Kramer Electronics Acquires iRule and ON Controls
Kramer Electronics has announced the acquisition of iRule, LLC, creator of cloud-based control and automation software for commercial and residential markets. In 2014, Kramer announced a partnership with iRule to deliver its Kramer Control automation technology. This acquisition will enable Kramer to leverage the highly customizable iRule software platform to best address a growing demand for advanced control and automation solutions.   Read More

B&C Speakers Expands RBX Series Subwoofer Range
Building on the success of the recently released 18RBX100 high-performance ferrite subwoofer, Italian pro sound OEM B&C Speakers has added a 15" alternative to the RBX range. The new 15RBX100 subwoofer from B&C Speakers is rated for 2,000 W continuous program power capacity, and anchors the brand's ferrite subwoofer line, all featuring new FEA optimized motor structures.   Read More

LG Electronics Introduces Levitating Speaker at CES 2017
LG Electronics (LG) announced its futuristic Levitating Portable Speaker, which will be launched at CES 2017. The new wireless speaker (model PJ9) "hovers in place over the accompanying Levitation Station to deliver high-quality audio while also making a lasting impression with its eye-catching design," the company says. In addition to its striking looks, the versatile speaker provides users the ability to seamlessly play music, podcasts, and other audio content in the home as well as outdoorsRead More

Ambiq Micro's Latest Apollo 2 Platform Offers Lowest Power-Consumption Performance for Consumer Electronics Devices
Ambiq Micro released the Apollo 2 Wearables and IoT Platform, offering breakthrough power consumption of under 10 μA/MHz, which allows for double the battery life in wearable devices. Apollo 2's performance provides longer battery life, enhanced intelligence, and improved functionality in wearables and IoT consumer electronics products through its patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT) technology.    Read More

A Christmas Gift from Norway: SEAS Announces KingRO4Y Mk II Loudspeaker Kit
SEAS just announced final plans for a KingRO4Y Mk II edition, a high-performance powered loudspeaker kit featuring a L26RO4Y subwoofer and the completely new C18EN002/A midrange coaxial driver, designed by Håvard Sollien at the SEAS R&D laboratory. The project will soon include full assembly instructions, but the first details are already published on the company's website.   Read More

Visual Art Speakers Reveals Ogeeg Model 3 Carbon Fiber Planar Speakers at CES 2017
Visual Art Speakers will be presenting the next-generation Ogeeg Model 3 art speakers at the Las Vegas Convention Center (South Hall Booth 20562) during CES 2017. Featuring the world's first all carbon fiber planar drivers, the Ogeeg Model 3 is "paragon of efficiency, great sound and custom art presentation," the company states. The new planar speaker will be available with built-in tube amplifier and wireless connectivity.  Read More

Nordic Semiconductor to Demonstrate Bluetooth 5 Enhancements at CES 2017
Nordic Semiconductor in collaboration with its design partners are unveiling the latest Bluetooth low-energy and IEEE 802.15.4-enabled innovations at International CES 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. The Norwegian company will demonstrate the capabilities of its Bluetooth 5-compatible nRF52 Series SoCs. Product demonstrations include contactless payment, wearables wireless charging, thread networking, voice-activated remote control, educational platforms, home automation and Bluetooth 5 enhancements.   Read More

beyerdynamic Unveils New Xelento Remote Tesla In-Ear Headphones
beyerdynamic has a spate of interesting unveilings for the CES show in Las Vegas, NV, including a new design in the in-ear category. The new Tesla Xelento in-ear headphones combine the brand's engineering and craftsmanship and leverage the company's unique Tesla technology, representing a complete redevelopment using magnets 16 times smaller than the reference Tesla T 1 headphones to provide an extended frequency response in a unique and sophisticated design.  Read More

Mike Klasco
(Menlo Scientific)

Guest Editorial

Even EarPrint - Precision Personalized Listening

Most sophisticated audio people are familiar with the room/speaker correction systems for recording studios and home listening. The calibration process consists of generating test signals that are sent to the amplifier and individual speakers. The response of the speakers is then captured by a measurement microphone at the listening position(s). Readers interested in a comprehensive survey and analysis of these techniques such as Audyssey, Dirac, and Trinnov  should explore Ron Tipton's speaker/room correction series in audioXpress magazine.
Even EarPrint chart
While these compensation techniques for room/speakers can make substantial improvement to the accuracy of sound reproduction, there are some intrinsic limitations. Specifically during calibration, users have to make the choice of one sweet spot or a compromised average for multiple listening locations, and there is also the listener's hearing deficiencies. Most of us start life without hearing defects, but time has a way of putting wear and tear on our hearing. Too many rock concerts, or too many years on subway trains take their toll. It is not unusual that the left ear has a response different than the right ear. Stiffening of the tympanic membrane due to aging droops the top-end response and hearing can be further diminished by cerumen (ear wax) build up.

