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The holidays are just around the bend and we’ll take a guess that you probably haven’t started your holiday shopping just yet. But fret not because we’ve got a complete Gift Guide for you, at least for the tech-loving individual on your gift list (such as yourself). Even if you don’t find that perfect gift on our list, it is sure to generate some ideas and point you in the right direction. Suave Kajko and George de Sa had a lot of fun writing it, and we hope you enjoy reading it just as much.

Season’s Greetings from Suave & George! Oh, and one wish from us – please help us brake 2,000 Likes on Facebook by clicking ‘Like’ in the upper right :)

Gifts Under $100

Netflix Subscription

Netflix Subscription, $7.99+

Lack of good content and ever increasing charges for cable and satellite TV have many viewers turning to streaming services like Netflix. Some viewers use Netflix in addition to their cable / satellite TV. With a cost of just $7.99 per month and a decent amount of content, the special someone on your list is sure to find something good to watch on Netflix. www.netflix.ca

Belkin WeMo

Belkin WeMo Home Automation Products, $29+

The WeMo range of products allows you to control a variety of devices around your home with your smartphone or table – for a tiny fraction of what home automation products used to cost. The quickly growing line-up of WeMo devices now includes light switches, outlets, LED bulbs, cameras, sensors, a coffee makers, a slow cooker and a dehumidifier. www.belkin.com

magicube_two_devices_12000 (Custom)

Powerocks Magicube 6000 Portable Power Bank, $49

Remember the days when your cell phone would stay charged for days? Everyone loves today’s large smartphone screens but they consume battery power quicker than Santa can name his reindeer. The Magicube’s 6,000mAh capacity can recharge a typical smartphone 3-4 times before it needs to be plugged in itself – so you can even help some friends out in a time of need. Since it’s equipped with a USB charging port, it’ll actually recharge any USB powered device. www.powerocks.com

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Google Chromecast, $39

Chromecast is a compact thumb-sized media streaming device that connects via an HDMI port to a TV, essentially making it a “smart TV”. Using an Android phone, tablet, iDevice, Mac, Windows PC / laptop or Chromebook, the Chromecast lets you stream media and apps right onto the big screen. Buy and setup by January 31, 2015 and get a free month of Google Play Music All Access. www.google.ca

HM-101 3_4 (Custom)HiFiMAN Express HM-101 USB DAC, $39 US

Too many people go about listening to music through their headphones or desktop speakers connected directly to their computer soundcard because they don’t know any better. The HiFiMAN Express HM-101 lets you significantly improve the listening experience for a meagre cash outlay. Get more fidelity, a larger soundstage and better dynamics. Treat yourself, a friend or a loved one to better sound these holidays! www.hifiman.com

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JRiver Media Centre Software, $49 US

JRiver Media Center is an audio/ video media ripping, playback and library software that has been developed to avoid any degradation in the capture and playback of media files. JRiver MC is designed to be compatible with almost any file format. If you, a friend or a loved one is considering building a computer-based audio/video storage and playback system – this is a great place to start. www.jriver.com

Young happy girl with headphone listening to music

This October 31st to November 2nd, the TAVES Consumer Electronics Show is set to become the ultimate event for Canadians who are passionate about technology. The show will astound visitors with the latest and greatest technology, home audio, home theatre, electronics gadgets, digital photography, and a preview of many prototype products not yet available for purchase. New for 2014, the show will feature a “New Technology Arena”, the “Jolt Art Gallery”, a “Digital Photography / Imaging” area as well as a dedicated “Headphone / Portable Audio” section. Hosted at a brand new venue – the Sheraton Centre Hotel, in downtown Toronto – the show floor will greatly expand this year, featuring a significantly larger number of exhibitors than ever before who will showcase many previously unseen product categories. As the trend continues for consumers to purchase an increasing number of products online, TAVES is the definitive place to see these products with your own eyes – especially since many of these products are not even available at brick-and-mortar stores.

