Roku prides themselves on their laser focus — it’s all about making streaming the best possible experience for their users. Their interface is simple, their devices are plug and play, and their entire ecosystem is built around offering multiple options at every price point. We took a look at the Roku StreamBar and new Roku Ultra and came away very impressed!
Audio Visual Gear
Whether you’re a streamer on Twitch or starting up a podcast on Anchor, you’re going to need a great microphone. The Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone was made to take recording and streaming to the next level; it’s their first Hybrid XLR/USB Microphone.
The Zvox SB380 is a solidly built soundbar that delivers decent sound and makes dialogue sound even better. The SB380 can be wall-mounted, placed upright on a credenza, or placed “flat” with the speakers facing upward. The SB380 provides room-filling 3D sound from its 35.5” frame, and it is fairly priced.
Mark Levinson, by Harman, makes audio equipment that many of us can only ever aspire to own. I’ve been able to listen to several of their system set-ups in person, and each time I’ve walked away thinking that if I ever become rich and famous, I’d be tempted. If you’re already in a position to buy, then you’ll be glad to know that they’ve expanded their offering of luxury-line components. Even though the prices are still quite aspirational, they are a little more obtainable than Mark Levinson’s typical price-points.
Streaming is one of the biggest changes to how we consume media, and Roku has been at the forefront of bringing the ability to binge-watch “Great British Baking Show” for an entire lost weekend. For them, streaming isn’t just one business arm out of many, it’s their entire purpose, and Roku is intent on improving and sharpening their streaming services.
I’ve been using Bowers & Wilkins headphones and portable Bluetooth speakers for some time, and I’ve enjoyed that right out of the box they are perfectly tuned to my listening preferences. B&W also makes high-end bookshelf and floor-standing speakers. For 25 years, their 600 Series has been a more accessible introduction to Bowers & Wilkins’s home-audio line. To celebrate its silver anniversary, B&W is launching the 600 Series Anniversary Edition.
Even though most of the products I have no longer have headphone jacks, when I want to know that I’m going to get substantial audio quality from anything, then I want to be able to add an excellent mobile amplifier. Luckily I had the opportunity to check out the Helm Audio DB12 AAAMP Mobile Headphone Amplifier.
We’ve reviewed quite a few ZVOX soundbars, and one thing I have always appreciated about them is how they use technology to make it easier to understand what people are saying onscreen — even when explosions are happening in the background. Their latest is the ZVOX AccuVoice AV157 TV Speaker, and it adds the power of Alexa to their already powerful speakers.
In a year where almost nothing is guaranteed, one thing you can count on is that you probably won’t be going to many movie theaters. However, your video-on-demand experience can still be theater-quality; you just need some microwave popcorn, your tv, and the Reference Series speakers from Fluance!
If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us all, it’s that streaming is an essential service. It’s also taught us to wash hands better, but that’s more life advice and less relevant to why you’re probably reading Gear Diary. In any case, if you’ve been working your TV to the limit, check out the new TCL 5 and 6 Series 4K smart TVs with Roku!
If you absolutely love your Amazon Alexa digital assistant, but none of the Alexa-enabled speakers you’ve seen look elegant enough, powerful enough, or frankly — big enough to fill your living space, you’ll want to take a look at the Pantheone Audio Pantheone I.
Mevo has been pioneering high-quality camera technology for a few years, so when the brand took to CES back in January I was excited about their latest product: The Mevo Start. And as someone who’s tried their hardest to Livestream from smartphones, tablets, and laptops, there’s always been more trouble than it was actually worth.
D&b is known throughout the professional audio community for its groundbreaking Soundscape technology; at NAMM, we had a chance to visit with Asher Dowson, the House of Worship segment manager at d&b audiotechnik. He was the one to fill us in on the concept of d&b’s belief that “everyone should experience the same impeccable quality of sound, regardless of their position in the audience.”
Roku is basically everywhere in the television world right now. There are devices that attach to your television, Roku OS built into televisions, it’s inescapable. But the folks at Roku aren’t content with just dominating as a streaming OS; they’re adding support for surround sound as well so your streaming experience is as immersive as possible!
As a podcaster, one of the things that I absolutely dread when we record our shows is having to hold a microphone. But thanks to the ModMic Uni by Antlion, I’ve simplified my setup without compromising my sound.
As 8K televisions begin to gain traction, the need for cables able to handle huge amounts of data continues to grow. Austere, a new company we told you about a few months ago, is ready for the revolution. Their new 8K HDMI 2.1 cables can handle 48 Gbps with style. They look great but come at a price.
One of the greatest things about technology is that it is constantly, relentlessly, moving forwards. Speakers and headphones have reached a point where even entry-level provides a richer experience than the most advanced models 20 years ago. JBL is ready for the next great leap forward, with devices that provide a 360-degree listening experience. The JBL Quantum line are gaming headphones designed to bring the audio experience into the same sharp realism as graphics. They use what JBL calls QuantumSURROUND to make sounds that much more realistic and detailed. Then there are the Quantum ONE headphones, which bring true 360-degree…
AUSOUNDS became a brand that I enjoy using after their August 2019 launch, and they seem to be set on delivering quality products at a rapid pace. And what better stage to showcase your audio solutions than at CES 2020?
Roland, the industry-leading manufacturer of electronic musical instruments and professional video products, announced its latest innovation at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, the GO:LIVECAST Live Streaming Studio for Smartphones. GO:LIVECAST is a mobile device that allows streamers to enhance and manage live content while remaining engaged with their audience. It’s basically a mobile broadcast studio and it’ll be available January 2020 for $249.99.
People who are out to buy televisions tend to fall into two groups; one is the “I only buy <brand name>” group, and the other is the “I couldn’t tell you the manufacturer of my current television, I just want certain features.” If you’re in the latter category, you should put Konka televisions on your radar for price and features!
Complete with an all-new design and a host of upgrades that users of the previous NVIDIA Shield, Nvidia’s new SHIELD TV is faster, smarter, and even more portable. I’ve had my hands on one for the past few weeks, and it’s becoming one of my favorite streaming devices.