Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Creative Stage 360 2.1 Soundbar with Dolby Atmos Review

It’s been a wild 18 months with Covid, and all of the staying home. And now with Delta, many of us are saying not again! Well, there are some great home audio products to help with our binge watching. Creative is well known for their line of Sound Blaster soundcards for computers. Next came a great line of computer speakers. They have used their heritage in audio, and now have some great sound bars. Up for review is their Creative Stage 360.

 

Features and specs:

Dimensions

Soundbar: 565 x 75 x 88 mm / 22.2 x 2.9 x 3.4 inches, Subwoofer: 115 x 422 x 250 mm / 4.5 x 16.6 x 9.8 inches

Cable Length

Subwoofer Cable: Approx 2m; tethered to subwoofer, Power Cable: 1.5m (59 inches), Optical Cable: 1.5m

Weight

Subwoofer: 3.4 kg / 7.5 lb, Soundbar: 1.7 kg / 3.8 lb

Operating Temperature

0– 40°C

Power Output

Soundbar: 60W RMS, Subwoofer: 60W RMS, Total System Power: Up to 120W RMS (Peak 240W)

Drivers

Soundbar: 2 x 2.25″ x 3.85″ Racetrack Driver, Subwoofer: 5.25″ High Excursion Driver

Frequency Response

50–20,000 Hz

System Configuration

2.1 system

Bluetooth Operating Frequency

2402–2480 MHz

Operating Range for Bluetooth Devices

Up to 10 meters / 33 ft, (Measured in open space. Walls and structures may affect range of device.)

Bluetooth® Version

Bluetooth 5.0

Bluetooth Profile

A2DP (Wireless Stereo Bluetooth)*

*Stereo Bluetooth or A2DP profile enables wireless transmission of full stereo sound to other Bluetooth devices. To determine whether your device (notebook, PC or mobile device) is equipped with A2DP-enabled Bluetooth technology, refer to your device manufacturer's documentation / website for more information.

Supported Codecs

SBC

Connector Type

Optical-in (Toslink), HDMI-out (HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, ARC), HDMI-in 1 (HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2), HDMI-in 2 (HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2), Subwoofer-out, AC-in

Color

Black

 

The Creative Stage 360 came in a great looking color printed box, with photos of the product and its specs. Opening the box revealed a well-protected product held in place by custom molded Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic with some metal in the soundbar, and engineered wood with black veneer for the subwoofer. Quality of materials used was very good, as was the fit and finish. Also included was the power cords, optical cable, and quick start guide.

 

I like the design of the Creative Stage 360. The soundbar uses a high-quality pair of racetrack drivers. The front also houses an LED to show status and volume levels. The top holds a few buttons for power, source, + and -. The back panel holds the subwoofer input, USB service port, and inputs with optical and HDMI. Then there’s the Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity. It’s a minimalistic design that’s efficient. One thing missing that I would have liked to see: built-in bracket on the back, so it could be wall mounted under a TV that is wall mounted.

 

The built-in software and remote is also great. There are DSP sound modes of Movie, Night and Music. And Dolby Atmos provides a nice surround sound effect, with adjustable settings for near-field or far-field. The remote also worked really well, giving you full access to all of the settings and full control, right at your fingertips. Installation/set-up was very simple. Now let’s see how it sounds.

 

Nat King Cole- LOVE: vocals were silky smooth like honey with very good texture of the timbre.  Cymbal and top hat were crisp and clean. Piano sounded natural. Trumpet was crisp with very good harmonics without being too brassy. The very good imaging surprised me, as I wasn’t expecting it.

Destiny 2- Storm the Keep: bass was very dynamic and had nice tone of the strings as they were plucked, cymbals were crisp and clean, as were the horns. Vocals were smooth with very good harmonics. Violin had nice texture from the strings. Drums had nice tight impact with very good dynamics.

Seatbelts- Tank!: Bass had nice definition of the plunking of the strings, with good definition of the midbass. The congas had nice definition of the pads. Trumpets were silky smooth and not overly brassy. The sax also had great harmonics. There was some extremely fast tonguing of the reed for the notes, and the Creative Stage 360 picked it up well. And what surprised me was the depth of soundstage that the Creative Stage 360 also projected.

