FREE White Paper - "Quantifying Acoustic Sources through Sound Power Measurements"
There are many ways to measure sound power and several standards exist to guide engineers and technicians in this measurement. Find out which sound power measurement technique is the most appropriate for your product test. In this white paper, you'll learn how to choose the right sound measurement technique for your testing. Free-field, reverberant field, and in-situ testing methods are explained along with the standards for measuring the sound levels of a source.  Download the FREE White Paper Here


MQA Expands Global Reach on Smartphone, Portable Devices, and Music Services at IFA 2017
Music technology company, MQA, announced a breadth of new partnerships at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. Developed for convenient delivery and unmatched audio quality, MQA technology will now be supported by LG's new V30 smartphone, the first globally available MQA-enabled handset. MQA music playback will also be available on the two latest portable devices from Sony's iconic Walkman brand, the WM-ZX300 and WM-A40 models.   Read More

B&O PLAY Unveils Beoplay E8 True Wireless Earbuds using NFMI Technology
B&O PLAY has expanded its earphone portfolio, with the launch of the brand's first truly wireless earphones, Beoplay E8. The new Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 true wireless earbuds exude simplicity and style, using premium materials that remain at the heart of the brand's heritage. The development focuses on sound quality and a seamless listening experience on the move, leveraging Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) and Bluetooth 4.2.   Read More

Amazon Implements Multi-Room Music with Alexa Control and Announces New Alexa Developer Tools for Third-Party Alexa-Enabled Systems
Amazon announced an all-new Alexa feature that enables users to control and synchronize music streaming across multiple Amazon Echo devices in the home. Not only target music to a specific Amazon device or a group of devices - such as the Dot, Echo Show, and regular Echo speaker - but also reach third-party AVS devices. New Alexa Developer Tools to extend the ability to control multi-room music on other connected audio systems using voice commands will be available in 2018.    Read More

Libre Wireless Technologies Announces Its LibreSync Platform Will Work with Amazon Alexa and Support the Alexa Connected Speaker APIs 
At the IFA 2017 consumer electronics show in Berlin, Libre Wireless Technologies announced its LibreSync wireless mic-to-cloud voice and media streaming platform solutions will work with Amazon Alexa voice service, as well as support the newly announced Alexa Connected Speaker APIs. With the integration of Alexa and the Alexa Connected Speaker APIs, Libre enables consumer brands and ODMs to easily incorporate and leverage Alexa voice service and multiroom audio control via Alexa.   Read More

Dynaudio Reveals New Cinema Master High-Performance Home Theater System and new Product Lineup for CEDIA 2017 
CEDIA 2017 will be an opportunity for renowned high-end loudspeaker specialist Dynaudio to showcase a diverse range of innovative new loudspeakers reflecting its 40 years of experience - with a focus on the custom install space. The company will present the new Cinema Master, a high-performance, luxury home theater system, together with new custom Studio Series installation loudspeaker systems. Another show highlight will be the presentation of its Special 40th Anniversary Speaker model. Read More

Dirac Research Introduces Consumer-Friendly Audio Room Correction Tool
Dirac Research announced Mobile Dirac Live - an end-user version of its groundbreaking integrator-based Dirac Live room correction solution. The new "Mobile Dirac Live" app empowers end-users to optimize their home theater audio with an easy-to-use mobile application that is compatible with iOS and Android devices and works with most Dirac Live AVR products. Mobile Dirac Live will be demonstrated for the first time at the upcoming CEDIA 2017 show, in San Diego, CA.   Read More

AES New York 2017's Product Development Track to Feature the Industry's Newest Advancements in Audio Technology and Methods
The 143rd International Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention, at the Jacob Javits Center in NY, October 18 to 21, will be the must-attend meeting place and gear exhibition for audio professionals. The AES New York 2017's Product Development Track will feature the industry's newest advancements in audio technology and methods. The "Disruptive Topics in Audio Product Development" series of in-depth seminars will address methods of bringing products to market faster, new headphone design techniques, development methods, better audio coding methods, and more.   Read More

Mike Klasco
(Menlo Scientific)

Guest Editorial

Roboden Stretching Cable:
Coming to an Earphone Near You!

Roboden, a unique stretchable cable for microphones, earphones, and headphones, has been developed by Asahi Kasei of Japan. It expands up to 40% longer than its "at rest" length. This braided wire was originally developed for use in robotics and industrial machinery where cables may need to glide around joints that pivot or extend. These applications previously used cable slack built into the "wire dress" to accommodate movement, which can lead to cables getting snagged and jamming. Conversely, Roboden stretches and shrinks to fit as needed.
How can a cable stretch and contract? A normal cable is made of stiff conductor wires and a straight outer covering.
Another appealing attribute is absolutely zero microphonics (bio-body noise) reaching your ears. This will be especially surprising to cable designers because while braided cables look classier than PVC, TPE, and other extruded jacket cables, woven jacketing cables tend to create and carry body vibration noise to the earphones. Roboden cable's Spandex/nylon fiber and unique weave topology effectively absorbs microphonics. 
Sport fitness, electronic news gathering (ENG), and almost every headphone and earphone application would benefit from Roboden elastic cables.
Asahi Kasei spent years developing Roboden TR stretch cables. The company started in 1931 as a chemical producer and since then has diversified into construction materials, petrochemicals, glass fabrics, ethylene, housing, medical devices, electronics (you may be familiar with its very high-end AKM integrated circuits and converters), engineered resins, pharmaceuticals, and liquors with annual sales of about $20 billion.
It was 2012 when I first began to follow this new development. Roboden TR was developed for rigorous and critical industrial applications. The cost was astonishing and beyond the reach of even premium consumer products. I met with some members of the Roboden team during the Tokyo Headphone Festival back in 2013 and we agreed to stay in touch and explore the market opportunities for microphones, earphones, headphones, and consumer electronics wearables in general. In 2014, USB format Roboden TI series cables were introduced for consumer applications but pricing was still high and production capacity was limited. 

