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You've arrived in a virtual vault of tips, reviews and information about today's:

  • Surround sound receivers and 2 channel audio systems
  • 4K TV, 8K televisions and home theater projectors
  • Outdoor speakers and outdoor TV
  • Universal remotes, smart home technology and home automation
  • Technology blogs and our Youtube video reviews of the latest audio/video components
  • Streaming devices including Apple TV 4K, Roku, Fire devices and more
  • Audio streaming systems including Sonos, Heos, MusicCast and others
  • Best WiFi mesh systems, networking products and methods to enhance your home WiFi

Check us out frequently for information about monthly audio/video sales and tidbits about the electronics industry!

Custom cabinets

Custom cabinet build for electronics, turntable and record collection

Salamander furniture

Salamander Designs audio video credenza

Project S shape

Pro-Ject S-Shape turntable sounds awesome and looks like art!

Martin Logan ESL C on custom shelf

Martin Logan ESL-C center channel speaker on custom cut shelf

Martin Logan Motion60XTi

Big, bad speakers sound amazing...Martin Logan Motion 60XTi tower speaker pair

 

Today’s Project of the Day is one of the jobs that we love that consisted of good audio, custom cabinets, proper design and higher-end audio video components.

SR8015

Marantz SR8015 AVR - This is an awesome heart of your new surround sound system

 

Covid led to many nightmares but one in particular had to do with supply chain and electronics. As an organization, we took a closer look at Marantz as they make quality components AND they did a great job actually spitting out receivers (where some other companies failed miserably. Yamaha…I’m looking at you). After playing with a bunch of them and installing many units, we’ve been very pleased with the performance and feature set. Marantz has always been known for high-end audio but we are a company that believes what we see and test…not what is advertised. After doing this, we are now proud Marantz dealers and have added them to our line-up! Hooray!

 

Saturday, 09 October 2021 19:35

URC MX790 universal remote - URC video review

URC MX790 universal remote

Introducing the URC MX790 universal remote!

 

We have carried URC remotes since our inception in 2006 and one of our team members has been programming them for even longer. One thing that URC does is completely overbuild their remotes so instead of bringing out a new one every year or so like most products, you typically see new products every 5-10 YEARS. This is one of those cases as URC's new MX-790 remote is replacing their old model (MX-780) that existed for over a decade. We put together a video at the link below that details this remote and why a universal remote is a good thing.

URC MX790 universal remote review

 

Saturday, 09 October 2021 17:59

Heos vs Sonos | Is Heos better than Sonos

Heos vs Sonos

Heos vs. Sonos - Who has the best streaming music player today? Is Heos better than Sonos?

 

We wrote an article on this a couple years ago and we've seen that this topic is VERY popular today as it has become our leader in all-time hits! We decided to make a video that details some of the basics when it comes to:

 

The app itself

The ecosystem of related products such as streaming music players, soundbars and portable speakers

The ease of use

Pros and cons of both

 

Saturday, 09 October 2021 11:36

Martin Logan speaker review Part 2

Martin Logan Motion60xti

 

We are ecstatic as one of our long-term employees just came back to our team! This individual happens to have a very similar ear for audio as I do. As a result, I was interested to hear what he had to say about our Martin Logan Motion60XTi tower speakers as we added them to our line-up before he took off. In our earlier review, we touted them as one of the best speakers we had heard under $5K/pair and we highly recommended them. See below for some info.

 

https://www.airetheaterdesigns.com/blog/item/283-best-tv-surround-sound-and-wifi-of-2020-best-tv-best-audio-video-receiver-and-more

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B--DN9kqJcs&t=5s

 

Here's what our guy Danny had to say once he gave them a test drive:

 

"I am going to say right off the bat how impressed I am with these speakers. Their musicality and precision is incredible.  These speakers have me wanting to use words such as - delightful, magical, transcendental, whimsical.  I could go on and on.  They literally left me feeling giddy and excited and entranced, as if taken on an immersive hands-on journey that left a huge smile on my face that only a child in the world’s biggest toy store could understand.  These ML Motion 60 XTis are the real deal!

There is amazing separation and clarity in all three ranges (highs, mids and lows/bass) which allowed me to easily and distinctly pick up on each and every sound and instrument being played.  The incredible precision and speed and clarity of the tweeters are mind blowing.  The mid-range is nicely present and punchy without sounding muddled or messy. They produce a fantastic full range soundstage and image in your mind, literally taking you inside the recording. This allows you to actually feel and “see” the instruments being played on the various spots on the stage. 