 

The Creative Stage 360 unsurprisingly proved to be a great performer. The built-in Dolby Atmos provided a fun surround sound effect. And the sound was significantly better than the speakers built into the TV. Vocals tended to be nice and smooth, drums were dynamic and the highs tended to be crisp and clean.  The Dolby Atmos did work well, giving a seemly wider and deeper soundstage, giving the perception of some surround sound. I was impressed with the subwoofer.  It uses a small driver, so while it does not get very deep, it was dynamic and played with very good authority for the size. And be careful with the volume control, as it can get extremely loud!  I wasn't expecting the amount of volume that it has on tap!

With an MSRP of only $229, The Creative Stage 360 a big bang for the buck. This upgrade from TV speakers is a no-brainer. It does what it was designed to do very well.  And the build quality seems sufficient to give you years of use.  

Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Creative Stage 360 has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.us.creative.com.



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HYPER Launches Two New World-Firsts In Portable Power on Indiegogo

HYPER Launches Two New World-Firsts In Portable Power on Indiegogo

HyperJuice 245W USB-C Battery Pack & GaN Charger - Only on Indiegogo

World’s first and smallest 245W GaN Charger and World’s first 245W USB-C Battery Pack

OCTOBER 20, 2021 - FREMONT, California: Today, HYPER® - the makers of the world’s first 100W GaN Charger and world’s first 100W USB-C battery pack, crowdfunding almost $5 million in total - announced the launch of their latest Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, the HyperJuice 245W GaN Charger and 245W USB-C Battery Pack. Both of these innovations are world-firsts within the portable charging industry.

The world’s first and smallest HyperJuice 245W GaN Charger is designed for the “work from home” (WFH) professional or enterprise looking to maximize power connectivity when outlet space may be sparse. With four 100W (max) USB-C Power Delivery ports powered by industry-leading GaN technology, users will be able to power four mid-size 60W laptops (like the 13” MacBook Pro/Air) or quick charge two large 100W laptops (16” MacBook Pro), tablet (iPad Pro) and smartphone (iPhone 13) all at the same time from a pocket-size charger.

Need power on the go? The world’s first HyperJuice 245W USB-C Battery Pack takes the same 245W of USB-C power on the road for the traveling professional or road warrior. It boasts a whopping 100Wh/27000mAh airline-safe battery capacity, two 100W (max) and two 65W (max) USB-C Power Delivery ports, giving you the ability to charge four USB-C devices like laptops, tablets, DSLR cameras, smartphones, drones, gaming consoles all at the same time. It features an illuminated OLED screen to inform users about the remaining battery capacity and charging power of each port and comes with a 100W input so that you can quickly recharge the battery in 1 hour using the HyperJuice 245W GaN Charger or any 100W USB-C charger.

Hyper is launching both HyperJuice products via an Indiegogo campaign which starts today (October 20, 2021 at 8am PST) and ends on November 15th, 2021. Indiegogo Early Bird Backers will get the HyperJuice for 50% off MSRP. Both HyperJuice products are expected to start shipping in December 2021 upon successful Indiegogo funding.

HyperJuice 245W GaN Charger

HyperJuice 245W GaN Charging Station

  • Fast Charge Four MacBook Pros Simultaneously. 245W of power with four 100W USB-C charging ports enables the user to fast charge four 13” MacBook Pros (61W)  simultaneously.
  • Space Saving Portable Design. Keep your workspace minimal and travel seamlessly with a compact design footprint that is only slightly larger than the Apple 96W charger.
  • Safe Power Solution. Peace of mind charging with over current, over voltage, over temperature and short-circuit protection.
  • Power Delivery PD 3.0, Qualcomm Quick Charge QC 3.0, Programmable Power Supply PPS Compatibility. Fast charging compatibility for iPhone, Android and Samsung devices.
  • Ports: 4 x USB-C 100W PD
  • Dimensions: 105 x 100 x 32 mm / 4.13” x 3.93” x 1.25”
  • Weight: 582 g / 20.52 oz / 1.28 lb
  • Pricing: Indiegogo Early Bird Backers can get it for $99 (50% off MSRP $199)
HyperJuice 245W USB-C Battery Pack

