Scott wants to talk about a question he got recently on setting up a home theater in a new home. He's looking at the B&W SN704S2 speakers, $3,000 a pair. He's also looking at a $3,000 Sony OLED TV. But Scott also says that a center channel speaker that matches the left and right stereo speakers is just as imperative as the stereo speakers. And anyone would want the same brand. You can go cheaper on the subwoofer if you need to. But Scott also warns that paying a high price for equipment can have diminishing returns. There's a point where more money doesn't equal more performance.
Scott Wilkinson joins Leo to talk about hearing aids that can be bought over the counter. There's one he likes called the Jacoti, and it lets you self-measure your hearing through a phone app called Hearing Center, and then fine-tune the hearing aid for best results. Scott says this is a game-changer that could revolutionize wireless in-ear monitors. The technology will be put into Qualcomm chips for in-ear monitors and wireless headphones.
Scott has a review of a new pair of headphones, the Grado GW 100 v2 Bluetooth Headphones. Grado has been making headphones since 1991 and the GW100 is their first wireless Bluetooth headphones. What's interesting about them is that they have Bluetooth, but not active noise cancellation. The choice was deliberate in order to focus on better quality sound. It's also a better quality experience with AAC and other codecs which are transmitted over Bluetooth 5. Battery life is about 40 hours, which is very impressive. The cost is about $250.
Scott joins Leo to talk about how the quality of TV series have started to drop of streaming services. Scott says he's noticed that some seasons of TV shows have just disappeared without notice. That's one of the problems with streaming. With physical media, you can watch something any time you want. But with streaming services, shows and movies can disappear at any time. At least with Netflix, they warn you what titles are leaving every month. But some services, they just vanish. Leo adds that convenience outweighs the risk, and Scott adds that it also outweighs quality.
Scott says that CBS will not be broadcasting the Super Bowl in 4K this year due to production issues related to Covid. They won't even be streaming in 4K. More people are expecting to watch the game via streaming this year than broadcast. Hulu has also lost distribution rights to CBS in some locations, so some subscribers may not be able to see it that way.
Better than Black Friday, the week before the Super Bowl is the best time to buy a new TV. Scott joins Leo to talk about the best TVs and the best deals available right now. Most of the TVs are closer to the end of the annual product cycle. So many of the deals are near the end of life in order to clear them out for the next generation. Some of these deals are great deals, while others, not so much.
Scott joins Leo to talk about a new sub-woofer from KEF. It's called Uni-core and it uses two speakers that are opposed and use force canceling to eliminate the resonance so all you hear is the low-frequency sound. The result is a pair of tiny subwoofers that can broadcast 11hz, way below what we can hear. Read more about it in Scott's TechHive article here.
This year's CES was held online and Scott attended virtually. So he couldn't get in the 20+ miles of walking he would do every year. He didn't miss that. But he missed seeing friends, going to dinner and a show, and learning about technology up close and personal. But he did like that he could get video briefings, click on press releases and information, it was all very efficient.
Scott joins Leo to talk about Mini and Micro LED TVs, and they are very exciting. Micro LEDs are really small so they offer more detail and sharper resolution. But they are very expensive right now. But the good news is, that LG's next-generation high-end LCD TVs will be using mini LEDs (called QNED). Scott also thinks that all LCD TV companies will rapidly follow suit. Once the technology becomes more widespread, the price will drop. And in about 5 years, the next big thing will be MicroLED as the technology gets even smaller.
This week, Scott reviews the Focal Arch DAC, which go along with the Stelia headphones, which he says sound pretty great, considering their $2500 price tag for the DAC, and $3,000 for the headphones. Scott says it seems ridiculous to spend that much on a pair of headphones and amps, but there's a point of diminishing returns as you increase costs to get better quality. Sooner or later it just doesn't prove to be worth it for a slight to moderate improvement.