INDUSTRY & PRODUCT NEWS

Celestion Adds the FTX1025 and the FTX 1530 to Its Line of Common Magnet Motor Coaxial Loudspeakers
Celestion announced the availability of the latest additions to its FTX Series of common magnet motor coaxial loudspeakers, the 10"  FTX1025 and the 15" FTX1530. Like others in the FTX line, these new loudspeakers offer a full range frequency response in a single self-contained driver by concentrically aligning low and high frequency drivers, providing improvements in signal alignment and off-axis response when compared to a traditional two-way system.   Read More


Lectrosonics to Receive 2017 Academy Award for Technical Achievement
Lectrosonics announced that David Thomas, Lawrence E. Fisher, and David Bundy will receive a 2017 Academy Award for Technical Achievement, for advancing the state of wireless microphone technology in the design, development, and engineering of the Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless System and Technology. Presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Technical Achievement Academy Awards recognize contributions of significant value to the process of making motion pictures.   Read More

IsoAcoustics Debuts ISO-PUCK Discreet Acoustic Isolators at NAMM 2017
During NAMM 2017, IsoAcoustics will debut the new ISO-PUCK, the company's new low-profile, highly flexible, and scalable round model of acoustic isolators designed especially for pro audio speakers and subwoofers as well as musical instrument amplifiers. Exploring the same patented technology used in IsoAcoustics' stands and the recently introduced GAIA speaker isolation feet, the new ISO-Puck system introduces a new level of positioning flexibility and affordabilityRead More


Vesper and DSP Group Demo Near-Zero-Power Voice-Activation for Battery-Powered Devices at CES 2017
During CES 2017, advanced acoustic sensors specialist Vesper, together with DSP Group, a global provider of wireless chipset solutions for converged communications, and Sensory, a leading voice interface and keyword-detect algorithm company, have demonstrated a turnkey development platform that boasts the lowest overall power consumption for far-field always-listening voice interfaces. At CES, DSP Group also unveiled its new DBMD5 audio SoC built to drive clearer human-machine voice interactions.    Read More
 
Earin Shows Lessons Learned on True Wireless M-2 Earbuds
Earin is a new Swedish brand, founded in 2013 to create simple high fidelity audio devices that "fully explore the potential of sound and technology." The company is already in the market with its M-1 Wireless Earbuds, a first-generation product targeted at music listening without wires. At CES 2017, Earin introduced its new M-2 earbuds, scheduled to ship in late Q1, and featuring a combination of the latest Bluetooth low-power with NXP's Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) chip.   Read More


Anaview Introduces Music-Quality Audio Transformers at NAMM 2017
A new Anaview audio transformer with a wide frequency response for distributed audio systems delivering high-quality music as well as voice content, is being unveiled by ETAL Group at NAMM 2017. ETAL is also exhibiting the premium Anaview AMS and popular high end ALC Class D power amplifiers and the recently launched ALA credit-card-sized amplifier.  Read More


Powersoft Appoints Klas Dalbjorn for Product Manager Position
Powersoft's determination to strengthen the company further in 2017 has begun in the most dynamic fashion, with the appointment of the highly experienced Klas Dalbjorn as Product Manager. The former Lab Gruppen and Lake Product Research Manager will add considerable strength and gravitas to the development team, headed by co-founder and R&D director, Claudio Lastrucci. His role will extend across the entire product portfolio.   Read More


NXP Introduces i.MX 8M Processor to Transform IoT Audio, Voice, and Video Interactions
At CES 2017, NXP Semiconductors (now part of Qualcomm) introduced its new i.MX 8M family of applications processors specifically designed to meet increasing audio and video system requirements for smart home and smart mobility applications such as over-the-top (OTT) set-top boxes, digital media adapters, surround sound, sound bars, A/V receivers, voice control, voice assistance, digital signage, and general purpose human machine interface (HMI) solutions.  Read More






João
Martins
Editor-in-Chief



Editor's Desk


What Happened at AISE 2017, in Vegas...

Every year, the Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing & Acoustics (ALMA) International, a not-for-profit association dedicated to serving electro-acoustic professionals worldwide, promotes its International Symposium & Expo (AISE) just prior to the CES Show, at the Tuscany Suites and Casino, in Las Vegas, NV. This is indeed a first-class event for anyone involved in the loudspeaker industry and highly recommended for anyone interested in audio product development and the more technical aspects of the audio industry.

Exhibit area during the ALMA International Symposium and Expo (AISE) 2017.
 
AISE 2017 was again a very successful event, benefiting from a revitalized leadership, headed by Peter Andrews, President of ALMA International, which implemented several significant improvements for this year's event, starting with a new Floor Plan maximizing traffic through the exhibits, converging on the coffee-break/dining area, and access to the three conference rooms whengoing to and from the Symposium Sessions. This was crucial to create a more lively environment, while attendees to AISE 2017 had to pass by the exhibit floor. audioXpress and Voice Coil magazines were obviously present with a booth and we certainly enjoyed the many conversations and exchanges.
 