HyperJuice 245W USB-C Battery Pack

  • Fast Charge Four Devices Simultaneously. 245W of power with 2 x 100W and 2 x 60W USB-C charging ports to enable the user to fast charge two 16” Macbook Pros (96W), an iPad (30W) and an iPhone (20W) simultaneously.
  • Airline-safe 100Wh/27000 mAh Battery Capacity. High capacity battery capable of charging an iPhone 13 nine times or an M1 MacBook Pro 13” two times.
  • 100W Pass-through Charging. 100W USB-C PD Pass-through charging enables the user to charge the battery pack in about one hour while charging other devices simultaneously.
  • OLED Indicator. Provides crystal clear, real time battery capacity status and power usage information.
  • Safe Power Solution. Peace of mind charging with over current, over voltage, over temperature, and short-circuit protection.
  • Power Delivery PD 3.0, Qualcomm Quick Charge QC 3.0, Programmable Power Supply PPS Compatibility. Fast charging compatibility for iPhone, Android and Samsung devices.
  • Ports: 2 x USB-C 100W PD, 2 x USB-C 65W PD
  • Dimensions: 191 x 81 x 28 mm / 7.51 x 3.18 x 1.10”
  • Weight: 765 g / 26.98 oz / 1.68 lb
  • Pricing: Indiegogo Early Bird Backers can get it for $149 (50% off MSRP $299)
HyperJuice 245W USB-C Battery Pack & GaN Charger

About HYPER

Celebrating its 16th year in business, HYPER is a dynamic team headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. We specialize in delivering award-winning, cutting-edge IT and mobile accessories with a focus on Apple, portable power, data storage & connectivity products.

HYPER is guided by its promise of GET MORE™. Delivering more ports, more power, and more connectivity, which in turn delivers more quality time with family and friends, more experiences, and more memories to every HYPER customer around the world.

We hold the records of the Most crowdfunded MacBook accessory, iPad accessory, USB-C hub, iPhone storage, battery pack, wireless charger, and GaN charger. HYPER has previously successfully launched and shipped 29 crowdfunding projects to over 150,000 backers, raising over $15 million in total.


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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Massive Audio Bas6 6.5 Inch Powered Car Subwoofer Review

Most of us like to take our tunes with us on the go. In our vehicle on the go is one of the best places to enjoy our music. Although while most stock car stereos have come a long way, there is still room for improvement. One way is to add a subwoofer. Up for review today is the Massive Audio Sub6. It is a powered 6.5 inch long throw subwoofer for $315.

 

Features and specs:

Size:       6.5"

Watts RMS:        250w

Peak Power:       500w

Cone:    Kevlar Fiber Enhanced Non-Pressed Paper Cone

Voice Coil:           1.5"

Surround:            EROM Foam

Magnet:               Double Stacked 55oz

Terminals:           Quick Disconnect

Basket:                Heavy Gauge Cast Aluminum

Tinsel Leads:      Heavy Duty Triple

X-Max:  10mm (1-way)

SPL:        85 dB @2.83V/1m

FS:          63.5Hz

Crossover Control:          Variable 50Hz ~ 200Hz / 12dB Octave Butterworth

Bass Boost:         0 ~ -12dB @45Hz

Frequency Response:     25Hz ~ 200Hz

Input Sensitivity :             200mV ~ 10V

Fuse Rating:       20A x 2

Dimensions:        14" x 9" x 10.6"

Bass Remote:     Included

 

The Massive Audio Sub6 came double boxed. It shipped well protected. Opening the box revealed a well-made product. The enclosure was well made with great looking black carpet with red stitching for the Massive Audio logo. Giving the enclosure a knock supported my findings. Quality of materials used was very good, as was the fit and finish. The Massive Audio Sub6 is a well-made subwoofer.  Also included was the bass remote, cable for the remote, and owners manual.

