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Lead image

Crutchfield: The Podcast

Discover what Crutchfield employees are buying and why

How to listen

Follow, subscribe, add, or favorite "Crutchfield: The Podcast" on your streaming service of choice to stay up to date with the latest episodes.

Apple Podcasts

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Right here at Crutchfield.com

Why we started a podcast

Most employees join Crutchfield with some interest in audio and video gear, but something special happens after a short time with the company... With access to thousands of products designed to enhance music, TV, and more, that interest blossoms into total enthusiasm.

Our Advisors receive weeks of training with car and home electronics before helping customers. And popular brands like Sonos, Klipsch, Kicker, and more regularly visit Crutchfield to update us on essential information about their latest gear.

So, with all that knowledge and hands-on experience, what do Crutchfield employees choose to buy for themselves at home, in the car, and on the go?

Check out "Crutchfield: The Podcast" to find out. In each episode, hosts J.R. and Eric interview a Crutchfield employee about gear they loved so much... they bought it. If you're contemplating a big audio/video purchase but don't know where to start, check out what our experts have to say. 

Episode 28: Robin and Crutchfield's ReadyHarness™ service

J.R. interviews Robin, part of the team responsible for our ReadyHarness service. They chat about his work, the gear he loves, and some of his all-time favorite concerts. Plus, J.R. and cohost Eric react to a YouTube video review from Ryan at Silly Reviews — he purchased a car stereo for his Volkswagen Jetta and used a ReadyHarness wired by Robin!

Some of the gear discussed includes:

J.R. and Eric also preview the next and final episode of the season. They'll be answering listener questions, so be sure to submit yours — use the Comments below or email the team at podcast@crutchfield.com.

Episode 27: Aaron, his McIntosh amp, his MoFi turntable, and more

J.R. catches up with Aaron Cochran of Balaton Marketing about the mountain of gear he owns and the select pieces he allows to take permanent residence in his home. A manufacturer's representative for companies like Yamaha, Klipsch, and Sennheiser, he's a familiar face in the halls of Crutchfield, thanks to his popular training sessions on the latest and greatest gear. 

J.R. and Aaron talk about his history in the industry, the pleasures of listening to vinyl, some awesome benefits of streaming high-res content, and audio gear that's made in the U.S.A.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

Episode 26: Michael from Klipsch talks speakers, the Klipsch sound, and their 75th anniversary

J.R. interviews Michael Buratto, a musician and Senior Product Manager at Klipsch, about his history with the company, the gear he uses to make and enjoy music, and what has made Klipsch an enduring brand for 75 years. Michael also hints at some fun speaker projects in the works. After the interview, J.R. and cohost Eric explore wireless home theater solutions when they answer a customer comment on our small home theater ideas article.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

For more on Klipsch, check out J.R.'s recent Facebook Live overview. Thanks to Michael for letting us use his song "Rule The World" in the episode outro. Find more of his music on Spotify.  

Episode 25: Talking video games and the best gaming gear

J.R. brings in special cohost Colin to assist with a panel discussion about video games and the gear that makes gaming more immersive. J.R. talks to four Crutchfield employees about their console preferences, the A/V gear they use when they game, and the gear they wish they owned! 

Some of the gear discussed includes:

For more info about great gear for gaming, check out Colin's guide to the best gaming headsets for 2021, Logitech gaming accessories, and our best TVs for next-gen consoles.  

Bonus episode: Sujan from Qobuz talks high-res streaming, music history, and her home audio gear

J.R. introduces a Crutchfield exclusive — an interview with Sujan Hong, Head of US Music Content for Qobuz. Our headphone and high-res streaming expert Jeff caught up with Sujan to talk about all sorts of music-related topics, including music curation at Qobuz, Sujan's indie music credentials, and her favorite recent albums, available in high resolution. For video extras and photos, check out Jeff's full review of Qobuz.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

Episode 23: Ziggy and the new system on his pontoon boat

J.R. leaves shore for a lake tour on Advisor Ziggy's Bentley Cruise pontoon boat. Naturally, that boat had a rockin' audio system on board, and Ziggy got to show it off at (almost) full volume. If you'd like to follow along and see the boat, check out our full article about the installation.

Dan Gauger interview

Some of the gear discussed includes:

Also, J.R. and cohost Eric answer a customer question about wakeboard tower speakers and their recommendations include Kicker's 46KMC4 marine digital receiver and JL Audio's M3 Series wakeboard tower speakers.

