Product and Tech Discussion

A set of headphones for every set of ears


Headphones – the thought of them brings to mind so many different varieties. In-ear, on-ear, over-ear, open-back, closed-back, planar drivers and electrostatics. The list is long and I don’t have the space to go through all the different types.

We recently brought in a new line of headphones from or long time speaker manufacturer Focal, in addition to our Grado line. Each has its own distinct design and also its own very different sound characteristics. Neither is better or worse, just different.

Now what is different is each of our customers, some like an on-ear, some like in-ear. Others like a more open sound, some like a bass heavy sound, that is where each headphone becomes tied to an individual, and the listener to each style of headphone.

I have 4 pairs of headphones myself, and which I use depends on what I am listening to and what the source is. If I am listening to my 2-channel system at home, I like my on-ear, closed-back headphone. If I am out for a walk with the dog, I like an in-ear design that works well with my portable device. I also have moments where I just want to pop on a pair of headphones and listen on my computer. At those times I like a more open design where I can hear what is going on around me, and so can everyone else. That too is a by-product of an open design. Others can hear what you are playing, and that can be a bit annoying if you are on a plane, or riding the ferry to work. Your traveling neighbor gets to hear everything that you hear, but we will leave that discussion for another time.

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Flat Panel TV or Projector?


As an audio video salesman, I have customers who ask the question almost daily whether to buy an LED/LCD flat panel TV or should they go to the next step and purchase a front projector. My reply is that there is generally room for both.

 In most cases the LCD/LED TV is relegated to general, all-purpose duty: watching the news, cartoons, movies, streaming Netflix or Hulu. But, it’s great to have a place where you can watch movies in all their glorious widescreen (16.9 or 2.35) beauty.

Having multiple flat screens throughout the house is commonplace these days. And yes you can watch movies on them, but I believe to get the real home theater experience you should watch on a front projector with a screen larger than 90 inches. I know…I know, there are flat panel TV’s in excess of 90 inches, but they are just that, flat panel TV’s. To me, its still watching TV.

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To CD or not CD? That is the question.


I recently lost the use of my CD player. It has been a staple in my system for years and I took great time in picking it out almost 7 years ago. This brought me to a choice, should I get my beloved Rega fixed or do I go digital and get a Sooloos system?

Well, I went through the regular thought process on this. How do I use the CD player? And should I spend the money on getting something fixed that is already a digital format, when I can go completely digital and put all my music (some 6000 CD’s) on to a digital server and access them on a touchscreen or an even more accessible iPad?

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One Sub or Two?

When I was given the opportunity to write a blog post I was very excited. The flood of ideas that came into my head was kind of overwhelming.

As I sit here ready to write my first entry, it’s not a matter of what to write but what is worth writing about. A good place to start is subwoofers; one or two? There are many reasons to have a subwoofer. They fill a void in our systems that give you the visceral impact while watching a big blockbuster movie. The “thud thud” of a T-Rex, the chest-pounding beat of a music soundtrack, the wall-shaking and china rattling that comes from an RPG or bomb blast on your favorite action movie. It makes that stand-up bass sound like Ray Brown or Charles Mingus intended, or the electric bass of Marcus Miller or John Paul Jones, or the thundering drums of Art Blakey or Tommy Lee. Any way you slice it, a quality subwoofer is an integral part to a music or home theater system. Here is something to think about; is there a need for two? Hmmmm?

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