 

I enjoyed the design of the Massive Audio Sub6. It’s small at only 6.5 inches for the driver. And at only 6.5 inches, it also doesn’t require a large enclosure. Yet it still employs a ported design to get the most output from this small single driver design. The tall foam surround for large excursion and 250-watt RMS power handling plays into maximizing the most performance out of its small size.

 

The great design doesn’t end with the small driver. The overall design of the sub is efficient and clean looking. The built-in amp is found on the same side as the port. The front holds the driver and a grill to protect it. The slot design for the port goes across the entire length of the back, for a length of twelve inches. This I’m sure gives all the depth that the driver can muster. The back panel is a half inch. While I can’t tell if half inch MDF was used for the entire enclosure, it would be sufficient if it was.

 

All in all, I really like the overall design of the Massive Audio Sub6. For a ported enclosure, it’s really small and doesn’t take up much space. Yet at 250 watts RMS, and a tall foam surround, it gets a lot of excursion. And the long port maximizes every ounce of depth out of it all. For a factory sound system, this subwoofer will significantly improve the bass.

 

Installation was fairly simple. The built-in amp is auto-sensing, and accepts a high-level input. This makes it easy to tap into the existing stock wiring. It just takes power, ground and input. I’m excited to see how it performs.  Now that it’s installed, let’s see how it sounds.

 

New Order- Blue Monday: bass beats in the beginning were on time, quick and clean. They also had very good dynamics, depth and authority. The bass beats further in the track had even more depth. They played with similar dynamics and authority.

Katy Perry- Dark Horse: Bass beats played clean with very good output and authority.  And then the long sustained bass kicked in, and was so massive it shook the whole car! It had a little challenge playing the deepest beats in the track, but still played much better than I expected for only a 6.5-inch driver!

Imagine Dragons- Thunder: bass beats at the beginning were nice and tight and very dynamic. Then came the prolonged beats that just rumbled and shook the whole car. Yet it did so cleanly and with very good authority, making my rearview mirror dance. And again, it was only on the deepest beats that was a bit too deep for the Massive Audio Bas6.


Not everyone is a bass head like me. I’ve gone as big as 15’s for subwoofers in the past. If you like a lot of bass, this may come up short. But if you like more than the factory stereo, this could be for you. I have my reference system in my truck. But for the family vehicle driven mostly by my wife, and occasionally by me, it’s perfect.

 

The Massive Audio Bas6 provides deeper low end, as well as much more output than the factory system of our Toyota Corolla. And when I drive it, there’s the bass remote that I can use to crank it up. It’s a well-made subwoofer that provides very good depth and output for its size. Based on its design, features, quality and performance the Massive Audio Bas6 has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.massiveaudio.com.



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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

ASUS Announces GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua Edition

ASUS Announces GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua Edition Graphics Card
KEY POINTS
●    Signature Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM Fans: ASUS GeForce RTX™ 3070 Noctua Edition features two Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM fans that deliver top thermal performance with lower noise decibels.
●    Optimzed Airflow: The Noctua Edition’s bespoke heatsink is optimized to fully leverage the airflow characteristics of Noctua fans.
●   Unique ASUS Features: The ASUS GeForce RTX™ 3070 Noctua Edition offers several signature features of ASUS cards, ensuring performance and durability at every level.
FREMONT, California, October 4, 2021 — ASUS today announced the ASUS GeForce RTX™ 3070 Noctua Edition in collaboration with Noctua. Inspired by the dedication of the PC “DIY” modding and enthusiast community, the graphics card incorporates optimized airflow and sustained high performance with Noctua’s signature aesthetic to deliver incredible performance.

Optimizing Airflow - New Heatsink Design:
The ASUS GeForce RTX™ 3070 Noctua Edition incorporates a newly designed heatsink and a pair of Noctua's signature NF-A12x25 fans to optimize airflow characteristics. A massive, 2.3-slot heatsink was developed in collaboration with the R&D team at ASUS and Noctua engineers. 

