Listen Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation with Free Audio Test Software
Listen, Inc., announced its 20th year as a leading provider of audio test and measurement systems. Two decades of innovation and steady growth have made Listen's flagship product, SoundCheck, an industry-standard audio test system in the consumer electronics industry. The company is commemorating the occasion with updated branding, a new website, and a free SoundCheck demo software offer!  Read More

MAG Audio Introduces New 10N501 and 12N501 Speakers for Demanding Pro Audio Applications
Translating an "alternative transducer design philosophy," MAG Audio from Ukraine released two new 10" and 12" neodymium drivers, which the company asserts are able to achieve a clearer, precise, and subjectively more pleasing sound with considerable sound pressure at decreased input power levels.  Read More

LaVoce Upgrades High-Frequency Compression Drivers with New 1" Ferrite and Neodymium Models 
LaVoce has officially upgraded its range of 25 mm (1") exit high-frequency drivers, by releasing two new 44 mm (1.7") voice coil units. The ferrite DF10.17 and the compact neodymium DN10.17, are entirely designed with Finite Elements Modeling and Analysis and feature an high temperature polymeric diaphragm with vented surround, together with an optimized phase plug design for a linear, smooth, and extended frequency response with extremely low distortion and high efficiency.  Read More

Popular LG Tone Infinim Around-the-Neck Wireless Headset Gets Updated For 2016
LG Electronics (LG) will unveil its newest LG Tone Infinim (HBS-910) at CES 2016, updating the around-the-neck wireless headset with a slimmer more contemporary design, enhanced audio quality and convenience. The original design concept remains a reference for wireless headsets. Consumer availability in the United States will begin in February with key markets in Asia and Europe to soon follow.  Read More

New Digital Power Amplifiers for Car Audio from STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics announced its second-generation digital audio amplifiers with internal 24-bit DAC conversion, bringing increased performance in comparison to its original products introduced in 2012. The new FDA801 and FDA801B four-channel Class-D components simplify system design and lower cost for car-radio suppliers, allowing for more than 40% power savings compared to standard Class-D amplifiers.  Read More

Celestion Unveils New 4 Ohm CF1840H Cast Frame Low-Frequency Driver
Among several new products scheduled for unveiling at the forthcoming Winter NAMM 2016 show, Celestion announced it will extend its next generation cast frame range of high-end ferrite magnet professional audio loudspeakers with a new 4 Ω CF1840H cast frame model. The new 1000W LF driver features long throw and high sensitivity with superior cooling features.  Read More

Thiel Audio Showcases Latest Generation SmartSub 1.12 at CES 2016
At CES 2016, Thiel Audio will introduce a new SmartSub using a proprietary long excursion 12" driver and DSP-controlled 1,250 W amplifier, which works with a sophisticated control app and advanced DSP room correction. The SmartSub 1.12 powered subwoofer features six user-accessible Sound Mode Presets to adjust for any style of music, movies, and even gaming content.  Read More


