Professional Microphone Market to Grow More Than 50% by 2021
Futuresource Consulting has just published its "Global Professional Microphone Report," looking at overall market value, technical innovation, trends influencing the segment, brand leadership and future opportunities. The comprehensive research finds that the professional microphone market is expected to surpass 7 million units by 2021, up from 4.6 million in 2016. In 2016, a little more than half of vendor revenues came from wireless microphones, with Futuresource forecasts showing this will rise to almost two-thirds by 2021.   Read More

Gibson Brands Closes Cakewalk, Inc.
Sad news for the audio industry. Gibson Brands announced that it is "ceasing active development and production of Cakewalk branded products." Gibson Brands acquired the Boston-based music production software company from Roland Corp. in 2013. Since then, Cakewalk has been consistently updating all products, under the leadership and vision of Craig Anderton. Cakewalk was one of the few remaining historical music software companies solely dedicated to the Windows platform.   Read More

DTS Virtual:X Immersive Audio Technology Now Available on Select Denon and Marantz A/V Receivers
DTS announced the integration of DTS Virtual:X technology in A/V receivers for the first time. Select Denon and Marantz A/V receivers are now able to receive a firmware update to offer immersive sound in home theaters without the need for height or rear speakers. DTS Virtual:X technology in an A/V receiver offers immersive audio - virtual surround and virtual height - from simple soundbars, or traditional stereo and surround configurations (5.1/7.1 channel).    Read More

CEntrance Debuts BlueDAC Portable Balanced DAC/Amp with Wired and Wireless Connectivity
Following a very successful and engaged crowdfunding campaign, CEntrance, announced immediate availability of BlueDAC, its newest portable D/A converter and headphone amplifier. BlueDAC combines the best of CEntrance portable digital technologies to date, including a long-life rechargeable battery and a 24-bit/384 kHz USB interface, and adds a new, custom, high-fidelity Bluetooth radio receiver, allowing also wireless connectivity.   Read More

Teenage Engineering, Raven and Baidu's Collaboration on New Smart Speakers Concepts 
Baidu, a company known as China's search engine is investing heavily in its own voice engine, artificial intelligence (AI), and even hardware technologies, following Google's footsteps. Earlier this year, Baidu acquired Raven, a Beijing-based smart home startup, and the first results of that investment have now been revealed with two voice-activated speakers that run on the company's own AI platform. The design was the result of a cooperation with a Swedish start-up, Teenage Engineering.   Read More

Spotify Acquires Soundtrap Online Music and Podcast Recording Platform
Spotify announced that it has acquired Soundtrap, the innovative online music and podcast recording platform headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and successfully funded in the Silicon Valley. With consumer and education solutions available in English, Spanish, French, German and Swedish, Soundtrap is an easy-to-use solution that works across iOS, Android, Chromebooks, Mac and Windows.   Read More

Sonic Studio Brings Integrated MQA Support to Amarra Luxe 4.1
Sonic Studio announced the release of Amarra 4 Luxe v4.1 featuring integrated Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) audio technology. The latest version of the popular Mac-based software music player now supports MQA Core Decoding that unfolds an MQA file to deliver higher than CD-quality sound, and supports MQA TIDAL streaming, delivering the sound of the original master recording with files small enough to stream, while also being backward compatible, so they can be played on any device.   Read More

Crazybaby Announces Air (NANO) Bluetooth 5.0 Ready True Wireless Earbuds
Crazybaby, developer of personal audio devices and software services, announced the launch of a new true wireless earbuds design, Air by Crazybaby (NANO), also known as Air (NANO). The fourth product from this creative company is once again being launched with a crowdfunding campaign, now available on Indiegogo for $99. This is a new spin on the original Air by Crazybaby earbuds. The new more compact model features the same carbon nanotube technology in 10 custom colors.   Read More


Editor's Desk

A Bold Speaker Project by Tom Perazella

In May 2016, following the Munich High End show, audioXpress published a short article preview of SB Acoustics' highly anticipated new drivers, including the brand's flagship TW29BN high-end beryllium dome tweeter, part of its Satori top performing range. The new drivers, all designed in Denmark and manufactured in Indonesia, also included new midrange and midwoofer drivers using new proprietary cones made with Egyptian papyrus fibers, available in 5" to 9.5" sizes. The new high-end Satori range is the visible result of an intense R&D effort that started in 2009, when Danesian Audio in Denmark became 100% owned by Sinar Baja Electric, focusing on the evolution of the SB Acoustics catalog.  The SB Acoustics products can be used in many different applications, but they remain at the top of the scale in terms of quality.
Shortly after news of the new Satori drivers was out, I received a message from Thomas Perazella, an esteemed frequent contributor to audioXpress, with an idea for a new speaker project, which could benefit from using the new Satori drivers. "The concept for this design was based on the Mach 17 speaker built by Waveform Research of Canada starting in the 1990s. Founded by John Ötvös, this company produced a speaker that minimized diffraction problems by having the midrange and tweeter in an enclosure shaped like an egg. Standing waves in the separate bass cabinet on which the egg rests were minimized by the truncated pyramid shape. It garnered rave reviews while in production," Perazella explained.
His proposal was to apply his experience as a speaker builder to create his own version of the three-way configuration, including a top "egg-designed" speaker featuring the new Satori drivers, with an additional low-frequency "base." We approached SB Acoustics with the idea for the project, which received immediate enthusiastic support!
For his "egg" speaker project, Perazella specifically requested the new TW29BN beryllium tweeters, and the 6.5" MW16P-4 midrange, for its smooth off axis response above 2 kHz. As Perazella explained, "I will not have a problem with linear volume displacement with the 16P on the low end because it will only be used above 200 Hz with the low end provided by two Dayton RSS315HO-44 12" woofers in a separate trapezoidal shaped sealed box base." And to get the most out of the design, Perazella requested the 16P with the white Egyptian papyrus cone, to contrast with the black light metal finish planned for the set-inspired by the Buick Verano that his wife owned. "I already have a sample of a black automotive paint on a piece of MDF that I supplied to the shop and the results were great. It will be a difficult construction project but very interesting for the readers," Perazella wrote with enthusiasm in December 2016.
These are photos of the Satori drivers that Tom Perazella received. Click to access Vance Dickason's explications in Voice Coil magazine.