"Using our extensive thermal R&D experience, we’ve created a new GPU heatsink that's tailor-made for the performance characteristics of the state-of-the-art NF-A12x25 fans," said Kent Chien, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the ASUS Multimedia Business Unit. "Our teamwork gives noise-conscious gamers and Noctua enthusiasts a unique graphics card that maximizes heat dissipation per decibel of noise emitted, all in a package that coordinates perfectly with other Noctua products in a DIY PC."

Bridging Silence with Performance:
The collaborative development process resulted in achieving top thermal performance per decibel of noise emitted from a graphics card. The ASUS GeForce RTX™ 3070 Noctua Edition produces a 10 dB lower sound pressure level when controlling power limit, ambient temperature, and thermal junction temperature. 

"By using our NF-A12x25 fans and collaborating to fine-tune the heatsink for use with them, this card achieves a significant boost in performance-to-noise efficiency," added Noctua CEO Roland Mossig. "ASUS’ line-up of GeForce RTX 3070 cards is already outstanding, but we’re confident that the Noctua Edition will be the cherry on the cake for noise-conscious customers."

Unique Collaborative Aesthetic & Features:
The graphics card incorporates signature ASUS features with unique characteristics present in Noctua's aesthetic. The card includes a custom brown shroud for the duo of NF-A12x25 fans, Noctua's signature brown color scheme, and a secure mounting system. ASUS and Noctua logos are included on the front and sides of the shroud, along with subtle graphics on the full-length alloy backplate.

The ASUS GeForce RTX™ 3070 Noctua Edition is outfitted with all signature features present in ASUS graphics cards. The card features a dual-mode BIOS switch which comes preset to Quiet mode for an optimal balance of noise and performance. The card also includes a 0 dB idle mode which keeps noise levels to a minimum under light graphics loads. Exclusive Auto-Extreme assembly technology assures precise placement and clean soldering of onboard components, and a vented backplate design gives heated air a shortcut into a case’s natural airflow path. A 144-hour validation process ensures optimal performance out-of-the-box. 

AVAILABILITY & PRICING
ASUS GeForce RTX™ 3070 Noctua Edition will be available worldwide from mid-October 2021. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.

SPECIFICATIONS[i]
 
ASUS GeForce RTX™ 3070 Noctua OC EditionASUS GeForce RTX™ 3070 Noctua Edition
  • NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070
  • CUDA Cores: 5888
  • OC mode boost clock: 1845 MHz
  • Gaming mode boost clock: 1815 MHz
  • 8 GB GDDR6
  • PCIe® 4.0 interface
  • 2 x native HDMI® 2.1
  • 3 x native DisplayPort™ 1.4a
  • NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070
  • CUDA Cores: 5888
  • OC mode boost clock: 1755 MHz
  • Gaming mode boost clock: 1725 MHz
  • 8 GB GDDR6
  • PCIe® 4.0 interface
  • 2 x native HDMI® 2.1
  • 3 x native DisplayPort™ 1.4a
 
[i] Specifications, content and product availability are all subject to change without notice and may differ from country to country. Actual performance may vary depending on applications, usage, environment and other factors. Full specifications are available at http://www.asus.com
 
###

About ASUS
ASUS is a multinational company known for the world’s best motherboards, PCs, monitors, graphics cards and routers, and is ranked by Laptop Mag as the best laptop brand in 2020. Along with an expanding range of superior gaming, content-creation and AIoT solutions, ASUS leads the industry through cutting-edge design and innovations made to create the most ubiquitous, intelligent, heartfelt and joyful smart life for everyone. With a global workforce that includes more than 5,000 R&D professionals, ASUS is driven to become the world’s most admired innovative leading technology enterprise. Inspired by the In Search of Incredible brand spirit, ASUS won more than 11 awards every day in 2020 and ranks as one of Forbes’ World’s Best Regarded Companies and Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies.  


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Friday, October 1, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: NAD Launches New C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier

Header image

A just-add-speakers compact and modern solution designed for the streaming age. New Classic Series features powerful HybridDigital UcD amplification, 80-watts per channel and integral BluOS app interface

PICKERING, ONTARIO, CANADA September 30, 2021– NAD Electronics, the highly regarded manufacturer of high-performance audio/video components, continues its expansion in the “just add speakers” category with the introduction of the C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier. The C 700 suggested retail price is $1499 USD and will ship globally in late October.