Exhibitors to AISE 2017 included Audio Precision, Bay Audio, CRY Sound, Dr. Kurt Mueller, Ferrotec (USA), Globe Plastics, HEAD acoustics, iSEAT, Listen, Loudsoft, Materion, Ferrotec (USA) Menlo Scientific, NTi Audio, Pacific Audio Consulting,  PCB Piezotronics, Polytec, Warkwyn/Klippel, OMS Corp., SB Acoustics, The Loudspeaker Sourcing Show, and TrueAnalog Strictly OEM.
 
As always, the papers, seminars and forums were of the highest quality. In fact, the program was so rich and motivating that it could easily rival that of an Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention, with three rooms with concurrent sessions during two full days, making it impossible to cover everything. I just think that ALMA needs to replicate this format to another forum later in the year and in cooperation with other industry events, where the sessions could benefit from an expanded audience, as the speakers deserve. At AISE 2017, the sessions were always well-attended, with ALMA noting a 35% increasing in attendance. Still, I cannot imagine how it could be if those sessions took place during an AES convention, or in tandem with any other show such as NAMM or InfoComm... This is an idea that's been on the table for the last few years among ALMA members, including the possibility of extending initiatives to European and Asian trade-shows, something we all would like to see happening. If you or your company would like to contribute and provide support, you can start by joining ALMA.
 
Just to provide a glimpse of what happened at AISE 2017, I would highlight quality sessions such as Advanced Distortion Analysis Methods, by Dan Foley (Audio Precision), In-Vehicle Audio System Distortion Audibility, by Steve Temme (Listen, Inc), An Engineering Analysis of Four Commercial Bookshelf Loudspeakers, by Mark Glazer (Harman International), Reducing Uncertainty in Speaker Testing by Understanding the Complete Measurement Chain, by Brian MacMillan & Gregor Schmidle, Physical Accuracy and Modeling Robustness of Motional Impedance Models, by Claus Futtrup and Jeff Candy... This should give you an idea of the more than 40 hours of content.

Well-attended sessions and more than 40 hours of great content at AISE 2017.
 
In line with this year's theme - The Future of Mobile Audio - there were sessions on The Future of Bluetooth Audio, by Andrew Becraft and a lively forum on The Future of Car Audio, with panelists Justin Zazzi, Nicholas Ames, Jon Kowanetz, Robert Jamison, and Andy Wehmeyer, moderated by Barry Vogel. And because no one could ignore the pending administration transition, Rosemary Coates presented a session on Bring Manufacturing Back to America.
 
Among the session highlights, I was glad to see Marcos Felipe Simon and Filipio Maria Fazi, from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, UK, introducing their work on Dynamic Listener Adaptive Binaural and Personal Audio with Loudspeaker Arrays, currently implemented in a new-generation soundbar that we also had the chance to see at the Eureka Park, during CES 2017.
 
Zoltàn Bay has been working in High-End Audio for more than 30 years and its patented Bay Radial Speaker (BRS) is the result of extensive research, presented at AISE 2017.
Other interesting sessions included two presentations by Jacob Soendergaard (HEAD acoustics), on Accurately Stressing ANC, Beamforming and Noise Suppression Algorithms, discussing some of the systems and metrics used today to acoustically validate the performance of modern mobile audio and communication devices; as well as his session The Leap from Audio to Communication, discussing the many intricacies of testing for Voice and Conversational Quality in a Bluetooth hands-free system. Also of great interest was the session by Erik Wiederholtz (Knowles Corp.) discussing How Balanced Armature Drivers Work, and which - like several other presentations - we expect to bring soon to the pages of audioXpress.
 
I also have to praise the enthusiasm and tireless work of Peter Larsen, who continues to expand Loudsoft's range of solutions. During AISE 2017, Larsen introduced its FINE DSP 2017 software for Digital Speaker Design and Optimization, including intuitive Parametric equalization and filters, simulation of up to 7 SPL responses (on-axis and off-axis) in real time, and calculation of power and excursion limits.
 
For speaker designers and all those interested in new transducers, Zoltàn Bay, from Bay Audio, Hungary, introduced its  Bay Radial Speaker (BRS) during a dedicated presentation and at its own booth. The new transducer is the result of decades of research and development work, creating a unique radial sound projection concept, with a patented cylindrical membrane surface of variable diameter, made from a special material, generating an almost "holographic" response. The outstanding high-end sound quality of the new BRS design, has already been implemented in some unique speakers, but Zoltàn Bay is now looking to pursue licensing opportunities. We expect to provide more details on a dedicated article. More information is available at Bay Audio's website.
 
F
Robert-Eric Gaskell is an audio researcher and the inventor of the core technology and co-founder of ORA Sound, a company focused on the commercialization of Graphene materials in dynamic loudspeakers.
inally, we would like to highlight another session by Robert-Eric Gaskell, from ORA Sound, which explained the company's research with Graphene Composites For Increased Loudspeaker Efficiency In Portable Audio Devices. This innovation was also one of our highlights in a recent edition of The Audio Voice, and Voice Coil will soon provide more details on this new class of materials with excellent mechanical properties, now being implemented in a new generation of drivers with great efficiency and bandwidth improvements. Apart from speaker drivers, ORA Sound also introduced a new graphene-based headphone driver, which was demonstrated at CES 2017.
 
