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


Headphone & Headset Measurements Presented by Listen and G.R.A.S. - Chicago and Boston Seminars
Following previous sessions on the West Coast, in response to popular demand, Listen and G.R.A.S. Sound & Vibration have announced new headphone testing seminars in Chicago, IL, (October 13) and Boston, MA, (October 16). The jointly promoted training events enable participants to learn about the latest in headphone test systems and methods from design to EOL Test. There is no charge for these one-day seminars and lunch will be provided, but participants should register very soon.   Read More

Steinway Lyngdorf and Lyngdorf Audio Reflect Excitement Around New MP-50 Surround Sound Processor at CEDIA 2017
At the 2017 CEDIA Expo in San Diego, CA, Steinway Lyngdorf and Lyngdorf Audio expanded their demonstrations and product showcases, while also providing in-depth training opportunities for partners. The strengthened CEDIA presence comes toward the end of a stellar year for both brands, which included the launch of new products and a pre-shipment sell-out of the new MP-50 surround processor, making Lyngdorf Audio's move into multi-channel a huge success.   Read More

AudioControl Introduces the Maestro M5 Premium Home Theater Processor Offering the Latest Immersive Surround Formats and DIRAC Room Correction
AudioControl has introduced the Maestro M5 surround preamp/processor, giving authorized dealers a high-performance solution for premium home theater projects. The Maestro M5 takes advantage of the latest surround formats and advanced room correction technology to deliver unparalleled clarity in any size theater. The M5 can be paired with AudioControl's lineup of seven- and five-channel Savoy G3 and Pantages G3 theater amplifiers.    Read More

Klipsch Debuts New Custom Speaker Installation Solutions at CEDIA 2017 
Following a very strong preview of new commercial installation products from its Professional Audio division at InfoComm 2017, Klipsch, a wholly-owned subsidiary of VOXX International Corp., announced the addition of more than 50 new high-performance custom speaker solutions for residential and commercial applications during the CEDIA 2017 show in San Diego, CA. The new range features new installation technologies, designed to save integrators time and money.   Read More

Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series Introduces New Technology to Classic Designs for the Home 
The new Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series develops the ethos of the CM Series it replaces, adds technology from the 800 Series Diamond and new, bespoke acoustic innovations to produce the brand's best-performing range of loudspeakers in its class. The Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series is a wide-ranging, comprehensive collection of eight loudspeakers available in standard stereo or complete home cinema configurations, from the flagship 702 S2 to the new DB4S active subwoofer.  Read More

Electrocompaniet Announces North American Launch of EC Living at CEDIA 2017
Electrocompaniet, the world-renowned manufacturer of high-performance audio components, launched its new brand, EC Living, at CEDIA 2017. Combining beautifully styled, consumer-focused models and installer-centric products for discreet applications, the EC Living brand carries the high-performance audio DNA for which Electrocompaniet is best known. EC Living products provide wireless, scalable solutions to deliver high-resolution audio throughout the home.   Read More

Fraunhofer IIS and Analog Devices showcase MPEG-H Audio and Fraunhofer upHear Immersive Soundbar Virtualizer at CEDIA 2017
Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS and Analog Devices, unveiled software technology at CEDIA 2017 designed to significantly improve the immersive sound reproduction capabilities of consumer playback devices. The new offering is a reference implementation of Fraunhofer upHear soundbar processing with MPEG-H decoding and rendering on an Analog Devices' digital signal processor (DSP) and is now available for OEM licensing.   Read More


(Menlo Scientific)

Guest Editorial

Quality Audio Experiences and Smart Home

The Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) membership includes system integrators and manufacturers and its services range from technology education and certification to business and marketing.  It has been a few years since I attended CEDIA, which this year took place from September 5-9. And for the first time, the show was held at the San Diego Convention Center. Nice choice and the weather was perfect, while another show some associates had planned to attend the next week was canceled (CAMX for high-tech materials in Orlando, FL).

Wireless audio, streaming, voice-control, smart home. Something happened to CEDIA!

While the custom install and construction industries have slowly recovered from the recession, CEDIA is quite a different show these days. Once focused on home audio and video, the organization and events are now all about the smart connected home. This year, there were 500 exhibitors showing security, energy savings, access control, home automation, and wired and wireless smart home solutions. The voice command appliances from Google and Amazon along with many more reaching the market and yet to come are changing the cards and energizing the opportunities and perhaps even mainstreaming the smart house. Interfacing between these cheap online ordered consumer products and sophisticated equipment will keep system integrators busy for the foreseeable future. Of course, more to my interest was whole-house audio and outdoor audio, home theater, and of course endless in-wall and ceiling speakers.

As an organization, the CEDIA events have always been centered around education and progressively expanding its certification programs. But, I will focus on the shiny new hardware and provide some highlights from this year's show.

