Browsing Archive 2009

Samsung UN55B8500 55” LED TV


By Chelsey P – Sonic Electronix Writer

Introducing the UN55B8500, Samsung’s brand new ultra-thin 55″ LED Television. This LED Television is equipped with 1080p and anti-blur technology. Images seem to come to life with amazing contrast, color and clarity. One thing that will be noticeably different is the 7,000,000:1 Mega contrast that provides an incredible range of brightness from the blackest blacks to the whitest whites. This TV also features Advanced Color Processing enabling a wider range of natural colors and provides a greater depth for a more appealing picture. And with the Auto Motion Plus technology to eliminate motion blur, the result is an unbelievable picture.

Just like the UN55B8000, this television has a slim design at only 1.6” deep. This razor thin screen can be mounted on any wall, just like a picture frame, making it convenient for tight spaces.  And with the gray “Touch of Color”, it looks more like a work of art than a television.

The Samsung 8 Series televisions have easy to use widgets that let you watch TV, view photos on Flickr and even check the stocks on Yahoo. Access your videos, music and photos from your PC wirelessly to enjoy them on your television or use the USB 2.0 input to upload your pictures straight to the LED TV. If you don’t feel like watching television, visit the Content Library Flash feature where you can play a game of chess or find cooking recipes. There are hours of built-in entertainment features that you can personalize to suit your needs.

The UN55B8500 is an innovative flat-panel television that has an incredible picture and can be enjoyed by the whole family.


Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT Review


By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

There are ordinary car stereos, and then there is the Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT. This model replaces the AVIC-Z3 in the line of Pioneer in-dash stereos. Talk about an upgrade – the AVIC-Z110BT is loaded with extra goodies. It has built-in Bluetooth, higher preamp voltage (4V as compared to the paltry 2.2V found in the AVIC-Z3), a 7-Band graphic equalizer with 6 presets (as opposed to the 3-Band, 5-preset EQ found in the AVIC-Z3), built-in flash memory maps, a built-in traffic tuner (the Z3 required an additional purchase), a speed display in navigation mode to help you avoid tickets, 1 set of RCA outputs, a rear USB input, and a SD card reader. Yeah, you might say it’s an upgrade.

This double DIN head unit is replete with a plush 7″ LCD Monitor that nearly spans across its entire frame. You can use the touchscreen monitor to access the built-in GPS navigation, Bluetooth, and to play media loaded on the SD and USB inputs. This receiver will also play your DVD’s, audio CD’s, and MP3’s. What’s more, you can use your iPod or iPhone with this unit to play any media stored on your Apple devices. Best of all, the AVIC-Z110BT has a customizable home screen, which allows you to set up shortcuts to all of your favorite devices. This makes it quick and easy to access them. And for those of you who really like to personalize your car stereos, you will appreciate how this unit allows you to use one of your personal photos as its background.


In comparison to the AVIC-Z3, the AVIC-Z110BT provides noticeably better sound quality due to the higher preamp voltage. The 4V makes a difference when transferring your audio to the rest of your components in your car audio system. Beyond excellent preamp voltage, its voice activation controls are worth mentioning. You can  vocally command the AVIC-Z110BT to run your navigation, play music from your iPod, or to make calls with the hands-free Bluetooth function. And this unit is smart enough to talk back – the text to speech technology announces the actual street name to help keep your eyes on the road and on the lookout for upcoming turns.

Lastly, the AVIC-Z110BT does not skimp on expandability options: besides everything mentioned above, you can add Satellite radio, HD radio, a rear camera, and even retain your steering wheel controls. There is very little this stereo can’t do – it is truly a 5-star model worthy of the price tag.

Watch this demo of the Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT to learn more:


CEA-2006 Compliant – Amplifiers

By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

Have you ever read the line that says “CEA-2006 compliant” on an amplifier’s features and thought to yourself, “I wonder what that means..”? CEA-2006 compliant is not just an advertising claim. If an amplifier is CEA-2006 compliant, that means that this amp has been tested by the Consumer Electronics Association to verify its ratings. By meeting the CEA 2006 standards, you can trust that the amplifier’s ratings are accurate. CEA 2006 tests the two most important amplifier ratings (and the two ratings that are the most likely to be fabricated): RMS Power (how loud it plays) and Signal-to-Noise ratio (how clearly it sounds). Both car amplifiers and car stereos undergo CEA 2006 testing in order to verify their external amp power rating. The CEA logo will appear on the boxes of products that meet the standards.