I used a couple demo albums that are well recorded and mastered. While listening to Hotel California on the “Hell Freezes Over” CD from the Eagles, it seemed I could actually see and hear each grain of rice in the rice shaker as Don Henley shakes it to the beat while belting out his notes.  I fully came to appreciate the first track on Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” album (I just wasn’t a fan before).  That static rip that plays on a loop in the song actually has impressive depth and character to it. These are things that I wasn’t able to hear before on other speakers but that come to life on these Motion 60XTi speakers.  The vocals sound clear and present, residing right behind the instrumentation of the music – not too forward, but not lost in the back either.  WONDERFUL – AMAZING!

After my preliminary testing, I can confidently and whole-heartedly say that these Martin Logans are now my favorite speakers by far that we carry.  And to tell you the truth, they are a STEAL at their list price of $3750/pr.  For anyone who loves music and movies and loves actually getting lost in the experience, these are the floor-standing speakers for you! You will not be disappointed!"

 

It was nice to have my listening observations confirmed. Moral of the story: Martin Logan really just rocks.

Want Martin Logan speakers in Southern California or San Diego? Give us a call and we'd be glad to get you rocking as well! 

Sonos out of stock

Sonos out of stock - Order today and it ships 10/15/2021...what's up with that?

 

Sonos out of stock for 3 1/2 months? No surround sound receivers in the United States? These are some uncharted times in the electronics industry. Here's some information about what is going on and the best way to proceed if you are looking to buy any forms of Sonos, AV receivers or many other types of electronics in the near future.

There is currently a perfect storm of a semi-conductor shortage, a fire in a chipset factory in Japan, factories that were down for Covid and other factors that have made it VERY difficult to procure home electronics. Unfortunately, there is a lack of information combined with a ton of MISinformation that is making it difficult to assess what is in stock and when will electronics be back in. Here are some elements to consider.

 

1) Many of the ETAs that you will see on-line are FALSE: We constantly see misinformation on Amazon and other sites stating that certain products will be in stock in a week or less when we know that these products won't exist for months. This is a common bait-and-switch tactic used by many sellers on Amazon (keep in mind that in most cases, this isn't Amazon itself but it is a seller on Amazon that makes these claims) where they will state that the product will be in shortly and then once they have your money, you'll get a message in 1-2 weeks stating "There was a delay at the factory and your product may take a little longer...". Our advice is to purchase products from US or a brick-and-mortar store/popular business like Best Buy or Crutchfield where this misinformation will be minimal.

2) Minimal fulfillment: We are only receiving a small portion of the inventory that we previously received. This means that our standard orders that might take 1-2 days may now take 1-2 months as the amount of inventory that is doled out from the manufacturers to a certain region is very minimal. Ex: We ordered 13 Sonos AMPs a few months back and normally we would get them all in 1-2 days. It is now months later and we just got 1 instead of 13.

3) Misinformation from many manufacturers: Unfortunately, many manufacturers feel that they want to hide any form of back-order lists or inventory shortages from businesses and sales teams (I have gotten this from 2 big audio companies specifically). This is unbelievable to us as we feel that the best course of action is to be truthful, whether good or bad, so people can make decisions and know when to expect their products.

Some of this additional misformation I attribute to communication issues at manufacturer level. This is gotten MUCH WORSE since Covid. Ex: I got a consumer-direct e-mail from Denon stating that a specific Denos HEOS streaming amp was in stock. I knew that they didn't exist and checked with our rep to make sure. They confirmed that the product was nowhere in the USA and acknowledged that they didn't know why that e-mail was sent out.

 

So the above is what's going on...what are some solutions?

 

1) Buy it NOW: This sounds like a cheesy sales line but due to the shortages and misinformation, if you know that there is a product you want, make an order and get in the queue. We have had orders where we were told by a manufacturer that it was in stock, we placed the order instantly and we were then told that they were OUT-of-stock and it would be another 30-60 days for the product.  We've been doing this for 25 years and we've never seen this type of uncertainty re: inventory levels and stock. Making a commitment and getting in the queue will ensure that you are at least in line.

2) Be patient and consider the above points: As long as you know what you are getting into re: delays and possible shortages, it is easier to mitigate any problems that this might cause. This is a worldwide shortage right now...it'll work itself out soon.

 

We saw some of this coming and made deep orders in Sonos and in AV receivers to hopefully keep products in stock during this difficult time. Unfortunately we miscalculated and didn't order enough but as of this second we still have Sonos ARC soundbars in stock, Marantz NR1711 AV receivers in stock and other categories that don't exist on Amazon, Best Buy, etc. NOTE: This can change minute-to-minute.

Hopefully this information is helpful and we are hoping that everything gets back to normal by the end of year. Looking for Sonos San Diego? Find Sonos, surround sound receivers and lots of other electronic toys here at Aire Theater Designs in San Diego and So Cal!

 

 

 

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