Just when you thought the high-end headphone market peaked, along comes another mind-bending 'phone! This new one's from Focal, France's best-selling speaker brand, and while they've been making perfectly fine headphones for years, the Focal Utopia is in a very different league.The Utopia digs deeper into the sound of music than other headphones, so as I listened to Miles Davis and Gil Evans' big band recordings I could more clearly follow each instrument within the orchestra. Davis and the other players' subtle shifts and shadings in dynamics were revealed like never before. That quality makes recordings closer to the sound of live music, which is a big part of what makes the Utopia such a remarkable headphone. The best Sennheiser, Hifiman, Grado, Beyerdynamic and Audeze headphones can't match the Focal Utopia on that score. Yo La Tengo's album "And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out," a record I've played many times, had more textural detailing and three-dimensional body over the … [Read more...] about The world’s best headphone?
Miles davis best albums
The time is right to get into budget hi-fi. From amazing, cheap speakers to high quality turntables, it's never been more affordable to get a great-sounding system for vinyl. One of the first questions to ask is: how much to spend on a turntable? Name a price from $40 or up and there's no doubt you'll find a record player to fit your budget. For example, the Audio Technica LP60 (read the CNET review) is a great little turntable for $100 (roughly £75, AU$140). But there are even better choices out there. Now playing: Watch this: How to set up a budget turntable 5:38 I've chosen $300 as the sweet spot because it opens up the options. These models are no longer simple toys but can be considered "hi-fi": they offer elevated sound quality and high-quality components. With analog music -- the fact that you'll be constantly removing records, moving the tonearm and spinning up an actual motor -- it's worth spending a bit more for something that will last. Note … [Read more...] about Best turntables under $300
Jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald was right there, singing ever so sweetly between the two Magnepan .7 speakers. The sound was startlingly realistic, and somehow the .7s were doing a better job conjuring a full-bodied human voice than a lot of much more expensive speakers I've reviewed over the last 18 years.This kind of scale and presence is something you can only get from a nearly 5 foot tall speaker like this, and while the .7 may be statuesque, it's a downright skinny 1.25 inch-thin (31.7mm) panel design. Not only that, most high-end speakers have round dome and cone drivers; the .7 doesn't. Lurking behind the cloth grille is a thin-film, 44-inch tall (1,117mm) tweeter, and a huge 8.5-by-44-inch (216 x 1,117 mm) mid/bass driver. While box speakers project sound forward, the .7 radiates sound from its front and rear surfaces. No wonder the .7 sounds like no box speaker you've heard. Magnepan has been refining this technology since the early 1970s and builds all of its speakers in White … [Read more...] about New sensations: The radically different Magnepan .7 speakers
This year, we lost many of our black firsts, black female firsts, survivors of tragedies, civil rights activists, world-changers, record-making athletes and globally renowned artists. From Aretha Franklin to Craig Mack to Ntozake Shange to Nancy Wilson to Winnie Mandela, our loss was great. As we enter another year, where the fight for equality, dignity and freedom is necessary to our survival, let’s remember those who made an impact—both good and bad—and fought for us to be where we are, paved paths for us to follow or simply tried to live in their truth in an ever-hostile world, where the issue of whether black lives do matter is still a topic of debate. Denise LaSalle The R&B singer rose to fame in the late 1960s after moving to Chicago and singing with Chess Records. LaSalle is known for her hit songs “Trapped by a Thing Called Love” and “Now Run and Tell That,” among others. She died Jan. 8 at the age of 78 in Jackson, Tenn. Frankie … [Read more...] about In Memoriam: A Tribute to the Ones We Lost in 2018
The A.V. Club’s list of 2018’s best albums was determined by eight critics, who each submitted a ranked ballot of their top 10 to 20 records of the year. Those ballots can be found below, some with annotations providing insight into their choices. Top 10 1. Beach House, 7Song For Alpha Hell-OnHunterKnock Knock6. Saba, Care For MeHoneySafe In The Hands Of Love9. Georgia Anne Muldrow, OverloadIn A Poem Unlimited The next 10 11. Earl Sweatshirt, Some Rap Songs12. Low, Double Negative13. Noname, Room 25Whack World15. Farao, Pure-ODirty Computer17. Julia Holter, AviaryFM!19. Helena Hauff, QualmNegro Swan Top 5 reissues 1. Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes, Paix (Mexican Summer)Our Garden Needs Its Flowers (Awesome Tapes)Devotion (Vinyl Me, Please)Treasure (4AD)Music And Poetry Of The Kesh (RVNG International) Top 5 EPs 1. Bbymutha, Bbyshoe2. Midori Tikada & Lafawndah, Le Renard Bleu3. Roísín Murphy, Plaything/Like4. Jenny Hval, The Long Sleep5. Kaitlyn … [Read more...] about The best albums of 2018: The ballots