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Introduced for the first time in 2014, the “New Technology Arena” will enable visitors to see groundbreaking technology products and prototypes – many funded by Kickstarter and Indigogo crowd-funding campaigns. This portion of TAVES will showcase innovative, futuristic technology products that consumers only ever read about online. Spearheading this new section will be a holographic display company from Montreal called Moon Media. Yes, you read that correctly, holographic displays are coming to TAVES this year! Our long-time dreams of playing ‘holochess’, just like Chewbacca and C3PO did aboard the Millennium Falcon, aren’t as far away as you might think. Moon Media is actually bringing much more than this to the show, but we don’t want to spoil all the surprises. Some of the other highlights of this section will include 3D printers, 3D replicators, an Oculus Rift virtual reality area with prototype video games being shown, the Tesla full-electric vehicle and even mind control devices that let you control your smartphone and tablet just by thinking about it. The Oculus Rift is bound to be a huge hit with technology and video game fans. This is one of the first times anyone will have the chance to experience first-hand what the media and insiders have been raving about for months. If you’ve ever wondered what the future looks like, the “New Technology Arena” at TAVES is something you simply can’t miss!

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Also brand new for 2014 is the “Jolt! Art Gallery”, presented and curated by OCAD U, York University, Centennial College and the Brockton Collective. The gallery will feature over 120 original pieces of artwork from top local artists, spread throughout the entire TAVES show floor, and draw a connection between consumer electronic designs and various forms of art. All of the artwork will be available for purchase at the show. A photography competition between students from the presenting schools will be held prior to the show using Sony cameras. The winning photographs will be displayed at TAVES on Sony’s 4K UltraHD TVs in their full glory. And if all of this wasn’t enough, TAVES will also include a “Body Painting To Music” area, where visitors 19+ will be able to look at live body painting, inspired by music. This section will feature a talented local artist named MagicFinnga Wong (www.magicfinngawong.ca). Wong will perform live painting on various canvasses, body painting as well as mural painting, in this special section of TAVES. The audience will be able to interact and paint together with Wong on certain canvasses. The atmosphere inside this room will be enhanced by a live DJ and body painted models. This “Body Painting To Music” area will present rare and exciting photo opportunities for all TAVES visitors who bring their cameras to the show.

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Another new addition to TAVES 2014 is the “Digital Photography / Imaging” area, where visitors will be able to discover some of the latest digital photography products and accessories, and speak to experts about brands including Sony, Canon and Nikon. Since TAVES will connect many of the consumer electronics categories this year and show you how they integrate together, this will be your chance to see how incredibly sharp and detailed images taken by a high quality camera look on a gorgeous big screen 4K UltraHD TV. Numerous free digital photography seminars will be offered to show visitors, focusing on how to choose the best camera for your needs and how to improve your photo taking skills. TAVES encourages all visitors to bring their own camera to the show and take pictures!

Rounding out the new additions to TAVES this year will be a dedicated “Headphone / Portable Audio” section. Inside this section, visitors will be able to discover what it means to listen to their portable devices, like smart phones and tablets, through a higher quality pair of headphones or earphones. With dozens of different headphones to try, we encourage music lovers to try their own portable devices loaded with music.

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As visitors have come to expect from past editions of TAVES, this year’s show will showcase the latest and greatest innovations in audio technology, home theatre and television that let you experience the full glory of music, movies and video gaming. TAVES is specifically designed to give consumers a sneak peak at the hottest products coming out for the holiday season and many product that won’t be hitting store shelves until the new year. This year’s show will offer the largest-to-date show floor, spanning four floors of the Sheraton hotel, where products from many of the major brands will be demonstrated. In addition to visual entertainment, many high quality audio brands that are well known among true music lovers will be demonstrated from companies including: Sony, Bryston, Paradigm, Anthem, NAD Electronics, ARCAM, Mark Levinson, Monitor Audio, Cambridge Audio, Focal Speakers and SVS Sound. We are delighted that Sonic Boom, one of Canada’s largest music retailers, will be participating for the first time at TAVES – offering a high quality selection of new and previously enjoyed LPs, CDs as well as accessories.

Retailer Canada Computers will also play a big role in this year’s TAVES, showcasing cutting edge innovations such as LG’s surprisingly affordable OLED curved screen TVs, a car racing game simulator frame that immerses the player with a panoramic view of three screens, Canon and Nikon digital cameras, as well as all sorts of other amazing audio and video products.

