AKM Announces New Premium DAC and DSP Solutions for Premium Portable Audio Applications
Targeting portable audio applications (smartphones, tablets, portable music players, headphones, etc.) Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) has developed the AK4962, a new advanced two-channel 32-bit Advanced Audio DAC with DSP, featuring 32-bit four-channel ADC with microphone/headphone receivers, line-amplifier, audio/voice DSP, asynchronous SRC, and microcontroller interface. AKM also announced its AK4490EN 32-bit stereo premium D/A converter and dedicated clock generator, AK8157A, are now available.  Read More

New High-End Drivers and Kits From SB Acoustics to be Unveiled at 2016 High End Show in Munich
Celebrating 10 years since the brand was created, SB Acoustics will once again attend the High End Show in Munich, introducing a new series of cutting-edge designs for the high-end consumer audio market. The Sinar Baja (SB) Electric brand will also introduce new high-quality drivers for more cost-conscious applications, as well new loudspeaker kits of outstanding value, representing an expression of the brand's core values.  Read More

Radial Offers Bluetooth Wireless and Dante Networked Input Solutions
Radial Engineering is heavily investing in new solutions for all modern connectivity needs, wireless, networked and long-distance wired. Focused on problem-solvers as always, Radial announced its BT-Pro Bluetooth DI box is now shipping, while the new Di-NET DAN-TX and DiNET DAN-RX, Dante-enabled direct boxes will be added soon, providing another possible bridge from musical instruments or line level sources directly to networked audio systems.  Read More

Spotify Acquires CrowdAlbum to Extend Services Provided to Music Artists 
Streaming music service Spotify announced the acquisition of social media aggregator CrowdAlbum to enhance the development of products that help artists understand, activate, and monetize their audiences. Having reached 30 million paid subscribers, the Swedish company is expanding its services to artists, providing insights about their listeners and introducing Concerts to promote artists' shows to relevant fans - two new Spotify tools recently developed with CrowdAlbum.  Read More

Bluetooth Low Energy Exhibiting Strong Growth While Wireless IC Shipments Expand
According to the latest market forecast from ABI Research, Bluetooth Low Energy devices will account for 27% of total Bluetooth shipments by 2021 as new enhancements expand opportunities for the Internet of Things (IoT). According also to ABI Research, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 802.15.4, NFC, and GNSS markets are forecasted to reach more than 10 billion annual IC shipments by 2021, with Bluetooth integrated in 60% of total devices.  Read More

Streaming Music Subscription Services Fuel Strong Music Market Growth
Futuresource Consulting has just completed its latest round of research on the global music market and the conclusion is the industry is celebrating its strongest performance in 15 years. Global consumer spending across packaged, subscription, and pay-per downloads grew by 5% to reach almost $19 billion, primarily fueled by the growth in streaming music subscription services, which accounted for one quarter of all music market spending.  Read More


Editor's Desk

New Curated Content For You

Many of you might have already noticed our website's improved look! For the past few days we have been extremely busy migrating our website - which serves both audioXpress and Voice Coil readerships - onto a completely new platform. This basically started as a maintenance and technology upgrade to better support mobile devices and various screens, but we have used the move to introduce a few design tweaks and notable useful features.

