Integra DHC-60.5 7.2-Channel A/V Preamp Reviewed

Integra DHC-60.5 7.2-Channel A/V Preamp Reviewed

If you have your own AV receiver or multichannel processor at home, you don’t need me to tell you how much a good surround sound system can enhance and enrich the movie-watching experience. You probably also don’t need me to tell you that controlling these beasts isn’t always entirely intuitive. Before I added smart control to my home, my poor wife could barely figure out how to play a DVD without my help, due to the pile of remote controls required to power things up and switch inputs. Of course, control systems like Control4, URC Total Control, and Savant make that sort of remote control juggling a thing of the past. But still, getting your surround system and your control system to play nicely together isn’t always the easiest of tasks. So most of the time, home technology specialists have to resort to tricks like placing a little IR transmitter on the face of the gear itself. But every time my dad’s house cleaner visits, I’m reminded of the fact that those little IR transmitters are way too easy to knock loose. And when they’re not positioned perfectly, the system stops working. I can’t tell you how many 8pm calls I’ve received from my old man that begin not with a, “hello,” or, “how are you?” but rather an exasperated, “My sound isn’t working!” One of the many things I love about Integra’s new DHC-60.5 7.2-Channel A/V Preamp is that it puts an end to that sort of thing. The DHC-60.5—which I just reviewed for Home Theater Review—is, without question, one of the easiest devices I’ve ever integrated into my Control4 system,...

Control4 Unveils New OS 2.3 Software

With expanded homeowner control, new lighting experience and unprecedented interoperability, OS 2.3 delivers exceptional performance. Control4 is now delivering the Control4® Operating System v2.3 (OS 2.3) – providing a new elegant lighting user interface, new features enabling customers to personalize their own experiences, new applications for commercial installations, and feature enhancements and updated certified drivers to boost performance and interoperability. OS 2.3 represents a next significant step in the breadth and depth of the Control4® automation platform. “OS 2.3 brings a new level of performance, reliability and capability to Control4 systems,” said Control4 CEO Martin Plaehn. “Our new software packs a punch, delivering an exceptional experience for consumers and includes enhancements and purpose-built features and tools for our dealers, including hundreds of updated device drivers supporting both residential and commercial installations.” Crafting a First-Class User Experience Control4 paves the way to an unrivaled customer experience with OS 2.3. Its enhanced performance and reliability result in faster, more responsive systems, while also empowering consumers with the ability to customize and adjust specific preferences on their own. Now, homeowners and business owners can add or swap out smart phones and tablets within their Control4® MyHome account. The MyHome app also boasts additional customer-friendly improvements including optimized start-up and reconnect time, better Rhapsody Music Service integration, and additional language support for Control4 non-English speaking customers. Elegant, Sophisticated Lighting Experience One of the key attributes of the new Control4 OS 2.3 release is the introduction of a new elegant user-experience for lighting. The clean intuitive UI makes it easy for consumers to control lighting throughout a residence or business from almost any device...

Bowers & Wilkins Debuts Two New Wireless Music Systems

Bowers & Wilkins just announced a pair of wireless audio systems that complement its award-winning Zeppelin Air dock. Unlike the Zeppelin, the A7 and A5 Wireless Music Systems eschew the physical iOS dock (which removes all of the brouhaha surrounding Apple’s recent docking port switcharoo as an issue), in favor of pure AirPlay connectivity. In stark contrast to the curvilinear aesthetics of the Zeppelin, the A5 and A7 also borrow heavily from the design of the company’s MM-1 desktop speakers, bringing their styling together into a single unified chassis that positively drips with luxurious simplicity. Both the A5 and A7 also feature the same drivers as the MM-1—glass fiber diaphragms designed with minimal resonance and improved off-axis mid- and high-frequency performance in mind. Both systems also include a number of design innovations from B&W’s beloved loudspeaker lines, including the same high frequency distortion Anti-Resonance Plug technology as is found in its high-end PM1, as well as Tapering Tubes borrowed from the Nautilus line to control rear reflections from the tweeters. Both systems also employ Bowers & Wilkins’ Flowport technology to reduce air turbulence and improve bass clarity, as well as proprietary digital signal processing to tailor the sound for any room at any volume. Their integrated audiophile caliber DACs also upsample all incoming audio to 96kHz/24-bit. Inside the glass re-enforced ABS enclosures, you’ll also find a power supply designed to deliver ultra-clean power, so the powerful little Class D amps operate to their full potential. At first glance, the difference between the two models appears to be one of size alone. The extra volume of the A7, though, gave...