Sound and Vision
In the original Cars, from 2006, hotshot racecar Lightning McQueen learned to be a gracious winner but a winner nonetheless. In Cars 2, Pixar learned that they could produce a less than sparkling sequel. Now, in Cars 3, the second Disney-Pixar property to produce a threequel (after Toy Story 3), McQueen is getting older, losing his edge, and suffering both losses and trash talk from newer, sleeker, faster racers. But he goes back into training, gets up to speed (so to speak), and is on the verge of motoring back to the top when….OK, you don’t expect spoilers, do you?
Being a bodyguard is a tough business, but Michael Bryce was at one time considered the best, earning him the distinction of being a triple-A executive protection agent. Unfortunately, if you lose a client, your life will take a turn for the worse, which is exactly what happened to Bryce when he wasn’t able to successfully protect a distinguished Japanese client. Two years have gone by, and in order to make a living, he’s resorted to protecting second-class clients—like lawyers.
AT A GLANCE
Normal or high-gain output
Full and microSD card slots
Native 384/32 PCM and DSD support
Bulky Not as pretty as some other A&K players
USB charger not included
Astell & Kern’s KANN is not only a subtly gorgeous-sounding performer loaded with features. It’s also a great value.
Astell & Kern’s KANN (along with the recently announced AK70 MK II) makes its debut at a time when the dedicated music player is looking more and more like the passenger pigeon. Apple has just killed the innovative, shape-shifting iPod nano and the puny iPod shuffle, leaving only the now unprecedentedly cheap iPod touch, basically an iPhone without the phone, at $199. With Apple uncharacteristically catering to the middle of the market (let’s not even contemplate the $20 nano knockoffs on Amazon), that leaves the high-resolution musicplayer carriage trade to companies like Astell & Kern, FiiO, and HiFiMan, as well as newly hi-res-conscious big brands like Sony, Onkyo, and Pioneer.
Q Are movies on Blu-ray 3D disc delivered in 1080p/24 resolution — the same as regular Blu-ray? If not, what is the resolution for Blu-ray 3D, and does the format use a different, lower-quality form of video compression? —Gilles Gontrand
The PX headphones, Bowers & Wilkins’s first adaptive noise-canceling model, are designed to optimize background noise isolation without distorting the music. They use aptX HD technology, which enables 24-bit resolution over Bluetooth, and provide three noise-canceling modes, each of which can be customized using a free app: “City” mixes in traffic noise so you don’t get run over, “Office” removes background noise without obliterating speech so you can hear your boss yelling at you, and “Flight” cancels jet engine noise.
Nancy Wilson doesn’t like being idle. The noted Northwest-bred guitarist/vocalist was up for tackling new challenges while Heart, the band she and her sister Ann Wilson made famous, decided to take an extended break — and she found exactly what she was looking for with her new six-piece collective, Roadcase Royale.