Science & Technology



Sound Advice: UPstage 360 speaker lives up to its high-end promise

Q. I have a 2000 Toyota Celica that I have kept completely stock in appearance. Unfortunately the sound system is not very good and I would like to upgrade it. Would a bigger amplifier, hooked up to the factory head unit, make the most difference?

-- J.A., West Newton, Pa.

A. I would not add an amplifier yet. The first and best thing to do is ...Read more

Sound Advice: Speed Queen machines designed to last 25 years or more

Q. I read your review of the VAVA dashcam and tried ordering from Amazon using the discount code NC58Z5UC. The code is not valid. What's up with it not working?

-- K.K., Milwaukee

A. I received many emails about the excellent VAVA dashcam and the $40 coupon code, which reduced the price from $119 to $79. For the first week the code NC58Z5UC ...Read more

Sound Advice: LectroFan Micro2 sleep sound machine highly recommended

Q. I travel a great deal for my job and have trouble sleeping away from home. You once wrote about a sleep sound machine that is small enough to take anywhere, and I would like to try it. What was the model?

-- T.G., Augusta, Ga.

A. The model I wrote about in 2017 was the LectroFan Micro. It has since been replaced with the LectroFan Micro2. ...Read more

Sound Advice: Place bookshelf speakers on stands for best results

Q. I recently fell in love with the MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL X floorstanding speakers. They have a very warm, rich sound and the best soundstage I've ever heard. My problem is placing them properly, as ideal placement in my room would have the sound blocked by furniture that I would rather not relocate. Do you have any recommendations for ...Read more

Sound Advice: Edifier S350DB good choice for use in a home music system with multiple source components

Q. I just completed a home music studio for practicing drums. It is small, about 12-by-7 feet, and I need to install some speakers so I can play the songs while drumming because I don't always like practicing with headphones on. Is there a set of speakers you could recommend with big sound and quality that will work through Bluetooth from my Mac...Read more

Sound Advice: VAVA Security Vehicle Dascham Swivel 360 one of the best dashcams around

Dynamite dashcam deal: I don't get a lot of questions about dashcams, but they do come in from time to time. If a dashcam is something that you have thought of trying, it may now be time to make a move.

The VAVA Security Vehicle Dashcam Swivel 360 can rotate to capture either what is going on inside or outside the vehicle. It captures 1080p ...Read more

Sound Advice: Sling TV best value for cutting cable costs while keeping live TV

Q. I am tired of paying my cable bill and feel the expense has gotten out of hand. I want to cut the cord but don't want to give up my favorite cable channels. I see these ads for "magic boxes" that say you can stream everything without paying for it. Is it really possible to get rid of cable and stream everything for free?

-- D.P., Atlantic ...Read more

Sound Advice: How to tweak settings for better dialogue quality

Q. I have an Integra DTR-30.7 receiver connected to a B-I-C brand surround sound ensemble with five speakers and a subwoofer. The overall performance is excellent, but dialogue is difficult to understand. Would a different center speaker help?

-- T.F., Gilroy, Calif.

A. A better center speaker might help, but if you are happy with the system's...Read more

Sound Advice: Pair Cambridge Audio Topaz AM5 amplifier with Emotiva T-Zero speakers for a great-sounding system

Q. I love my SoundWorks Radio CD 745, but the CD player no longer works. Is there anything you recommend as a replacement? I was mostly using the CD player, and really miss it.

-- B.S., Bloomington, Minn.

A. These days there is not much available that plays CDs. The Insignia NS-HAIOR18 ($149) at Best Buy is the closest thing I have seen to ...Read more

Sound Advice: AxiomAir N2 wireless speaker has excellent sound

Q. My receiver is a Yamaha RX-397. In addition to listening in my living room, I would like to listen to records in the next room and do so wirelessly. Is there a way of making that connection via Bluetooth, and if so what speaker would you recommend? I also need a turntable, and think the Fluance RT81 is the best option under $300 as I value ...Read more

Sound Advice: Panasonic new 4K UltraHD Blu-ray players great alternative to discontinued Oppo players

Q. Now that Oppo discontinued their 4K UltraHD Blu-ray players, what would you recommend that comes close in picture and audio quality for around $500?

-- M.P., San Jose, Calif.

A. The whole audio/video enthusiast community was in a state of mourning when Oppo USA closed up shop. I took it hard myself and wondered if we would ever see such ...Read more

Sound Advice: These ZVOX soundbars make for clear-sounding dialogue

Q. We purchased the ZVOX AccuVoice TV speaker and are very happy with both the clear dialogue it produces and the affordable price. However, I know it is optimized for clear dialogue over music and home theater performance. What soundbars have clear sounding dialogue as well as top quality music and home theater sound, preferably for under $600?...Read more


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