The Absolute Sound Fall 2021

The Absolute Sound is the world’s preeminent source of expert reviews, features, and commentary on high-performance audio and music.

United States
Nextscreen LLC
11 期號


3 分鐘
your perfect speaker

“Take your time when auditioning speakers; discover the speaker’s flaws in the demonstration room, not a week after you’ve bought them.” Of all the decisions you’ll make when assembling your dream system, choosing just the right speaker for your room, listening tastes, and budget is by far the most important. The speaker not only has an outsized influence over the system’s sound quality, it’s also the only component that becomes a significant part of your decor. Electronics and sources can be neatly tucked away in racks and cabinets, but a pair of speakers is almost like another member of the family. The nearly 1000 speakers listed in this special annual directory issue represent just a small sliver of the total loudspeaker universe. We’ve carefully curated the many tens of thousands of models…

11 分鐘
great new speakers and cables coming your way

PSB Synchrony T600 Loudspeaker The PSB Speakers Synchrony T600 towers represent the finest application of the brand’s “true to nature” design philosophy. Engineered in Canada by a team of highly regarded acoustic specialists guided by PSB Founder and Chief Acoustic Designer Paul Barton, this latest flagship tower features a new five-way transitional driver array in a four-chamber cabinet to deliver an immersive, tonally accurate soundscape. The new driver platform consists of three 6.5” woofers and a 5.25” midrange driver—all with cast-aluminum baskets, woven carbon-fiber cones, and rubber surrounds—mated to a 1” ferrofluid-cooled titanium-dome tweeter driven by a neodymium magnet. The T600 features robust, acoustically inert MDF cabinets with aluminum-clad front baffles for maximum rigidity and density, and individually tuned chambers and rear-firing ports for each woofer to break up in-speaker standing…

12 分鐘
how to choose a power amplifier

Excerpted and adapted from The Complete Guide to High-End Audio, sixth edition. © 1994-2021 by Robert Harley. Reprinted with permission. To order call (800) 841-4741. UNLIKE MOST OF THE OTHER COMPONENTS IN your system, power amplifiers vary greatly in electrical performance. Consequently, choosing a power amplifier requires careful system matching—not only for musical compatibility, but for electrical compatibility, as well. While any digital source will function in a system (even though it may not be musically ideal), some power amplifiers just won’t work well with certain loudspeakers on a technical level. Choosing a power amplifier is thus a technical as well as an aesthetic decision that requires careful attention to system matching. We’ll discuss these technical factors throughout this chapter excerpt. The first choice in power amplifiers—a stereo unit or a…

20 分鐘
manufacturer roundtable wireless loudspeakers

Wireless integrated loudspeakers are the hottest ticket in the high end today. These systems combine power amplification, digital-to-analog conversion, and, often, streaming functions inside the speaker enclosure. With nothing more than a pair of speakers and a tablet for selecting music and controlling the system, wireless integrated systems bring high-end performance to those who value simplicity and ease of use. But wireless speakers aren’t just about convenience; integrating those components confers some technical benefits, as well. To get an inside view of this rapidly growing product category, I asked representatives of four of the leading loudspeaker manufacturers at the forefront of this trend to share their insights. Andy Kerr Director of Product Marketing & Communications, Bowers&Wilkins Give us a brief overview of your company’s involvement in wireless integrated loudspeakers and your product range. We began…

11 分鐘
beyond “cones-in-a-box”: powered, active, digital, dsp, and wireless loudspeakers

Excerpted and adapted from The Complete Guide to High-End Audio, sixth edition. © 1994–2021 by Robert Harley. Reprinted with permission. TODAY’S LOUDSPEAKERS AREN’T LIMITED TO the passive “cones-in-a-box” paradigm that has prevailed for decades. A new breed of speakers brings a whole host of novel technologies to the category, ranging from simple integral amplification to today’s sophisticated wireless speakers with streaming apps controlled from your phone. Here’s a short survey of innovative new ideas that are revolutionizing the loudspeaker industry. Powered and Active Loudspeakers A powered loudspeaker is simply a speaker with an amplifier inside the speaker cabinet. The powered speaker takes in a line-level signal from a preamplifier or other source, obviating the need for a separate power amplifier and speaker cables. The single power amplifier inside the speaker amplifies…

3 分鐘
loudspeaker directory

In many cases we’ve included the award indications for updated versions of products that have won those awards in the past, even if we haven’t fully reviewed the new version. We’ve done this only for those products that are substantially similar to the original, and that we have judged to be at least as good as the component that earned our initial recognition. Be aware that some of the more recently reviewed products may not indicate any award citations simply because we have not yet published the award issues for which those items are eligible. The loudspeaker, subwoofer, and cable listings are arranged by manufacturer in ascending price order. In the case of companies with several series within their overall line, we’ve grouped the series together rather than following the strict price…