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How to Test the Mettle of Your High-End Audio Speakers

How to Test the Mettle of Your High-End Audio Speakers

Those of you with an audio obsession – often referred to as audiophiles – you are always on a quest for the perfect sound quality. Of course, you probably know it, but it’s more of a journey than a destination. There’s always some new amplifier, speaker, turntable, or piece of equipment that takes things up another notch, right?

There’s nothing wrong with your obsession. It’s what makes audiophilia a fun, if sometimes expensive, hobby. And isn’t it fun to hear your favorite music reproduced with the kind of impact and presence as if the artist or band is right there in the room playing just for you?

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Elevate the Listening Experience on Your High-End Audio System

Elevate the Listening Experience on Your High-End Audio System

New Lossless and High-Resolution Streaming Services Raise the Bar for Digital Music Sound Quality To some audiophiles, streaming music has had a bad connotation. In large part, it has to do with services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music all using compressed audio formats for streaming to devices like mobile phones. Some audio purists only want to listen to lossless music or the warm analog sound of vinyl records. You can’t blame audiophiles for eschewing compressed music. They spend many thousands of dollars on their high-end audio systems, and good equipment exposes all the warts in heavily compressed music. If you’re a high-end audio enthusiast in Lincoln Park, IL, you want your system to sound as good as possible. But there’s no denying the convenience of being able to call up most of the world’s recorded music with a few taps on your smartphone or tablet. Fortunately, after years of focusing on interfaces and easy access at the expense of audio quality, there is a return to the pursuit of better sound with digital music. Music services like Tidal, Amazon Music HD, and Qobuz are leading the way with lossless and high-resolution music, available for easy streaming. If you’re still digging through racks of CDs, you may want to keep reading! SEE ALSO: 3 Characteristics of a High-End Audio System Lossless Streaming Music streaming, like downloads, started with compression for a simple reason. When digital music on computers began in the mid-1990s, storage space and internet bandwidth were at a premium. Today, with fast internet that streams 4K video and seemingly unlimited cheap storage in many devices, lossless... read more
3 Features to Look For in Home Surveillance Systems

3 Features to Look For in Home Surveillance Systems

You don’t have to look hard these days for home security devices. A myriad of cameras, video doorbells, sensors, and other consumer electronic devices are available for do-it-yourself home security and surveillance.

So are these products effective home surveillance systems for your Chicago, IL home? The answer depends on your needs. The devil, as they say, is often in the details. We won’t tell you these consumer solutions are not effective; they are. On the other hand, we’d like to point out some of the advantages you get with a professional-level solution. And, when consumer solutions start offering the level of features that professional solutions have, their pricing starts looking much more expensive as well.

Let’s take a closer look and give you a better awareness of three critical features of home surveillance systems, which will help you make informed choices.

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Wow Your Clients with Luxurious and Stylish Motorized Window Treatments

Wow Your Clients with Luxurious and Stylish Motorized Window Treatments

As an architect or designer, chances are you have something that distinguishes your work from the rest. It may be a specific design flair that you include in every project, and your clients may even seek you out specifically for that signature design element.

We would humbly like to suggest another element that will be sure to capture your clients’ imagination – and continue to please them every time they use it. Motorized window treatments can be the epitome of luxury and convenience in your Chicago residential projects, whether for a high-rise condominium off the Magnificent Mile or a townhouse remodel in Lincoln Park.

One of the best names in powered shades and window treatments is Lutron, the same company that leads in lighting control solutions. Keep reading to explore the best features of two of Lutron’s high-end motorized windows treatment options.

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Take Your Home Theater to the Next Level

Take Your Home Theater to the Next Level

We’ve all spent much more time at home than ever. Fortunately, as the health situation slowly improves in Chicagoland and across Illinois, we are starting to get back to some level of normalcy. That said, no doubt you have depended on home entertainment to provide a much-needed mental break. If you have a home theater or media room, it’s probably gotten a workout lately.

With all the time you may have been spending in your home theater, you might be dreaming about some ways you could enhance it. Perhaps a larger screen and sharper projector for more cinematic visuals? Bigger, bolder sound that truly immerses you in the show? Or maybe even more luxurious seating that makes you never want to leave your home theater?

If any of those have crossed your mind lately, we have some excellent suggestions for upgrading your home theater installation in Naperville. Read on to see some of our favorites.