Episode 22: Maria and her family's favorite headphones 

J.R. interviews Maria, one of Crutchfield's sales team leaders, about her history as a pro musician, the headphones that her husband and son love, and car installation whoopsies. After the interview, J.R. goes deep into the mail bag with co-host Eric, answering three customer questions about headphones.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

For more headphones resources, check out our Top 5 Most Comfortable Headphones article and our headphones buying guide.  

Episode 21: J.R., Eric, and Francis talk smart home gear

Co-hosts J.R. and Eric catch up with Francis, who works on our Crutchfield Business team, to take a deep dive on smart home gear and smart assistants. Eric, a big fan of Amazon Alexa, and Francis, who's all in with Google Assistant, discuss their home setups and how they made their choices.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

Also, the gang answers a few customer questions about integrating smart controls with existing audio gear. If you'd like more info on integrating smart home products into your home, check out our smart home buying guide. Some other great resources are our wireless router buying guide, our guide to Alexa in the car, and our guide to Brilliant smart home control.

Episode 20: Carlos and his drones

J.R. talks to Carlos, one of our in-house drone experts, about growing up in Puerto Rico, his drone-racing experience, and what brought him to Crutchfield. From great starter drones for kids to professional-grade drones, Carlos also shares some of his favorite picks.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

For more drone recommendations, check out this year's buying guide which also includes tips related to drone safety, laws, and regulations.

Episode 19: Brooke outfits her home gym and talks classic cars  

J.R. talks to Brooke, a Crutchfield Advisor for over 15 years, about how gear has contributed to the expansion of her family compound, which includes a large home gym and classic car garage. For more on what's in that garage, check out this spotlight on the audio gear she installed in her 1971 Chevy Blazer and the car shows her family attends.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

More articles on the topics discussed:

After the interview J.R. and Eric answer a customer question about affordable true wireless headphones

Episode 18: Simon, his drones, his cars, and his screening/gaming room

J.R. and Eric head over to our Returns Processing Center (RPC) to talk to Simon about his involvement with The Crutchfield Outlet and our in-house employee store. With incredible access to so much cool gear, Simon has been able to build "dream" systems for his cars and his home, including a one-of-a-kind screening and gaming room.

HT1

Simon's home theater system for movies & TV.

HT2

Simon's gaming setup in the very same room!

Check out some of the gear discussed:

Check out the articles referenced:

Plus, J.R. and Eric answer two customer questions about car audio.

Episode 17: J.R. upgrades the audio in his 2020 Subaru Crosstrek

Season 2 of the podcast kicks off with a new formula — host J.R. is the interview subject this time. Co-host Eric digs in on the what, why, and how of J.R.'s recent 2020 Subaru Crosstrek audio upgrade. If you'd like to follow along, check out our full article about the installation.

Dan Gauger interview

Some of the gear discussed includes:

Also, J.R. and Eric answer a customer question about options for upgrading the audio gear in a leased vehicle.

Bonus episode: Paul from SiriusXM on the history (and future) of satellite radio 

If you're a satellite radio fan or if you just plain love music, you won't want to miss J.R.'s interview with Paul Trueman from SiriusXM. A roadie at the age of 16, a car audio installer in his 20s, and a member of the SiriusXM team for decades, Paul has a lifetime of rock 'n' roll stories. He gives us a peek behind the scenes at SiriusXM headquarters, shares a preview of what's coming next from the company, and of course, reveals his favorite gear for enjoying SiriusXM content.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

After the interview, co-hosts J.R. and Eric reveal a little bit about their plans for Season 2. 

Bonus episode: Dan from Bose® reveals the history of noise-cancelling headphones

Co-hosts J.R. and Eric (safely) reunite in person to present a very cool Crutchfield exclusive — an interview with Bose Distinguished Engineer Dan Gauger. Our headphone expert Jeff chats with Dan about the origins of noise-cancelling headphones, his involvement in 1986's Rutan Voyager flight, what Bose fans can look forward to next, and more. For video extras and photos, check out Jeff's full article.

Dan Gauger interview

Also, J.R. shares his experience as the proud owner of Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds. And for more on the headphone comfort ratings test Eric references in the episode, check out our Top 5 most comfortable over-ear headphones.

