Category Archives: Audio & Video

Google Chromecast Audio

I was looking for an easy way to add network capabilities to my HiFi amplifier. There are numerous options in different shapes and price ranges. The one product that stands out as probably the most compact and affordable of them all in Google Chromecast Audio. It fits in the palm of your hand and costs less than 40€!

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Basic Room Correction for your Speakers

frequencyIn this short tutorial, I’d like to explain a simple but effective method to achieve basic room correction when using a Windows computer as playback source.
Basically, several filters are applied to the digital audio signal before it is forwarded to the amplifier and speakers to “ameliorate unfavorable effects of a room’s acoustics”. This can sigificantly reduce or even elimiate unwanted vibrations due to bass, improves the overall listing experience and even reduces the amount of sound that is emitted through the walls.

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Nubert NuPro A200 Speakers

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The Nubert NuPro A200 are active bookshelf speakers (stereo) and can therefore be connected to a TV or computer directly without any additional amplifier. Each of the two speakers has its own integrated amplifier and digital signal processor. The speakers can either be connected via analog line-in, optical Toslink or digital SPDIF. Besides, there’s also a USB-DAC, which allows to connect the speakers to a computer via USB. This is particularly useful if the soundcard on your computer/laptop isn’t that good.

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JBL Synchros S500 Headphones

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The JBL Synchros S500 are closed over-ear headphones. They can be used together with any device with a 3.5mm audio jack, no preamplifier required. One particularly nice feature is the integrated digital signal processor to improve the audio quality, which can be activated on demand (requires batteries).
I was able to pick these headphones up for just 80 bucks, a bargain when you consider the steep MSRP of 280$! Let’s have a look what they have to offer.

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AV receiver audio modes

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Dolby, THX, DTS, … which format is the best? What’s the difference?

If you have an AV receiver (AVR), then you probably know that it supports many different audio modes. At first sight, it seems a little overwhelming. I will briefly explain the different modes and give you some basic recommendations. To keep it simple, I will not go into too much detail.

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The ultimate media player for 60€

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I’ve been using a Raspberry Pi 2 and a Blu-Ray player to play movies and music in my home cinema. Recently, I found that those devices can’t play everything. Specifically, they fail to play files that are encoded with HEVC (H.265) or videos in 4k resolution (UHD 2160p). So I decided to look for a new media player, one that could handle all kinds of files… and doesn’t cost more than 100 bucks.
This article consists of the following subsections:

  • hardware selection
  • software selection
  • installation
  • configuration

Ok, let’s get started!

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Denon PMA-50 Stereo Amplifier

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I have been using a cheap (20€) amplifier board for some time now and somehow felt that the audio quality was lacking.
So I once again looked around what the market has to offer in this department. Precisely, I was looking for a HiFi stereo amplifier to drive my passive 6-ohm speakers (Dali Zensor 1) in my bedroom. Due to space limitations, one of the main requirements for the amp was size: I wanted something small, not a typical huge brick of an amplifier (let’s say no more than 30cm width).

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Room acoustics, the basis for HiFi audio

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Admittedly, room acoustics is quite a complex matter, but I will try to present it as structured and briefly as possible.
This article is aimed at people who want to get the most out of their speaker system at home. However, this is not a complete how-to guide, it will only give you an overview and hints to point you in the right direction.
Note that some basic knowledge about sound and loudspeakers is required in order to understand this article.

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How To: Room correction for Stereo Speakers with a DSP

_mg_0561In this article I am going to show you how to leverage a digital signal processor (DSP) to add room correction to your stereo or 2.1 speaker system.

Here’s what you are going to need:

  • a DSP (e.g. the MiniDSP 2×4 with a plugin)
  • a measurement microphone (e.g. the MiniDSP UMIK-1)
  • 2x stereo audio cinch cables (or 3x if you have a subwoofer)
  • REW software installed on a computer

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