Best Tech Podcasts to Listen to

The continual popularity of podcasts means that there are a plethora of quality podcasts on every possible subject! Technology podcasts make great audio content because the industry changes so rapidly; there’s always a new gadget or upcoming release to talk about.

As audio system installation experts, we are fans of all things technology; the following podcasts are some of the best that discuss tech news and innovation.

Back to Work

Hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin, this podcast humorously blends topics of technology, work and communication.

The podcast discusses a range of topics, covering app recommendations, tech events and recent TV shows. There is a focus on work-life balance and how technology can be used to improve our lives and productivity.

This one is for listeners looking for an entertaining but informative podcast experience!

This Week in Tech

This podcast is a staple in the genre and has been running for over ten years, making it one of the central hubs for reliable tech news.

Every week, presenter Leo Laporte and his various guests and co-hosts take part in a roundtable discussion where they investigate the latest tech trends and developments.

This Week in Tech has episodes that span for over two hours, so it’s not one for beginners! If you decide to give it a go, it’s probably best to start with the most recent episode rather than trawling through a backlog of over ten years’ worth of content.

People sat around a table laden with laptops and tech

Technology Untangled

This podcast, as its name suggests, aims to untangle the implications of the future of technology and speculates how the tech industry is going to continue shaping the world.

Host, Michael Bird guides the listener through interviews and stories that tease out questions about digital ethics, sustainability in technology and hyper-converged infrastructure.

With half-hour episodes and simplistic explanations, this is the perfect podcast for those with a casual interest who are looking to learn more and become better informed.

Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole is more of a documentary, rather than a tech talk show like those previously mentioned.

Some might not consider it a tech podcast in a traditional sense, but it does deal with the emerging effects of the internet and how the online world begins to bleed into the real one.

The Times tech columnist Kevin Roose asks how the internet and online culture are beginning to change who we are and how we think.

This binge-worthy audio series is perfect for podcast beginners and true tech enthusiasts alike.

A man using a laptop at sunset

Note to Self

Note to Self’s host, Manoush Zomorodi considers how we can go about preserving humanity in the ever-evolving digital age.

The podcast mainly examines how daily and family life are affected by an increased technological presence.

Where other tech talk shows focus on reviews or news, Note to Self looks at the human perspective and our direct interactions with social media, screen time and the invasion of smart devices, among numerous other topics.

As you can see from our selection here, there is a wide variety when it comes to tech podcasts, whether this refers to format, direction or topic. There is a lot to take from each of these podcasts for both budding tech enthusiasts and seasoned experts.

As professionals specialising in quality home audio and home cinema installation, we can help upgrade your home tech to the next level; why not contact our experienced team today?

A Guide to Quality Home Audio

Whether you want an amazing multi-room audio system to blast your favourite tunes or an immersive home cinema sound experience, good quality audio is something you will need to consider.

Most of us will often focus on screen quality and leave audio as an afterthought. However, to get the best experience from your home theatre, a decent sound system is essential.

Why Invest in High-Quality Audio?

Investing in good quality audio does not necessarily have to mean breaking the bank. Finding what is right for your space and needs is more important than just buying the biggest, most expensive speakers.

Excellent audio can elevate a mundane viewing experience to cinema quality. Investing in a brilliant audio system will give you a new appreciation of sound.

What Makes ‘Good’ Audio?

A room with two tower speakers

What sounds ‘good’ is subjective, but there are certain things to be aware of and look out for when on the hunt for a next-level audio system.

Clarity

Good speakers will have an impeccable level of clarity. This means that as the speaker runs, it will produce no sound itself, leaving you to get the full-bodied, crisp audio from the music or film alone.

Bass

Bass will contribute to the clarity of low, rich sounds. A speaker system with a good bass output won’t sound muddy or wobbly when putting out those booming notes. Well-defined bass will contribute to the overall soundscape and increase listening quality.

Resolution

Resolution goes hand-in-hand with clarity and will add to the immersive experience. High-resolution audio will allow you to hear every layer of sound; you will be able to hear the distinction between different instruments and movie dialogue will be crisp.