Are manufacturers required to submit their products to the CEA-2006 testing? Unfortunately, the answer is no. CEA-2006 testing is voluntary, so not all manufacturers send their products in for testing. Some manufacturers may overstate an amplifier’s power ratings to make it seem more powerful, and as a result, appear more valuable. This is why CEA-2006 testing is so important. In order to avoid buying amps with inflated power numbers, you should only believe the ratings of CEA tested products.

In order to make the testing uniform, CEA uses a standard that measures an amplifier’s RMS power and signal-to-noise ratio. This allows consumers to compare amplifiers across the industry. The consistency of the testing guarantees that all car amplifiers are measured equally, and most importantly, that they have accurate ratings. The CEA logo is officially licensed by the Consumer Electronics Association to guarantee that the product ratings comply with the CEA 2006 standard. Besides a CEA logo, CEA tested products mention CEA compliancy in the manual and on the manufacturer website. Avoid false marketing schemes and buy CEA tested products.


Eclipse XA1200 Mono Amplifier


By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

When it comes to amps, you don’t want to skimp on power. Did you know that slightly over-powering your subwoofers is actually better than slightly under-powering them? With the Eclipse XA1200 mono amplifier, power will not be a problem. If you wire this amp at 4 ohms, it will produce an impressive 500 watts of RMS power. Better yet, at 2 ohms it can produce 600 watts of RMS power. The advanced MOSFET power supply ensures a steady flow of wattage will be fed into the subwoofer from the amplifier. This amp is also designed with the special ICEpower technology, which means that for its power, this amp requires less energy and space than the average amp.

The Eclipse XA-1200 includes a wired remote bass level control, a key user-friendly feature. The bass remote allows you to adjust the bass output without having to access the amp itself. You can boost the bass from 0-8 decibels. In terms of heat dissipation, its heavy duty aluminum alloy heatsink allows you to push the XA1200 at the top output levels without overheating. While in action the amp’s blue led indicator lights up to signal that the power is flowing. This complements the black and silver finish.

With two 40A fuses and a built-in variable low-pass filter (40-500 Hz), this amp is well-equipped and will provide superior sound quality to your vehicle. Besides this amp, all you need is an amp wiring kit to install the missing piece to your great system. We recommend using a 4-gauge power and ground installation kit when it comes time to install your amp. And once you hook this amp up, you will be able to hear and feel the difference from the way your subs pound!

Watch the Eclipse XA1200 Video Review


Pioneer Premier DEH-P410UB


By Chelsey P. – Sonic Electronix Writer

Everyone is looking for a great deal this holiday season, and if you’re trying to find a gift for the last person on your list, why not give them something that will give them joy and great music! A new CD player is a great gift idea for those in your life who need a unit that can do it all without a fancy display and confusing interface. Pioneer Premier head units are made with the highest quality materials and will give your vehicle the sound it needs for years to come.

The Pioneer Premier DEH-P410UB is an in-dash CD/MP3 receiver with direct iPod connectivity and a front 3.5mm auxiliary input. The rear USB connection is perfect for someone with an iPod. There is no need for additional iPod modules, which means less money and installation time. A great feature unique to this Pioneer unit is the Advanced Sound Retriever technology. This restores the lost audio frequencies in compressed music, resulting in enhanced music playback. This head unit has many more options besides great iPod playback and audio features. For example, you can add Bluetooth and Sirius Satellite radio.

As you may have noticed in our previous post, we have our own 12V testing bay. So of course, I had to take this unit and test out all it’s features before introducing it to you. The OEL (Organic Electro Luminescence) display showed my iPod information such as artist and song information right there on the screen. This is a major plus in my book since I always have to know who I’m listening to.

The Pioneer Premier DEH-P410UB is a great Christmas gift and with all of its wonderful features, it will make anyone happy!