Editor's Desk

On the Way to Vegas, Listening to The Beatles

By the time you read this, I'll be probably cruising close to the North Pole on my way to Las Vegas and another CES. Just before rushing to the airport, I received a very curious announcement from Amazon, which was part of the company's holiday report release. Among multiple claims of the most successful holiday campaign ever, Amazon also provides some unusual details and Holiday Fun Facts about its best sellers in the hundreds of millions of items shipped to 185 countries.
And can you guess which audio products were the most popular purchases this year? Headphones, of course. Detailing a specific promotion "across 10 countries," Amazon's first global Black Friday Deal of the Day sold "enough Sennheiser headphones to give a pair to every person at a sold-out Rolling Stones concert in 2015" (that's around 50,000, according to the band's website... but probably they sold more). Across the holiday season, the best sellers were Panasonic with its RPHJE120K In-Ear Headphone (Black); followed by Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphone (Black); and Sennheiser HD 598 Special Edition Over-Ear Headphones (Black).
But that's all good compared to the Home Audio category, where the most popular product was the Jensen JTA-230 3-Speed Stereo Turntable with Built-in Speakers ($54.98!!) I had to go and look for the actual product because I couldn't believe (pictured above). It makes my heart stop when I see it. Think about what this contraption does to actual vinyl records that people are playing with that cheap stylus. And imagine the sound... It makes you want to buy the DEWALT Drill/Driver Kit (best seller in the Tools category), to destroy it.
Next in the Home Audio category is the Yamaha RX-V677 7.2-channel Wi-Fi Network AV Receiver with AirPlay; and the SONOS PLAY:1 2-Room Streaming Music Starter Set Bundle (Black). So people buy the Yamaha receiver because it enables them to watch movies on Blu-ray with surround sound and because it streams music from AirPlay or directly from Spotify to their existing home systems. The SONOS bundle enables them to stream music to two different rooms.
So, this is how a large percentage of the world population actually listens to music: vinyl with plastic sound or compressed streaming audio. Manufacturers should keep that in mind when designing their next-generation products. And, remember to make them in black.
And so 2015 ends, with The Beatles catalog now available on all major streaming services (and actually those "Abbey Road" recordings still sounding amazing, even on Spotify Premium in Ogg Vorbis). Maybe because of that, a website in Japan perpetuated the rumor that Apple is considering introducing High Resolution Audio (HRA) for next year. Since its download sales are collapsing following the introduction of Apple Music streaming, maybe it would be a way to revive that market. But first, I wish that Apple would fix its iTunes software application in 2016.
And I'll save the rest of my Wish List for 2016, including the technology of the year nomination for next week, already immersed in the CES announcements and after meeting with Bob Stuart, since he was recently added to the speakers' list for the ALMA International Symposium & Expo (AISE), discussing Master Quality Authentication (MQA) and high resolution audio.
Best Wishes for a Magnificent New Year 2016!

From the Vault
JFETs: The New Frontier, Part 2
By Erno Borbely
Throughout the years, Erno Borbely published several project and design articles in Audio Amateur publications (Audio Electronics, Glass Audio, Speaker Builder, and audioXpress), always focusing on the lowest possible noise, best inherent linearity, and DC coupling. "Of course, all of this should always go hand in hand with the overall objective in audio: good sound," as Borbely explained. The basic circuits on which Erno Borbely based most of his projects are described in "JFETs: The New Frontiers, Part I and II," published in Audio Electronics (May 1999 and June 1999), and "All-FET Line Amp," published in audioXpress May 2002. Frequently referring to these articles, the author admits these were the "building blocks" on which many - if not all - of his amplifiers are based.  Read the Complete Article Here

Voice Coil Test Bench
Eighteen Sound 18TLW3000 18" Dual Voice Coil Woofer 
By Vance Dickason
The transducer under review this month is from the Italian pro sound company, Eighteen Sound. Designated a subwoofer, the 18TLW3000 is a high power handling woofer rated at 1,800 WRMS, and weighs 29.3 lb. The 18TLW3000's features are rather substantial and include a proprietary six-spoke cast-aluminum frame with vents located below the spider mounting shelf and a series of peripheral vents, plus additional forced air-cooling. The cone assembly consists of an 18" curvilinear-ribbed fiberglass loaded paper cone with a waterproof coating, three-roll M-shaped coated (sealed) polycotton surround in conjunction with a 7.75" diameter flat treated cloth spiders (damper). All this is driven by what Eighteen Sound calls a "Tetracoil" - a dual winding 4" (100-mm) diameter high-temperature, non-conducting former wound with a two-layer inside/outside round copper wire winding interleaved sandwich voice coil, which Eighteen Sound simply calls an ISV. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, December 2013.  Read The Full Analysis Online

AX January 2016: Digital Login
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VC January 2016: Digital Login
Industry News & Developments | Products & Services | Test Bench | Acoustic Patents | Industry Watch | And More