Erato Audio Technology Promotes Apollo 7 Compact True Wireless Earphones on Kickstarter
The race is on! Following previous simultaneous efforts to create the market's first true wireless earphones (meaning no connecting wire and internal battery), Erato Audio Technology has launched a campaign on Kickstarter to promote awareness for the Apollo 7, which the company says are the industry's first micro driver, true-wireless, waterproof earphones. Erato introduced the Apollo 7 at the Mobile Word Congress (MWC) 2016 show in Barcelona, Spain, and says they will be ready to ship soon.  Read More

Dialog Semiconductor's SmartBeat Audio IC Enables a New Immersive Headset Experience
Dialog Semiconductor announced the DA14195, an open audio platform IC for active headphones. The DA14195 offers a new route to next-generation active headphone development. This end-to-end digital SoC with built-in advanced audio processing heightens performance and defines a new standard for headset functionality and sound quality. Dialog Semiconductor's new DA14195 combines extremely low power consumption with impressive processing performance in a small 0.4 mm pitch wafer level chip scale package (WLCSP).  Read More

High-Resolution Music Initiative Expands to Include Music Streaming Services
Music streaming is officially going high resolution. The industry's official logo mark for Hi-Res MUSIC - previously applicable primarily to high-quality digital download services - will soon be available for adoption by music streaming services as well, according to an announcement from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and its member companies Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, in cooperation with the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), and the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).  Read More

The New-Generation Mark Levinson Components at High End Munich 2016 
Harman's Mark Levinson had much to show at the 2016 High End show in Munich, Germany. Adding to the 519 high-resolution and streaming audio player, and the 526 dual-monaural preamp with high-resolution DAC and phono stage, both previewed at CES 2016, the revitalized company introduced the 523, a version of the 526 without the DAC, and launched the 585 dual-monaural integrated amplifier with Precision Link DAC, and the 536 and the 534, monaural and dual monaural amplifiers.  Read More

Keysight Introduces Comprehensive Transmitter Testing Software for USB 3.1 Type-C Designs
Keysight Technologies introduced the U7243B USB 3.1 transmitter performance validation and compliance test software, which the company says is the most comprehensive transmitter (TX) test support for the USB 3.1 Type-C specification. The test software enables authorized test centers to test USB 3.1 Gen2 SuperSpeed Plus 10 Gbps devices with Type-C implementations and gives in-house test and performance validation engineers the tools to ensure devices comply with the USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C specification.  Read More

New Family of USB-C Audio Codecs from Conexant Redefines Possibilities for Audio Accessories
Conexant introduced new single-chip solutions optimized for USB Type-C implementation, as part of its AudioSmart product line of silicon and software products for audio development. The company announced the CX20985 and the CX20899, two new USB DSP audio codecs that support USB Type-C (USB-C) connectors in smartphone headsets and docking station applications. Both the CX20985 and the CX20899 are highly integrated solutions, fully compliant with the USB-C standard. Read More

Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3 Reference Speaker Now Available
First unveiled in 2015 when Bowers & Wilkins introduced its new 800 Series Diamond, the flagship 800 D3 model was promised for second quarter of 2016. The "best loudspeaker Bowers & Wilkins has ever produced," the 800 D3 combines all the ground-breaking technologies developed for the new series and is the ultimate conclusion of the concept originally introduced in 1979.  Read More

Decisive Momentum for MQA at Munich High End 2016
This year's High End show in Munich was a decisive moment for Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), the technology and the UK-based private company. Adopted by an increasing number of hardware and content partners, the revolutionary end-to-end technology that delivers master quality audio in a file that's small enough to stream or download is now closer to become mainstream following the announcement that Warner Music Group and MQA have entered a long-term licensing deal.  Read More


