Aumeo Audio Introduces Audio Personalization Solution at CES 2016
Aumeo Audio announced the debut of the world's first tailored audio device, Aumeo. This groundbreaking audio product, introduced at CES 2016, takes audio personalization to a whole new level by customizing sound to a user's hearing sensitivity. With Aumeo, users can enjoy audio experiences like never before for music, film and even voice calls.  Read More

New AudioSmart Solution from Conexant Enhances Listening Experience from Built-In TV Speakers
Conexant's new RoomAware Optimizer processing solution, part of the Conexant AudioSmart product family, has been adopted by LG Electronics for its 2016 lineup of OLED and UHD TVs. LG calls the feature "Magic Sound Tuning" and allows users to automatically adapt speaker output to the room's acoustics and the location of the TV in the room.  Read More

Frontier Silicon Launches Google Cast for Audio Speaker Development Toolkit 
Frontier Silicon announced its new Minuet speaker toolkit - a design platform enabling audio manufacturers to develop wireless speakers incorporating Google Cast for Audio, quickly and cost-effectively. The new development solution was introduced at CES 2016 and already features 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, enabling faster product development and mass market pricing.  Read More

7digital Offers Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) Content to Stream or Download
B2B digital music and radio services company, 7digital announced their first content available in Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology, allowing the delivery of master quality audio in files small enough to stream or download. Onkyo is already working with 7digital to provide MQA files in its high resolution audio store,  Read More


Editor's Desk

Technology, Innovation, and Others at CES 2016

CTA Audio Product of the Year 2016,
Sony STR-DN1060 receiver.
Even though the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced the intention of capping registrations at 176,000 and implementing a new credential screening system (at CES 2015, 176,676 people attended the conference), we have no doubt that CES 2016 once again broke attendance records. It certainly felt like that just during the press days, prior to the opening of the show. More than 6,000 journalists and bloggers made it incredibly hard to get a seat in the press room and it was a miracle to get a Wi-Fi connection.
CTA already released preliminary figures, confirming more than 170,000 industry professionals in attendance (it felt more like 300,000), including more than 50,000 attendees from outside the US (more than 150 countries). Exhibitors were in excess of 3,800 and official exhibit space surpassed 2.47 million net square feet. More importantly, in line with the recent designation change from Consumer Electronics to Consumer Technology Association, CES 2016 touched every major global industry, reinforcing its reach from smart home and wearables to 3-D printing and autonomous vehicles. More importantly, the Eureka Park exhibits attracted hundreds of start-ups and new companies, with consumer technology headed in exciting directions.
CTA's Speaker of the Year:  Definitive Technology W Studio Micro Sound Bar System.
In search of technology trends relevant to the audio industry, we walked the floor contacting severalyoung companies - many of which are currently promoting their concepts and product ideas on crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. In fact, we had never seen such a large representation of crowdfunded projects gathered in the same space, making CES 2016 the most important tech-entrepreneur forum ever. That included significant contingents of companies from Europe and Asia and we were happy to notice many interesting new products in the audio field - in fact, according to our estimates, approximately 10% of the start-ups were audio-related.
The most difficult part of CES 2016 for anyone in the audio industry was the arrangement in the Venetian Suites, where traditionally the high-end audio companies prefer to promote their demos. While some companies behaved in the best tradition of high-end shows, with well-organized spaces and open doors inviting visitors to see and listen to the products, there were far too many companies simply having meetings behind closed doors with no exhibits to speak of. With the Venetian main conference suites on the lower floors completely taken by large IT companies and business meeting spaces for large CE manufacturers, the audio demonstrations on the top floors of the Venetian became a challenge for any visitor on a tight schedule. And there's nothing worse than visiting a suite of a company we were looking forward to meeting and finding a closed door and unfriendly staff asking us to come back later. This needs urgent attention from organizers. Demo suites need to be clearly separated from appointment-only "meeting rooms" and should be more accessible. I am certain more than 80% of the companies in the Venetian would do much better by simply taking a booth on the show floor.
Bedphones are headphones designed
for sleeping.
It is also true that CES is being invaded by the mighty automotive industry, creating an overwhelming pressure on small exhibitors. Because it is no longer about car-audio or aftermarket accessories but instead using the CES platform to promote their new autonomous driving and new eco-friendly concepts, under the excuse of introducing new infotainment systems and connected technologies.
And then there are the drones... In every single show we attend, from Electronica to InfoComm or NAB, or CES, there are now "drones". I just hope that they will add "drone" to the list of "banished" words and phrases for 2016. Honestly! Call it "miniature battery-powered remote-controlled annoying planes or helicopters that have been around forever and now for some reason people think they're cool." And to make it worse, they are combining autonomous vehicles with "drones," such as the Ehang 184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV). Yeah, right. This is exactly what the world needs. Next, there will be Amazon drones flying to our homes delivering packages...
Fortunately, away from the folklore, the marketing hype, and the pure nonsense that invades CES every year, there were also many innovative products to improve our health by monitoring vital signs and even products for the older generation with impairments or people with degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's. Since 2014, many simple monitoring solutions were converted to wearables and I was glad to see that baby monitoring solutions are evolving to the much more relevant market of senior citizen care.
"At CES 2016 everyone saw that tech is about more than single products and services, it is about improving our world and providing hope for our future. It was awe-inspiring to see traditional and non-traditional 'tech' industries meet to brainstorm, partner and collaborate on ways to do business and address global issues," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA). "Technology now touches every facet of our lives, from improving our workouts and the way we sleep, to keeping us safe on the roads and in our homes and even preventing or treating illnesses. CES has cemented its position as the global gathering place for all industries to be wowed by the tens of thousands of ways that technology is changing the world as we know it."
We fully agree.
Musaic wireless audio solutions are now also AllJoyn Certified and they continue to innovate.
The Consumer Technology Association also announced the winners of its 2016 Mark of Excellence, which includes some of the product highlights from this year's show. In the audio categories, the winner of Audio Product of the Year was the Sony, STR-DN1060 receiver, while the Speaker of the Year was Definitive Technology's W Studio Micro, Sound Bar System. The first is a complete 7.2 channel Home Theater AV receiver with HDCP 2.2 and MHL 3.0 for 4K support, 4K upscaling of HD sources, High-Resolution Audio support and extensive wired and wireless connectivity via NFC One-touch, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The second is Definitive Technology's lowest profile soundbar to date, delivering impressive sound and featuring DTS Play-Fi wireless connectivity for under-TV or home-theater setups. The beautifully designed cabinet features seven individual drivers with four 3" × 1" midwoofers with neodymium magnets and three 1" aluminum dome tweeters.
We were impressed with the number of new development platforms, reference designs, and kits that we saw from Summit Semiconductor at the Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA) suite, which also included solutions designed by StreamUnlimited, LG Innotek and Hansong with several ready-to implement solutions. If rival wireless audio technologies such as DTS Play-Fi and Qualcomm AllPlay seemed to have gained momentum, there is still ample opportunity for WiSA to gain the recognition it deserves from the industry. But that window of opportunity is being challenged, and now there's Google with Chromecast Audio...
Among several innovative companies we saw on the show floor we would like to highlight Aumeo, a groundbreaking audio product that takes audio personalization to a new level by customizing sound to a user's hearing sensitivity. We also liked the OGS Open Guided Sound earphones' concept, a confortable headset design made for those people who like to listen to music everywhere and still listen to everything that happens around us.
ReSound LiNX2 hearing aid solution, controlled by an Apple Watch app.
Among the companies exhibiting in the Eureka Park, we liked Bedphones, an interesting concept of thinner and durable headphones, designed for sleeping, now on their third generation, complemented by a special app created to enhance the bedtime listening experience. The Bedphones mobile app automatically shuts off music when we fall asleep.
And, as we stated previously, hearing aid companies are leading in wireless, audio personalization, and the use of sensors. At CES 2016, Copenhagen-based ReSound showed the second generation ReSound LiNX2 solution, used in conjunction with the ReSound Smart app for iPhone and Apple Watch. So much more than just a hearing aid... they are now "hearables."
Another company we would highlight is Musaic, named a CES Innovation Awards Honoree for two years running and rightfully so. The company was showing its Musaic MP5 and MP10 music players for wireless multi-room audio, now also AllJoyn Certified, which means they are able to discover, communicate, and interact with smart home devices. The company also introduced its new PRO-MZP Professional Install Zone Player.