Audiology testing procedures for hearing aid fittings are not appropriate for earphone/headphones as the bandwidth is not quite wide enough for music auditioning. The standard and most common type of hearing test is pure tone audiometry, which measures the air and bone conduction thresholds for each ear in a set of eight standard frequencies from 250 Hz to 8,000 Hz. Yet, EQ correction for earphones and headphones could be ideal and benefit even more from response processing than speaker/room correction. To start, the listener is now "in the correction loop" along with the earphones/headphones, including compensation for your left and right ears' idiosyncrasies. Unlike loudspeakers and rooms, there is no compromise when averaging for multiple listening positions - the headphones come along for the ride when you change your seat!
Keeping in mind that the earphone's and headphone's response can vary each time you put them on, but the Even Earprint  calibration procedure is 90 seconds and the process can be done each time for critical auditioning. While audiology testing is optimized for voice communications, Earprint is for music listening and the calibration starts at a band centered at 125 Hz and extends to a band centered at 14 kHz. Furthermore the compensation curves the Even EarPrint method uses are entirely different than those used by audiologists since the focus is for an enhanced musical experience.
At CES 2017, the EarPrint sound "personalization" technique is being introduced by Even. In an upcoming issue of audioXpress we plan to explore the science behind EarPrint, but for now let's hear about this development from Even EarPrint creators Danny Aronson and Ofer Raz.
The Eureka Moment... It all started from a personal pain point.
Danny Aronson, a musician and commercial sound designer, explained how his hearing had been deteriorating over time. He had the same issue with his eyesight, which was easily solved with a pair of prescription glasses. In a conversation with Ofer Raz, a veteran CTO and entrepreneur, they asked themselves a question....
"Why aren't headphones like glasses?"
Why can't we adapt sound to the way you uniquely hear, just like eyesight, and give you the gift of 20/20 hearing? 
Even headphones and Earprint processor

In a category that equates extravagant price with quality, isn't it time that someone challenged the basic precepts of the audio world - the notion that we all hear exactly the same and that we all have perfect hearing, and created an affordable solution?
Shouldn't everyone be able to hear better, without the need to pay an arm and a leg for what is basically an outdated, one-sound-fits-all design? How do you tackle the biggest players in the business, and get people to understand they are missing out and (literally) paying heavily for it? How do we deliver on our vision - to help the world hear better?
Connecting with a team of audiologists, mastering engineers, and sound designers, we developed a 90 second, self-administered "EarPrint" valuation test that understands how you hear in each ear across a wide range of frequencies, and a patent pending algorithm that compensates, in real time, for your specific hearing. EarPrint delivers a first-of-its-kind personalized experience to measure and then tune sound to each listener's unique hearing.
The patent-pending Even EarPrint technology (five patents filed up till now with more on the way) measures the listener's reactions to a wideband series of eight different frequency bands of music in each ear, based on the concept of the industry-standard "Threshold of hearing test" used by audiologists. It then compensates differently for each ear, creating a vast improvement in the sound and music listening experience.
Implementation of the EarPrint can be in a low-cost general purpose microprocessor powered by batteries in the remote control/microphone dongle, powered through USB-C or lightning connector, or a higher performance CSR Bluetooth DSP processor (e.g., the 8675). The Earprint licensing program is targeted toward brands that work in conjunction with certified factories.
If you are attending CES, you can check out Earprint at the Venetian Tower Suites as Even is providing demos of its system. You can book a private demonstration here.

From the Vault
A Simple LED Bias Meter and Supply for the Dynaco ST70 and Other Tube Amplifiers
By Patrick Brunner
Recently, I got bitten by the nostalgia bug and picked up a pair of old factory-wired Dynaco ST70s in pretty nice condition. But, being an engineer, I couldn't leave well enough alone. On one of the Dynaco ST70s, I installed a new 6GH8 driver board instead of dealing with the rare 7199 issue. Next, the comparatively weak and remote bias supply also seemed like it could use an update. So, I designed a small (3" × 3") PCB to combine the bias supply and added the LED bias-setting circuit. Note: This DIY project assumes that your amp is working correctly. The total cost should be $25 or less, especially if your junk box is well supplied. This article was originally published in audioXpress, April 2013.   Read the Full Article Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Scan-Speak Discovery 26W/4558T00 10" Aluminum Cone Subwoofer 
By Vance Dickason
This Test Bench article characterizes Scan-Speak's 10" aluminum cone subwoofer, the 26W/4558T00, a high-end home audio driver from the Danish brand's Discovery lineup. The new Scan-Speak 26W/4558T00 subwoofer is built on an eight-spoke proprietary cast aluminum frame, which includes eight 35mm × 20mm "windows" below the spider mounting shelf for cooling. Scan-Speak obviously spent a lot of time designing the cone for this woofer. The material used for this cone is a thick black flat profile anodized aluminum that has the outside perimeter of the cone turned down to strengthen the edge to prevent flexing. However, even more interesting is that the cone has a 5" articulation that forms a 1/16" rib that is in just about the same place that the dust cap attaches on the front side of the cone, which should add considerable stiffness. There are also eight slightly oblong 1/4" × 3/8" holes intended to vent air out of the area beneath the dust cap. The dust cap is a 5" diameter convex type made from a black coated fiberglass/paper sandwich. Providing compliance for this woofer is a fairly wide (30 mm) black NBR surround and a black 6" diameter flat Nomex spider. The motor system for the 26W is composed of a stacked pair of 147 mm diameter and 18 mm thick ferrite magnets. These are sandwiched between an 8 mm front plate and a 9 mm back plate with a 10 mm bump out. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, February 2011.   Read the Full Article Online

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