TAVES offers visitors insight from some of the best tech gurus in the business including broadcaster Marc Saltzman who will be delivering a seminar on the “Top 10 Tech Trends Worth Getting Excited About”. Other seminars from industry experts will showcase the latest ideas and technologies for wireless integration from mobile devices; and home theatre that will let you take your favourite mobile experience and integrate it seamlessly into a state of the art home theatre environment.

For more information about TAVES or to purchase tickets, please visit www.taveshow.com. Tickets are $22 for a one-day pass and $30 for a three-day pass.TAVES runs from Friday, October 31st to Sunday, November 2nd. You can save $4 off admission (until offer expires) here: http://canadahifi.com/save-4-off-taves-admission/

TAVES 2014 Show Highlights
– Explore a show floor of nearly 300 brands of consumer electronics products
– Enjoy a great selection of free seminars – covering topics of audio, video and digital photography
– New Technology Arena (3D Printing, Replicating, Oculus Rift, Tesla, Mind Control Devices + more)
– Jolt! Art Gallery curated by OCAD U, York University, Centennial College and the Brockton Collective
– Body Painting Area with Music
– Dedicated Digital Photography area
– Dedicated Portable Audio / Headphone section
– Meet distinguished tech expert Marc Saltzman
– and So Much More!

CANADA HiFi digital audio seminar 01 

First 10 people to sign up for this seminar will receive a free USB Headphone Amp!!

This Saturday, July 26th (at 11:30 am) retailer Star Electronics will host a free seminar about digital / computer audio. All music fans are invited! This will be your chance to learn how to achieve the best possible sound from your digital music, as well as what the latest digital to analog converters (DACs) and digital music players offer. The seminar will be hosted by Gaelen Andrews of the CANADA HiFi magazine.

Enjoy a laid back atmosphere, as well as hors d’oeuvres and beverages, while exploring the wealth of fine audio and video products on demonstration at Star Electronics.

Please sign up for the seminar by filling out the form below. Signing up is not mandatory but it will guarantee you a spot – and the first 10 people to sign up will receive a free USB headphone amp! Only those who actually attend the seminar will receive the USB headphone amp (if qualified).

Star Electronics is located at 1136 The Queensway in Toronto, ON (tel: 416-251-1111). You can visit them online at www.star-electronics.ca

Sign Up Here!

Completing the details below will guarantee you a spot at the free Digital / Computer Audio Seminar at Star Electronics in Toronto, July 26th, 2014. First 10 people to sign up for this seminar will receive a free USB Headphone Amp!! This form will also sign you up for the CANADA HiFi / TAVES newsletter.

The monthly CANADA HiFi / TAVES newsletter will keep you informed about the latest articles published on our site, share special offers, tell you when the latest issues of the magazine are released, and provide the latest news about the Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES). We would be delighted for you to join our newsletter list!

Email Marketing You Can Trust

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Celebrating the 10th year anniversary of the CANADA HiFi Magazine, Westside Publishing Ltd. is delighted to launch a brand new CANADA HiFi website. The new design offers readers a sleek, modern look & feel, as well as a very quick load time. Thanks to a new better organized layout, feature articles and reviews will be easier to locate than ever before, and the site will suggest similar articles that readers might be interested in. The new website is also designed to function more seamlessly with tablets, touch screen laptops and smart phones, making the content easy to read across all portable devices.

NEW – CANADA HiFi / TAVES Newsletter! To coincide with the launch of the new site, we will also begin to offer a monthly email newsletter to better connect readers with the new content added on our website. The newsletter will keep you informed about the latest features on our website, invite you to special events, tell you when the latest issues of the magazine are released, and provide the latest news about the Toronto Audio Video Entertainment (TAVES). Please sign up for the newsletter by clicking the blue “CANADA HiFi eNewsletter” button in the right sidebar.

Along with the launch of the new site, CANADA HiFi has employed the help of three new contributors in order to produce more editorial content for audio / video enthusiasts than ever before. More details about this will follow in the next few weeks.

If you have any comments about our new site, or would like to report a problem, please do so on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/canadahifi or on the CANADA HiFi forum at www.canadahifi.com//forum.