Roboden's structure consists of conductor wires wound in a spiral configuration over an elastic body and covered in a braided outer covering.

Late 2016 brought the breakthrough that Asahi Kasei was working for, bringing Roboden to the level intended for consumer electronics such as earphones, headphones, and mobile devices. Finally, there is a stretching signal cable that is in the BOM range of quality consumer electronics products.  The inside of this Roboden cable has an elastic core and wire is wound around the core in a spiral. A second stretchy sheath covers the entire thing. The spiraled wire means there is enough inside the cable to allow it to be stretched without incident.
From USB wideband specs to DC current power handling - good for 60 V at 2 A - Roboden has multiple applications in consumer electronics.
Roboden cables maintain a certain gap between the conductors, with stable characteristic impedance, offering excellent signal transmission integrity. A USB 2.0-equivalent signal can be transmitted at a distance of around 1 m.

Anyone who has tripped over a cable by accident and sent something expensive crashing to the floor will attest that current USB cables don't stretch at all. No matter how well the cables are coiled on devices, a day inside a backpack always manages to unravel the wire and leave a mess of spaghetti. With Roboden, the cable will remain coiled up if a little stretch is put in when winding it tidily - just like a bungee cord.

True stereo wireless earphones are an appealing product but present serious design, performance, and value challenges. Losing of one of the earpieces comes along with other issues. Roboden Bluetooth sports fitness is an alternative to True Stereo Wireless - non-microphonic, non-abrasive, won't pull the earphones out the user's ears, yet provides just enough tension that the cable won't flap around - while providing up to 8 conductors between the two earpieces.

Roboden stretching cables are coming to an earphone near you!
Earphones and headphones on the latest generation of smartphones need to connect either wirelessly or through USB-C/Lightning for audio applications. Yet most USB-C cables are stiff and not workable as an earphone cable. Lightweight and flexible Roboden is an ideal wired earphone solution for USB-C and Lightning to smartphone. The supply chain for Roboden includes local stocking distributors for in-box cables and the aftermarket for upgrade of conventional cables.
For more information and samples, send me an email .


Audio Electronics
An Alternative to Linear Regulators: Equivalent Power-Line Ripple Rejection with Less Power Dissipation
By Bill Reeve
In this article for audioXpress, Bill Reeve discusses "An Alternative to Linear Regulators." A project where he searches for equivalent power-line ripple rejection with less power dissipation, because no one wants to listen to an audio amplifier that hums. Hum is usually caused by 60- and 120-Hz ripple on the amplifier's unregulated DC power supply and that amplifier's imperfect ability to reject power supply ripple. The desire to eliminate power supply ripple tempts amplifier designers to regulate their power supplies, and negative feedback linear regulators do effectively reduce hum extremely. However, even for moderately powerful amps, linear regulators dissipate a prohibitively large amount of power. As an alternative, a source follower-based (SFB) low-pass filter provides good power-line ripple rejection while dissipating much less power. The SFB filter's transistor acts as a source follower. Its output (source) voltage is following a two-pole, low-pass filtered version of its input (drain) voltage, so the majority of the ripple on the SFB filter's input is rejected at its output. This article was originally published in audioXpress, April 2014.   Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Spotlight
Challenges of Testing Mobile Devices and Mobile Testing 
By Marian Liebig (Klippel GmbH)
This Voice Coil Spotlight discusses the specific challenges of Testing Mobile Devices such as Bluetooth headphones, smartphones, and tablets. Those devices have become part of people's daily lives but increasingly pose important new challenges in terms of quality assurance, where defect symptoms need to be detected sensitively and quickly while measured under tough acoustical conditions.  For those audio systems, recommended measurements for quality assurance include frequency response; phase response and polarity; Harmonic distortion; sensitive Rub & Buzz for detection of loudspeaker defects; assembly faults (e.g., loose screws and parasitic vibrations); air leakage detection (due to mounting or gluing faults); and ambient noise detection or immunity is recommended to avoid false rejects due to ambient noise. Sophisticated signal processing algorithms need to be fed with relevant response data from the device under test (DUT). Due to significant delays, feeding correct data is quite challenging when using external signal sources. This article discusses methods for coping with unknown, varying, or even unpredictable delays in the measurement chain while still fulfilling all requirements for quality assurance applications. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, January 2017.   Read the Full Article Online

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