Roland Announces GO:MIXER PRO Smartphone Audio Mixer and Virtual Stage Camera App
A complete solution for creating engaging music videos with smartphones is how Roland describes its new GO:MIXER PRO smartphone audio mixer and Virtual Stage Camera app, two powerful new tools for content creators who share videos on YouTube and other social media platforms. For anyone involved in regular video production, the new Roland solution might also offer exactly the right recipe for today's needs, where most of the footage is captured with the iPhone anyway, but some "studio style" tools are normally missingRead More

Analog Devices Creates Internal and External Engine Sound for Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Analog Devices introduced an embedded system specifically for generating engine sound for electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). The ADSP-BF706 digital signal processor and Electric Vehicle Warning Sound System (EVWSS) firmware enables automobile manufacturers in North America and other regions to comply with future safety regulations mandating external engine sound for EVs and HEVs travelling at low speeds.   Read More

Audeze Announces New LCD2 Closed-Back Headphones
These are probably the headphones for which all recording pros were anxiously waiting from Audeze. The California brand's newest addition to the acclaimed LCD series, the LCD2 closed-backed headphones offer the classic sound of the LCD-2, with the pure listening experience of a planar magnetic headphone but with increased isolation and greatly reduced ambient noise. Plus, they look great and the $899.00 price is affordable for the intended target market.    Read More

Echobox Audio Announces Bluetooth Earphones Crafted from Titanium
Echobox Audio continues to redefine Hi-Fi personal audio with its announcement of the world's first Bluetooth earphones crafted from Titanium housings. The "Ti-22BT" (Titanium Bluetooth) wireless earphones represent a significant step forward for the Denver, CO, brand, delivering new industry standards in durability, comfort, and sound performance. The Ti22BT support Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX and deliver eight hours of battery life in a single charge.   Read More

The New 1507 Pelican Air Case is Perfect for Microphones and Headphones 
In mid-2016, Pelican changed the game by introducing its Air case line, which reduced the case weight by up to 40%. Now the company has increased the extremely popular group to include 10 cases with the introduction of the Pelican 1507 Air Case. This particular size (Interior: 15.15" x 11.38" x 8.52") is not available in either the Pelican Protector or Pelican Storm lines and was developed to serve as the smallest size in the "deeper case" part of the Pelican Air case line (1557, 1607, and 1637 Air cases - launched in 2017).   Read More

Mimi Hearing Technologies Announces Mimi Defined Customization for Bragi Dash Pro
Mimi Hearing Technologies announced Mimi Defined, the latest generation of sound optimization technology from the Berlin company, which for now will be used in devices from Bragi, the true wireless intelligent earphone manufacturer and hearables pioneer. With this collaboration, Bragi Dash Pro users can create a personal hearing profile and customize sound to their individual needs, which is stored and activated directly on the devices.   Read More

A New Publication Dedicated to Reviews of Vinyl Quality and Analog Culture is an exciting new publication dedicated to reviews of vinyl quality and analog culture. Founded by Intervention Records CEO Shane Buettner, Vinyl Reviews brings together a team of industry insiders and world-class music writers to create a site dedicated to the vinyl lifestyle. The new online publication will also feature user reviews, feature profiles, and purchase recommendations.   Read More

Blackmagic Design and Apple Announce Thunderbolt 3 Acceleration with Blackmagic eGPU
Highly anticipated, the new Blackmagic eGPU Thunderbolt 3 external graphics processor delivers desktop-class performance for Apple's MacBook Pro laptops and for pro creative software such as DaVinci Resolve, 3D games, and VR. Designed in collaboration with Apple, the Blackmagic eGPU features a built-in Radeon Pro 580, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI 2.0, 85 W of charging power and four USB 3.1 connections. And this is just the start of the eGPU revolution for any Thunderbolt 3- equipped computer.   Read More

Neville Roberts

Guest Editorial

Objectivity and Obstinacy 

When people spend their hard-earned cash on a new interconnect cable or mains lead, they will naturally want to feel that their investment is worthwhile. The process usually starts by allowing the upgrade to run in for an appropriate length of time and then spending a prolonged period listening to the system and playing some familiar music. 
Wireworld's founder and industrial designer David Salz frequently promotes demonstrations of the company's Audio and Headphone Cable Polygraph, enabling attendees to hear exactly what cables do to the sound.
Hopefully, the person starts to feel reassured that he can hear some real benefits, but then asks the question "Am I fooling myself?", so the next stage is to invite a friend or two around to listen. If all goes well, there is a general nodding of heads combined with utterances of superlatives like "Wow! Amazing!" and "I'm now hearing instruments that I never heard before." The initial euphoria brought on by this behavior is short-lived, however, as doubts begin to creep in - "What if my friends are just being nice?" 
So, the final stage of reassurance is to find someone who either is considered to be completely independent with no hidden agenda behind any expressed view or someone who has a reputation for "telling it like it is." Possible candidates are a remote work associate who has an interest in audio, the next-door neighbor, or in the author's case, my long-suffering wife (who definitely pulls no punches). If they give their seal of approval, then all is well and the satisfaction with the purchase is complete.
Of course, all this demands complete objectivity from all the participants. Bias can take all sorts of forms both for and against a particular upgrade. It may be that someone is biased toward products from a particular manufacturer because they have had good experiences with their products in the past. Someone else may be prejudiced against a particular upgrade as it goes against what they believe to be the truth or, more subtly, what they want to believe to be the truth. Online discussion forums seem to be full of people who fall into that category and passionately agree with each other that, for example, cable upgrades can't make any difference to the sound because they all measure the same and are, in any case, just pieces of wire. 
It doesn't matter how many times they swap out a cheap mains lead for a more expensive one, they won't ever be convinced that there is a difference to the sound. This, of course, may be true and would certainly be the case if you upgrade the mains lead on an audio system purchased from a local supermarket. However, the difficulty arises when someone seeks an opinion or advice from a group of people who won't ever be convinced that a cable can make a difference. As Dale Carnegie, in his 1936 book How to Win Friends and Influence People famously said, "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." 