Immersive audio innovations continue, yet many feel more channels means less share of the mainstream market. Ten years ago, sales of surround receivers were about 10 million and soundbars about 1 million. As we went from five channels to seven to nine, and to 11, we managed to blow off the customer base and end up selling 10 million half-assed soundbars and barely 1 million surround receivers. Perhaps Fraunhofer has figured this out and has the right approach with its MPEG-H Immersive Audio Soundbar and upHear Immersive Audio Virtualizer implementation, demonstrated at the Analog Devices DSP suite. Read about it here. Many audio companies (Bluesound, Harman, Yamaha, Bose, and Nuvo/Legrand) are showing new-generation improved soundbars. Yamaha and Bose offer Alexa voice-commands, and Peerless-AV even made a soundbar for outdoor experiences... But the Fraunhofer/Analog Devices soundbar is the only one achieving a full immersive audio experience in a convenient format.

Triad, now owned by Control4, launched its new Triad Multi-Room Audio Line.

Control4's enhanced 4Sight subscription solution was precisely designed to enable smart home integration with Amazon Alexa voice assistant, combined with homeowner personalization, whole-house audio, and intercom anywhere capabilities, bringing additional native streaming music services. Since Control4 acquired Triad, it has launched many new products, ranging from soundbars to multi-room audio to outdoor speakers as well as its established subwoofers and custom in-walls and invisible in-walls. The new Triad One single-zone, high-resolution, wired and wireless streaming amplifier was one of the major highlights for CEDIA 2017.

Josh.ai, "the coolest home automation controller," in the company's own words, was the center of attention. Its booth was packed and they promise the Josh Micro will deliver intuitive voice control meets multi-function home control interface with far-field microphones and a full-home processor. The company is promising to work with the integration industry and be the voice alternative the market is looking for. Far-field voice commands (anything near 10') have been elusive and this product begs for a hands-on review in audioxpress. Let's see for how long the founders will resist accepting an acquisition offer.

A new company was the center of attention at CEDIA 2017. Alex Capecelatro and Tim Gill, founders of JStar, launched the new Josh Micro, a home-control processor, far-field microphone array, and voice-based user interface, Josh.ai, built for the custom integration channel.

Electrocompaniet, a Norwegian audiophile brand, is famous for its amplifiers and CD players, but also for advanced electronics for avionics (aircraft). Now it wants to bring its high-end quality to wireless whole-home audio and launched its new EC Living brand in North America. Featuring high-resolution-capable wireless music systems with audiophile-grade analog amplification in a wide range of packages from rack mounts to modules, and speakers with integrated amps, this is a solution that deserves attention - and the company is just starting.

RIVA Audio, known for its great sounding Bluetooth speakers, introduced the Wand multi-room wireless series with the Arena and the larger Festival. Supporting high-resolution audio and 200 W, along with Trillium processing for stereo from a single wood enclosure, I have to say that the Festival sounded better balanced than some more serious and far larger speakers. At the show, RIVA launched its new RIVA Central wireless multiroom amplifier to connect legacy audio systems.

Home-theater audio, once the cornerstone of the show, is just a shadow both in quantity and impact. Denon and Marantz, now part of Sound United (Polk, Definitive, etc.) were showing new receivers. Last year at CEDIA, Onkyo introduced wireless multi-room receivers and this year continued with networking receivers, now implementing DTS Play-fi wireless and Alexa voice commands. Audio components specialist Parasound long ago stepped back from surround sound processing and now mostly focuses on the purest audiophile stereo and multizone solutions. This year, the company launched the impressive ZoneMaster 2350 350-/600-WClass D stereo amplifier, and the new Parasound Halo A 52+ five-channel model.

Focusing on the custom residential installation, AudioControl has introduced the Maestro M5 surround preamp/processor for premium home-theater projects, including support for Dolby Atmos and DTS-X immersive audio surround formats and Dirac Live advanced room correction technology. On the higher-end side of things are companies such as Trinnov, StormAudio, and Steinway Lyngdorf/Lyngdorf Audio , which cater to the home-theater faithful, and that's precisely where the combination of the most accurate amplification, digital processing, and room optimization matters the most. Not forgetting support for virtually all existing multichannel/immersive and object-based formats. Clearly, the gap between consumer-level home cinema and custom install high-end and luxury home-theater is widening.

In a way reflecting all the show trends, Jeremy Burkhardt's company, Origin Acoustics, captured the spotlight by announced an expanded range of products, starting with an expansion of its collaboration with Bang & Olufsen (B&O) to create the Terrestrial Line Array, a cube-shaped modular speaker system for outdoor applications. The base unit includes two aluminum modules, and can be expanded vertically to as many as six modules. Origin's own catalog of installation products now includes the new Marquee Cinema Collection of active speakers, an expanded range of Composer in-wall loudspeakers, and four new subwoofers of 8", 10", 12", and dual 12" drivers, with a design that could well be from B&O, combining woven cloth, wood, leather and aluminum. The subwoofers' DSP can be controlled from a smartphone app. Origin Acoustics also unveiled its first soundbar model.

An Amazon Echo Dot can be found in a ceiling-mount bracket from Origin Acoustics, connected to the company's new amplifier range. Does adding a Dot, a Smart Speaker Make?