Introducing a cleaner two-column layout, fine for all screens.
You will notice how the website renders much better on smartphones and tablets in vertical or horizontal positions. When enjoying the full glory of a high-resolution desktop screen or a high-resolution tablet, subtle but important changes become evident, including the introduction of a "rolling" agenda for the industry calendar, larger more readable text, better navigation, and a cleaner look in general (gone is the gigantic tag cloud on the right side bar, which was getting out of control).
Another subtle but important feature is the page index at the bottom of the homepage, allowing access to any news item published in past weeks or months - which previously could only be accessed from the News menu. Clicking on any of the posts we publish daily, you will notice larger text and clickable pictures and - just scroll to the end of any story - a new comments field.
That's the Tag Cloud, now under control. Choose any topic to see related content.
Otherwise, things stayed pretty much as they were - after all, we liked our website and it proved to be extremely robust. But behind the scenes, we made a lot of improvements, the most important of which has to do with metadata. Remember that "tag cloud" off to the side that basically dominated a large portion of the screen? That's because we publish a lot of content and most of that content is "tagged" for metadata indexing. For anyone not familiar with such terminology, that means publishers such as audioXpress basically have become "sources of metadata" - otherwise no one would even know we exist.
It's true, we still have 100 magazine readers (10 of which are also regular contributors... :) which completely ignore our web activities, don't read articles online, and say they never use social media (albeit being avid users of forums since BBS and CRT phosphor screens...). Otherwise, the 40,000 unique visitors that visit us online regularly depend upon metadata to find what they want to read.
Much like music these days. Remember when record covers were basically our main source of information about music? Music download and streaming services today depend upon all that important information and the pictures included on the covers to create the main interface for users to navigate and discover music - that's metadata. So many times I discovered great artists because I simply liked the cover artwork and clicked to listen... These days, a key differentiator among digital music services is what they call
Didn't know we are on Facebook, and Twitter? Follow our posts there. And by the way, you need a Facebook account to be able to comment.
 "curated" - meaning that classification and extra levels of information provided to guide us from listening to Ry Cooder and "discovering" Rosemary Clooney... and blame the DJ - in fact a metadata-dependent algorithm.

Music magazines took the information on album covers a step further and, much like all specialized magazines these days, we are all becoming metadata providers which the big aggregators (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Microsoft, etc.) actually "monetize." So, after reading this, when you visit our website and check the latest news and articles available there, also note the ads from the companies that support us and allow us to work everyday. We also chose to provide those companies a quality-interface, carefully "curated" to reach you - and we promise we will not allow Google to suggest those "personalized" ads like many other websites do. Because we think we understand what our audience wants, better than any algorithm!

From the Vault
The Hideaway TL Sub
By Bjorn Johannesen
This article, a Danish blueprint for an "invisible" subwoofer was originally published in audioXpress July 2006 and it is the first of two by Bjorn Johannesen. In this first article, the author describes a successful transmission line to replace a vented sub, inspired by Rick Schultz articles. A project where the first approach revealed a resonance frequency lower than expected - lower than the driver's Fs. As Johannesen explains, "I had the impression this was "forbidden," but I could see it was working very well and much better than the same driver in a vented box. Therefore, I started to study Martin J. King's quarter-wave design. My own experience and the useful information and supportive help from Martin led to this article." Read the Full Article Available Here

Voice Coil Test Bench
Prescient Audio TD-12, a new 12" ThinDriver 
By Vance Dickason
This Test Bench characterizes the TD-12, a new 12" subwoofer from Prescient Audio, the result of the company's ThinDriver design, named an International CES Innovations 2014 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree, in the High Performance Home Audio product category. The TD-12 has a physical mounting depth of only 2.25" to the bottom of the frame (2.68" to the top of frame) and an extremely shallow 35-mm depth proprietary eight-spoke cast aluminum frame. Other features include a stiff flat 12" cone that uses a carbon fiber surface sandwiched with a polyurethane composite formulation that is stiff and light, an injection-molded Santoprene surround, and a 9" diameter flat poly cotton spider. All this is driven by a 250-mm diameter (9.85") voice coil wound with flat copper-clad aluminum wire (CCAW) parallel wound (with flat side of the wire against the former) on a Kapton former. The motor system powering the cone assembly utilizes a large CNC steel poleless return device that holds a series of 16 neodymium curved bar magnets that each measure approximately 37 mm × 15 mm × 10 mm glued to the magnetic field return device. The braided voice coil lead wires terminate to a pair of set screw-type terminals that accepts up to 14-gauge wire. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, August 2015. Read The Full Article Online

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