Bonus episode: Meet our new Advisors

Recorded late summer 2020, J.R. and Eric take a "lightning round" approach to interviewing the latest class of Crutchfield Advisors, who are now available to help find the right home and car gear for your needs. Each Advisor tells a little about themselves and the fun stuff they couldn't resist buying since joining us.

Check out our new Advisors and their gear:

For updates on Season 2, be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast app.

Bonus episode: Emily auditions Arc from Sonos

Emily writes articles and product copy on a wide range of home electronics including TVs and smart home gear. She's also clocked a lot of critical listening time, putting sound bars to the test. Her Best Sound Bars for 2020 article is among our most popular and is a great companion to this bonus episode, in which she and J.R. share their experiences with Sonos' latest sound bar, Arc. Check out Emily's full review.

Some of the gear discussed in this episode includes:

After the interview, J.R. catches up with Chris from Sonos (check out Ep. 6!) to answer a customer question about Arc. Plus, Chris offers some pro tips on working from home.

Episode 12: The gang talks podcasting gear and behind the scenes of Season 1

The gang's (virtually) back together for the finale of Season 1. J.R. and Eric catch up on their work-from-home lifestyle and chat with Lex (aka Alexander H.), Crutchfield: The Podcast producer. They talk about the origin of the podcast, what they've learned along the way, some of their favorite podcasting gear, and what to look forward to in Season 2. For more info on how to start your own podcast, check out this article referenced in episode.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

J.R. also answers a customer comment about replacing a Dynaudio speaker in his home theater system. If you have a question for J.R. and Eric, post it in the comments below, and they'll get back to you as soon as they can!

Episode 11: Chris, his dream home audio system, and his Jeep Wrangler audio system

Chris, Crutchfield training manager, chats with J.R. about the in-house demo system he designed for our Southwest Virginia call center. It lets Crutchfield Advisors get hands-on with new home audio gear as often as possible so they can share their listening experiences with customers.

Want to demo our wide selection of home speakers too? Check out our online SpeakerCompare tool.

Some of the home audio gear discussed in this episode includes:

Chris and his Jeep

Chris also talks to J.R. about the system in his Jeep Wrangler. If you’d like to see his '06 Wrangler Unlimited and follow along, check out his vehicle profile.

Some of the car audio gear discussed in this episode includes:

After the interview, J.R. and Eric answer a customer’s question about whether he can use an Alpine Power Pack amplifier in his Wrangler.

If you're interested in upgrading your car audio and have compatibility questions, find out what fits your vehicle by using our online vehicle selector.

Episode 10: Marisa and her DSLR camera

Marisa, a Crutchfield Advisor who decided to revisit her love of her photography, discusses the fun of her DSLR camera and the challenges of using manual mode. Here's some of her work, spotlighting the wildlife around her new home...

Deer

Marisa uses manual mode to experiment with depth of field.

Squirrel

Her DSLR captures action with energy and detail.

Marisa and J.R. also talk about the importance of a solid home audio system. Some of the gear discussed includes:

For more info on DSLR cameras for beginners, check out our shopping guide.

Episode 9: Carter and his Bose® Frames

Carter, former Crutchfield Advisor and unabashed headphone-phile, talks to J.R. about his Bose® Frames and why they're a unique sound solution for him. J.R. and Eric also chat about headphone comfort, other Bose wearables, and the legendary Bone Fone.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

After the interview, J.R. and Eric answer a customer question about the best use cases for noise-canceling headphones

Note: In the time between recording this interview in 2019 and its publication in 2020, Carter moved on from working at Crutchfield, so you won't find him in our current list of Advisors. We miss him already, wish him the very best, and hope to see him at Crutchfield again someday!

Episode 8: Gary Yacoubian, his history at SVS, and his Dolby Atmos® home theater system

In this episode SVS president Gary Yacoubian talks with J.R. about how he started in the electronics industry, his history at Beats, and how he transitioned SVS from being all about that bass to being all about great sound (and that bass). He also reveals his Top 6 favorite movies to enjoy on his Dolby Atmos-equipped home theater system. Plus, Gary talks 2-channel audio and the fun of his Linn Sondek turntable and Mark Levinson amplifier.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

And here's a peek at some of the gear Gary mentions in the interview...

