Science & Technology



Sound Advice: Will OLEDs be available in the 47-50-inch range?

Q. We're buying a new television and like yourself, we think OLED is the best choice for picture quality. We would like one in the 47-50-inch size range. Do you know if OLEDs in this size will be available soon?

-- L.H., Milwaukee

A. I don't know of any upcoming sub-50 inch OLEDs, but I finally found an LED-LCD TV with a great picture I could ...Read more

Sound Advice: Technics speakers have high-end sound at incredible price

Q. My daughter wants lenses for her iPhone for Christmas. What do you think of them, and do you have any favorites?

-- E.H., Bethel Park, Pa.

A. Personally, I have never really taken to accessory lenses for a phone camera. The digital zoom has always sufficed for my needs, though it cuts image quality a bit. I use my interchangeable lens ...Read more

Sound Advice: How to connect an old receiver to Bluetooth devices

Q. Is there a way to connect my old receiver to Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth speakers so we can listen to the headphones wirelessly inside, or send music outside to my porch? If it is possible, what Bluetooth headphones would you recommend for my wife and me, and what Bluetooth speaker to use outside?

-- A.K., South Bend, Ind.

A. In the ...Read more

Sound Advice: Vibes Hi-Fidelity earplugs can be used with light machinery

Q. Are the Vibes Hi-Fidelity earplugs you recently wrote about also OK to use for operating leaf blowers and stuff like that?

-- J.F., Mt. Lebanon, Pa.

A. I contacted the manufacturer and they say the earplugs can be used with light machinery, providing their specified 22 dB of reduction. While not as effective as over-ear protection, they ...Read more

Sound Advice: The best Bluetooth speaker for $100 or less

Q. You recently wrote about a multi-purpose Bluetooth speaker but commented you would not buy it as a primary music speaker. What I want is the best Bluetooth music speaker I can buy for $100 or less. What would that be?

D.A., Manchester, N.H.

A. The best sound quality under $100 is definitely the new OontZ Angle 3 Ultra, which sells for half ...Read more

Sound Advice: A game-changing generator

Q. In your column about generators you mentioned that the plumbing and electrical work for your standby generator was around $1,000. What generator did you get, do you think it was worth it?

--J.R., Boise, Idaho

A. Though I did get estimates, at the time I postponed installing a standby generator as I have not experienced many power outages ...Read more

Sound Advice: A speaker with FM radio and more

Q. You recently reviewed a small speaker that can play FM, but without the ability to directly tune a specific station. I mostly want an FM radio so I can listen to NPR at home and when I travel. Is there anything similar with more of a radio focus?

--J.D., South Bend, Ind.

A. Check out the Avantree SP850 3-in-1, $29.99. The SP850 is a ...Read more

Sound Advice: Advice for TV watcher with poor hearing

Q. My husband is very hard of hearing and it is really getting in the way of his enjoyment of television, especially football and listening to the announcers. He just can't hear and understand when people talk, no matter what we do with the TV sound settings. We have seen your columns about ZVOX soundbars with the AccuVoice feature and are ...Read more

Sound Advice: This smart thermostat is a winner

Once in a while I find a great new product I want to tell everyone about, but do not have a corresponding question from a reader. The ecobee3 lite smart Wi-Fi thermostat falls into this category.

For someone as involved with technology as I am, I have not made great efforts to automate my home. I do have an Amazon Tap that I use with Alexa ...Read more

Sound Advice: Be wary of using generators to power sensitive electronics

Q. While preparing for Hurricane Irma, my son told me I should not use my portable generator to power my TV and computer. Is this true?

-- J.F., Ridgeland, S.C.

A. Many portable generators are not entirely safe to use with sensitive electronics like TVs and computers. The power can be uneven and the surges and voltage fluctuations can fry ...Read more

Sound Advice: Tiny speaker makes a big impression

Q. I have seen your columns about portable Bluetooth speakers but you never say how big they actually are. I want something to take with me all the time. What is the smallest speaker you recommend?

-- D.K., Arlington, Va.

A. I have a new recommendation that is perfect for you.

Modern Portable started about 2 years ago with low priced portable...Read more

Sound Advice: Converting songs to digital files

Q. I found a single-piece sound system on Amazon called the Boytone B-22M for $119. It has the ability to convert vinyl, cassette tapes and CDs to MP3 and put it on a flash drive, offering even more capability (adding cassette and vinyl) than the Teac CD player you recommended recently. What is your opinion of this system? Good, just OK, or not ...Read more

Sound Advice: High-end sound, high-end flair

Q. Recently I updated my stereo with new speakers, amplifier and preamplifier and it sounds terrific. With every upgrade has come a big increase in sound quality, and though I have spent almost $10,000 it has been worth every penny. The last step is to upgrade my digital gear. What would you recommend for a CD player, network player, and ...Read more


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