Editor's Desk

Good Vibrations at High End Show 2016

The Munich High End show, promoted by the High End Society, continues to build on the tradition of the best consumer audio and hi-fi show in the world. The 2016 edition made that very clear with the largest number of exhibitors ever - 518 exhibitors from 42 countries (+2%) - and an impressive number of quality visitors from all over the world - 19,489 attendees in total (-6%), including 7,053 trade visitors from 69 countries (+7%).
This is what the best consumer audio and hi-fi show in the world looks like. Click for some show highlights.
As the figures reveal, the show was more international than ever and the decrease in the domestic visitors numbers was mainly due to the show taking place during an extended holiday weekend (Thursday was a public holiday), the fact that the weather was simply beautiful and that FC Bayern Munich was playing... This was particularly noticeable at certain hours and the visitors also seemed to be older than in previous years. Still the show floor always seemed well-attended and exhibitors in general were pleased with the business results.
Some of the highlights of the year included the "Hörbar," or "headphone bar," which provided visitors with the opportunity to just enjoy the latest headphone models and compare different concepts side by side with identical tracks from different genres - a really great idea. We also appreciated the fact that the show floor was better distributed, filling all four halls with different exhibits, and had an excellent layout. As usual, it provided a prime example of what a quality trade show should be.
A delighted Peter Janis shows the brand-new Dynaco ST-70x (and the new integrated ST-1) at High End Munich. More details soon from the new Hafler-Dynaco...
will continue to update its show coverage on our website and offer separate news items for some of the major product announcements - many of which are already online, including a detailed report on the MQA announcements. This was certainly a strong moment for Bob Stuart's initiative that is promising to revolutionize music distribution in the streaming age. Read more about MQA in the printed June issue of audioXpress.
It's not surprising that the number and quality of announcements was also impressive. In all the particular domains of a show such as this there were plenty of new things to see and hear. With one significant exception: Even though headphones and earphone brands were present, we didn't see a significant number of new product launches or premieres at this year's show. There were many products being displayed in public for the first time in Europe and many of the specialized brands had fine demonstrations in place to surprise visitors. But with the significant success of headphone-specific shows such as CanJam, now happening around the world, it seems clear that many of the companies in this product segment are choosing to introduce their products first at those dedicated shows. Still there was a significant number of new electronics to support headphones, in particular for home listening. Headphone amplifiers are a product segment clearly on the rise and there is almost a race to demonstrate the best quality audio combined with practical features such as integrated DAC and integrated processing and streaming.
The stunning Stenheim full aluminum floor-standing Alumine FIVE, introduced at the Munich High End 2016 show.
DACs and streamers continue to be a major focus for all the main brands attending this show, while the number of great quality products in the most traditional segments was indeed impressive, from very high-end speakers to tube amps and many new turntables. This year there were also a number of new technology companies from all over the world appearing for the first time at the show. We've seen several interesting displays at the start-up exhibits, some of which we will explore in our show coverage.
There were many young companies with interesting proposals clearly showing that the audio industry even in its most traditional segments is benefiting from a new generation of engineering talent. I was particularly impressed by many manufacturers with fresh attitudes toward quality audio.
On the other hand, the Munich show was also a tale of two worlds, with the extreme high-end brands and the esoteric builders interested in getting all the seats filled for their closed-door auditions, while the major brands and most of the show floor focused on the business side, with press events, and distributor meetings. That's the price of success and no doubt the High End show will have to handle both worlds better as it evolves.
Enjoying the HIFIMAN headphones on the show floor, including the fantastic Shangri-La electrostatic headphones... and no crowds around you.
Our High End report in the magazine will certainly pay attention to both sides, since we're always interested in talking to the builders. But the task of ignoring the simply outrageous 3% sound improvements for 3,000% of the price, while spotting the mention-deserving efforts that will actually contribute to the enthusiasts' happiness while not forcing anyone to get a second mortgage, is not an easy one. And in the European market, that's even harder with companies from Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, and many other countries showing designs that might be considered affordable in their home markets but are completely out of reach for any middle-class aficionados from other countries (the majority). Also, it is easy to be dazzled by some esoteric tube amps, exquisite turntables, and hand-painted speakers from Eastern-European countries, which effectively don't add much. And that might well be a significant number of the exhibits, but you have to visit them just to find out.
That doesn't mean the High End show doesn't provide for amazing sessions and highly intense emotional experiences while listening to carefully selected recordings on a half-a-million-dollar setup (and that's not taking into account the cables...). It certainly does. Sometimes actually forcing the High End visitor to take a break before jumping into the next room... And the worst actually happens when we get back home and we listen to what we have... it just sounds dull... so dull. What happened?


Standards Review
Audio Network Development: Developing Products Featuring AES67 Network Connectivity
By Joćo Martins
audioXpress has been addressing the specifics of audio networking, available protocols, and development solutions in its regular Standards Review column. After revisiting the evolution of audio network connectivity, available technologies and platforms, the series discussed how to implement products over Dante and RAVENNA. This last powerful media network technology is also at the forefront of the interoperability efforts with AES67. In the fifth part of this series, which we are now sharing, we address AES67 implementation, the high-performance streaming Audio-over-IP (AoIP) interoperability standard. This article was published in audioXpress, May 2016 Read the Full Article Available Here

Voice Coil Test Bench
Celestion AN3510 Line Source Driver 
By Vance Dickason
This Test Bench article focuses on the Celestion AN3510, from its series of line source drivers. The AN3510 is a 3.5" diameter aluminum cone neodymium motor full-range transducer, built on a proprietary six-spoke molded-glass reinforced ABS frame that includes six screen-covered 5-mm × 15-mm voice coil cooling vents below the spider-mounting shelf located between the frame spokes. The cone assembly consists of a black anodized aluminum cone with a 27-mm diameter aluminum dust cap. Suspending the cone and dust cap are a low-loss nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) surround and a 46-mm diameter treated cloth flat spider. The AN3510 has a 25-mm diameter two-layer voice coil wound with copper wire on a non-conducting polyimide former ending at a pair of aircraft-type terminals. Powering this structure is an overhung neodymium motor with a ventilated (42-mm vent holes) motor return cup for better heat transfer to the surrounding air. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, September 2013Read The Full Article Online

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