AV Rant #564: Thiel Aurora Home and Tour Speaker Review Pt. 1
Our Listeners of the Week are Tom for his donation, and our 30 Patreon Patrons, including Rob W. who let us know he’s one of them. Also Tate L. for letting Accessories4Less know he bought a Denon AVR-X4300H from them thanks to our recommendation, and Fred R. for letting SVS know that he heard about their SoundPath Isolation Feet and Prime Elevation speakers from us.
Tom begins the episode with a review of the Thiel Aurora Home ($899) and Aurora Tour ($599) Bluetooth and Play-Fi wireless speakers. Stay tuned next week for a followup on the WiFi issue he described in the review!
In the news, Apple is adding automatic mode switching for frame rate and HDR to the Apple TV 4K. And Karl R. sent us word about SpectraCal’s proposals for HDR display calibration as presented by Tyler Pruitt at the recent SMPTE conference.
Jim B. found a deal on a pair of Jamo 6.5CS in-ceiling speakers, and he wanted to share his opinion that combining them with ELAC and NHT speakers resulted in surprisingly good Atmos results with no concerns at all about a timbre mismatch.
Scott S. isn’t pleased that several Blu-ray releases lack Atmos or DTS:X while their Ultra HD Blu-ray counterparts have immersive audio. He asks if there’s a less expensive player than the Oppo UDP-203 that does a good job of down-converting to 1080p SDR, so we suggest the Sony UBP-X800. We also suggest a Denon AVR-S920W AV Receiver and a Vizio M65-E0 or Sony XBR-65X900E for his gaming room and many video game consoles. Jim B. tried the Audyssey Left/Right Bypass target curve and then double checked its results using Room EQ Wizard. He could understand the initial results, but he figured out on his own that he had Audyssey Dynamic EQ active, and turning it off gave him the results he was expecting. And David F. gets our go ahead to buy RBH A-600 or RBH VA-607 in-ceiling speakers, no matter which floor level speakers he ends up getting. We warn him away from shopping at New Audio Video, a non-authorized retailer. And we suggest adding Aperion Audio, SVS, and NHT to his speaker audition list.
Tony K. has an amplifier with no 12 Volt trigger, and he wants to be able to turn it on and off with his Harmony Hub and/or voice control, so we suggest an APC Power Conditioner with Master and Slave outlets or a SurgeX Axess Power Management unit with individual outlet control over IP. Tate L. gets some clarification on menu settings for his 5.2.2 Atmos configuration, and using a Harmony remote to directly access various Audyssey settings. And Rob W. gets our recommendations to save money with a Denon AVR-X4300H instead of an X6300H, to get the less expensive Dayton Audio distribution amplifier, and to use a HEOS Link to connect existing speakers to his HEOS system.
Jack R. gets our thoughts on comparing the value of various 55-inch TVs, as well as our thoughts on Grado headphones. Fred wants to know if adding a second SVS Ultra subwoofer will be a huge benefit in his small room. And Mark H. wants to better understand how movies that were shot on film can be converted to HDR when the original film prints topped out at around 50 nits.
John N. asks about true sine wave power vs. stepped approximations of a sine wave. Shane T. wonders whether he should orient his theater room to be wider or longer, and where he should position his subwoofers in either case. And Christopher M. wants to know if the Xbox One S or One X will make a good Ultra HD Blu-ray player, and whether we think it will get the ability to handle Dolby Vision soon.
Kevin L. gets our recommendation for the Yamaha YAS-207 SoundBar or a Vizio SoundBar as long as it’s one of the models that includes dedicated tweeters. Bill W. gets some more thoughts about soundproofing his theater, flush mounting Ascend Acoustics HTM-200SE speakers, using Focal Bird speakers for overhead positions, placing his Front L/R speakers inside or outside the borders of his projection screen, combining HSU and SVS subwoofers, using a Peerless AV or Quest Manufacturing equipment rack to save money, and budgeting for a 4K HDR-capable projector. And Anonymous gets some home theater-related Christmas gift ideas, including: Harmony Hub-based remote, subwoofer isolation feet, printed acoustic panels and Acoustic Art panels, calibrated measurement microphone, SpectraCal C6 colorimeter, bias lighting, Amazon Echo, Oppo headphones, Monoprice headphone amplifier, NVidia Shield TV, Playstation VR, or neutral gray Sherwin-Williams paint.Thanks for listening. Check out our Facebook Page. Click here for our YouTube channel where you can see the recordings of our show videos. Download Tom’s FREE superhero-themed ebook Bob Moore: No Hero wherever ebooks are sold (or given away in this case). Visit Tom's website for download links as well as links for the two full-length followups - Bob Moore: Desperate Times and Bob Moore: Hostile Territory. Lastly, if you live in the Tampa Bay area and are interested in a mobile climbing wall, check out Fearless Mobile Climbing and meet Tom in person!