Gary Y's components

The ability to swap out components for testing is a must for Gary

Prime Elevation

SVS designed Prime Elevation speakers as the ideal solution for challenging rooms

Prime Elevation

Sound where there was no sound before

SVS Ultra Surround

SVS Ultra Surround speakers offer bipole, dipole, and SVS's Duet Mode

Episode 7: Rex and his work-from-home setup

Rex is a Crutchfield Advisor, musician, and major music fan. Like most Crutchfield employees, he's been working from home since Virginia's shelter-in-place order began. He chats with J.R. about how he makes working from home work for him, his new-and-improved man cave, and his most recent Crutchfield purchase.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

After the interview, J.R. calls up co-host Eric to compare notes on who has the better work-from-home setup. Eric also does a deep dive on a pair of headphones that are so comfortable he's used them for twenty years.

Episode 6: Chris from Sonos and his multi-room home audio system

Chris, regional trainer for Sonos, pays a visit to Crutchfield and discusses his 7-zone multi-room audio system with J.R. Plus, he explains the latest updates from Sonos, including their decision to create a separate app for use with legacy Sonos products.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

Also, J.R. explores how the latest news from Sonos will affect co-host Eric's elaborate home audio system. For more on multi-room audio solutions, check out our Sonos buying guide.

Episode 5: Brady and the marine audio system on his Godfrey Hurricane

Brady, a Crutchfield Advisor and full-time yacht-rocker, gives J.R. a virtual tour of the marine audio gear he installed on his boat. Check out this article to follow along with Brady's installation.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

After the interview, J.R. and Eric answer a question from the customer comments on one of our many marine audio articles.

Episode 4: Drummer, his turntable setup, and transitioning to digital

Drummer, a Crutchfield Advisor and serious vinyl collector, talks about his analog roots and how his listening routine has changed since investing in digital media. J.R. also references our helpful video on setting up a turntable.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

After the interview, J.R. and Eric respond to a customer comment on our turntable buying guide about reviving a retired turntable — invest in restoration or buy a replacement?

Episode 3: Jess and her home theater system

Jess, a Crutchfield Advisor who's a serious classic rock fan, talks to J.R. about the resurgence of cassettes, her mega-sized home theater system, and listening to vinyl on her days off. J.R. also references our handy TV sizes and viewing distances article.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

After the interview, J.R. and Eric answer a question from the customer comments on our Intro to home theater speakers. They dig into finding an alternative to in-ceiling speakers for enjoying Dolby Atmos®.

Episode 2: Darren and his VW Golf Alltrack audio system

Darren, a Crutchfield employee and car audio integration guru, walks J.R. through the "head unit back" audio upgrade he installed in his '17 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. Check out these articles to follow along with Darren's installation and his custom fiberglass work.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

After the interview, J.R. and Eric answer a question from the customer comments on our "What are line output converters?" article about where to tap into audio signal when keeping a factory radio in an audio upgrade.

Episode 1: Mac and his home stereo system

Mac, a Crutchfield Advisor who's a big fan of British audio engineering, invites J.R. to his home and explains the thinking behind his home audio system. Plus, they talk about Mac's experience watching the infamous dark episode of Game Of Thrones on a Sony TV.

Some of the gear discussed includes:

After the interview, J.R. and Eric answer a question from the customer comments on our Stereo receivers buying guide about powering indoor and outdoor speakers from the same stereo receiver.

Have a question for the podcast?

Puzzling over a new purchase or old gear? Got a question about a category? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below or email us at podcast[at]crutchfield.com, and we'll do our best to follow up in an upcoming episode. If you'd prefer to have an answer right now, reach out to an Advisor at the top of the page.

(Note: Some of the gear above may be discontinued. Reach out to us if you have questions about recommendations for similar gear.)

All music provided by BIG!

  • Samir from Mount Laurel, NJ

    Posted on 8/10/2021

    The episode with Aaron Cochran of Balaton Marketing was the best one yet! I really enjoyed hearing his perspective on the industry, the various equipment he has at his home (including that fantastic McIntosh MAC6700), his thoughts on various music formats, and his overall enthusiasm. Plus he has good taste (I'm a fellow Klipsch fan).

    Commenter image

    J.R. Stoffel from Crutchfield

    on 8/16/2021

    Hi Samir, First of all, thanks for the great feedback, and thanks for listening to our little show. We have a lot of fun making it, so it's nice to know there's people out there picking up what we are putting down. Aaron is more than just a business partner to Crutchfield, he's a true friend. We love it when he comes to our contact centers to deliver some of the best product training we see all year. He knows what our Advisors need to see and hear to best help our customers. He's also hilarious, with great taste in music and gear. He was a natural fit for one of the very few non-Crutchfield employees we've interviewed on Crutchfield: The Podcast. We will make sure to pass along your comment directly to Aaron himself. Thanks again for your support, tell your friends about us! JR
  • Tanner from Oklahoma City, OK

    Posted on 3/10/2021

    Great podcast! I'm looking forward to Bill's interview.

