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KEF KC62 Subwoofer Review
Wed, 24 Feb 2021 18:00:03 +0000



Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Incredible extension from incredibly small design
Highly flexible controls and features
Wireless option
Elegant finish
Minus
Limited peak output
Pricey

THE VERDICT
KEF’s KC62 delivers impressively deep bass in an elegant, ultra-compact package, though its output is best suited for smaller rooms or listening at more moderate levels.

Mankind has sought to get more and deeper bass from smaller and smaller designs ever since the first Neolithic audiophile blew through a conch shell and thought, "Damn, I wish this went lower, louder!"



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How to Stream PBS Programming
Wed, 24 Feb 2021 16:37:11 +0000


While PBS Passport has a variety of the stations' programming, a PBS Channel subscription through Amazon Prime Video offers a deep dive into different genres.


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Qello Brings Live Concerts into Your Home and Beyond
Wed, 24 Feb 2021 13:30:04 +0000


Qello seeks to corner the market on streaming concerts and music documentaries but do they offer enough diverse material to satisfy our hunger for content?


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Taming the Room Monster
Tue, 23 Feb 2021 18:43:25 +0000


Anyone who has read any of my speaker reviews over the past few years knows that my current room has bass issues (the photo here is, sadly, NOT my room!!). Welcome me to the club; rooms without bass problems are few and far between. Only the obsessed worries about a peak at 30Hz, but erratic response higher in the bass, particularly in the 80 to 200Hz region, can have serious negative effects on the overall sound. To little response there can reduce a source's natural weight, particularly on large scale music or home theater effects. Too much and the bass sounds bloated.

Once you get above a certain frequency, usually between 200 and 500 Hz (known as the Schroeder frequency, after the physicist who first identified it and not the Peanuts character), the room's effect on the sound becomes less significant.



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Mad Max
Sat, 20 Feb 2021 02:23:37 +0000


Picture
Sound
Extras
Let's never forget that the enduring Mad Max franchise—four movies in with a fifth on the way—began right here 42 years ago with this low-budget car/motorcycle-chase gem. Relative to its more popular sequel, The Road Warrior, Max can be viewed as a sort of origin story, showing how a good cop (Mel Gibson) goes mad after a horrible act of violence befalls his family. He hits the road to exact some fuel-injected revenge, leaving behind the world he once knew. What's striking about this movie today is seeing how much better it is than it needed to be, from the emotional story to the intense acting, superb cinematography, sharp editing, and outrageous stunts.


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The Mighty Technics SL-1200
Fri, 19 Feb 2021 01:28:18 +0000


Coveted by audiophiles and DJs, the iconic turntable is still going strong half a century later.

It’s rare for any piece of audio gear to remain in production for more than a few years, let alone a turntable that not only survives but continues to evolve for the better part of five decades. The Technics SL-1200 turntable and its many iterations have been in production for 43 of the last 49 years, an extraordinary feat by any measure.



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Can I Stream MQA Tracks to My Amp via Bluetooth?
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 11:09:50 +0000


Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My LG V30 smartphone has a high-performance Quad-DAC audio system capable of decoding hi-res files encoded with MQA. I want to use the LG phone as a source to stream Masters-quality music from Tidal via Bluetooth (aptX HD) to my new NAD integrated amplifier. Will this work for MQA, or do I need an external digital-to-analog converter to “unfold” the MQA-encoded files? —Joel Johnson, via email



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1. Verizon Just Spent $45 Billion on New 5G Spectrum

The FCC today announced the winners of Auction 107 for radio frequency licenses in the coveted "C-Band". Verizon spent $45.5 billion, well over half the $81.1 billion total spent in the whole auction. All major US carriers spent large amounts, with AT&T spending $23.4 billion, T-Mobile spending $9.3 billion, and US Cellular spending $1.3 billion. Auction 107 is for radio frequencies spanning 3.7 to 3.98 GHz. This band is unusually large at 280 MHz wide, giving it valuable high capacity for many users and/or fast data speeds. Spectrum in these "mid-band" frequencies is also valuable because it's ideal for building 5G networks that offer a good balance of fast data speeds and broad coverage. Most current 5G networks in the US offer only fast speeds or broad coverage, an issue that is particularly acute for Verizon at the moment. Auction 107 is likely to be the largest and most important of several C-band auctions the FCC is holding. Auction 105 was the first, though it raised only $4.6 billion. The next will be Auction 110, for 3.45 – 3.55 GHz. The FCC finalized its proposed rules for that auction earlier this week.


