Sony Top Line LCD 3DTV Scores Except on Price – Sony’s new Bravia XBR-46HS909 is a LED-Backlit 46-inch display winning high honors except for its price of $3150. HD picture quality was felt to be the very best, and instead of using the IR-blaster built into most 3D TVs to operate the shutter glasses, it uses an external IR synchronizer parked on top of the display – which is said to cover a wider dispersion area. The set has a 240 Hz refresh rate, with less off-axis contrast loss than most LCD HDTVs. The one downrated feature was the set’s conversion feature for standard 2D to 3D: It was felt to be almost unnoticeable from standard 2D.
Apple Adds Features to AirPlay – More third-party audio products will soon offer compatibility with Apple’s AirPlay network audio streaming technology. It will be integrated into speaker docks, AV receivers and stereo systems. The present AirPlay, known as AirTunes, allows one to set up a de factor multiroom audio system using Airport Express or Apple TV, so you can play music stored on iTunes on Macs or PCs and controlled by an iPhone iPad or iPod Touch using Apple’s Remote app. Details are not yet available, but since AirPlay is an iTunes-only affair, you cannot play app-based streaming services such as Pandora, XM Sirius and the like, and it gives a boost to more expensive solutions such as Sonos. Bluetooth technology can also easily stream audio but its quality is not optimal.
New Inexpensive Whole-Home Wireless Audio System – The Creative D220W wireless speaker with Sound Blaster wireless transmitter are only $170 and offer an easy-to-set-up whole-home audio system for Mac and PC users. You hook the Sound Blaster transmitter to a USB port on your computer and you are ready to stream all of your music library to the wireless soundbar-styled speaker anywhere in the house. You can stream from any player as well, including music from Pandora, Napster and Hulu. Additional D220W speakers may be added thruout the home, up to 100 feet away from your computer. Creative also has higher-quality GigaWorks wireless speakers and BassXPort subwoofers, as well as Sound Blaster wireless headphones and even the SoundBlaster Wireless Rock outdoor speaker.
Logitech Wireless Headset with Up to 40 ft. Range – The new Logitech H760 wireless headset (which is over-the-ear, not an earbud) claims to work up to 40 feet away from a computer and lasts up to six hours. It has built-in EQ and audio controls allowing adjustment of volume, pausing music, and navigate thru playlists. The H760 is compatible with Windows Media and iTunes and you can also use it for video and voice calls. It has a built-in noise-canceling mike that automatically mutes itself when you rotate it out of the way.
Quincy Jones Endorses Headphones – AKG is launching the Quincy Jones Signature line of robust headphones, ranging in price from $150 to nearly $500. Quincy has been using AKG headphones all of his career and wants to revitalize the way we listen to music. He is also very upset about music piracy, claiming the industry didn’t have any problems with it before we had digital.