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INDUSTRY & PRODUCT NEWS

Earphones and Headphones Market to Surpass USD $25 Billion by 2024
According to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc., the earphone and headphone market share is set to exceed USD $18.2 billion by 2023 and to exceed $25 billion by 2024. Advancements in wireless technologies and the rising adoption of portable devices (e.g., smartphones, mobiles, laptops, and tablets) will prominently drive earphones and headphones market size over the coming six years. Global shipments will grow at nearly 4% CAGR estimation, the market research firm predicts.   Read More


Earthquake Sound Introduces New Patented PUMP 12 Passive Radiator Design
Earthquake Sound is now promoting its latest patented design, which entails an advanced improvement over the previous patent for the successful Symmetrically Loaded Audio Passive System (S.L.A.P.S.) Radiator. Since its initial appearance in early prototype phase, the new PUMP 12 passive radiator design has been impressing everyone with its ability to increase a subwoofer's SPL up to 6 dB. The new PUMP 12 passive radiator module is now available.   Read More


European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) Awards 2017-2018 in Audio Categories
The European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) Awards 2017-2018 have been announced. Already listed at www.eisa.eu, the EISA Awards 2017-2018 recognize performance and innovation in Consumer Electronics, including audio categories in hi-fi, home theater, and mobile. This year, the awards have a strong European flavor in the higher end home categories, with Japan and Asia in general dominating the home theater items. Exception for a US brand, JBL takes two awards in personal audio.    Read More


DSP Group and LISNR Partner to Create Ultra-Low Power Audio-Enabled Data Transmission Solution 
Wireless communications chipset specialist, DSP Group and LISNR, a global provider of data-over-audio technology, developed the Audio-D, a solution that supports data-over-audio communication for any device with a speaker or microphone. This solution, based on DSP Group's DBMD4 Voice SoC and LISNR technology, overcomes device-to-device hardware restraints regarding RF protocols. This enables always-on communication and a high level of interoperability while consuming low power.   Read More


Control4 Introduces Its New Triad Designer Series In-Ceiling Speaker Line 
Following its acquisition of Triad Speakers in February 2017, Control4 has launched the new Triad Designer Series, featuring unobtrusive in-ceiling speakers and a subwoofer that deliver rich, full sound from a tiny 4", flush-mount speaker grill. Continuing the company tradition of invisible speakers for traditional in-ceiling and in-wall applications, the new Triad Designer Series combines high-performance sound and elegant home design. Read More


Explore the Power of Powersoft's Armonía 2.10 Software Platform
Powersoft not only designs and manufacturers some of the most powerful and sophisticated audio amplifiers available, it also provides its Armonía software, a powerful control and monitoring platform. So powerful indeed that the Italian company struggles to explain everything the software can do and train its users. To complement the recent introduction of Armonía 2.10, Powersoft created a new series of instructional videos, explaining the new features, including the new Smaart integration.   Read More






João
Martins
Editor-in-Chief




Editor's Desk


Qualcomm 2017 State of Play Report

Qualcomm released its 2017 State of Play report. The report based on a survey of 4,000 adult smartphone users in the US and UK conducted by OnePoll, Ltd., helps identify current consumer attitudes and purchase drivers for wireless headphones and speakers. This annual report highlights consumer demand for convenience and quality from personal audio devices.

"Over the last 12 months, exciting changes in how consumers are using their personal audio devices have emerged like the growing use of true wireless earbuds and streaming audio," said Anthony Murray, senior vice president and general manager, voice and music, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. "We commissioned this survey to shed some light on the features that matter most to consumers, and to help identify both their current needs and their expectations and desires for audio technology in future. "The overriding trend in this space is that end users continue to demand ever better sound quality and new features, at all price points."
 
Some of the key findings from the 2017 State of Play report include:
1. Both sound quality and ease-of-use are vital purchase drivers for respondents
2. 60% of participants rated battery life as "very important" when choosing wireless speakers or headphones
3. Interest in the hearable ecosystem is rapidly building
4. There is significantly more interest in voice control and personal assistants in 2017 compared to 2016
5. Consumers continue to become more discerning about audio quality (when compared to the State of Play report findings from prior years 2016 and 2015)
6. 80% of participants said they expect new features included with each new release of a wireless audio product
 
"The hearables race is on," added Murray. "While these technologies are still in their infancy, consumer interest in the benefits provided by the hearable ecosystem appears to be rapidly building. We expect manufacturers who innovate early may over time make the biggest gains in the hearables space as they are best able to meet the connectivity and sound quality that users desire."
 
Technology innovations have supported new wireless personal audio use cases that require both advanced product capabilities and greatly extended battery life. The report indicates audio OEMs that can meet these requirements and support great sound quality stand to gain a wider, committed customer base, and an edge in this competitive space.
 
To download the full report, visit the State of Play website.
 

