New Website Dedicated to Ravenna and AES67 Audio-over-IP Technology
ALC NetworX, the developers of the Ravenna Audio-over-IP technology, announced the launch of a brand new website dedicated to Ravenna and AES67 with plenty of dynamic content. The aim is to make Ravenna technology and the information about the recent AES67 interoperability standard as accessible as possible.  Read More


New W3C Music Notation Community Group Pushes Format and Language Specifications for Digital Music Notation

Steinberg Media Technologies and MakeMusic are founding members of a new community group formed under the auspices of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to develop and maintain format and language specifications for notated music used for web, desktop, and mobile applications Read More


Intel and Micron Announce New Class of Memory 1,000 Times Faster than NAND
Intel and Micron announced a new class of non-volatile memory, creating the first new memory category in more than 25 years. The new 3D XPoint technology, now in production, brings non-volatile memory speeds up to 1,000 times faster than NAND, the most popular non-volatile memory in the marketplace today.   Read More



OCA Alliance Unveils OCA Micro Demonstration Platform
The OCA Alliance confirmed the availability of the OCA MicroDemo demonstration platform to prove that OCA - a common remote control and monitoring language for digital audio networks - can run in lightweight hardware environments. The OCA MicroDemo runs on a 120 MHz Cortex M3 processor and was jointly developed by OCA member companies Focusrite, Attero Tech, and Bosch.



Beta Layout Receives UL Certification for PCBs with Embedded RFID

Magic-PCB is an identification solution for the electronic industry from Beta Layout. This unique system for identifying PCBs and electronic devices is fast, copy-proof, reliable, and virtually indestructible. This embedded RFID technology is now certified according to the US safety standards for electronic products.  Read More


Wireless Surround Sound Made Simple by Sony
With the trend for multi-room audio at home evolving toward wireless solutions, Sony continues to expand its range with complete systems to address multichannel entertainment for the living room with its slim, compact HT-RT5 Sound Bar with wireless rear speakers and subwoofer. The new Sony HT-RT5 system combines advanced room acoustic calibration with support for streaming audio and direct connection of high-resolution audio via HDMI.   Read More



RØDE Announces Acquisition of Iconic Audio Brand Aphex

Australian pro-audio company RØDE Microphones announced the acquisition of legendary US audio technology manufacturer, Aphex, which is known for its range of audio signal processing equipment that features various proprietary technologies including the iconic "Aural Exciter."  Read More


João Martins

Editor's Desk

Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C: This is BIG!



This week I'm going to revisit the article we published on our audioXpress website on June 3, 2015, immediately after Intel made the official announcement at the Computex show in Taipei.


You read it right! Thunderbolt 3 is going to be compatible with USB-C. In fact, it's going to use the same connector!


Maybe it was because it was announced in Asia and the Internet was buzzing with something else that week, but it seems that one of the most interesting technology stories of the year went unnoticed. I've also heard some "audio experts" stating things like, "changing the USB connector? What's wrong with what we have?" and "why would we need 40 Gbps (or even 10 Gbps for that matter...)" for "just audio?"


Those must be the same guys who ordered the 3.5 mm jack-to-USB adapter for reasons they will never confess...


The shocking news for audio enthusiasts who just invested a few thousand dollars on a new USB DAC is that the technology world no longer revolves around home audio appliances. The good news is... yes, you will be able to get an adapter for that...


But let's get to the point. This Intel announcement means the technology world will get much simpler all around. Intel's Thunderbolt technology already supports all data protocols including PCIe, Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire, and eSATA. But it didn't support USB. Now, with the Thunderbolt 3 announcement, this means we can get all the benefits with one compact port that does it all - "the fastest and most versatile connection to any dock, display, or data device," as Intel describes it.

For the first time, one computer port connects to Thunderbolt devices, every display, and billions of USB devices. A single cable now provides four times the data and twice the video bandwidth of any other PC cable, while also supplying up to 100 W of power.


This will also enable a streamlined evolution for all sorts of devices, from mobile "things" to large size 4K TV sets. There will be an easy way to integrate technology, starting with having video (Thunderbolt supports DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, and even VGA displays via adapters). And we can daisy-chain up to six devices on a single cable connection. This is big news for storage and all video and audio production systems. And just think about the potential for streaming high-resolution audio.


Not so much the question of bandwidth but the possibility of actually replacing the messy USB audio class specification with all its synchronization of audio datastreams and codec/DAC configuration problems, plus the limitations of point-to-point connections, with a true AoIP network protocol. Still maintaining compatibility with USB sources, but actually allowing the accuracy, reliability, high channel counts, and high-resolution audio data rates, including multiple-rate DSD in a fully transparent network protocol.


And because Apple was involved with Intel in this technology development, we will also feel the benefits between platforms, including support on Microsoft Windows 10 machines and all non-Apple smartphones adopting the USB Type-C specification. By adopting the new reversible USB-C connector and introducing compatibility with USB 3.1, suddenly everything starts to make so much more sense!


According to Intel, initial products with Thunderbolt 3 are expected to begin shipping before the end of 2015 and ramp up in 2016.


From the Vault

Benchmark AHB2 Stereo Power Amplifier

By Gary Galo


This in-depth review of the Benchmark AHB2 Stereo Power Amplifier, published in audioXpress April 2015, clearly explains why you should listen to this one. Benchmark's new AHB2 stereo power amplifier uses feed-forward error-correction technology patented by THX that virtually eliminates crossover distortion. Designed in response to the needs of high-resolution audio sources, each channel of the AHB2 actually has two amplifiers - the main bi-polar Class-AB amplifier for driving the loudspeakers, and a low-power error-correction amplifier with ultra-low distortion levels. Gary Galo spent some time with it and explains all the reasons why he was impressed. Very impressed.   Read the article online


Voice Coil Spotlight

Measurement Microphones: The Good, Bad, and Ugly 

By Mike Klasco


Measurement microphones are a special class of microphones, ranging from laboratory precision instruments to products used for fine tuning sound systems in commercial or residential settings. Measurement microphone pricing greatly varies from $10 to 4,000. The quality differs immensely and there are many choices in between. This article was published originally in Voice Coil October 2012.  Read the Full Article


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VC August 2015: Digital Login
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