The first two sentences of the following (slightly edited) press release from B&W is a perfectly clear statement of the basic issue of abysmal sound quality from most flat panel televison sets. Given how horrible out-of-the-box TV sound is, a soundbar solution doesn't have to hit a high audio standard to improve a viewer-listener's experience. But that doesn't mean that you should settle for any old soundbar. Bowers & Wilkins has out a new Panorama soundbar, appropriately dubbed the Panorama 2. They say it is "a true one-box, surround sound home cinema solution." I have no doubt that it is. Here's what they have to say about it.
Let's have a permanent moratorium on the phrase "Limited Edition." After all, practically anything you buy--a CD, a pair of shoes, an amplifier, a bicycle--is a limited edition by the nature of commerce. Only so many of any non-commodity item will ever be made and offered for sale.
This is a very special Duke Ellington CD.
Ellington was a man of many parts. He regularly introduced himself as "the piano player" and he was pleased with his role as "the world's greatest listener." (I have no doubt that many of the "We've had a request to play" announcements were self-referential.) On this CD we get to hear Ellington in both those roles along with Ellington the composer. And it offers an extra treat in the form of Ellington the producer.
Personally, I like silver finishes but I know black is appealing to other eyes. What's really nice is having a choice and that's what Parasound is offering buyers of its top end HALO line.
Tannoy's Precision group of speakers seems to be a solid anchor in the company's extensive lineup of residential hi-fi speaker offerings. Here's a slightly edited version of their press release (I omitted the matching center channel speaker) along with some photos. At this writing, I don't have pricing information. I'll add it as soon as it's available. You can find additional personal observations at theSoundscapeBlog.
SoulSonic, a high-end speaker manufacturer headquartered in Slovenia, bowled me over with amazingly musical sound from an impossible-looking speaker. That was about two years ago during Las Vegas electronics show time. SoulSonic was holding forth at the audio-oriented T.H.E. Show.
I recently heard from Miro Krajnc, SoulSonic's top man, with news of changes in the speaker line, pricing, and sales policies.
In The Astonishing Hypothesis (1994) Nobel laureate Francis Crick, one of the DNA guys, describes a study on selective attention in hearing that makes clear the need for a stereo/mono switch for playback of single channel source material. The main sources this affects are mono LPs, 45s, and 78s, but I have a few CDs were mastered from mono LP sources in which the production engineers did not take the obvious and necessary step of mixing down the left and right channels.
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