We hope that you enjoy the new look and visit us regularly. Happy reading!

On behalf of the CANADA HiFi team,

– Suave Kajko, Publisher / Editor-In-Chief –

Integra, has just announced their new DTM 40.7 Network Stereo Receiver, which includes advanced custom installation features. The DTM-40.7 includes hand-selected, audio tuned parts to ensure reference-quality performance. Included in this parts list are the AKM AK4452 384kHz / 32-bit hi-grade Digital-to-Analog chipset plus a massive high-power transformer paired to two custom-made 8,200 µF high-current capacitors and a non-phase-shift amp design. With 80 watts-per-channel (8 ohms) and 110 watts-per-channel (6 ohms) the new DTM 40.7 has sufficient power to run most home-theatre applications. An anti-vibration oval chassis with an anti-resonant extruded aluminum front panel ensures that aberrations are minimized.

The DTM-40.7 features Bi-Directional Ethernet, RS232 and programmable 12V triggers. Auto-Power On/Wake-Up via optical audio sensing is a yet another unique, “custom” friendly feature that, when combined with power on volume settings, makes it easier to integrate 3rd party sources like AppleTV and Sonos that are primarily app driven. Zone 2 options include Pre / Line-out for playback in another room; Zone 2 DAC for Airplay, NET and USB sources, and a Zone 2 subwoofer pre-out and independent Zone 2 bass, treble, and balance control.

Integra makes it incredibly easy to access and enjoy audio files mastered in high-resolution and stored on a computer, media server, network-attached storage or USB thumb drive with zero loss in audio quality including DSD 5.6MHz and FLAC. The DTM-40.7 includes Wi-Fi LAN compatibility; Bluetooth version 2.1, Apple AirPlay support, as well as support for Internet radio and music streaming services like Pandora, Spotify Connect, Slacker, SiriusXM, Deezer and TuneIn Radio.

The new DTM 40.7 also included numerous inputs & outputs including 4 digital audio inputs (2 optical/2 coaxial) and 6 analog audio inputs and 2 outputs, not including a separate phono input for a turntable.

The new Integra DTM 40.7 is now available at a MSRP of $780.00 CDN. Look for more information at: http://www.integrahometheater.ca

MOON by Simaudio has just announced the integration of TIDAL with their existing MiND Streaming App. TIDAL provides access to a plethora of CD-quality recordings – a lossless audio experience – that users can access with the swipe of a fingertip. Now those with a Simaudio MiND (MOON intelligent Network Device) equipped MOON system, TIDAL makes accessing lossless music that much easier.

TIDAL + MiND lets you play all your favorite music wirelessly throughout your home in High Fidelity. Choose from millions of tracks, and get behind the music with expertly curated editorial recommendations, album presentations, playlists, articles, features and interviews by experienced music journalists.

MiND streaming hardware is currently available with our Nēo 280D, Nēo 380D and Evolution series 780D streaming DACs, as well as our stand-alone 180 MiND streaming device.

TIDAL is available now with the MiND App from the Apple App Store.

Look for more information at: http://www.simaudio.com

Magico, LLC has announced the North American debut of their new S7 loudspeaker and SSUB, which will be held at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) in Denver, Colorado, USA. All are welcomed to attend on Oct. 2 / 3, within the Presidential Suite at the HYATT Regency Denver Tech Center.

The new Magico S7 is a full range, 3-way design, floor standing loudspeaker that incorporates newly designed Magico drivers housed in an acoustic suspension enclosure.

The new active powered SSUB stands vertically with dual 12-inch front firing Magico bass drivers. The new SSUB is relatively compact yet is designed to provide immense bass reinforcement with speed matching Magico loudspeakers.

For more information please visit: http://www.magico.net

Zesto Audio has just announced the launch of their new EROS 300 Monoblock amplifiers. The premiere showing and demonstration of the EROS 300 Monoblock will be at the upcoming Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, Colorado USA, October 2-4, 2015, Room #1117.

