Audio|Video|Misc

Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe: Asus HTPC sound card does Everything

Audio|Video|Misc
Xonar's top-of-the-line sound card tries to do everything, including a few things that, strictly speaking, it shouldn't have to. It's the first audio card to support HDCP and PAP, which means it can stream high resolution audio formats like Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio without downsampling. It also boasts high quality analogue circuitry, including Burr Brown DACs and replaceable op-amps from National Semiconductor. It designed to make audiophiles and home theater nuts excited about audio. The only question is, can it make them shell out over 200 bucks?

How to stop the whining noise of your LCD monitor

Audio|Video|Misc
The high pitched noise from many LCD monitors when their brightness is reduced can be utterly distracting. Here's a simple workaround that can work quite well with most monitors for many users. Also, please participate in our Quiet / Noisy Monitor Survey!

AudioEngine A2: Little Big Speakers

Audio|Video|Misc
Computer speakers are not my thing, and I'm a late convert to MP3s. For the longest time, neither seemed to sound good enough. The SqueezeBox3 converted me to digital audio files, and MP3s started slipping into my music collection. Now, Audioengine's A2 powered speakers are bending my ears and semi-idiophiliac attitudes. Find out how.

PC Hi-Fi: Scythe's Kama Bay Amp

Audio|Video|Misc
Most SPCR reviews are about eliminating noise, but Scythe's Kama Bay Amp is all about making noise — as accurately as possible. A stereo amp in an optical bay may not be for everyone, but for those frustrated with trying to get high quality computer audio, it may be a godsend. Why limit yourself to computer speakers when you can choose from a vast selection of superior quality hi-fi speakers for the low cost of this amp?

Quiet Mice from Quiet Mouse

Audio|Video|Misc
A mouse isn't a loud component, but they do make noise, and that noise can be irritating, especially for those who aren't actually using them. There have been a few quiet mouse released before, but these two mice from Quiet Mouse are the first to reach the shores of North America. Are they quiet? Yes. Do you need one? Read the article to find out.

Samsung SyncMaster XL20 LED-backlight monitor

Audio|Video|Misc
The XL20 is Samsung's first LED-backlight LCD monitor, released about a year ago and promoted for graphics artists and imaging professionals keen on high color accuracy. SPCR's interest in it was mainly to check the power consumption, as this is one of the often-repeated benefits of LED-backlight LCD monitors. My conflicted reaction to the XL20: The more I used it, the more I wanted to keep it, despite the audible (admittedly low) noise of its fan.

Samsung SyncMaster 931BW

Audio|Video|Misc
The Samsung SyncMaster 931BW is a modestly priced wide screen 1440x900 LCD monitor with both Analog RGB (VGA) and DVI inputs and a claimed response time of 2ms. This review is a kind of spot check on what most SPCR readers assume to be facts: That modern LCD monitors have very good performance, great fit and look on the desktop (and elsewhere), make no significant noise, draw little power and produce little heat. Is this true of the 931BW?

Squeezebox 3 Digital Music Box

Audio|Video|Misc
This unusual product by Slim Devices is a bridge between a stereo and a PC. The visible portion looks like a large, stylish digital clock -- but it has a remote. The invisible portion is a music server software that runs on a PC anywhere within reasonable distance. A wide variety of digital music files can be accessed through the Squeezebox and played into the stereo. The connection to the PC is via ethernet, either wired or wireless. It's one of the most exciting PC products we've come across; it's also one of the most exciting audio devices. Our very first audio/PC component review.

Zalman ZM-RS6F Surround Sound Headphones

Audio|Video|Misc
Gentle Reader, your first question may be: "Why is Silent PC Review reviewing headphones? Aren't headphones supposed to be, you know, not silent?" While it does seem off-topic on the surface, there are some good reasons why this sort of product, and this product in particular, is right up our alley. Zalman ZM-RS6F Surround Sound Headphones

Samsung 173T LCD Monitor

Audio|Video|Misc
The Samsung SyncMaster 173T is essentially a slim-bezel version with digital input of the 173B LCD monitor reviewed several weeks ago. The 173T is even sleek and handsome in black (also in silver), with the modern minimalist look that Samsung has cultivated in all of its products lately.

Samsung 173B LCD Monitor

Audio|Video|Misc
Samsung 173B Monitor ReviewThe Samsung SyncMaster 173B is the first monitor to be reviewed by SPCR. A monitor with sleek style, the 173B is silent. No hum, buzz or whine. How is it to actually use? In short, perfectly fine for most folks and applications, and its landscape / portrait pivoting fuction is great. But do read the review, please.

Samsung ML-2150 Laser Printer

Audio|Video|Misc
The Samsung ML-2150 is the second printing device to be submitted for review, another substantial no-nonsense business machine. It's bit quieter than the Samsung multifunction reviewed a couple weeks ago; still not silent in idle, only in sleep. But it is a super-capable laser printer with automatic double sided printing. That makes the Samsung ML-2150 worthy of modding for silence! For US$400, it seems amazing.

Samsung SCX-4216F Multifunction Printer

Audio|Video|Misc
It's another first: The Samsung Laser MFP SCX-4216F is the first printing device to be submitted for review at SilentPCReview. This 4-in-1 unit prints, faxes, scans and copies, quickly with a godd deal of competence. It's quite a nice unit, though not particularly or unusually quiet. It is a good way to reduce the clutter of many stand-alone office machines.
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