Beryllium Driver Award
This year's ALMA Beryllium Driver Award for Lifetime Achievement, presented during the traditional ALMA International's Annual Banquet, was another important moment for the association and the loudspeaker audio industry. Awarded to Bob Gault, Eminence founder, the Lifetime Achievement award recognizes one of the most important US entrepreneurs and loudspeaker industry visionaries. Bob's son, Rob Gault, who has taken over the leadership of Eminence, accepted the award in the company of Bob's wife and other members of the family and friends, who attended the ceremony.
 
As Rob Gault remembered during the occasion, in 1966 Bob Gault founded what was to become the world's largest loudspeaker manufacturing company after working as an engineer for  Magnavox and Chicago Telephone Supply (CTS). Gault started Eminence building only three 18" speakers per day, based on a commitment from Ampeg's Everett Hull. Gault was the president of Eminence from the company's inception until 1992. He officially retired in 1993, but continued to make valuable contributions to  the company. Gault passed away on October 4, 2002.

Rob Gault accepted this year's ALMA Beryllium Driver Award for Lifetime Achievement, on behalf of his father, Bob Gault.
 
Under the leadership of Gault and most recently his son, the company's capacity grew to more than 10,000 speakers per day, employing nearly 200 people. Eminence, Kentucky (population 3,000) is centrally located in the heart of Kentucky, between Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. Bob Gault chose this location as it was ideally situated for shipping products all over the US. The Eminence and Henry County community could also provide the labor needed to manufacture products on a large scale, and the location continues to provide ideal conditions for the design, assembly and distribution.

This year celebrating its 51st anniversary, Eminence continues to be one of the main suppliers to OEM manufacturers all over the world and successfully distributes its own line of branded products to more than 90 countries. As Rob Gault remembered in his acceptance speech, his father's intention was never to become a major speaker company: "That was just the natural result of his business philosophy: Treat people right - customers, employees, and suppliers - and price the speakers based on cost plus a fair margin. It didn't hurt that he was a production genius or  that he attracted a lot of really great people to the Eminence family."

Fresh From the Bench
Kii Audio's Three: The Next Step in Loudspeaker Evolution
By Jan Didden and Paul Wilke
 
audioXpress January 2017 featured the much-anticipated review of the brand new Kii Three speakers from the company everyone's watching, Kii Audio. "The Next Step in Loudspeaker Evolution," as Jan Didden and Paul Wilke titled their review, examines whether the Kii Threes are effectively "the most advanced loudspeaker on the market today," as is claimed by Kii Audio. The Kii Three is the latest design by Bruno Putzeys, CTO of Kii Audio GmbH, who teamed up with a group of experts that included DSP specialist Bart van der Laan. Putzeys is known as the designer of the nCore series of Class-D amplifiers, and the excellent Grimm LS1 speaker. The Kii Three, however, is so different that it may be the beginning of an entirely new class of loudspeakers: Those that actively control directivity at the low end. Focusing on the technical aspects of the loudspeaker first and foremost, speaker expert Paul Wilke looks at all the details in the design, while audioXpress' technical editor Jan Didden provides the listening impressions, after living with the Kii Three for a week. Together, they tested the Kii Three during a measurement session in the anechoic chamber of the Technical University in Delft in The Netherlands, to substantiate their impressions. Learn what they discovered in this definitive review of the Kii Three.   Read the Full Article Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
MAG Audio 10N501 Woofer 
By Vance Dickason
 
This Test Bench characterizes the 10N501, a distributed neodymium magnet motor 10" woofer from Ukrainian pro sound OEM manufacturer MAG Audio. The 10N501's intended application is for line arrays or compact two-way monitors. The 10N501's features include a proprietary 12-spoke octagonal cast-aluminum frame that is open below the spider mounting shelf for cooling. The spokes form 12 11 mm × 8 mm vents for air flow on the forward end of the voice coil. The cone assembly includes a lightweight curved profile uncoated paper/pulp cone, a 3.75" diameter uncoated paper dust cap, with a 3" (76 mm) diameter voice coil wound on a glass fiber former with an inside/outside winding (both sides of the voice coil former) that is wound with copper-clad aluminum wire (CCAW). Compliance is provided by a three-roll pleated coated cloth surround and a 5.5" diameter cloth elevated spider (damper). A removable self-centering motor system comprised of twelve 28 mm × 8 mm polished neodymium slugs sandwiched between an 8 mm front plate and a two-part, cleverly designed T-yoke powers the motor. The T-yoke assembly houses the dual shorting/demodulation rings as well as a 35 mm diameter pole vent accompanied by eight 5 mm diameter peripheral vents. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, January 2016.   Read the Full Article Online

AX February 2017: Digital Login
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VC January 2017: Digital Login
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