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2. Android Auto Adds Games, Wallpaper, Split-Screen View

Google is rolling out a major update to Android Auto. The new version includes car-optimized games such as trivia and "Jeopardy!". The feature can be activated by saying "Hey Google, play a game". Users can now "select from a variety of car-inspired backgrounds to personalize your car display". Finally, on "cars with wider screens", a new split-screen view "features a real-time view of Google Maps and media controls". The update will be available in the coming days for phones with Android 6 and above.


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3. Google Now Lets You Schedule a Text in Messages

Google has started rolling out an update to it Messages app that lets users schedule a text message to send at a later time. The feature is designed for people with "loved ones in another time zone or on a different schedule". To use the feature, simply press and hold the send button to reveal a new pop-up menu for scheduling. The menu provides several suggested times as shortcuts, plus an option to pick any specific date and time. The feature will be available in the next Messages update for phones running Android 7 and newer.


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4. Samsung's New 50-Megapixel Camera Sensor Supports Staggered HDR

Samsung today announced a new camera sensor featuring a number of new technologies that will offer improved HDR, low-light performance, and auto-focusing. The ISOCELL GN2 is a 50 megapixel sensor with 1.4-micrometer (ÎĽm)-sized pixels. The GN2 supports staggered HDR, which lets a device capture short and long exposures simultaneously, for HDR images with fewer motion artifacts. Staggered HDR can also enable computational HDR for video. Support for staggered HDR sensors is a key feature of Qualcomm's latest flagship chip for phones, the Snapdragon 888. Samsung also claims that staggered HDR is 24% more power-efficient compared to the traditional HDR technique. The GN2 also sports Dual Pixel Pro, an improved auto-focus (AF) system that uses all sensor pixels for focusing. While previous dual-pixel AF systems can only detect pattern changes horizontally, Dual Pixel Pro splits pixel elements diagonally, so it can also use vertical information to lock focus quickly. The GN2 also has Smart ISO Pro, which does for ISO what staggered HDR does for exposure length. The technology "takes readouts from both high and low ISO to instantly create high dynamic range images with less motion-artifacts." It can also take and process multiple high-ISO frames quickly, for an effective maximum ISO of "close to one-million". For video, the GN2 supports full-HD videos at 480 frames-per-second (fps) or 4K at 120fps. The ISOCELL GN2 is already in mass production, meaning it should make its way into phones soon.


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5. T-Mobile Redefines Premium Plans with Fully Unlimited Data

T-Mobile today introduced a new premium service plan called "Magenta Max", that offers truly unlimited "premium" (full-speed 5G or 4G) data. Before today, T-Mobile's top-end "Magenta Plus" plan offered up to 50 GB of full-speed data, after which speeds could be restricted. Magenta Max will replace Magenta Plus on February 24th. T-Mobile is also improving the mid-range Magenta plan to offer 100 GB of full-speed data (up from 50). Magenta Max offers 40 GB of high-speed hotspot data (double the 20 GB offered on Magenta Plus), while the high-speed hotspot allotment on Magenta is being upgraded from 3 GB to 5 GB. Magenta Max also offers unlimited 4K video, 2x data speeds (compared to 2G) while roaming internationally, unlimited Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi, Scam Shield Premium, and NetFlix Standard included (instead of Netflix Basic) on family plans. Magenta Max has the same pricing as the Magenta Plus plan it replaces: $85/month for a single line, with AutoPay discount, taxes & fees included. Family-plan discounts bring that down to $70/line for two lines, $57/month for three lines, $50/month for four lines, or as little as $40/month for eight lines. A limited-time offer brings three lines down to $47/month/line, and a similar discount brings the standard Magenta plan down to $40/line/month for three lines.


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6. San Francisco's Clipper Transit Card Coming to Apple Pay, Google Pay

Clipper Card — the universal transit fare card for all 24 San Francisco Bay Area transit agencies — will be supported in Apple Pay and Google Pay digital wallets "this spring". Residents and visitors will be able to add a stored-value Clipper card to their digital wallet and tap their phones to ride transit, replacing a physical Clipper card. The system differs from those in cities (such as New York and Chicago) offering "open" fare payments made directly from a credit or debit card in Google Pay / Apple Pay. Apple has launched a page where people can sign up to be notified when Clipper is available for iPhone and Apple Watch. Separately, Google announced a new feature of Google Maps that lets users buy and present transit fare payments — including Clipper, when available — without leaving the Maps app, as part of turn-by-turn directions that include transit.


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7. Verizon, Google Offer New Intro Deals on Plans

Google Fi and Verizon Prepaid recently launched new introductory deals for new customers / added lines. Verizon Prepaid is offering the third month of service for free, while Google is offering half off the first three months of service. Verizon also offers "loyalty" discounts that kick in starting on the fourth month.


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