Merging Introduces New 64-bit Software for All Products

Swiss manufacturer Merging Technologies confirms it will introduce new 64-bit software versions for all its products at the Prolight+Sound and NAB 2015 events. The introduction of Pyramix 10, Ovation 6, and VCube 6 moves all products to 64-bit operation exclusively bringing new features and simplifying the future development pathRead More


Harman to Acquire Bang & Olufsen's Automotive Audio Business
Harman International Industries, the worldwide market leader in car audio announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Bang & Olufsen's Automotive car audio business. Bang & Olufsen sound systems are available in a wide range of Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz car models.   Read More



Klotz Communications Unveils the New Touchstone Controller
Klotz Communications, a new company recently created in Munich, Germany, by Thomas Klotz to focus the group's efforts on innovation and product development, confirmed it will be showing the Touchstone controller concept at NAB 2015 and Prolight+Sound 2015. The Touchstone is a fully configurable tactile touchscreen controller for flexible control of audio operations.   Read More




Sennheiser Showcases Its Innovation Campus at Wedemark Headquarters
Sennheiser presented a new milestone in the development of its company facilities and recently invited political, business, and entertainment guests to its 7,000 square-meter Innovation Campus. The new 20 million euro facility is available for fresh ideas, innovative forms of cooperation, and a passion for perfect sound quality.




New Hybrid Electrostatic Headphones and Tube Hybrid Headphone Amplifier from ENIGMAcoustics
ENIGMAcoustics announced the launch of two new products at the CanJam in Costa Mesa, CA. The Dharma D1000 Hybrid Electrostatic Headphone and the Athena A1 Single-Ended Triode Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier are the two most recent additions from the creators of the remarkable Mythology M1 Hybrid Electrostatic Mini-Monitor, each sharing key elements perfected during previous research.


Joao Martins

Editor's Desk

The Music Experience

The original and best-ever Cover Flow interface, forgotten by Apple.

It wasn't long ago that we replaced buying music in physical media formats with file downloads and we discovered the convenience of digital music players. Record stores all over the world closed and, precisely when the world was starting to enjoy the iPod and iTunes, suddenly everything changed again. Music moved to cloud servers, the iPod Classic was discontinued, streaming services such as Spotify grabbed a large share of the market pioneered by Apple, and some folks decided they had enough and went back to vinyl.


According to Nielsen's January 2015 report, on-demand streaming is up 54%, vinyl LP sales increased 52% (and now comprise over 6% of physical album sales), and traditional radio still remains the top source for music discovery (yes, don't discard radio just yet).


And while the music industry is still trying to adapt to this constantly changing environment, the audio electronics industry has thrown another spanner in the works and started the whole High-Resolution Audio (HRA) debate. (Obviously the running order for such events may vary depending on your perception.)


While marketing efforts are not going to be enough to bring high-resolution audio to the masses, as Neil Young himself had to admit, it certainly elevated the whole music industry model debate to an interesting and largely uncertain new level. 

But the reason why I'm pondering the subject has to do with our own relationship with music.

As I wrote some time ago, reacting to Apple's announcement on the acquisition of Beats Electronicsthe main motivation for the $3 billion investment was the Beats Music streaming service (which was basically the MOG Music platform, a streaming service Beats acquired in 2012 for just $15 million). As Apple's CEO Tim Cook admitted, it was the interface and user experience of the Beat Music service that convinced him on the acquisition.

TIDAL's March 31 event.

I still find that funny, since Apple continues to be indifferent to the fact that it had the best music player interface ever - the animated, 3-D graphical user interface (GUI) called Cover Flow, which Apple acquired in 2006. Since iTunes 11, Apple has basically completely destroyed the user experience by removing Cover Flow and converting iTunes into a sort of Excel sheet with diminished functionalities.


While we expect Apple to unveil the new Beats Music experience, we are now entering a whole new stage in music services with the expansion of other streaming services, basically using every possible argument to attract consumers, including high-resolution audio - which in fact, like Pono Music, is basically lossless CD-quality material at best.


The brand new TIDAL interface in different platforms

Following the recent acquisition of the Aspiro Group business (owner of TIDAL and WiMP HiFi music streaming services) by hip-hop star Jay-Z and the launching of TIDAL in the US, it becomes clear the stage is being set for a whole new era in music distribution.

This week, we've seen the announcement that TIDAL is entering a new chapter with direct engagement from artists such as Coldplay, Rihanna, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Jack White, Madonna, and a complete set of MTV-Award winners, targeted directly at Spotify and anticipating the launching of the new Beats Music service. The selling proposition involves "lossless hi-fi sound quality" streaming, powered by superstar exclusive content, while the real motivation has to do with a higher percentage of the revenues.


The new TIDAL service simultaneously launched as a web-browser exclusive player, but not as rich as Spotify's player, which is getting better every week.

It's too early to say what will be the impact of TIDAL's initiative. My belief is that the user interface and overall experience will be decisive, together with the ability to create an environment where artists can directly participate and engage with users.

Certainly, there are interesting times ahead.


Voice Coil Spotlight

Measurement Microphones: An Interview with Steve Temme


Mike Klasco interviewed Steve Temme, President of Listen, and asked him about important features and how to get the best performance of test and measurement microphones. He also learned about Listen's recently released measurement microphone power supply. Originally published by
Voice Coil, November 2013.  Read More

From the Vault

A 211 SE Triode Amp


by Nick Soudas


Attention, all first-time (or wanna be) builders of single ended directly heated triode amps. This project is for you. This is an easy-to-build, simple direct-coupled input/driver circuit that provides the proper drive voltage to the grid of the 211. It is a nice way to experiment with a single-ended (SE) triode amplifier. This article was originally published by
audioXpress in May 2001.  Read More


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