Soundstage

Quality audio systems will be able to create a realistic soundstage, where depth and width are considered. This is another feature that will enhance the immersive nature of your audio.

Speaker Size

As previously mentioned, the speakers do not necessarily have to be the biggest to produce the best sound. If you are unsure about what kind of qualities would work best in your space, a home cinema installation professional will be able to give you some guidance.

Which Speakers are Right for You?

A closeup shot of a speaker

Nowadays, there are countless brands and speaker types to choose from that provide excellent quality. 

Before deciding on what is right for you, you must consider budget, what the speakers will be used for and the space they will be projecting audio into. 

Soundbars

This can often be one of the cheapest options and is preferred by many that don’t want to invest in surround sound yet.

A long horizontal speaker is placed under the television and can provide a boost in audio quality for TVs that have poor internal speakers.

Soundbars will provide better quality audio than internal speakers, but they cannot reach the same levels as more extensive systems.

Tower Speakers

Tower or floor-standing speakers can offer complete overall sound from one unit. The units will usually come in pairs to be set up together. They have a box-like structure and cannot easily be hidden, but many choose to make the speakers a feature of the room.

These kinds of speakers are generally used in rooms dedicated to listening to music, but could also be useful in a home cinema space.

Ceiling Speakers

If discretion is a concern, ceiling speakers are something to consider. They can provide better audio while being hidden away and won’t compromise the layout or design of your room.

Although they can be preferable for this reason, ceiling speakers are often unable to provide the full range of audio functions like the smooth bass or breadth that other systems can provide.

Unlike soundbars which can usually be a DIY job, ceiling speakers will usually require expert installation as fire regulations and safety need to be taken into account when these speakers are fitted.

Subwoofers

If you are focused on achieving a powerful sound full of depth, subwoofer speakers will be essential for your setup.

Subwoofers give clear sound from the low end of the audio spectrum, making them important for high-quality movie viewings.

Surround Sound Systems

Two speakers

Opting for a surround sound system can be the preferred option for people whose priority is audio for a home cinema rather than listening to music.

Essentially, surround sound will ‘surround’ you in audio through multiple channels. Different categories of sound are distributed between a number of speakers positioned around the room; this provides a super-immersive experience with clear, realistic audio.

One potential downside is that surround sound systems can land on the more expensive side of all the audio options. However, you get what you pay for, and it can be worth considering if you’re looking to take your home theatre to the next level and create an authentic cinema experience.

For a more in-depth look at the benefits of surround sound, check out our blog below!

Speaker Positioning

Positioning can be vital in getting the best from your audio system, whether this refers to surround sound or an individual speaker.

For some, it can be tempting to position speakers where they are hidden out of sight, but showcasing the speaker’s audio quality is advised. Hiding speakers too intently can cover them and prevent them from projecting audio as well as they would when unobstructed.

You must assess the room acoustics and seating positions before settling on speaker position. Installation professionals will help with this if you are unsure.

Considering the Space

The size and configuration of your space will also come into play when deciding on positioning and speaker selection.

As with the positioning of speakers, professional AV technicians will be able to advise you on the kind of speakers that will benefit the room. Large speakers placed all around the room will be inappropriate and wasteful in a small room where a soundbar or slim tower speakers would work better.

If your current home audio system is lacking, why not get in touch to see how our experienced team could help?

The Best Movies to Stream This Halloween

The spooky season is slowly creeping up on us, and let’s face it, there is no better way to spend the run-up to Halloween than settling in and watching some festive movies!

Whether you’re a lover of straight-up horror or prefer a bit of family-friendly fun, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime give us access to a whole plethora of Halloween-related films.

If your current home theatre system isn’t quite delivering the best Halloween thrills this season, why not consider an upgrade? For more guidance about home cinema installation, get in touch with our experienced team here at JL Audio Visual!

Halloween (2018)

Would Halloween be complete without, well… Halloween?

This reboot of the 1978 slasher classic pays homage to the original by positioning itself as a sort of meta-comedy. Although you won’t be disappointed with the gore that’s expected from this kind of movie, you might be surprised by how comedic it is. With clever references to the franchise and the genre as a whole, many viewers feel like this is a more successful sequel than any of its predecessors.

