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  1. Doug Hess

    Hardware Review RSL C34E In-Ceiling Speakers: Are they good at least or great Atmos?

    You have to feel a little bad for in-wall speakers. They can be made with the highest-quality components and yet will never sound as good as their boxed brethren for two reasons: Almost nothing about the “speaker cabinet” they’ll be put into is known when the speaker is being designed. The...
  2. Doug Hess

    Hardware Review Fluance SXHTB 5-Channel Home Theater Speaker System

    Is this the Perfect “Friend Package”? You and I are here because we’re different. Our parents and our friends often don’t understand our predilection for this stuff. And unfortunately, we live among people who think MP3 (or AAC) is indistinguishable from uncompressed sound, and who can’t...
  3. Doug Hess

    Hardware Review Pioneer Andrew Jones 5.1 Speaker System Review

    I sold high-end audio gear back in the ‘80s and loved it. Mirage and JSE speakers, Threshold amps, Nakamichi tape decks, VPI turntables that we set up with a test LP and an oscilloscope--it was a dream job for any 20-something audiophile. Unfortunately, that job also made me a snob. My...
  4. Doug Hess

    Hardware Review Aperion Verus Grand Towers: Most Likely to Succeed

    If life were fair, we would all have the same number of personal gifts. One could be beautiful, perhaps, but sharp as a ball. One could be intelligent, but with the social graces of an Asiatic stink badger. One could be creative, but with the common sense of a throw pillow. That is, if life were...
  5. Doug Hess

    Hardware Review Fluance 5-Channel Speaker System: The Art of Value and the Value of Art

    Speaker design is a study in compromise. Every speaker company wants to make speakers that people will find beautiful, great sounding, and affordable. But trying to deliver on all three is an enormous challenge that some of the greatest minds have had to face. It was NASA scientists and...
  6. Doug Hess

    Variable Audio Output?

    Okay, videophiles, I could use your help. The tube TV in my bedroom appears to finally be ready to ride off into the big trash heap in the sky, and I guess that means it's going to be time for a new flat panel. I've always been a plasma guy, but for the bedroom I think I'd prefer LED-lit LCD...
  7. Doug Hess

    Hardware Review Review: Axiom M60 V3 Tower Speakers

    I should have known better. Anyone even kind of experienced with speakers knows that you should break them in[1] before even thinking about evaluate them. It’s day one of How to be a Home Theater Equipment Reviewer 101, which they should totally offer in college. Over the years I’ve heard...
  8. Doug Hess

    Hardware Review Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Circumaural Studio Monitor Headphones

    Doug: Hi, my name is Doug. Support group: Hi, Doug. Doug: I’ve been trying really hard to not buy any new headphones this year. I did really well for a few months, but then I fell off the wagon and bought two within a few weeks of each other. My therapist says I’m looking for openness and...