This yr has been stuffed with some fairly wonderful and revolutionary tech merchandise, and that features audio/video and residential theater gear — from blisteringly shiny TVs to headphones with Wi-Fi and earbud charging circumstances with LED screens to new-and-improved merchandise from all the massive pictures like Apple, Sony, Amazon, and extra.
However I’m right here for the bizarre stuff. The fascinating stuff. The stuff that made our eyes widen and our eyebrows do humorous issues. And all through 2023, there have been just a few good ones, together with a fire-breathing $3,900 encompass sound setup, a turntable you would possibly need to eat with a aspect of fries, and a James Bond-worthy TV in a suitcase. Right here, then, is among the weirdest AV gear of 2023.
Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6 encompass sound system
The smoke-and-fire puns had been laid on thick, however you possibly can’t fault our personal Caleb Denison for that in his wonderful video evaluation as a result of theencompass system just about set our studio aflame (nice, now I’m doing it). Denison known as it “indubitably essentially the most over-the-top house theater-in-a-box I’ve ever seen” — and for good cause. The $3,900 system consists of a fundamental soundbar unit that weighs 32 kilos, is fabricated from stainless-steel, and options 14 drivers, three tweeters, and 7 amplifiers. Then there are two encompass audio system (every with 5 drivers) and two subwoofers, every with two 8-inch woofers in them. The entire thing blasts out a complete system energy of three,000 watts at a peak output of 125 decibels. And like Smaug laying waste to Lake-town, this Dolby Atmos system is only a face-melting house theater in a field.
Audio-Technica Sound Burger
Would you want fries with that? Again within the mid-Eighties when vinyl information dominated, the unique Audio-Technica Sound Burger was bought because the iPod of its time — a compact, battery-powered file participant that you would take anyplace … when you had been prepared to lug a milk crate stuffed with LPs together with you. Its sandwich-like design and primary options had been widespread sufficient that Audio-Technica noticed match to reissue thethis yr, placing whereas the spatula’s sizzling (man, I’m hungry) to benefit from vinyl’s still-sizzling nostalgia issue (somebody please feed me). This time round, although, A-T has given it some upgrades, together with Bluetooth connectivity and new rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Sadly, there’s nonetheless no getting round transporting your heavy vinyl information, however perhaps you possibly can hit a drive-thru for some burger energy first.
LG StanbyME Go transportable briefcase TV
The LG StanbyME Go is the sort of espionage-tinged monitor-in-a-briefcase you would see Mission Unattainable‘s Ving Rhames hunkered over behind a van as he helps Ethan Hunt shimmy via air ducts. Coincidentally, it’s additionally not too far off from the sort of briefcase you’d see housing the golden-glowing soul of 1 Marsellus Wallace (see what I did there?). Sadly, you gained’t discover Marsellus’ soul contained in the 28-pound,. As an alternative, there’s a 27-inch, 1080p LCD touchscreen that may swivel vertically, horizontally, up, down, left, and proper. Throw it behind the pickup in your subsequent tailgate get together (like we did with it). And whereas it’s technically not a TV because it doesn’t have a tuner, its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, in addition to its webOS working system, means you possibly can solid to it out of your units by way of AirPlay or entry streaming providers like Netflix. Plus, you get to appear to be a badass spy.
Apple Imaginative and prescient Professional
We couldn’t discuss bizarre and wild 2023 tech with out mentioning the Apple Imaginative and prescient Professional mixed-reality headset that Apple unveiled at its annual WWDC occasion in June. And whereas it isn’t strictly an AV system, Apple gave us lots to speak about with the headset’s TV- and movie-viewing options that promise an immersive expertise that simulates a display as much as 100-feet broad that may reside inside a spread of simulated environments. The micro-OLED show inside options 4K decision and may show 3D content material, and the headset has help for spatial audio. Apart from the truth that it seems to be prefer it was ripped immediately from Prepared Participant One, the Imaginative and prescient Professional acquired greater than it’s share of criticism, primarily for its hovering $3,500 price ticket, but additionally as a result of the VR house has been well-trodden, leaving many questioning what makes this any totally different from, say, a Meta Quest. Nonetheless, a number of hands-on critiques from WWDC reported a formidable expertise, and if Apple can deal with its many points earlier than its launch subsequent yr, 2024 can be giving us a ton to speak about with the Imaginative and prescient Professional.
Dyson Zone noise-canceling, air-purifying headphones
Along with vacuums, hand dryers, and hair equipment, James Dyson has clearly invented a Time Machine. That’s the one believable rationalization for the However till earlier this yr after they had been lastly launched, us mere civilians mustn’t have been prepared for his or her Optimus Prime-like stylings. At a whopping $950, the Dyson Zone options ANC (energetic noise cancellation) and sound high quality that bought fairly favorable critiques throughout the board, but it surely’s the magnetically linked air purifying “visor” that’s onerous to get previous visually. However do they work? When linked, air is pulled in via the earcups and thru two layers of electrostatic filters earlier than streaming out to your nostril and mouth. And whereas the masks doesn’t seal up tightly like an N95 masks, or filter out viruses, the Dyson Zone can filter gases and odors, in addition to air pollution as small as 0.1 microns. Bizarre, sure, however undoubtedly greater than meets the attention. , a tool that’s clearly from our dystopian future.
McIntosh Home of Sound
OK, so it’s extra of a wild expertise than one single piece of AV tech, however the McIntosh Home of Sound, a five-story townhouse in New York Metropolis that’s decked out prime to backside with among the greatest and costliest audio gear on the planet, is one thing that needs to be seen (and heard) to consider. Opened to the general public within the late summer season for personal, guided listening classes, the swanky residence options six curated listening rooms that the McIntosh Group has outfitted with the amplifiers, audio system, turntables, and different gear of its many manufacturers, together with McIntosh, Sonus Faber, Professional-Ject Audio, and Rotel. Highlights embrace its fundamental music listening room that options McIntosh’s 7-foot-tall flagship XRT2.1 audio system (pictured above) and a complete output of 8,000 hair-blowing watts, and the bottom ground’s house theater with its 9.16.4 sound system that features 16 butt-rumbling subwoofers and an enormous projector display. It’s a must-visit the following time you’re within the Massive Apple.
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