    Commenter image

    J.R. Stoffel from Crutchfield

    on 3/11/2021

    Thanks for listening, Tanner!
  • Maryanne Young from State College,PA. 16

    Posted on 6/11/2020

    Very informative interview ! I hope that when I call, Marisa will be on the line as my personal sales advisor ! She sounds down to earth and willing to lead me in the right direction for my needs .

    Commenter image

    Alexander H. from Crutchfield

    on 6/12/2020

    Thanks for listening, Maryanne!
  • Kevin from Montour Falls, NY

    Posted on 5/13/2020

    Great podcasts. Fun to listen to folks talking about their top tier gear. Luckily I'm having good luck with my budget line of Polks and El Cheap-O Sonys. But, I sure would like to be able to side by side listen to some more expensive speakers against my current ones. The SVS products look great and I have thought they must be much better than my cheap speakers. Proof is in the pudding. Like so many other folks, I can't afford to drop a mortgage payment into speakers that may or may not be better. I tried to get in on the SVS contest, but must be the $2000 shopping spree has been closed? The link goes to a holding page.

    Commenter image

    J.R. Stoffel from Crutchfield

    on 5/20/2020

    Kevin, as far as listening to some new speakers side-by-side with your old speakers, that would indeed be the best way to know for sure if they are worth the price tag. We've been asked this question a lot over the last 45 years. Here's what I recommend you do: First, call or chat with one of our Advisors. We train our Advisors to be able to discuss with you your music, your room, your power source, your listening preferences. By doing that, you and your Advisor will likely be able to determine which new speakers are the most likely to blow your mind. And when you buy them, and get them home, you'll have 60 days to make sure that you and your Advisor did indeed pick the right speakers. That's enough time to play all sorts of different songs, from all your different music sources, and in as many situations as possible (parties, critical listening, background music, home theater, etc). If they're not for you, you can get a refund, minus a small return shipping fee, if you choose to return your speakers within 60 days.
  • Commenter image

    J.R. Stoffel from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/5/2020

    Hi Mike! Thanks for reaching out to us. We did not carry Dynaudio back in 1999. So, to be 100% sure I had correct info for the speakers you have, I spoke to our Sales Rep and he assured me that Dynaudio still uses similar materials today for their soft dome tweeters as they did in your Audience 50s. So, a Dynaudio center channel is likely the closest thing to a perfect voice match as you are going to find. Besides tweeter materials, the other things to consider are mid/woofer size, impedance, frequency response, and sensitivity. Your Audience 50s are 4-ohm speakers, with a sensitivity around 87dB, with a 6-1/2" woofer, and a frequency response of around 46Hz -27kHz. The current Dynaudio center channel that is closest to those specs would be the Emit M15C. The tweeter is similar, the woofers are a tad smaller, but there's two of them that drop down almost as low as the 6-1/2" woofer on your 50s. They are 4-ohm, with a sensitivity of 86 dB, so, it really doesn't get much closer than that. If you want to have a perfect, voice matched front three home theater speakers, you'll want to upgrade those Audience 50 speakers to something that can be matched exactly to a modern center channel. And if you were to upgrade all three speakers, I'd recommend the Dynaudio Emit M20 to go with that same center channel.

  • Mike from Mequon

    Posted on 4/29/2020

    Love the podcast and look forward to it each week. I am wondering what you would recommend for a center channel in this setup. We have Dynaudio Audience 50 bookshelf speakers from 1999 and a Klipsch R-10WI sub we added a couple years ago. The receiver is a Denon AVRX2300W. Dynaudio no longer makes the Audience line and I am planning on getting new equipment in 5-6 years after a remodel, but am unsure what brand I would ultimately go with at that time. What would be a good option for the near term? Thank you.

  • Norm Hawes from Lynchburg, VA

    Posted on 3/5/2020

    Good job you guys!!! :)

    Commenter image

    J.R. Stoffel from Crutchfield

    on 3/5/2020

    Thanks, Norm!