Housed in a compact and modern design, the C 700 was designed with a listener in mind who seeks an uncompromised listening experience with a focus on value. Inside the solid aluminium housing is a powerful HybridDigital UcD amplifier and BluOS Enabled network streamer. Using the intuitive BluOS app, the ability to cue music from a digital library, or stream from internet radio and online services like Spotify, Amazon Music HD, Tidal, and Qobuz could not be easier. The C 700 delivers an experience similar to the award-winning Masters Series M10 BluOS Music Streaming Amplifier.

NAD Electronics C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier (front)
NAD Electronics C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier (front)

Compact and Modern Design

Thanks to its elegant, minimalist design and premium materials, the C 700 will engage the most demanding of listeners — audibly as well as visually. The C 700 is housed in a solid aluminium case, with a smooth glass front panel and 5” high-definition color display that shows album artwork, track status, and system settings. Via the C 700’s color display, adjusting amplifier settings is quick and convenient with the added benefit of having the ability to learn commands from any pre-existing remote control.

“The C 700 creates exceptional value for those seeking a modern and easy-to-use standalone music system”, comments Cas Oostvogel, NAD’s Product Manager. “Ever since NAD introduced the legendary 3020 integrated amplifier in 1978, the NAD brand has been renowned for value, performance, and innovation. With the C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier, NAD has completely updated that tradition for the streaming era.”

Powerful HybridDigital UcD Amplification

The highly efficient UcD amplifier design is renowned for ultra-low noise and distortion through the entire frequency range, regardless of the loudspeaker load. Employing NAD’s proven HybridDigital UcD amplifier technology, the C 700 can deliver 2x80 watts of continuous power and 2x120 watts of instantaneous power, for effortless music reproduction.

NAD Electronics C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier (rear)
NAD Electronics C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier (rear)

Just Add Speakers

The C 700 has everything needed to play music, by just adding speakers. The BluOS app creates an intuitive way to select music from dozens of different streaming services, internet radio, or to play music stored on an external drive connected to the C 700’s USB port.

In addition to the audiophile grade speaker outputs, the C 700 has a subwoofer output jack where it’s required. Convenient low and high-pass crossover settings in the BluOS app provide a seamless blend between the subwoofer and main speakers.

The C 700 has two pairs of RCA analogue inputs, as well as coaxial and optical digital inputs, for connecting disc players, game consoles, media adapters, and other components. There’s also an HDMI eARC port for connecting a HDTV with HDMI ARC support. This allows the C 700’s volume setting to be adjusted from the TV’s remote. Two-way aptX HD Bluetooth provides a convenient way to listen to music through wireless headphones, and stream audio from any smart device.

Key Features of the NAD C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier

  • HybridDigital UcD Amplifier
  • Continuous Power: 80 Watts per channel into 8/4 ohms
  • Instantaneous Power: 120 Watts per channel
  • 5” high-definition colour information display shows album art, track progress, and system settings
  • Solid aluminum body and glass front panel
  • Works with intuitive BluOS Controller app forAndroid, iOS, macOS, and Windows
  • BluOS multi-room streaming to 63 zones
  • High-resolution audio to 24-bit/192Hz
  • MQA decoding and rendering
  • Lossless and high-resolution streaming from Amazon Music HD, Deezer, Idagio, Qobuz, and Tidal
  • Support for Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Tidal Connect
  • Voice control via Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant
  • Optical and coaxial digital inputs
  • HDMI eARC port
  • Two-way aptX HD Bluetooth
  • 12V Trigger output

About NAD Electronics

Founded in 1972 and now sold in over 80 countries, NAD Electronics is renowned for its award-winning line of high-quality components for audio, home theatre and custom installation applications. Since the beginning, NAD’s commitment to four core values –innovation, simplicity, performance, and value – have earned it a cult-like following that catapulted it to becoming a household name amongst audiophiles and music lovers alike. To this day, the brand continues to design and manufacture some of the most acclaimed and affordable hi-fi components that include modern features and technologies meant to appeal to a new generation of audiophiles.