But the most discussed product from Origin, was a new series of amplifiers that enable integrators to directly connect Amazon's small Echo Dot - the cheapest of the Amazon Alexa devices - for integration with the Alexa assistant and voice-control all over the home. Origin even designed a special mounting bracket to house and power the Echo Dots, with audio directly transferred to the amplifiers. Origin Acoustics has no doubt that integrators will need the solution to properly connect the new generation of voice control devices, and the company wants to provide a solution to expand the company's range of custom installation solutions and integration standards. Whether this is the best way to do it or not doesn't matter, apparently, because Origin's says it has thousands of orders for the solution...

Even with a focus on audio, it was hard to miss the very high-quality laser projectors and gigantic LED displays (not LCDs but discrete tri-color LEDs), which already have their place in commercial install and large video signage but are beginning to take some share of the residential video projection market.

The Level IV ($450,000 and over) Best Integrated Home Award, went to Land & Sea Entertainment, San Diego, CA

All this was reflected in the CEDIA 2017 Americas Home Technology Professional Awards, whose winners were announced during the show. Just looking at the photos of the 15 projects completed by home technology professionals this year, it becomes clear that this market is still going strong. Among the products honored at the CEDIA Awards Celebration was the Best Home Cinema Level II Award (budget between $50,000 to $150,000) received by Audio Images, from Orange County, CA, all the way to the astonishing Level IV ($450,000 and over) Best Integrated Home Award, distinguishing Land & Sea Entertainment, San Diego, CA (three awards!). On the technology front, winners of the Best New Product Awards, recognized the Josh.ai Josh Micro controller and Sony's new 77" BRAVIA OLED 4K HDR TV (model XBR-65A1E), among several other residential installation-specific products - none on the audio front.

CEDIA 2018 returns to the San Diego Convention Center, September 4-8. 2018. www.cediaexpo.com


From The Vault
Mighty Mouse: A PP 25L6 Amplifier
By Bob McIntyre
In this classic tube amplifier project, author Bob McIntyre offers what is effectively the foundation for many designs that we can find currently in the market. This is not surprising. The Mighty Mouse is indeed a good sounding and inexpensive project that is also a good introduction to tube amplification. We'll let McIntyre explain: "For years, I've wanted to build an amplifier based on the 25L6GT. If you haven't heard of this tube, it's not surprising, as its principal use was in table radios and portable phonographs. Don't let that fool you, because the 25L6 is a remarkable tube. To begin with, the tube has high transconductance, so it's easy to drive. It has low plate resistance, so it doesn't require a high plate voltage. Finally, because it was designed for low-cost applications, it was produced by the millions. NOS tubes are relatively cheap and easy to find." All McIntyre needed for the project was a suitable output transformer, with low impedance and high current-handling capability. He finally found the solution using ordinary toroidal power transformers, resulting in a miniature amplifier with a big sound. "It will make a good monitor amp, a great first project, or a suitable introduction to 'tube sound.' Power output is a microscopic 3 W, but don't let that fool you. This amp has great bass response, and with efficient speakers, is quite capable of room-filling volume," McIntyre says. This article was originally published in audioXpress, April 2006.   Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
The MR16P-4 6.5" Satori Midrange from SB Acoustics 
By Vance Dickason
The subject of this Test Bench is the SB Acoustics 6.5" MR16P-4 Satori midrange, which is nominally a midrange version of the SB Acoustics MW16R-4 (first reviewed in the November 2011 issue of Voice Coil) with higher sensitivity and shorter Xmax. The original Satori MW16R, while looking cosmetically similar to the Scan-Speak Illuminator 18WU series, was a well-designed driver that has established itself as a true high-end home audio competitor. As expected the feature set for the MR16P-4 is similar to the original Satori MW16P. The MR16P-4 is built on a cosmetically attractive six-spoke frame that has a minimal reflective footprint behind the cone to reduce reflections and a completely open area beneath the spider mounting shelf for enhanced cooling, both highly desirable attributes. Additional cooling is provided by venting the voice coil former and a 12 mm diameter pole vent. The spider mounting shelf itself is pinned to the frame to limit vibration transfer from the frame to this part of the suspension system. The neodymium motor cup attaches to the bottom of the frame and has a separate cosmetic/heatsink part that looks like the continuation of the frame attached to the peripheral of the motor. The motor is comprised of a neodymium ring magnet and the cup that completes the field and forms the gap area. In addition, there is an overhung copper sleeve shorting ring to reduce distortion. The device uses a 36 mm (1.4") diameter voice coil with a non-conducting fiberglass former wound with round copper-clad aluminum wire (CCAW) and terminated to a pair of gold-plated terminals located on opposite sides of the frame to minimize rocking modes. The cone and the dust cap material are also unique and composed of 60% pure Egyptian papyrus parchment fibers, a very expensive but light and stiff material. Suspension is provided by a nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) surround that uses a special vertical and horizontal attachment process, along with a Dr. Kurt Muller Bimax spider. Bimax is purported to have less twisting tendencies compared to other cloth spider materials. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, January 2017.   Read the Full Article Online

AX October 2017: Digital Login
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VC September 2017: Digital Login
Industry News & Developments | Products & Services | Test Bench | Acoustic Patents | Industry Watch | And More