Extra! Kanoa Goes Bust

Kanoa earbuds have been produced and were shown in public.
This very morning, audioXpress received a series of messages and social media alerts mentioning the fact that Kanoa - a truly wireless earbuds maker - had shut down all its websites and social media pages. Apparently, thousands of "backers" that were waiting to receive the promised wireless earbuds are now facing the fact that they have lost their pre-order money and will never even be able to receive a refund. The only thing left (for now...) was the message posted on their website stating: "Unfortunately, we have come to a roadblock," and that "without the capital to fund production, we will not be fulfilling any more preorders."
 
In 2015, audioXpress wrote about this company, based in San Mateo, CA, mentioning that Kanoa was launching a new concept: Instead of using established crowdfunding websites, the company launched a website describing its product in detail and taking pre-orders for a limited introductory price of $149 - a kind of DIY crowdfunding campaign. Kanoa promised to ship the wireless earbuds in April 2016, and promoted its concept widely, appearing to have mastered the concept. Full retail price was announced to be $299 - if and when they would begin shipping, as audioXpress noted.
 
In May 2016, after Kanoa and other companies failed to ship products, audioXpress mentioned that many wireless earbud companies were facing the same technical challenges dealing with RF and battery performance, as well as wireless transmission and synchronization, to achieve what they were promising consumers (and crowdfunding backers). Still, with reasonable or not-so-good performance, we have seen companies such as Bragi, Noble Audio, HearNotes, Erato, Onkyo and others, eventually starting to ship actual products, and subsequently launch improved versions.
 
Kanoa newsletter sent in August 2017. They were shipping and taking more orders.
With Apple's announcement of the iPhone 7 and the Airpods, the hurdles for many of those "truly wireless earbuds" were made clearer. Further announcements from NXP on the use of NearField Magnetic Induction (NFMI) and subsequent announcements from Earin, Bragi, Alpha Audiotronics, and several other manufacturers, revealed clear limitations with the use of Bluetooth, that only the evolution toward Bluetooth 5 might eventually resolve. We know that many of the companies already publicly committed with wireless earbuds and hearables have developed or are now working on new-generation products that fully realize those promises.
 
It is deeply sad to see that, in the process, some companies have failed to realize their vision and have seriously hindered the confidence of all those who trusted them - and with that also negatively effecting the whole industry. In particular, this unfortunate story negatively affects the crowdfunding communities, when in fact Kanoa was taking orders directly.
 
Until last week, Kanoa was still sending emails inviting more people to preorder the earbuds, and they were promoting the fact that the first production run was shipping. The company even launched the Kanoa mobile app into the Apple App Store. Strange that it now states that it doesn't have "enough capital to stay operational," and decided to simply disappear.
 
audioXpress will continue to follow the story with interest.



                         

R&D Stories
Even's EarPrint Technology - Precision Listening for Earphones and Headphones
By Mike Klasco
 
Even is reinventing personal audio with technology that tunes sound to each listener's unique hearing with its patent-pending Even EarPrint process. A veteran group of sound designers, acoustic engineers, mastering technicians, and audiologists have perfected a personalization process for headphones and earphones that measures the user's reactions to a series of eight different frequencies in each ear in only 90 seconds. This enables correction of earphone and headphone responses each time they are used.  In this report for audioXpress, Klasco interviewed the masterminds behind the patent-pending process Even EarPrint technology (five patents filed to-date with more on the way), which measures the user's reactions to a series of eight different frequencies in each ear, based on the industry-standard "threshold of hearing test" used by Audiologists and extending it to better fit the music spectrum. This article was originally published in audioXpress, June 2017.   Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Dayton Audio DSA175 Designer Series 6.5" Woofer 
By Vance Dickason
 
The Test Bench samples for this explication came from US OEM, Dayton Audio. I received a home audio 6.5" woofer, the DSA175, from the brand's popular Designer Series of aluminum cone woofers. Each product in this line incorporates proprietary stamped steel frame with a thin mounting lip that enables front mounting without insetting the driver (surface mounted), high relative XMAX, with paper cones for the DS series and aluminum cones for the DSA series. Features for the Dayton Audio DSA175 are fairly impressive. Dayton Audio has devised a proprietary four-spoke surface-mountable stamped steel basket, however, it does not incorporate any below-the-spider venting. Cooling is provided by a 15 mm diameter pole vent. The cone assembly consists of a black anodized straight-edge aluminum cone and a 52 mm (2.125") diameter convex aluminum dust cap. Compliance is provided by a positive roll nitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR) surround while the remaining compliance comes from a 3.5" diameter elevated cloth spider. The DSA175's motor design utilizes a 22 mm × 120 mm ferrite ring magnet, a vented pole piece fitted with a copper shorting ring (not specified by probably a copper pole cap). Driving the cone assembly is a 35.5 mm diameter voice coil wound with round copper wire on an aluminum former. Last, the voice coil is terminated at standard set of solderable terminals. This is basically a nicely configured budget-priced line of drivers, with the single piece retail price of $36.90. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, December 2016.   Read the Full Article Online

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