the ‘island’ issue we encountered when testing individual brands. Apple’s HomeKit was initially announced a year ago but the development kit for the new iOS 9 extends the ability for iOS users to set up and control HomeKit-enabled accessories easily and securely with Siri and third-party apps, including expanded support for different accessories and remote operation via iCloud. Key to its success will be a new “Works with Apple HomeKit” badge to identify compatible products. Google’s OnHub is an unusual design of router offering…

1 min.
tcl spreads its curves to 100 inches at ifa berlin

TCL had its usual spectacular mix of current and future screen technologies on show at IFA Berlin, including a 110-inch curved 4K/UHD TV China Star with backlit LED-LCD display, entitled ‘China Star’. The diagonal of this monster is almost 2.8m, and at three metres it fills a 55-degree field of view — that’s a cinema level of immersion. The pole mounting looks neat, bearing in mind this TV’s specs say it weighs 425kg. Yowsa. TCL also continued its championing of quantum dots for delivery of extended colour gamuts, working with its subsidiary CSOT and US-based QD Vision to demonstrate the H9700 series, “the First Commercially-Branded Television to Present Over 90% of ITU Rec. 2020 Color Gamut”, a color gamut almost twice the size of today’s industry standard. Also on show was TCL’s…