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Take the Entertainment Outside with an Outdoor Speaker System

Take the Entertainment Outside with an Outdoor Speaker System

With all the time you’ve likely spent at home lately, the changes of scenery we might have taken for granted from activities like eating out or the movie theater seem like exciting things to look forward to again. The time will come soon.

In the meantime, staying at home can still be lots of fun, especially with the right upgrades. We don’t mean to minimize the health crisis in the least, but all the time at home likely makes you notice things that can be improved. One area that we think adds both great fun factor and value is outdoor entertainment. With an outdoor speaker system, TVs, and smart control, you can turn your Chicago home patio, garden, or backyards into an entertainment oasis. Not only will it give you a much-needed change of pace from the indoors, but it will also add value to your property and the “wow” factor for entertaining.

Read on for some of our favorite outdoor entertainment upgrades.

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Let Savant Home Automation Reduce  Everyday Stress

Let Savant Home Automation Reduce Everyday Stress

With social distancing and restrictions an unfortunate reality of current life for some time, stress is on the rise. Home has always been many things, but now home is the center for work, school, and entertainment as outside options are curtailed.

With the whole family in the house – including perhaps your college-age child unexpectedly back home – life at home is busier and needs to balance multiple priorities for everyone at the same time.

With all that is going on, why not let smart technology take a bit of the load off? Here are some tips on how a Savant home automation system can sweat the small stuff in your Chicago, IL home while you focus on more important things.

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Why Hire a Professional Home Automation Company?

Why Hire a Professional Home Automation Company?

More Often than Not, It Pays to Hire an Expert Smart devices and home automation products are everywhere these days. The success of smart assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple’s Homekit has certainly popularized Jetsons-style futuristic control over many home features, especially thermostats, lighting, and audio entertainment. There’s no shortage of smart lights, cameras, locks, thermostats, and more. Can you build an automated home using consumer DIY products found at your local electronics store? The short answer is yes; you can automate your home using some of these products. The real question is, what do you consider an automated home to be? With some DIY products, you might end up with a collection of smart devices that don’t always work in harmony. You could end up with many devices that you can control remotely via voice and smartphone, but the sum of them add up to something less than an automated home. So, should you hire a professional home automation company (like Barretts Technology Solutions) to make your home smart? Of course, we’ll make the case below. Keep reading! SEE ALSO: Which Home Automation System is Right for Me? What to Consider We’ll admit to you right here: by and large, most DIY consumer smart devices work well. Lights will turn on and off via your voice, and a Nest thermostat will obey your smartphone changes and even adjust based on your location. The issues tend to arise when you want a group of different devices to work together consistently, and not execute automation sequences as if it was an occasional parlor trick. So here are... read more
3 Telltale Signs of Home Networking Problems

3 Telltale Signs of Home Networking Problems

These Signs May Indicate You Need a Network Upgrade These days, connectivity is a must-have utility, right up there with electricity. Our connected world is dependent on the internet for most day to day activities, whether it’s’ work, school, or entertainment. When your apps or computers aren’t behaving as you expect, it’s often challenging to figure out what’s wrong. Is it the software, the hardware, or a connectivity issue? There is the tried-and-true method of restarting devices that often cures many ills, but frequent problems point to something else – and sometimes it’s your network that’s failing you. How do you determine if you’re having home networking problems in your Chicago, IL home? Read on for three telltale signs. SEE ALSO: Behind the Scenes: How Home Networking Impacts Your System   Weak Wireless Is there a sore spot in your home for wireless signals? For example, your tablet can keep a connection only in one corner of your expansive family room. If you are relying on the wireless router/modem supplied by your internet provider, it may not have the range and coverage to blanket your entire home with a robust wireless signal. What’s the solution? Strategically placed wireless access points can solve the problem, as well as higher-end routers with the latest Wi-Fi standards, better antennas, and stronger radios for range. Alternatively, mesh networking solutions that daisy chain connectivity may be right for your property.   Slow Connections Slow connections can be a result of many things, and it’s often difficult to narrow down the issue. The best way to diagnose them is to restart a problem device, and also... read more
What’s Your Ideal Media Room Installation?

What’s Your Ideal Media Room Installation?

What’s a media room? Some people might say it’s also a home theater, and it can be that, too. A home theater tends to be a room tailored for longer-form content like films, while a media room might double as a family room, living room, or recreational space.

While you shouldn’t be concerned about calling your media space the home theater, media room, or anything else, thinking about how you will use it will guide you to make the right choices to create the ideal media room installation that fits your Chicago, IL home.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dig into some critical questions and considerations.

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