Links

Website: https://nadelectronics.com

Images: https://nadelectronics.webdamdb.com/bp/#/folder/10075751/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nadelectronics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NADElectronics

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nadelectronics/


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Monday, September 27, 2021

Kenwood KMR-D772BT Marine Bluetooth CD Receiver Review

It’s been a rocky 12 months or so, maybe closer to 18 months, due to Covid 19. The vaccines came out and all looked good, and now there are the different mutations, like Delta version. If you’re like me and don’t want to be stuck inside again, it could be time to pull out the boat or side by side. And of course, music always makes the ride more enjoyable! Kenwood has a great motorsport series of products. Up for review today is their receiver, the Kenwood KMR-D772BT.

 

Features and specs:

 

Key Features:

·        TDF(Theft Deterrent Faceplate)

·        Drive Change

·        Maximum Output Power : 50W x 4 (MOSFET Power IC)

·        KENWOOD sound reconstruction, restores musical to compressed music

·        MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/FLAC Files Playback with ID-3 Tag Display

·        Android Rapid Charge

·        Multi language(English, Spanish)

·        Dual Phone Connection

·        Wireless Music Browsing

·        Conformal Coating *1

·        *1: Do not install the unit in a spot exposed to direct sunlight or excessive heat or humidity. Also avoid places with too much dust or the possibility of water splashing.

 

Features:

 

General

·        TDF(Theft Deterrent Faceplate)

·        CD Door / Cover

·        16 Digit 1.5Line LCD Display

·        Rotary Encoder and Direct Key (TEL) for easy operation

·        Digital Clock (12H)

·        Variable Color Illumination

·        Dimmer Control Function (Manual/Set by timer)

Audio

·        Maximum Output Power : 50W x 4 (MOSFET Power IC)

·        Rear USB & Aux input

·        3 Preout (5.0V)

·        KENWOOD sound reconstruction, restores musical to compressed music

·        13 Band Graphic Equalizer

·        Time Allignement

·        Subwoofer Level Adjustable

·        Bass Boost

·        Loudness

·        Built-in LPF/HPF

USB

·        MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC Decoder with ID-3 Tag Display

·        iPod/iPhone Direct Connection with Optional cable*1

·        iPod Skip Search Function

·        Pandora/iHeart Radio/iTunes Radio/Spotify App Ready (iPhone App)

·        Drive Change (For Android or Card Reader)

·        Android Music Playback

·        Android Rapid Charge

·        *1: KCA-iP102: 30-pin type, KCA-iP103: Lightning type

Tuner

·        Sirius XM (SXV100/200/300) Ready

·        Backup Memory for Tuner Preset

·        FM/AM 24 Station Presets (18FM, 6AM)

·        RBDS with Radio Text

·        AME (Automatic Memory Entry)

CD

·        MP3, WMA, AAC Decoder with ID-3 Tag Display

·        0-bit Mute

External Media Control

·        Bluetooth Built-in (Hands-Free Profile / A2DP/ AVRCP1.5/Aptx)

·        NFC

·        Dual Phone Connection

·        Wireless Music Browsing

·        Pandora/iHeart Radio/Spotify App Ready (Android and iPhone App) via Bluetooth

·        Rear Wired BT Microphone included

·        Remote App for Android/iPhone

·        Marine Remote Ready (KCA-RC55MR / KCA-RC35MR)



The Kenwood KMR-D772BT came in a great looking color printed box with photos and specs of the receiver. Opening the box revealed a well-made receiver held in place and well protected by custom molded Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was mostly metal with some plastic. Quality of materials used was very good, as was the fit and finish. Also included were the owner’s manual, wiring harness and connectors, keys, and owner’s manual.

