Q: I recently got a used JVC EM39FT flat-screen TV that I use with a Comcast DVR box via HDMI. I have a vintage stereo with a Sansui receiver and Scott speakers. Can I connect the TV to my stereo for better sound?
A: This model of TV makes it very easy for you. It has red/white RCA audio outputs on the side of the TV. Just connect them to any receiver input (other than phono) and you are good to go. Anything you play on the TV will play through the receiver.
Most new flat-panel TVs lack these audio outputs. In this case, connect the red/white audio outputs on the Comcast DVR set-top box to the receiver. You do the same for your Blu-ray player or DVD player, if you have one.
What about those of you who do not have a set-top box, or the TV or Blu-ray player lacks red/white audio outputs? Most TVs will have either a headphone output or a digital output. If it is a headphone output, get a miniplug-to-RCA cable and connect it to the receiver. If it is digital, get a digital-to-analog audio converter for $25. It will convert the digital output to red/white audio outputs that can be connected to the receiver.
My final bit of advice to everyone is if you have a sound system in the same room as your TV, connect them. It's a world of difference in sound quality and will greatly enhance your enjoyment.
Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC noise-canceling headphones, right, are sure to be appreciated by frequent fliers or anyone who uses headphones in a noisy environment.
A reader wrote a while back asking me what I thought of his $300 Bose noise-canceling headphones. I replied that Bose always has had excellent noise-cancellation technology, but in terms of sound quality, you could do better for less money. If you're spending $300, wouldn't it be great if you could get the premium sound associated with the best-in-class headphones, along with excellent noise cancellation? Now you can, with the $299 ATH-MSR7NC.
Last year's Audio-Technica's $249 ATH-MSR7 met with much critical acclaim and won reviewed.com's coveted Headphone of the Year award. It's an audiophile-quality, high-resolution headphone that is also very comfortable. The ATH-MSR7NC takes the ATH-MSR7 and adds active noise cancellation. It's a dynamite combination and a great value, given the small bump in price and its superiority to similarly priced competitors. It's something the market has needed for a while, and I am glad to see something like this finally available.
Bose's noise cancellation is still a bit better than Audio-Technica's at diminishing external noise. However for the total package of beautiful sound combined with effective noise cancellation, the ATH-MSR7NC is the king of $300 noise-canceling headphones, and the smart choice for those who want the best. See them at tinyurl.com/atncphones (direct product link) or audio-technica.com.
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.