Don't judge a speaker by its size

Clear as a bell: The new Axis Voice Box S speakers are about the size of a stack of books on your bedside table.

Rod Easdown   New small speakers from Axis produce remarkable sound – but there are two points to get past.

New systems fill your home with music

The Heos speaker system from Denon.

Rod Easdown   Think of your music reaching every room in your house so no matter where you are, you’re hearing it in full-bodied richness and detail rather than echoing down the hall.

TV soundbars move into ultra-premium quality bracket

Focal Dimension

Rod Easdown   Most buyers spend $500 or less on TV soundbars, but lately many people have been spending much more.

Headphone makers carve into wood's sonic properties

The Audio Technica Maestoso headphones are made of teak.

Rod Easdown   From the Shun Mook record clamp to turntable tone arms and speaker cabinets, wood has long been a staple material in hi-fi products.

Portable sound machines have travelled far

B&O A2

Rod Easdown   There are several things to think about before buying. Sound quality is the most obvious and you can only judge this by listening.

Home DJs warned: protect your grooves

The Pro-Ject Debut III

Rod Easdown   We know vinyl records have made a comeback, but remember that they're easily damaged by poor-quality turntables.

Legendary amp returns for purist ears

Packs a punch: Musical Fidelity's Nu-Vista 800 pumps out 330 watts per channel.

Rod Easdown   The Nu-Vista amp – the first using nuvistor valves – was released in 1999, but the supply quickly dwindled. Now they're back with extra punch.

The Age stories come to life in photographs

Kathleen Whelan has compiled <i>Photography of The Age</i>.

Terry Lane   A new book by Kathleen Whelan celebrates more than 100 years of photography in the pages of The Age newspaper.

Tune your room to get the best sounds

Good listening: Where should your chair be?

Rod Easdown   Most hi-fi enthusiasts spend lots of money on equipment and next to nothing on the room in which the stuff is deployed.

Sound needs room to groove

Acoustic panels can range from plain to decorative.

Rod Easdown   There are acoustic aids that can be tailored to any room, made specifically for music rooms and home theatres.

TV sales staff put a little curve to their spin

Take note of what display TVs are showing - animations always look great.

Rod Easdown   There is plenty to look at when shopping for a new TV.

Sound advice for neighbourhood peace

One of the most interesting ground-based systems is Sonance's€™ new SonArray.

Rod Easdown   You can get good sound from backyard speaker systems, but do you need it?

Sound advice closes the deal

Plug and play: One-brand units such as this from Yamaha offer simplicity.

Rod Easdown   Multi-component hi-fi set-ups can provide superior sound but one-brand units offer appealing simplicity.

Serious gamers shoot for hair-trigger views

Professional gamers and those who are serious about their play pay special attention to their screens.

Rod Easdown   The market for the special computer screens is exploding along with the growing popularity of highly-visual games.

SIGHT & SOUND

Soundbar solution for flat TVs

Soundbase: The larger Solo 15 will take screens up to 127cm and 34 kilograms.

Rod Easdown   Generally even premium televisions have dreadful sound.

Music lovers ditch buds for headphones

Top brands include the McIntosh MHP1000.

Rod Easdown   Along with sounding far better, a good set of headphones are a lot more comfortable than buds.

Dirty records come clean

Dust-busters: Spin Clean units are powerful cleaners.

Rod Easdown   A good record cleaner is essential for anyone who buys second-hand vinyl at garage sales.

Take your music for a spin in a new machine

SACD capability: Yamaha CDS1000.

Rod Easdown   There's still life in the compact disc as a medium for music, especially if you have the right player.

Film buffs grapple with the big picture

Sharper: LG's 213-centimetre 84UB980T ultra high definition TV is $12,999, but is sharper than a projector in a bright environment.

Rod Easdown   Like a big screen? TV is easier, but a projection system is like going to the movies.

Premium hi-fi system music to the ears

Good start: A Musical Fidelity M3si amplifier.

Rod Easdown   That old stereo set-up may sound fine, but technology has changed and today's top systems not only sound good but look good too.