Science & Technology



Sound Advice: Looking for speakers with vintage bass

Q. I have Polk Audio TSi400 tower speakers and a Sony STR-DH190 receiver. When I turn up the volume the receiver shuts down with a “protect” message. I have read this is to protect against distortion that could damage the speakers and receiver. Is this true? I don’t play my music loudly so I am surprised this distortion threshold is being ...Read more


Sound Advice: Sonic toothbrush back, still a bargain

Q. I see I’ve missed the boat picking up the Hanasco Sonic Electric toothbrushes on Amazon. Since I’m buying for two males, the pink won’t work and that is all that is left in stock. Is there anywhere else I can buy the black version? I’m willing to pay more!

—K.M., San Jose, California

A. You can once again buy the Hanasco Sonic ...Read more

Sound Advice: Best replacement brand for RF machine gel

Q. I purchased the RF skin treatment machine you recommended and can’t find the original RF gel for sale anywhere. Is it available on its own, and if not does it matter what brand I use?

—K.L., Sandusky, Ohio

A. I have tried many different RF gels with my own machine. The included gel was definitely the best I tried, but as you have ...Read more

Sound Advice: Backup power options for CPAP machines, other devices

Q. Is there an indoor non-generator option for CPAP that you recommend, to power my machine in the event of a power failure? I would like to be able to continue to use my CPAP machine when the power goes out.

—R.B., Minneapolis

A. Given a CPAP is used when you are sleeping, it would be prudent to have an alarm to wake you in the event of a ...Read more

Sound Advice: Looking for radio with good reception

Q. I like listening to the radio, especially AM stations, but unfortunately most are very weak or have too much static. Could you recommend a good radio please?

—F.G., Pittsburgh

A. My go-to for portable radios of all types is C. Crane, found at They have a very wide array of AM radios, FM radios, shortwave radios, emergency ...Read more

Sound Advice: Stereo receiver recommendations

Q. I need a recommendation for an AM/FM receiver to use with my CD player and a pair of speakers. I would like it to cost under $200 and for it to play music from my phone via Bluetooth.

-G.D., Minnesota

A. I have received quite a few emails recently asking for stereo receiver recommendations in the $200 to $500 price range. I must admit I ...Read more

Sound Advice: Holiday gift guide 2021

Here is my 2021 holiday gift guide for all your shopping needs. I have even more gift suggestions in my Q&A column. Read past columns at

Charging and power

Anker PowerCore Fusion Power Delivery $49.99: This wall charger has a built-in battery so it can charge your devices even when it is not plugged in to an outlet. A USB-...Read more


Sound Advice: Cable or satellite box can provide picture-in-picture functionality

Q. I'm looking for a TV or monitor with good old picture-in-picture, and I am having no luck. It will replace my current 37-inch Vizio and I want to buy something in the 45-55 inch range. I don't use the tuner and just need something with an HDMI input and an RGB input (for my computer.)

—J.J., Los Gatos, California

A. Picture-in-picture ...Read more

Sound Advice: New Blu-ray player not foolish investment

Q. I need a new Blu-ray player and am looking at a Panasonic 4K model, either the UB820 or the UB9000. However, I have heard that all movie DVD media will be discontinued. What have you been hearing?

—J.G., East Hampstead, New Hampshire

A. I have not heard anything like that and consider it fake news (I hate that term but it fits here!) and ...Read more

Sound Advice: Be sure to use headphones safely while exercising

Q. You recently responded to a reader’s question about headsets and earphones to wear while operating an e-bike. You emphatically told the reader to exercise caution while using any kind of headset while riding, and then made recommendations that are helpful.

My family and I are avid cyclists. I also ride a motorcycle. It’s not uncommon for...Read more

Sound Advice: Soundbars vs. TV speakers and holiday gift ideas

Q. I have been reading your recent columns featuring TV speakers but still did not buy anything. Though I want clear voices I am primarily interested in watching movies and sports with room-filling theater sound. The speaker or soundbar will be used with a new 55-inch TCL 5-series Roku TV in a room that is 12 feet by 15 feet. What can you ...Read more

Don Lindich/Don Lindich/TNS

Sound Advice: Taking your office on the go and heated clothing for winter

Q. I've fallen in love with my e-bike! I ride it everywhere and need to stay in touch with my work responsibilities at all times. Do you have any recommendations for a Bluetooth single earpiece headset with microphone I can wear while riding? I don't trust an earbud in such an active environment, and figure I should get something with a headband...Read more

Sound Advice: What is best turntable to go with new music system?

Q. I am interested in the Technics OTTAVA-f SC-C70MK2 music system you have praised in the past. I would like to play my vinyl records and had previously planned on getting a system with a receiver and speakers. Is it possible to use a turntable with the SC-C70MK2, and if so what would you recommend?

—P.K., Milwaukee

A. The SC-C70MK2 has an ...Read more

Sound Advice: Would new TV speaker benefit from adding subwoofer?

Q. I bought a ZVOX AV357 TV Speaker based on your recommendation and the special promotion. It is hooked up to the 40-inch TV in the basement where I exercise, and it is working great!

I am considering adding a subwoofer and trying to stay under $100 if I can. I emailed ZVOX and they recommended the $66.95 Monoprice 8-inch powered subwoofer for...Read more



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