Ariel Bitran

Ariel Bitran  |  Oct 07, 2013  |  1 comments
David Thornberry of Pearland, Texas is the very lucky winner of our VPI HW 16.5 Record Cleaning Machine from Soundstage Direct Sweepstakes, but he almost didn't get his prize. Once the package hit Mesquite, Texas, it went missing.
Ariel Bitran  |  Sep 23, 2013  |  10 comments
On Sunday, I took a walk through Inwood Hill Park—the last existing glimpse to the natural wonder that Manhattan once was. Tulip trees and red-backed salamanders populate these woods. Along the paved trail, a playful soul chalked in instructions for hikers:

"Listen to the sounds."

Ariel Bitran  |  Aug 26, 2013  |  42 comments
It was hot—the kind of hot where the second you get out of the shower, you start sweating. My ceiling fan could’ve provided relief, but the repeated clink of its pull-chain added an offbeat to the music. My goal was to analyze my system’s current strengths and weaknesses and define my “reference sound”. The fan had to go. It was time to listen.
Ariel Bitran  |  Aug 01, 2013  |  3 comments
We're always happy to spread the love of gear (and music) here at the good ole' STP. STP's one of our in office abbreviation for Stereophile. Occasionally, it's STRP. Sometimes it's, "We have to do another issue?", but seriously, we do enjoy making audiophiles happy. It's one of the best parts of the job.
Ariel Bitran  |  Jul 31, 2013  |  3 comments
John Parks of Hurst, Texas is the winner of's Monitor Audio Airstream WS100 Sweepstakes. The Monitor Audio Airstream WS100 are desktop speakers that receive a wireless audio signal transmitted on the 2.4GHz band via USB dongle.

John is befuddled. While he has these awesome and convenient desktop speakers, he has no desk! We do not have any desk sweepstakes coming up soon.

Congrats on your win John, and thanks for playing! Hope you find a suitable surface.

Ariel Bitran  |  Jul 13, 2013  |  First Published: Jul 15, 2013  |  0 comments
Richard Kanter is the winner of our HRT Microstreamer USB DAC sweepstakes. Richard's been doing live sound recording and reinforcement at McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California for the past 43 years. He still loves it! You can find out more about McCabes here.

Thanks for playing Richard!

Ariel Bitran  |  Jul 07, 2013  |  First Published: Jul 08, 2013  |  0 comments
Who is this mysterious Sam character? He won't submit a photo. He won't tell me anything but his name. Samuel Thomas. Hmmm. Sounds patriotic. But it's not quite the Sam of which I'm thinking. The real Uncle Sam was Samuel Wilson, a meatpacker from Troy, New York. Sam Thomas is in Pullman, Washington.
Ariel Bitran  |  Jul 03, 2013  |  8 comments
A billboard from a wireless speaker company that will not be covered.

Before leaving for CE Week, a trade event showcasing a general representation of the consumer electronics market, JA cautioned, “I’m worried you may not find many things applicable to our readers.” I love a challenge.

Within these table-lined alleys littered with business cards and quesadillas, I aimed to uncover as much two-channel audio as possible. This would include headphones. This would also include an attempt to avoid Bluetooth, as Bluetooth is lossy and has been an unreliable connection for long-term listening in my experiences so far. Would this general representation of the consumer electronics market have products an audiophile could enjoy?


Ariel Bitran  |  Jun 25, 2013  |  First Published: Jun 27, 2013  |  0 comments
Peter Crossno of Salt Lake City, Utah is the lucky winner of's Westone 4R in-ear monitor sweepstakes. He says, "They sound phenomenal." Look at that smile!

We're happy to make you happy Peter. Thank you for your participation!

Ariel Bitran  |  Jun 24, 2013  |  0 comments
Pepcom is an event organizer that brings together a smattering of technology companies, members of the press, and various forms of the grilled chicken sandwich. Here are the products from the world of audio and its extended fingers that intrigued and appalled.