When I first got involved with stereo, some of my main concerns were: Does my receiver need a loudness switch? What are the optimal mid-range crossover frequencies? What is the tracking weight of my tonearm? Should I buy a conical or elliptical stylus? Will my paper route pay for all this? Now, my biggest question is, what is my stereo’s gender?
My first piece of decent audio gear was a hand-built (by me) Heathkit AA-21D amplifier. Solid-state! Twenty-eight transistors! I had a lot of questions about my first amplifier, but it wouldn’t have entered my mind to ask about its gender. It wasn’t sentient in any way. It wasn’t going to have progeny. It was completely dumb. It was only an amplifier.
Today’s smart speakers are smart to the point of seeming almost human. And as they assume human qualities, they naturally have assumed a voice. And that voice assigns a gender to the speaker. Early smart speakers used a female voice. At least according to one study at Indiana University in 2017, both men and women preferred a female voice, finding it welcoming, warm, and nurturing. The United Nations begs to differ.
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XGIMI – A Potent Portable
Even as TVs grow ever-larger, the projector category continues to be an active one, with more recent designs like ultra-short throw models giving viewers an alternative to room-dominating hangfrom-ceiling setups.
A Classic Reimagined
KLH model five loudspeaker
KLIPSCH’S NEW Cinema series soundbars are the latest effort of an iconic, 75-year-old speaker maker to push new performance barriers while delivering a product that is quintessential, well, Klipsch.
MEDIA ROOM INSIDER: SENECA CINEMA
Do-It-Yourself Theater with a Twist
IN 2020, Sound & Vision tested Samsung’s 65-inch Q90T series TV, an LCD model that lacked some of the features and refinements found in the company’s flagship sets from the previous year.
OLED For Less
SONY’S NEW XR-65A80J OLED TV isn’t a member of the company’s Master Series—that designation belongs to its XR-A90J OLED models, which are spec’d to deliver higher brightness than the XR-A80J sets. And while we haven’t yet tested those pricier Sony OLEDs, the XR-65A80J is far from being a second-class citizen. Read on to find out why.
Rack Your World
IF YOU’RE A boomer who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s like I did, you’ll remember that no home was complete unless it had a stereo system in the living room.
SPATIAL AUDIO RELATIONS
Ears-on with Apple Music’s new Atmos offerings
The Power Station
TRUE STORY. My very first hi-fi system featured a Rotel integrated amplifier—if memory serves, a model RA-20 of some 20 watts per channel.
THX Onyx DAC/ Headphone Amplifier
THX Does High-Res Audio
The most powerful Pro lineup ever created
CHINA CRACKDOWN ON APPLE STORE HITS HOLY BOOK APPS, AUDIBLE
Amazon’s audiobook service Audible and phone apps for reading the holy books of Islam and Christianity have disappeared from the Apple store in mainland China, the latest examples of the impact of the country’s tightened rules for internet firms.
The iPhone 13’s leaps forward for photo & video
Down to Their Last Dollar
Businesses fail every day, from world-beaters (like TWA and Lehman Brothers) to sexy high-fliers (DeLorean, Enron) to Steady Eddie, old-school icons (Toys “R” Us, Sears). Sometimes, of course, market conditions simply turn Sisyphean. But often, when that boulder starts to roll backward, a leader’s grit, imagination, resourcefulness, and ability to conjure a little luck can mean the difference between a brave new chapter and, well, Chapter 11. Here, four businesses that went from nearly bust to total gangbusters.
Logitech Ergo K860
This ergonomic “split” keyboard helps reduce wrist–strain
Vissles V84 (2.0) Mechanical Keyboard
A Mac–friendly typing experience — and then some
10 years without the genius behind apple
iPad mini- Packing its punch in the palm of your hand
Although all eyes were on the Apple Watch Series 7 and iPhone 13 range at this year’s California Streaming event, the unexpected announcement of a refreshed iPad mini also got people talking. Bringing Apple’s smallest tablet in line with the iPad Pro and Air has helped to give consumers more choice, whilst a refreshed entry-level iPad remains a sensible buy.
Steve Jobs and the GTN
Why the ubiquitous works
The tree expert who turned the five boroughs into his personal orchard.