home theater, especially to a person with no previous experience in the
audio area, can be totally befuddling. The seemingly endless list of
different formats, connectors, cables, and various system parameters is
enough to keep the typical man in the street from even considering a
home theater system. Denon hopes to change that with their Smart Life
S-Series products which are designed to make it easier for the ordinary
consumer to have advanced AV performance, including surround sound,
without the compromises of most of the “home theater in a box”
The S-101 is the first, and will be followed by the S-301 with even
higher level audio and video performance. The setup is ultra-simple
with a plug and play approach. There is an electronic help system
called the Quick State Guide, and an easy-access manual.
Touch-sensitive main controls have illuminated user feedback. The
remote has two faces: one with minimal buttons for everyday use and
another for system setup. The display screen is large and very legible,
and both it and the remote buttons automatically adjust to ambient
light. High quality circuit and component from Denon’s AV separates
line are used. Placement of the European-made metal-composite-cabinet
speakers is simplified by three EQ settings designed to optimize their
performance depending on placement. The two-way speakers are also
flat-TV-friendly. They comprise a 2.1 Dolby Virtual Speaker surround
system, and the main unit also features Dolby Headphone processing for
surround effect from headphones.
An iPod may be connected directly, bypassing the usual headphone
circuitry, and it is controlled via the Denon remote with both track
listings and any photos displayed on the main TV set. The main unit
features DVD, CD, MP3 and WMA CDR playback plus an FM/AM tuner with
RDS. It has touch sensitive main controls and is in a silver finish.
Power is 200 watts total, including the 100-watt powered subwoofer. The
unit has extensive inputs and outputs for system building.
Bookshelf/table stands for the speakers are provided, with floor stands
for the front speakers an optional extra. The unit was just
introduced in the UK at £849.99.
Porting Your PC and iPod Music Into Your Audio System – is
becoming easier with a plethora of products for harmonizing the new
with the old in home audio. An example is Roku Labs’ SoundBridge M1000,
which looks like an oversize runner’s baton. It is fed from either a
wired Ethernet or wireless 802.11b connection with a host PC or Mac. It
supports playback of MPE, WMA, AAC, AIFF, WAV and Rhapsody-encoded
audio files and is compatible with most music network services. You
just plug the audio outputs into your home audio system and you’re in
business. Song data is presented on a sizable fluorescent display, and
the M1000 can also be set up to play the 1000+ Internet radio stations.
Audiophile Systems’ Gary Warzin Dies – Warzin, President and CEO
of Audiophile Systems, passed away August 27. His firm represents
Arcam, dCS, and Nottingham Analog, and Warzin had been active in many
positions in the Consumer Electronics Association. He is honored as
believing in the transformative power of quality audio.