MQA Expands Industry Support at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest
Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), the ground-breaking music technology created by Bob Stuart, will be one of the highlights at the 2015 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, which will also see the world premier of the new Mytek product, the Brooklyn-a USB2 DAC, preamplifier, and headphone amplifier with MQA support.  Read More

Google Announces Chromecast Audio to Bring Wireless Audio to Any Active Speakers
In its continuing effort to compete with every single technology company on Earth and to expand its own software and services ecosystem, no matter the cost, Google announced a new set of hardware launches. Among the products announced, there's a $35 Chromecast Audio device that turns any powered speaker into a networked wireless audio system via Wi-Fi, with support for Spotify Connect direct streaming.  Read More

Getting Ready for Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015 
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) is the premier event in the United States for high-end audio and increasingly also for headphone and personal audio experiences. The 12th edition of RMAF is about to begin at the Marriott Denver, in Denver, CO (October 2-4) and promises to be the largest and best ever, with great seminars and product launches.  Read More

McIntosh Introduces C1100 Controller With Tube Preamplifier And Two New Preamps With DSD and DXD Support
McIntosh Laboratory has announced three new preamplifiers - the C1100, the C52, and the C47 - all made at the company's factory in Binghamton, NY, following the brand's signature design. The C1100 features a separate controller and tube preamplifier, and the C52 and the C47 offer phono preamps and built-in DACs, featuring PCM, DSD256, and DXD up to 384 kHz. All three feature McIntosh's Headphone Crossfeed Director circuitry and Home Theater Pass Through.  Read More

Supreme Sound Audio Components Introduces Gen 5 All-Discrete Op-Amps
Burson Audio, the Australian manufacturer of USB DACs/headphone amplifiers/preamplifiers, headphone amplifiers, and stereo amplifiers, announced its latest Generation 5 of the world-renowned discrete-circuit audio op-amps, available through subsidiary Supreme Sound Audio Components.  Read More

Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) and electronicAsia Present a World of Innovations in October
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) organizes the 35th Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), while the 19th electronicAsia is jointly organized by the HKTDC and MMI Asia Pvt., Ltd. The two fairs will be held concurrently at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre October 13-16, 2015.  Read More

Yamaha, Steinberg, and Harrison Announce Sound-for-Film Strategic Alliance
Yamaha Corp. (Japan) and its wholly owned subsidiary Steinberg Media Technologies (Germany) have announced a three-company strategic alliance with large-format console manufacturer Harrison Audio (United States) to develop solutions for substantially improving the workflow in the sound-for-film industry.  Read More

Messe Berlin Promotes New Consumer Electronics Show in China, Expanding IFA's Success
Preparations are underway for Consumer Electronics China (CE China), a global IFA event that will be the new premier trade show for the Chinese market. The new trade show for consumer electronics and appliances will take place in Shenzhen, China, in April 2016 and will be developed by the Messe Berlin team responsible for the huge success of IFA.  Read More


Editor's Desk

Crowdfunding Your Audio Dream

Over the last few months, audioXpress has published some really interesting stories about new audio companies, born out of their founders' imagination, creativity, and deep convictions on their own designs.

One very interesting example is no doubt that of Bjørn Johannesen, the founder of Danish company Kvart & Bolge, which started by submitting a DIY speaker project to audioXpress. His Tang Band Quarter Wave (TABAQ) design got so much response that Johannesen eventually decided to launch it as a commercial product. Of course, one single product doesn't make a business, and the designer joined forces with Arved Deecke, a professional businessman and entrepreneur, to turn speakers into a complete marketing concept and convert Kvart & Bølge into a successful business.
You can read the full story in our August 2015 edition.
Of course, for many product designers, things are much more difficult, starting with the fact that not all products are so obviously converted from the original proof of concept into a desirable product with all the right marketing mix associated: distribution, price, and promotion. And if Philip Kotler himself endorses the alternative view to the four Ps as a new way to address the modern marketing mix - the 
four As - leveraging availability, affordability, acceptability, and 
awareness - we might understand better why the new crowdfunding formula is so important to so many technology-related business.
Crowdfunding is currently being used to promote cultural and artistic projects, as well as non-profit and socially responsible ideas. But I don't think the impact of crowdfunding has been as high as in the technology domain, helping to convert ideas into successful products and create new businesses, which also represent in many ways a new industrial model for localized, small-volume concepts - which were previously considered to be impracticable.

audioXpress continues to explore the stories of those entrepreneurs who excel at proving the model with technology - from basic development platforms such as the Doayee Bluetooth Audio Link to complete product concepts that simply improve a basic design, such as the HELIX Wearable Cuff with Stereo Bluetooth Headphones, the Geek Pulse high-resolution desktop DAC, or loudspeaker projects such as The Core wireless speaker system and the HiddenHUB wireless HD Audio system, both of which could have been inspired by our friend Siegfried Linkwitz design ideas: "The typical loudspeaker comes with fundamental flaws, which critical listeners try to correct by room treatment. The solution would be a loudspeaker with spectrally neutral radiation in all directions. Such loudspeakers are extremely rare."
When we follow those new product stories it never ceases to amaze me how the most successful projects combine inspiration (usually motivated by a basic instinct of "I want this for myself!") with completely outrageous ideas that no established manufacturer would ever consider exploring, but which the market actually finds useful/appealing, such as the DynaMount - Robotic Microphone Mounts or the CORE, the "safest wearable speaker."
Especially remarkable is the response and real consumer excitement generated by projects such as the AfterShokz Trekz Bone Conduction Headphones, which received 
$536,818 of funding, raised by 3,821 people in one month (826%); or the Plugzee, a tiny device that turns any audio speaker into a Bluetooth speaker with aptX technology, which received $41,728 (378%) in funding from 1,484 backers.
The crowdfunding route is essentially full of valuable marketing lessons on what should not be attempted in terms of technology - like so many campaigns that were launched based on products existing only in their creators' imagination, without a real engineering foundation.
And that's precisely why I think the true "DIY minds" have a better chance of being successful following the crowdfunding route. Because they've started exactly where all those projects should have started - by building the proof of concept, following which they have a better chance to face the market test and actually become a business.

Fresh from the Bench
IsoAcoustics Aperta Speaker Stands in Review
By Gary Galo
IsoAcoustics recently introduced Aperta, a new aesthetically pleasing and cost-effective line of aluminum acoustic isolation stands built with a unique, patented isolation technology that enables speakers to float in free space, resulting in clear uncolored sound. In this review for audioXpress, Gary Galo looks in-depth at all the technical aspects of the design and evaluates its performance. This article was published in audioXpress, October 2015.  Read the Full Review Available Online

Voice Coil Spotlight
Creating Leverage in Licensing Negotiations 
By Eric Kowalski (Menlo Scientific)
In audio, many technological advances have resulted from the work of engineers who have successfully licensed their inventions rather than bringing the products to market themselves. This article on business development and strategy examines licensing negotiation tactics from the intellectual property (IP) owner's perspective. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, August 2014.

AX October 2015: Digital Login
Audio Product Design | DIY Audio Projects | Audio Electronics | Audio Show Reports | Interviews | And More 
VC October 2015: Digital Login
Industry News & Developments | Products & Services | Test Bench | Acoustic Patents | Industry Watch | And More