Show Report
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015: Different, Upbeat, Younger High-End Audio
By Oliver Masciarotte
Here is the full show report from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015, which Oliver Masciarotte found to be less crowded, different, upbeat, and certainly younger. He returned so impressed with what he saw and heard that it took him nine pages just to compile the highlights and impressions!
"Another high-end audio show, another road trip. After a brief overnight stop in Lincoln, Nebraska, I rolled into Denver, CO, prepared for the usual crush of gear and geeks at the annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF). Though the crush didn't materialize until Saturday, the huge quantity of new product introductions kept me busy. Here's a sampling of what I found of interest at the 12th annual RMAF and CanJam at RMAF 2015, which took place October 2-4 2015," accounts Masciarotte on the article we published on the January 2016 edition of audioXpress.
  Read the Complete Article Here

Voice Coil Test Bench
Wavecor TW030WA12 30-mm Cloth Waveguide Loaded Tweeter 
By Vance Dickason
This Test Bench is about the new Wavecor TW030WA12, a new 30-mm cloth waveguide loaded tweeter intended for home audio applications. The Wavecor TW030WA12 tweeter features a 30-mm wide surround precision-coated cloth diaphragm optimized for high-frequency cut-off above 20 kHz, internal chambers below the dome and surround, a copper-clad aluminum voice coil winding with a vented voice coil former, flexible lead wires for large excursions with crossovers below 3 kHz, black anodized motor parts for enhanced cooling, and gold-plated terminals. Its most differentiating feature is a waveguide faceplate for increased sensitivity and directivity. This article was featured on the January 2015 issue of Voice Coil.  Read The Full Analysis Online

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