By Don Lindich
Week 14, 2020
Q. I was looking for reasonably priced noise-cancelling headphones when I read your column about the ZVOX AV50 AccuVoice noise-cancelling headphones for $69.99, reduced from $149.99. I went to the ZVOX website and they are showing sold out already. Bummer!
-K.S., San Jose, CA
A. I received many emails like yours over the weekend. You will be pleased to know they are not sold out and you can still get the headphones for $69.99 instead of $149.99.
I contacted ZVOX and they explained that their home state closed all non-essential businesses due to the coronavirus, so it was illegal for them to keep their fulfillment center open. They sent their inventory to Amazon and are selling the headphones there for the same $69.99 price, with free shipping. The offer runs through Mother’s Day, May 10th.
Q. What do you think of the Emotiva Airmotiv T-1+ speakers versus the T-Zero speakers you like so much? I am building a system with speakers, receiver and a CD player for a large room and have about $1700 to spend. What else would you recommend to complete the system? My budget is $1,700 for everything.
-D.E., Minneapolis, MN
A. The $699 Emotiva Airmotiv T1+ is an improved version of the T1, which stood one model above the $399 T-Zero in the product line. My insider at Emotiva told me that though the larger T-1 had more bass, the T-Zero was considered a better speaker overall because of refinements it had compared to the earlier models. Fortunately the T1 sounded so good that if you needed more bass then the T-Zero, you could buy the bigger speakers and never know you were missing anything.
The T1+ incorporates the same refinements found in the T-Zero so I would consider it the better speaker and worth the extra money if you have a large room.
Deals seem to be a hot topic lately and Emotiva recently announced a 30% back in Emobucks deal, which will get you 30% of your purchase price back as a store credit.
I would buy the T1+ speakers for $699, check out, then go back and use your $209 credit towards one of Emotiva’s excellent CD players. I would like to recommend their TA-100 receiver to buy with your Emobucks, but you have a large room, which likely requires more power than the 50-watt TA-100 provides. I would get Cambridge Audio’s AXR85 receiver, which has 85 clean watts per channel, an easy-to-use FM tuner, built-in Bluetooth and great looks and sound for $399. You could add their $349 AXC35 CD player if you want the electronics to match, and save your $209 in Emobucks for another day.
If anyone wants to build a new system around the famed Emotiva T-Zero tower speakers, the 30% back is especially compelling. Buy the T-Zero towers for $399, check out and pay for your order. Then you can use the $119 in Emobucks towards the $399 TA-100 receiver. This will get you an Emotiva system with speakers and amplification for only $679. That is a remarkable value for a high-end manufacturer.
You do not need expensive electronics to make this $679 system sing. It has a digital converter built-in so you can buy a cheap $40 DVD player (or use one you have around the house) and use it to play CDs through the digital connection. Use the $49 Emotiva BTM-1 Bluetooth dongle to add Bluetooth functionality, and you can play vinyl for an extra $99 with the Audio-Technica AT-LP60 turntable. audio-technica.com