The film follows the iconic horror figure Michael Myers as he escapes from a psychiatric facility and heads back to the town where his previous reign of terror took place to pick up where he left off.

This nostalgic slasher, available on Netflix, is sure to send chills down your spine!

A man eating popcorn watching a Halloween movie

Halloweentown (1998)

If you’re not a massive fan of horror but still like to get in the Halloween spirit, this may be perfect for you!

Just released on Disney Plus, this family-friendly movie is packed with cosy October visuals and supernatural adventure. The film follows thirteen-year-old Marnie who learns that she comes from a family of witches. With her family, she visits her grandmother, a good witch, who lives in a town where witches, vampires and goblins roam the suburbs, living normal lives.

The three main characters get up to mischief with their new-found witch powers and must use their talents to save the town from being taken over by an evil spirit.

This fantastical light-hearted movie has all the Halloween vibes without giving you and your family too much of a fright!

Hereditary (2018)

We’re back on the scarier end of the spectrum with Hereditary. This one can be found on Netflix or Amazon Prime for those brave enough to give it a watch this Halloween.

The creepy tale follows the Graham family as they start to learn about their increasingly sinister ancestry, following the death of the family matriarch. They unravel terrifying secrets and experience some horrifying things. Before diving into this one, the less said, the better!

If you’re the sort of person who likes to spend Halloween getting as scared as possible, this one is sure to elicit some sleepless nights!

Netflix on the TV

Professional home cinema installation could be the answer when trying to boost your Halloween movie-night experience! To find out more about how JL Audio Visual could help, why not get in touch?

4 Best Gadgets For 2020

With the constant releases and updates of new tech, it’s hard to keep track of everything that becomes available.

As experienced audio visual consultants, we like to keep an eye on the latest gadgets and technology that make their way into our homes. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top gadgets to buy in 2020 that are sure to boost your tech experience!

Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up Light

How do you wake up in the morning? Is it with a violent jolt upon hearing your noisy alarm? Well, that kind of rude awakening is no more with this handy light!

The Somneo light is designed to simulate natural sunrise to help you wake up gently. The level of light gradually brightens before your set alarm time when nature sounds or your chosen radio station will turn on to help wake you up completely.

This gadget is packed with other features that make it user friendly and extra functional. It has a sleek touch-screen interface, a soothing noise sound bank and you can even charge your phone via a USB port.

If you’re looking for a more peaceful sleep and wake-up experience, this is the gadget for you!

Apple AirPods Pro

You’d be hard-pressed to find a tech list that doesn’t mention any Apple products, and the AirPods are definitely worth mentioning!

These wireless earbuds are a step up from their predecessor as they offer noise cancellation technology for a more immersive sound experience. In-ear comfort has also been enhanced as the design has been altered to accommodate a silicone tip.

The AirPods charging case alone is also a brilliant piece of kit. It can offer more than 24 hours of listening time and can be charged with a charging mat or lightning cable.

Many users agree that AirPods remain one of the go-to options for wireless listening.

Pair of AirPods

Osmo Pocket

With the ever-increasing popularity of vlogging and online videos, good-quality handheld cameras are frequently being sought.

The Osmo Pocket is a pocket-sized camera perfect for budding film-makers; the stabilising technology gives you clean, professional-looking shots with 4K-capable capture!

The long handle and intuitive controls make this super-efficient camera easy to use and master. For users that find the in-built preview screen too small, you can also link your phone for a larger view.

UE Megaboom 3

Portable speakers with reliable sound are becoming increasingly popular; if you want to up your speaker game, the UE Megaboom 3 is a great piece of kit.

The Megaboom offers a powerful sound and increased level of durability; it has been designed with outdoor use in mind and will give you solid sound in any location. The cylindrical design allows for an impressive 360-degree sound dispersion that can easily fill up a room and more.

This Bluetooth speaker also has the ability to connect with other UE speakers to create a stereo system, giving you a completely wireless and all-encompassing sound experience.

Two Megaboom speakers

From home entertainment expertise to CCTV installation, find out how JL Audio Visual could take your home tech to the next level!