 

I really liked the design of the Kenwood KMR-D772BT. While you don’t want to get it wet, it does have conformal coating. This is a thin coating applied to the internal circuit boards. So this does provide some protection for outdoor use, like in a side by side. Most receivers have gone away from detachable faceplates.  But as boats and side by sides tend to be open, I’m glad to see a detachable faceplate used. The Kenwood KMR-D772BT also has some cool features like Android music playback, to make for a simple smartphone connectivity. It even has dual phone connection. And for times when you have a boat full or side by side full of family/friends, the music mix feature allows connection up to 5 Bluetooth devices connected at the same time.

 

Once installed, the Kenwood KMR-D772BT gives you great usability. You have access to the AM/FM tuner, there’s a CD player, as well as rear inputs for USB and Aux input. That way you can use any MP3 player or flash drive that you use for music, music stored on your phone, as well as music services that you use. That’s a lot of ways to enjoy music, to make the outdoors even more fun! The display is even a variable color display, so you can adjust it to match the colors of your vehicle’s dash. Now let’s see how it performs.

 

The Kenwood KMR-D772BT was easy to set-up once installed. The receiver starts by having you set up the language on the display. The Audio button takes you through all of the audio settings for your subwoofer, speaker sizes, crossovers, digital time alignment, loudness, volume offset, preset and manual EQ’s, bass boost, sound effects, car settings, balance, and fader. As is typical for Kenwood, you get a ton of control, to get the most out of your speakers, as well as get the sound just the way you like it.

 

The sound effect section is packed with sound effect settings for sound reconstruction, space enhancer, stage EQ, drive EQ and sound realizer. The title pretty much tells you what each setting does. Sound reconstruction helps to restore high frequencies lost in audio data compression. Space enhancer enhances the sound space. Sound realizer makes the sound more realistic. Stage EQ virtually adjusts the sound position of the speakers. Drive EQ helps against road noise. Some of the settings may make the sound a bit…artificial. Some work very well. And some of the settings like Space Enhancer and sound realizer has multiple levels of effect. Some settings could be either too much, too little, or just right. And the acoustics of your car could also affect how these settings sound. But that’s what it’s all about: letting your ears decide what is right for you, thanks to all of those options.

 

The buttons are also played out very well and easy to read, and the display was easy to read. The power button doubles as the source button, and each press cycles you through Radio, USB, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify, BT Audio, Aux, and standby. Putting in a CD automatically switches to the CD transport. And switching sources adds CD in the rotation of possible sources adds CD in the rotation of possible sources. With the provided mic connected, pressing the phone button gives you hand free calling to the caller on your phone, as well as your phonebook, call history, and other phone settings.  The display also worked great, showing you dual lines of info, for song title on top and artist below. It also displayed a clock, the source playing and for Bluetooth connection, it also provided the codes of the song, such as aptX. 

 

We also can’t forget the built-in amplifier.  Rated at 50 watts RMS, it’s not a lot, but is the standard amount for internal amps in a receiver.  It won’t give you the quality of sound you would expect to get from an external amplifier, but it did work well.  Let’s hear how it sounded with Kenwood’s 6’5 inch 2-way speakers we recently reviewed:

Adele: Rolling in the Deep – The plucking of the strings of the acoustic guitar had nice definition. Vocals were pleasantly smooth with nice timbre of the texture. Kick drum had nice dynamics, tight powerful impact. High hat and cymbals were sufficiently crisp and clean.

Earth, Wind and Fire: September – Wood block had very good tone of the wood. Guitar sounded nice and raw, trumpet was smooth and not too brassy. Vocals were also very smooth with very good texture of the timbre along with very good harmonics. Drums were dynamic and cymbals were crisp and clean.

Lipps Inc: Funkytown – cowbell had very good tone and texture without being tinny. Cymbal was crisp and clean. Car horn was just as clean and very dynamic. Soundstage was surprisingly very deep. Vocals had nice texture of the timbre. Bass beats were deep, with very good dynamics and played with authority.

 

The Kenwood KMR-D772BT provides a lot of great usability. And it’s the kind of receiver that you would want in your boat or side by side, thanks to the conformal coating. There’s even a detachable faceplate for added security. With an MSRP of $219, you get a huge bang for the buck, being able to get the sound just the way you like it! Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Kenwood KMR-D772BT has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.kenwood.com.



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