Abby really likes the way Bose sounds, but she is wondering if she'd be able to find a less expensive speaker that has a similar sound. Leo says that Pioneer makes a great one by Andrew Jones. Leo's favorite is Audio Engine B2 Bluetooth Speaker. This is a powered speaker that looks like regular stereo speakers. She could pair the speaker to her phone, and play radio through it from the phone.
Trisha recently bought a Samsung Radiant 360 Speaker, but it apparently has to be controlled by a Samsung app on her smartphone. The problem is that she can't play the streaming audio from a separate app she likes. Leo says that is weird. Most speakers pair directly to the phone via Bluetooth, and anything that she could play on her phone could go through the speaker. The app seems to be designed to control multiple speakers in different rooms.
Amin wants to know who makes a good in-ceiling speaker for surround sound. Scott has multiple suggestions of companies that would make good speakers for this:
Marsha is looking for a great bluetooth speaker. Scott has been looking at the BenQ Electrostatic Speaker of late and it's pretty cool. The low frequencies are handled by the main body, but the swing out speakers handle the electrostatic design. They're about $300.
Scott says that Andrew Jones has some new, budget speakers that perform way above their price range. WAY above, as Scott puts it. But he also hears that Jones has left Pioneer and got to ELAC, a German turntable and speaker company. ELAC wants to get back into the US market so Jones has designed some even better speakers than he ever has at Pioneer. The new speakers are called the Elac Debut line and Scott says that the B5's and B6s are really nice. There's also floor speakers (F5) and Center (C5s).
If you're looking to stream audio wirelessly through your house, there are a few different ways to do it.
Scott chimed in on the last call from Addy in London, who wanted to know what the best headphones were for under $40. Scott recommended checking out the "Wall of Fame" at innerfidelity.com. Here are the in-ear headphones Scott recommends:
Michael has a pair of Wharfedale speakers that he got back in the 1960's, they're in good condition and he's wondering if they're worth much. Leo says they are, because they're classics, but he urges Michael to keep them! Leo says they're definitely worth connecting to a modern day stereo. Physics doesn't change, and the bigger the cone a speaker has, the more air it can move. As long as the cones haven't dried out or cracked, they will be as good as anything he can buy today.
Matt has a set of speakers plugged into his TV and he gets some loud buzzing noises. If he unplugs them, the buzzing goes away. Leo says that's called a "ground loop," and it could be a loose wire that's causing it. An optical connection would solve it, but he'd need a receiver and speakers that support it. Leo says that it's likely an issue in his wall and only an electrician can fix that. But it sounds like the electrical wire isn't grounded.
Linella has several bookshelf speakers that have round holes in the front or back. What are they for? How close can she have them to the wall or furniture, or even each other? Leo says that a lot of speakers have a bass port vent. Scott says they are intended to change the bass characteristics to make them smoother. If the hole is in the back, she won't want them against the wall. She'll want them at least 6 inches away to give the sound room to resonate. If it's in the front, then she can put it up against the wall no problem. So it really just depends.