SV Staff Posted: Jul 02, 2016 Published: Jul 01, 2016 2 comments
As we head into a long, lazy July 4th Weekend, we’ve encapsulated a formidable list of recent Top Picks. Half of our Picks are devoted to an eclectic mix of wireless speakers, including one built for use outdoors. The other half includes what may be the world’s best TV, a couple of high-end headphones, a bad-ass budget subwoofer, a crazy cool micro tube amp, and an awesome AVR. Enjoy the holiday…and the gear.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jul 02, 2016 Published: Jul 01, 2016 3 comments
The way the team at Even describe it, their debut in-ear headphones evaluate your hearing in each ear and adapt the EQ of your music’s playback to compensate, much in the way a pair of prescription reading glasses adjust your vision. It’s a novel idea; one that makes a certain amount of sense. But does Even’s process really work, or is it all a gimmick? The only way to find out was to meet Sarah.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 01, 2016 0 comments
Ever wonder what would happen if the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs missed Earth instead, enabling our prehistoric pals to evolve into the dominant animals on the planet, rather than man? Regardless of your answer, here’s The Good Dinosaur, a rare misfire from the esteemed Pixar gang. While we on the sofa are still wrestling with the ramifications of this bizarre setup, we’re introduced to a family of dino farmers: no, seriously, a pack of apatosauruses that harvests corn and plows the field with their blunt heads.
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Brandon A. DuHamel Posted: Jul 01, 2016 2 comments
With Creed, director Ryan Coogler (Frutivale Station) reboots the long-running Rocky franchise for a new generation of fans. Like The Force Awakens, Creed, from a screenplay by Aaron Covington and Coogler, plays it safe, never deviating far from the fundamentals that made the original film such a success.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 01, 2016 3 comments
When it comes to my music library, sometimes I'm like a little kid. Buy now, think about the consequences later. My apartment was already groaning under the load of LPs, CDs, other media, and gear a year or two back when I suddenly went on an accelerated vinyl-collecting binge. When my workday was over, I'd sit in my armchair with a tablet, making one Ebay buy after another. On weekends I was off to Academy Records on West 18th Street in Manhattan to look for classical treasures (because classical vinyl is still cheap and cheap is what it's all about). Vinyl started overflowing from the shelves to the floor. Those LP-size BD/DVD-A/CD box sets made matters worse. Soon, and not for the first time in my life, I was in the throes of a full-blown LP storage crisis.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Jun 30, 2016 8 comments

Audio Performance
PRICE $1,600

Latest-gen audio and video processing
Fine-performing nine-channel Class D power
Cooler-than-ever free phone/tablet apps
Extensive proprietary auto-setup/EQ
Uninspired supplied remote
Occasional streaming audio glitches

All the good stuff—including Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, 4K/HDR with upscaling, and HD-remote-room ability—in a nicely usable, fine-sounding, fairly priced package.

It has been more than two years since Onkyo bought—or merged with, depending on your financial-accounting philosophy—Pioneer’s home-audio unit, but so far there has been no sign of their brands melding into a single entity. (Piokyo? Onkioneer?) And in all seriousness, we’ve no such expectation. For its part, Pioneer still retains two more or less discrete A/V receiver lines, the more quotidian VSX range and the higher-end SC models. More or less: All of the SCs reside in the brand’s specialist-oriented Elite series, while most of the VSXs remain in the “regular” Pioneer lineup. Yet a few sub-$1,000 VSXs, including two new ones, nestle in among the SCs on the Elite side of the ledger.

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SV Staff Posted: Jun 30, 2016 0 comments
Forty-four years ago this week the iconic video game company Atari was founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Jun 30, 2016 0 comments
A scene from 1993’s virtual reality thriller Arcade

Working on our July/August print edition we had fun with some categories we don’t normally follow closely. Yours truly got curious enough about so-called pico projectors to call in a few for a test. Watch for our survey, which includes two remarkable projectors that actually slip into your breast pocket, and two “minibeamers” that resemble the big-boy home theater projectors we test year round, just shrunk way, way down.

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SV Staff Posted: Jun 30, 2016 0 comments
Sony says gamers and developers are ready to embrace the highly anticipated PlayStation VR (PS VR) when it becomes goes on sale in the U.S. on October 13 for $399.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 29, 2016 1 comments
I’m standing atop the Sagrada Família basilica in Barcelona. I look up, and Gaudí’s organically ornate spires reach up toward the sky and sun above me. I look down, and the streets radiate out like spokes on a wheel. Suddenly, I want tapas.