audioXpress author and strong critic of audio myths, Ethan Winer is working on a Null Tester device with the aim to perform measurements proving any differences between cables, among other things. Pictured is the original Null Tester project, which will be soon converted to a "lighter" version, the subject of an article for audioXpress.
In fact, I was told of a situation recently when someone was invited to listen to a particular system in order to evaluate the effect of an upgrade. This person acknowledged that there was indeed an improvement and went on to describe the sonic changes that he could hear. When afterward he was told that a mains cable was the only item that had been changed (from a standard issue mains cable to a top quality cable from Russ Andrews), he made all kinds of excuses, dismissed the mains cable as a contributory factor, and then left the premises.
The Russ Andrews Yello power cable features Kimber Kable's woven cable design and is reasonably priced.
The problem for many lies in the fact that you can't just use measurements as the sole determining factor in deciding if an upgrade really works. The truth is that it would be arrogant to assume that we know everything there is to know about, for example, the physics of a cable. We live in a world where new, unexplained issues constantly arise. One of the latest mysteries puzzling scientists is the phenomenon of LED Droop where the efficiency of white Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) plummets when the current is increased. Returning to the subject of audio, many people are skeptical about claims of sonic benefits, which they consider to be unsubstantiated since they can't be backed up with scientific proof. The reality is that we may simply be unable to explain or measure the effect at this point in time.
So, what do we do in the meantime? The answer is surprisingly easy - use your ears. When it comes to buying an audio item, see if the supplier will let you borrow it or sell it to you on a sale or return basis - many do nowadays. The aforementioned Russ Andrews is one example, and I have been pleasantly surprised at how effective even the entry-level Yello power cable that cost a little over $80 was at improving sound quality. Then sit down and listen to it with a variety of musical genre. Swap the item on trial in and out while listening to the same piece of music. It is surprising how, as you continue to do this, you can become increasingly aware of the subtle changes.
It would be very satisfying to be able to explain why something makes an improvement to the sound from an audio system, but if I can't, I'll just be content to enjoy the result.


R&D Stories
Engineering Voice-Enabled Smart Gadgets
By Ofer Elyakim
The first step companies face in enabling a voice user interface (VUI) experience is to decide whether to partner with a current market offering or to build a proprietary voice solution, which requires a significant amount of resources. In this article, Ofer Elyakim (Chief Executive Officer, DSP Group) offers an overview of DSP Group's experience in enabling voice in a variety of new consumer electronics devices, using its open audio/voice DSP platform. This article was originally published in audioxpress, June 2018.   Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Scan-Speak Ellipticor 18WE/4542T00 Midbass Woofer 
By Vance Dickason
Following the first test on the new Scan-Speak Ellipticor series, with the D3404/552000 dome neodymium motor tweeter, this edition of Test Bench focuses on the Scan-Speak Ellipticor 18WE/4542T00 midbass woofer. Like the D3404, the 18WE/4542T00 is a seriously feature rich transducer. Like most of Scan-Speak's midwoofer/midrange frames, the 18WE frame is a nicely configured three double spoke (six total) cast-aluminum frame with narrow 12 mm wide spokes to minimize reflections back into the cone. The area below the suspended spider mounting shelf is almost completely open, resulting in effective cooling of the motor and voice coil. For the cone assembly, Scan-Speak chose a rather stiff curvilinear profile back coated paper cone with an elliptical 45 mm × 35 mm convex paper dustcap. Compliance is provided by an NBR surround, nicely designed with a shallow discontinuity where it attaches to the cone edge plus a surface coating for enhanced damping in that critical region. Remaining compliance comes from a 4" diameter flat cloth spider.  The motor design for the Ellipticor 18WE/4542T00 is an Air-Circ multi magnet design utilizing six 22 mm high and 25 mm diameter neodymium slugs with a black emissive coating. This is also one of Scan-Speak's patented SD motor systems and so incorporates copper shorting rings (Faraday shields). FEA designed, the neodymium magnet motor uses a 35 mm × 45 mm elliptical two-layer voice coil wound with round copper wire on a titanium former. Motor parts include polished front and back plates for the neodymium magnets that incorporate a 12 mm diameter rear vent for additional cooling. As with the D3404/552000 tweeter, the 18WE/4542T00 has a magnetically attached aluminum trim ring that can obviously be anodized a variety of colors besides black. Last, the voice coil is terminated to a pair of gold-plated terminals. In terms of physical appearance, this driver is simply stunning. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, April 2018.   Check it out here!

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