More than 3 years of development and 79 circuit revisions have led to the production of the new Eros 300 monoblock amplifier. The new amplifier balances power with musicality. The Eros 300 has plenty of power to drive your speakers with a matched sextet (6) set of KT88’s and two 12AU7’s producing 150 Watts per block of pure Class A power. The circuit design and power supply are quite different from Zesto’s Bia 120 Stereo power amp. The Eros 300 uses a Push-Pull and Ultra-Linear circuit topology and a more robust choke based power supply incorporating a custom Toroid power transformer. The Eros 300 also has Auto-Bias, maximizing tube life and minimizing maintenance.

The EROS 300 has 2 options for your speaker cables, the 3 way binding posts or the Speak-on connector. The 4 & 8 Ohm taps provide an efficient transfer of power to your speakers. All fuses are easily accessible. The XLR input connector has its own ground lift switch to eliminate hums.

The new Zesto Audio EROS 300 monoblock retails for $19,900 U.S. per pair. For more information please visit: http://www.zestoaudio.com

BlueSound Gen2
Bluesound International has just announced their all-new Bluesound Gen 2 multi-room music system platform that supports high-resolution audio. The Gen 2 is a complete reinvention of the original Bluesound product line-up and app and brings a new compact industrial design, enhanced feature-set and enhanced performance.

Using BluOS, a proprietary purpose-built operating system, Bluesound integrates all sources into a single music stream, and delivers studio-quality music to every room. There are six new models, three of which integrate with new or existing audio systems, and three work as complete plug-and-play music systems, as follows:

NODE 2 Wireless Streaming Music Player ($599 Cdn.)
POWERNODE 2 Amplified Wireless Streaming Music Player (MSRP $999 Cdn.)
VAULT 2 Streaming Music Player, 2TB Storage and CD Ripper (MSRP $1499 Cdn.)
PULSE 2 Full Size All-In-One Wireless Streaming Music Player (MSRP $899 Cdn.)
PULSE MINI All-In-One Wireless Streaming Music Player (MSRP $599 U.S.)
PULSE FLEX All-In-One Wireless Portable Streaming Music Player (MSRP $299 U.S.)

New feature enhancements and technologies of Bluesound Gen 2:
» Powerful ARM Cortex-A9 CPU running at 1GHz
» Improved connectivity with both Analog and Optical Inputs
» IR Sensor with TV Connect learning function
» Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX high-fidelity codec support
» Headphone Output with Dedicated Amplifier
» Coax Digital Out (NODE 2, VAULT 2)
» Gigabit Ethernet speed
» New advanced Wi-Fi design
» Best-in–class audio performance
» Industrial design by renowned designer David Farrage of DF-ID.

The TV Connect feature endows most models with the ability to connect to your TV and integrate its IR control functions for a seamless integration of TV sound. The ability to stream music and sound directly from your handheld smart device either via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is another great new enhancement to the Bluesound experience. Faster processing and network connections improve responsiveness of the Bluesound Controller App.

The Bluesound Controller App is also being redesigned with new graphics and an enhanced layout for even more intuitive operation. Fully backward compatible with Bluesound Gen 1, the upgraded Controller App adds many new enhancements. Presets, for example, allow a favorite playlist or program to start playing with one simple touch. The Bluesound Controller App is available on iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch), Android, Kindle Fire, and Windows & Mac OS X desktops. Control4 also certifies Bluesound for integration into advanced control systems.

The sleek new industrial design for Bluesound was created by renowned designer David Farrage of DF-ID. All models are available in both black and white finishes.

The Bluesound NODE 2, POWERNODE 2, VAULT 2 and PULSE MINI are available now, while the PULSE 2 and PULSE FLEX will be available in September 2015. Look for more information at: http://www.bluesound.com

It’s not a fad. It’s a Renaissance. Turntables are as popular now as they have been in over 3 decades and we absolutely love it. The emphatic return of vinyl has our business humming in a way it hasn’t in some time. Nostalgia aside, it’s just encouraging to know people can still appreciate the difference between uncompressed and compressed audio!

For this reason, we’ve decided to expand our turntable repertoire by adding Austrian record player juggernaut, Pro-Ject Audio Systems. With 50 plus years of turntable manufacturing experience under their belt, our already exceptional record player collection just got that much more impressive.

For the full Pro-Ject experience visit the Update Elevated showroom at 150 Main Street Unionville, today! For more info, please visit www.updatetvandstereo.com