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

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

These 6 Songs Can Give any System a Sonic Workout 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? Most likely, when you audition new speakers you might want to buy, you have some go-to music that you know well that helps you evaluate how that new component will perform. That’s an excellent way to see if the new equipment will move the needle for you. Along that line, we’d like to suggest some songs that can help you evaluate your next high-end audio upgrade for your Chicago home. These were chosen for the way they push the envelope of a speaker and system’s capabilities. Ready to test these out? Let’s go! SEE ALSO: Elevate the Listening Experience on Your High-End Audio System   The Line on Bass Bass is important. We know, so much of today’s pop and rock music tends to be “all about that bass.” We won’t even mention rap and hip-hop; it couldn’t exist without bass. Nevertheless, even if you love listening to classical music all day...
3 Features to Look For in Home Surveillance Systems

3 Features to Look For in Home Surveillance Systems

Gain More Flexibility and Security with Pro-Level Solutions 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. SEE ALSO: Our Summer Safety Checklist for your Home Surveillance System   Higher Grade Cameras When it comes to TVs and smartphone cameras, you likely know that 4K is rapidly becoming the new standard for video. In surveillance cameras – especially consumer systems – that has come more slowly. If you want to capture footage in the best quality and detail, you might consider future-proofing your system with 4K capability. Luma, one of our preferred surveillance camera brands, has recently released its 410 Series outdoor cameras with 8MP 4K resolutions. The higher resolution sensor captures more light and detail and also improves contrast and low-light performance. Why is higher resolution important? The more data, the more you can analyze. Just...
Wow Your Clients with Luxurious and Stylish Motorized Window Treatments

Wow Your Clients with Luxurious and Stylish Motorized Window Treatments

Motorized Shading and Window Treatments Are the Crowning Touch for Smart Homes 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. SEE ALSO: Why Are Motorized Shades and Blinds an Essential Smart Home Feature? Lutron Palladiom If you’re working on a condo project with a magnificent view of Lake Michigan with a modern aesthetic, Lutron’s Palladiom line would be an excellent choice. Palladiom’s design language is one of contemporary, form-follows-function style. Palladiom does not hide the roller or brackets behind a facia; it exposes them in the way that Audi’s R8 supercar shows off its engine under glass – so you can appreciate the craftsmanship. Palladiom doesn’t hide the technology; it celebrates it. Palladiom – along with all of Lutron’s shading solutions – features some of the most powerful yet quietest motors in the business. You...
Take Your Home Theater to the Next Level

Take Your Home Theater to the Next Level

Upgrade Your Home Theater Installation with the Best in Seating, Projection, and Audio 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. SEE ALSO: Discover the Wonders of a Smart Home Theater   Sony Projectors The first thing you think about in home theaters is likely the picture and screen. Bigger is mostly better, as long as the seating distance from the screen fits the screen size and room parameters. But picture quality is paramount too, as you want a sharp, vibrant picture no matter what content you’re watching, from cable TV to Netflix to movies from Blu-ray discs. No matter your setup, you cannot go wrong with Sony projectors. The Sony ES projector line is filled with state-of-the-art features and technology. Features...
Let Savant Home Automation Reduce  Everyday Stress

Let Savant Home Automation Reduce Everyday Stress

Let Smart Technology Sweat the Routines While You Juggle Work, School, and Entertainment 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. SEE ALSO: Savant Home Automation: Power at Your Fingertips   Harness the Power of Light Light has a profound effect on our bodies, mood, and energy levels. With everyone at home juggling multiple tasks simultaneously, the right light is essential for different activities. Proper task lighting is critical to maintain focus and reduce fatigue. With lots of time spent indoors, using natural light effectively also helps mood and natural rhythms. Motorized shading and window treatments are incredibly convenient; they help manage natural light streaming into the house in different areas. You can control them to let in just the right amount of sunlight, letting just enough of the outside in while minimizing glare and heat buildup. The best part is that one touch on a wall keypad or touchscreen can set all the windows up just...
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...