Science & Technology



Sound Advice: Brands like Cambridge are the luxury cars of the electronics world

Q. In past columns you have recommended both the Cambridge Audio AM5 and Onkyo TX-8020 amplifiers. Why would someone choose the Cambridge (or other high-end brand) over the Onkyo, if both perform well and the Cambridge costs more?

-- G.C., San Jose, Calif.

A. I often use cars as an analogy to explain this. It isn't perfect given the many ...Read more

Sound Advice: Samsung-Harman/Kardon HW-Q90R soundbar with speakers can't be beat

Q. I just bought a 65-inch LG C9 OLED TV and already have two Sonos One speakers. I was going to buy the Sonos Playbar to use with the speakers I already have, but now realize for a few dollars more I might get better sound from the Samsung-Harman/Kardon HW-Q90R. Do you think it is worth it, and will the HW-Q90R work well with an LG TV? If I do ...Read more

Sound Advice: Music Hall Classic turntable is impressive pick

Q. I am an old codger and want to get a turntable to play vinyl again. I like the Technics SL-1500C, but it is over my budget by a lot. I want something good, but for under $1,000. I need the auto off feature because I am afraid of forgetting when the record is over and having it spin for hours and hours, ruining my needle.

-- J.M., Atlantic ...Read more

Sound Advice: ZVOX Soundbase 770 top of the line

Q. I am a Vietnam combat veteran and though my hearing is compromised, good sound is very important to me. I want to get a soundbar but only have 3 inches of clearance under my TV, which has a pedestal-style stand. Unfortunately, wall mounting is not possible. I am willing to spend a few thousand to get great sound from my TV, Blu-ray and ...Read more

Sound Advice: Optoma's HD143X top $500 projector recommendation

Q. The Nebula Capsule Max 720p projector you reviewed recently seems like a great portable projector, but I am looking for a 1080p home theater projector. Can I get good quality for $500 or so?

-- P.K., South Bend, Ind.

A. You definitely can, and I recently experienced how very good it can be.

Last summer my friend Lance and I created a ...Read more

Sound Advice: Kicker Bullfrog BF400 weatherproof speakers are a great buy

Q. I want to upgrade my patio sound system. I have been using a pair of outdoor speakers connected to a receiver, but now I want a portable, wireless solution that can fill a large area with sound. What are your recommendations for weatherproof speakers in the $500 price range?

-- B.G., Somers Point, N.J.

A. The Kicker Bullfrog BF400 is a ...Read more

Sound Advice: These noise-canceling headphones could negate need for hearing aid when listening to audiobooks

Q. I read your columns about ZVOX AccuVoice AV50 noise-canceling headphones and VoiceBud VB20 hearing aids and I have something of an odd question. Can they work together? The reason I ask is I fly from California to Pennsylvania often to see my children and grandchildren, and would like to enjoy some audiobooks during the long flight. Given my ...Read more

Sound Advice: New TCL 8-Series TVs intriguing

Q. I am looking for a high-end TV and do not want an OLED model because of burn-in concerns. I read your review of the Samsung Q90 television, but unfortunately my cabinet will only accommodate a 55-inch television and the smallest Q90 has a 65-inch screen. I am taking a hard look at the 55-inch Sony X900F, and have also seen your reviews of the...Read more

Sound Advice: Anker's Nebula Capsule Max quality home entertainment system the size of a soda can

Q. Some time ago you wrote about a tiny, battery-powered projector that will fit in a briefcase. As part of my job I do presentations to small groups of people, and such a projector would be perfect for showing pictures and videos of our beautiful facility. What was the name of the projector, and is it suitable for this purpose?

-- L.P., ...Read more

Sound Advice: Olympus Tough TG-6 offers more than a smartphone camera can

Q. You recently answered a question saying most smartphones provide better picture quality than a $300 pocket camera. Is this because camera manufacturers are unable to produce such a camera, or because they are unwilling to do so for that price?

-- D. M., Concord, Calif.

A. It is probably a bit of both. When you consider the cost of a good ...Read more

Sound Advice: Bookshelf speakers and outdoor cooking gadgets

Q. When I read about the Q Acoustics 3020i bookshelf speakers I inferred that the 25 watt Cambridge Audio AM5 amplifier is adequate for them. Then I saw that the speakers require 50 watts at a minimum. Did I misinterpret that?

-M.S., Concord, CA

A. The Q Acoustics 3020i speakers are recommended for use with amplifiers 25 watts per channel and ...Read more

Sound Advice: Q Acoustics 3020i speakers combine best characteristics of British, American speakers

Q. Your travel camera recommendations are all too expensive for me. Can you recommend a pocketable camera with a long zoom that sells for under $300 that takes better pictures than a smartphone?

-- MV, Pittsburgh

A. Actually, I can't. A modern smartphone has much better picture quality than a $300 camera. The $369 Sony RX100 will take great ...Read more

Sound Advice: Samsung Q90 QLED TV is Don Lindich's top pick

Q. In my opinion, my seven-year-old Panasonic 50-inch plasma has the most accurate color of any TV I have ever seen. Of course, most of my viewing of the latest TVs is in showrooms where they play demo material optimized to make the TV look its best. This is not a good way to judge accurate color or overall picture quality.

Your reviews and ...Read more


Social Connections


Zack Hill Flo & Friends Heathcliff The Pajama Diaries Non Sequitur Free Range