For our readers interested in more detail, Vance Dickason characterized samples of the SB Acoustics TW29BN high-end beryllium dome tweeter and the MW16P-4 midrange, in Voice Coil's Test Bench. The Test Bench explication for the midrange was published in January 2017 and the tweeter, in February 2017. Both articles are now online. Just click on the respective images above.
In March 2017, following the commercial launch, Perazella received his drivers. "The drivers arrived today! Thanks. They are beautiful. The white cone will be very striking against the black metallic automotive finish that will be used on the housing. The construction of the housing will be the most complex wood working project I have done. To build the egg-shaped housing, 18 slices of ¾" MDF of different diameters will be used," he wrote.
Following months of intense work on building those cabinets, Perazella sent us an update on the design in September 2017. "The SB Acoustics midrange and tweeter both have the same radiation pattern at the crossover points. I will be doing a passive second-order LR crossover so that the speakers can be used with a single amplifier. However, the crossover will be external and have the ability to make connections to the drivers in a tri-amped mode. That way I can compare the conventional passive relatively shallow slope crossover to an active sharp slope crossover implemented with DSP so there can be time correction as well. It should be an interesting comparison."
Detailing the wood work, he called it "the most complex and difficult wood working project I have ever done," Perazella explained that not only is the egg shape with a flat front "very difficult to do but the truncated pyramid base for the woofers is crazy. I wanted it to have a visually small front so I made the front and rear smaller than the sides. The base is therefore rectangular in shape. At the top, I wanted it to be square with rounded corners to better blend with the egg shape. As a result, there is not a single 90-degree cut on any of the pieces. I had to do a lot of math to determine the sizes and angles of the pieces and then get a digital protractor to accurately set the blade angles on the saws."
In October, Perazella wrote back with another encouraging update. "I got the painted eggs and bases back today and just had time to assemble one of the eggs. I'm including a photo." He also confirmed the speakers would be unveiled at a meeting of the DC HiFi Group, and make it to the group's booth at the Capital Audiofest 2017 the following weekend.
The egg speaker with drivers, and woofer base. The top features the SB Acoustics Satori beryllium tweeter, and the SB Acoustics 6.5" Egyptian papyrus Satori midrange. The speaker base features two Dayton Audio 12" Reference Series HO DVC woofers.

Following the debut at Capital Audiofest 2017, we asked Perazella to send us his impressions of the unveiling at the show. "After a year of design and construction, my version of the "egg" speakers were finally shown at Capital Audiofest, in the DC HiFi Group room. They received rave reviews with comments like "the best sound in the show," "better than the $1,000,000 room," "more coherency than my electrostats," "better sound than any of the $30,000 to $40,000 speakers I have heard," "pinpoint imaging where every player can be positioned as they move about the stage," "seamless from top to bottom," "detailed without being harsh," "they are works of art," and more. The true test of how people feel is if they return to listen further. Quite a few people did return, some coming back three or four times and spent quite a bit of time. At some points in the show there was standing room only to audition."

The eggs at the recent Capital Audiofest, the mid-Atlantic's largest high-end audio show. Standing room-only auditioning.

Perazella's complete project will be detailed in an upcoming article of audioXpress. You will not want to miss the details of this extremely complicated project. Stay tuned! .


You Can DIY!
A 12-V Trigger Supply
By Gary Galo
This simple project provides a convenient method to remotely power audio equipment. Many manufacturers make audio equipment and power products that can be remotely switched with a low DC trigger voltage. PS Audio's power products, including the Power Plant AC regenerators and the Quintet line conditioner, can be turned on remotely with 5 to 15 VDC. A 12-VDC trigger can directly switch on many NAD and Parasound audio products. Preamps made by both companies will supply a 12-V trigger to their power amps, but if you're using another manufacturer's preamp you may be out of luck. It's convenient to be able to turn your entire system on with one switch. But, power amplifiers are high-current devices and should never be plugged into a switched power outlet on the back of a preamp. Plug them into their own line conditioners, AC regenerators, or directly into an AC wall outlet. With the trigger supply, my entire system can be turned on and off with one low-current switch. This article was originally published in audioXpress, November 2013.   Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Spotlight
Measurements for Loudspeaker Modeling Files 
By Charlie Hughes (Excelsior Audio Design & Services)
Loudspeaker modeling files are most often used with acoustical modeling programs such as EASE, Focus, CATT-Acoustic, and others to help determine how well the loudspeakers cover the audience areas and how much "spill" there is on the room's surfaces. Some of these programs also allow for the investigation of additional metrics such as reverberation time (RT), clarity, speech transmission index (STI), and more. For many of these items, it is important to have accurate data about the characteristics of the loudspeakers that are used in the models. Errors in the data used for these modeling programs will often lead to errors in the results the programs generate. In this article, we will detail some of the requirements to help assure good measurement data for use with loudspeaker modeling. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, April 2017.   Read the Full Article Online

AX December 2017: Digital Login
Audio Product Design | DIY Audio Projects | Audio Electronics | Audio Show Reports | Interviews | And More 

Don't Have a Subscription?
VC November 2017: Digital Login
Industry News & Developments | Products & Services | Test Bench | Acoustic Patents | Industry Watch | And More