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Sound & Vision

Sound & Vision October 2017

Sound & Vision is at the forefront of the ever-changing, always dynamic world of electronic entertainment. Authoritative and accessible, written with insight and humor, Sound & Vision is the preeminent source for consumers of home theater, audio, video, and multimedia products.

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United States
AVTech Media Americas, Inc.
10 Issues

in this issue

2 min
petite and discreet

Steinway Lyngdorf S-15 Speaker System Steimway Lyngdorf • (212) 588-9330 • steinwaylyngdorf.com It’s not new but Steinway Lyngdorf ’s S-15 remains stunning in its aesthetic and technical design. Visually, this tiny treasure has little in common with your garden-variety box speaker— nor should it, considering its pedigree. For starters, it’s 10 inches tall, 8 inches wide, and only 3 inches thick—or about a half-inch wider and an inch thicker than the 1997 Webster’s New World College Dictionary collecting dust on a shelf in my office. Most striking is the lack of side panels. In a perfect example of form meets function, a dozen perfectly aligned “piano strings” on either side (they’re actually made of rubber) allow the system’s secret weapon—a high-performance dipole tweeter— to disperse “spacious and live” sound throughout the room. About…

1 min
fidget with your phone

Fidget spinners, the latest way to distract the human mind through the wonder of ball bearings, are now available for smartphones. The Fidget Tech Spin Master augments the physical spinning device with a double-sided suction cup that sticks onto a smartphone. That enables it to serve as a phone stand or phone grip. While it’s OK to hold the phone and spin the spinner, the company doesn’t say anything about holding the spinner and spinning the phone, presumably because that might end badly. The toy costs $30 from Brooklynbased fidget-tech.com with free shipping and will sell for $20 in stores. Or you could just buy a generic fidget spinner and double-sided suction cup for 99 cents each on eBay…

24 min
reviews in high definition

UHD BLU-RAY Logan Escape Claws There have certainly been terrific comic book movies, but Logan is a terrific movie that just so happens to be inspired by comic books. The proper balance of story, character, and juicy action set pieces is an elusive one. (Think back to the disappointing first two solo Wolverine flicks.) But in his ninth and reportedly final portrayal of Logan, charismatic star Hugh Jackman— in the role that will surely define his career—is at the center of a remarkably original, powerful film. The year is 2029. Mutants, once misunderstood and widely feared, are almost extinct and largely irrelevant. Once the deadly-yet-noble X-Man known as Wolverine, Logan is now an Uber driver living a sullen existence on the U.S./Mexico border. Well past his prime, and not just due to his advanced…

11 min
stewart filmscreen phantom halr ambient light rejecting screen

PRICE $4,132 as reviewed THE VERDICT A paradoxical hybrid that blends excellent contrast management for challenging viewing environments with a frustrating callousness about pristine image fidelity. SCREEN STEWART FILMSCREEN PHANTOM HALR AMBIENT LIGHT REJECTING SCREEN PRICE: $4,132 Stewart Filmscreen • (800) 762-4999 • stewartfilmscreen.com AT A GLANCE Plus Excellent off-axis light rejection Wide viewing angle maintains color saturation Very good calibration accuracy Minus Cloudy artifacts with camera pans on bright scenes High price TWO YEARS AGO, SOUND & Vision contemplated how pairing sub-$2K projectors with innovative ALR (ambient light rejecting) screens might compete as similarly priced replacements for large flat panels in multipurpose environments. Compelling, immersive, life-size projected images for the same currency swap as a diminutive, backlit, uh…TV? We celebrated our certainty at pinpointing every red, green, and blue-blooded home theater enthusiast’s eureka! moment. Back then, mainstream TV size effectively peaked at…

3 min
outfitting a custom toolkit

Having the right tool makes any job easier—or even possible—and when my company’s vans show up for an installation, they are loaded down with a huge array of gear to help us overcome virtually any hurdle. Between specialized drill bits, to hand tools for terminating an assortment of fittings, to fiber-optic cameras for peering into walls, having the right tool on hand can make the difference between a job well done and an impossible one. If you’re looking to do some basic installation work—such as mounting a flat-panel TV or retrofitting new in-ceiling speakers for a Dolby Atmos setup— assembling a basic toolkit isn’t hard or expensive. Over the next couple of columns, I’m going to dissect some basic installations you can tackle on your own. Below is a list of…

18 min
samsung qn65q9 lcd ultra hdtv

PRICE $6,000 THE VERDICT Samsung’s new top-of-the-line QLED flagship brings first-rate brightness, brilliant color, and crisp resolution to the Ultra HD party, but enthusiasts might notice its lack of a full-array, localdimming backlight. ULTRA HDTV SAMSUNG QN65Q9 LCD ULTRA HDTV PRICE: $6,000 Samsung • (800) 726-7864 • samsung.com AT A GLANCE Plus Bright and punchy HDR Excellent resolution Stunning color Minus No Dolby Vision Edge-lit instead of fullarray backlight dimming NOW THAT WE’RE AWASH IN high dynamic range (HDR) material on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Samsung is determined to make the most of it with two new TVs, the 65-inch QN65Q9 reviewed here and the 75-inch QN75Q9 for buyers who prefer a bigger (and, at $10,000, pricier) set. Each has a screen that’s flat, not curved. Samsung’s top sets this year have been dubbed QLED. If this looks awfully close to OLED…