AV Rant #482: Speakers and Absorption
This week, we thank Filipe, Jefferson, Joseph, Greg, and Ted for their generous donations! Jefferson also mentioned AV Rant Podcast to SVS when he bought two more subwoofers from them! This week’s theme? Speakers and absorption!
We must apologize to our YouTube viewers. Unfortunately, our live recording was interrupted by a technical problem and we weren’t able to fix it for the live video stream. We did manage to finish the audio-only version, though, so we hope you will enjoy listening to the second half of this episode!
In the news, at this year’s NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Conference, director Ang Lee showed 11 minutes of his upcoming 120 fps 4K 3D feature film, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”. Tyler F. sent us the announcement that Netflix has begun streaming HDR10 and Dolby Vision content, so look for those little badges next to certain show titles if your TV supports it. Panasonic’s DMP-UB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray player will cost $800 and is the first player to receive Ultra HD Premium certification. And Amazon now offers monthly subscriptions: $8.99/month for Prime Video only, or $10.99/month for full Prime.
John M. received a suggestion from Ray Coronado during our Hangout After Party last week to use rubber door stops as a way to angle a speaker on a shelf. And Jonathan F. bought a 43-inch Sharp LCD TV with Roku built-in that has lackluster picture quality, but his wife loves it anyway.
Tony K. asks if an Onkyo TX-NR646 from Accessories4Less is a good replacement for his TX-NR608 or if he should consider a more expensive model. Michael V. wants to know if it’s ok to use a fair amount of horizontal lens shift when mounting his Epson 5030 projector. And Jim W. greatly expanded his attic space and pieced together a very nice home theater. We go over a few tweaks and suggest where we’d spend any additional funds next.
Jefferson G. is now the proud owner of four SVS SB13-Ultra subwoofers! His options for placement are fixed, so we go through the potential processes for getting four subwoofers dialed in to produce uniform, linear bass across all of his seats. Brent S. asks about ‘C’ Weighting vs. ‘Z’ Weighting when taking measurements or using an SPL meter. And Greg B. has a narrow room with two rows of seats. We suggest HSU’s speakers, including their HIW-1 in-wall with either an Elite Screens Spectrum AcousticPro or Silver Ticket fixed frame woven acoustic screen hanging from the ceiling in front of them.
Nathan D. and Infinite Gary heard an interview with experts from SpectraCal that talks about the changing landscape and standards for HDR, and how that might lead to a new HDMI 2.1 spec. Nelson W. wonders about speakers and absorption and if he has enough room for four overhead speakers. We think he does, and we suggest Ascend Acoustics HTM-200SE, Aperion Audio Intimus 4B, NHT SuperZero 2.1, EMPTek E3b, and SVS Prime Satellites (and soon-to-be-released Elevation) speakers all as great, affordable options. And Ian E. gets our input on his plans for DIY absorption panel placement.
Dave M. wonders if we know of any current review websites or magazines that get as technical as The Audio Critic used to. Reviewer David A. Rich used to critique circuit board design, but no one seems to be getting that detailed in reviews anymore. Tom and Rob don’t know of any such resources, so please send in your suggestions if you have any! Infinite Gary wants to know what screen sizes are necessary to truly benefit from 4K resolution. And our good friend Ted M., who created our outro music for us (thanks, Ted!), is back after an “AV sabbatical” with $2700 to spend on three new Front speakers. His goal is realism, so we suggest the Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2, and Aperion Audio Verus II Grand. We also suggest a couple of lesser-known on-wall options in the Sunfire Cinema Ribbon Trio and new Legacy Audio Pixel. And RBH Sound’s in-wall speakers would be a top choice for installation.
Chris T. wants some $50 earphones for work and exercise. The RBH Sound EP-SB and Jaybird X2 tend to be our top Bluetooth model recommendations, but they’re both well over this budget. So the wired Shure SE112 are likely the best sounding option. Ashley S. asks if the HyperX Cloud 2 Gaming Headphones can also be used for movies. They can, but if their version of virtual 7.1 headphone sound isn’t up to snuff, there’s an alternative in the form of Darin Fong’s Out of Your Head software. And Michael I. gets some clarification on exactly what we’re trying to achieve with acoustic treatments and where they are placed.
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