Industry & Product News

WiSA Announces Certification of Klipsch's Reference Wireless Speakers
WiSA, the Wireless Speaker and Audio Association comprised of leading consumer electronics brands founded by Summit Wireless Technologies, announced the certification of the Klipsch Reference Wireless speakers from Klipsch Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of VOXX International. Available in June 2019, this new line of Klipsch loudspeakers was introduced at CES 2019 and works flawlessly with any WiSA Certified and WiSA Ready products, including the new 2019 WiSA Ready LG OLED and Nano Cell (Super UHD) TVs .    Read More

DSP Concepts Announces TalkTo Microphone Processing Technology for Voice-Controlled Products
DSP Concepts has launched TalkTo, a new brand and a major expansion of its voice recognition technologies. TalkTo is a family of software-based Audio Front Ends for voice-controlled products. It uses advanced microphone processing and machine learning techniques to deliver highly reliable voice control, even in high-noise environments and with multichannel audio products. According to the company, TalkTo will enable voice interfaces even in the most difficult classes of products .    Read More

New AES70-2018 Features and Expanded Alliance Development Tools Widen Scope for AV Control Standard Implementation
Center stage at the OCA Alliance booth during the recent ISE 2019 show was the expanded feature set of the new AES70-2018 revision of the open control and monitoring standard for professional audio and AV media networks. The result of several years of collaborative work within the OCA Alliance and the Audio Engineering Society, the AES70-2018 is an evolutionary upgrade to the standard, providing numerous new and improved features .    Read More

New Tidal iOS App Now Brings Tidal Masters MQA to the iPhone
Tidal, in partnership with MQA, has announced that Master quality tracks are now available via iPhone devices, continuing to optimize the smartphone listening experience and deliver guaranteed master quality recordings, including high-resolution audio masters, direct from the source. The eagerly awaited update to Tidal's iOS app, providing MQA Core decoding, follows the recent Android news announced at CES in January 2019 .    Read More

Dialog Semiconductor Provides Audio and Configurable Mixed Signal Chipset for Huawei Honor FlyPods 
Dialog Semiconductor announced that its audio and Configurable Mixed Signal ICs (CMICs) have been adopted by Huawei for its Honor FlyPods, the company's latest True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds. Five Dialog ICs provide voice control and power to Huawei's recently announced TWS earbuds. Dialog's SmartBeat DA14195 System-on-Chip (SoC) is integrated into each FlyPod earbud and is connected to a pair of Voice Pick Up (VPU) sensors .    Read More

AES 2019 International Conference on Headphone Technology in San Francisco, CA
The Audio Engineering Society (AES) announced its second AES International Conference on Headphone Technology, which will be held on August 27-29, 2019 in San Francisco, CA. A Call for Papers is still ongoing and deadline was extended to March 24. The conference will focus mainly on Mobile Spatial Audio, Individualization, Assistive Listening, and Audio for Augmented Reality. Anyone doing research in the field is invited to participate. Remember also, attendance is limited, so register now .    Read More

Moshi Launches Avanti C On-Ear Headphones with USB-C Audio
Following a preview at CES 2019, Moshi has announced a new addition to its expanding USB-C audio collection: the Avanti C on-ear headphones with ergonomic headband and premium vegan leather earcups. The company is already a leading manufacturer of USB Type-C converters and accessories for mobile devices and personal audio, and in 2018 launched the Mythro C USB Type-C in-ears with DR8 Neodymium drive. Now with on-ear headphones, Moshi proves once again how to offer better sound quality than 3.5 mm products .    Read More

Neutrik Launches mediaCON USB Type-C Series Cable and Panel Connectors
Due to the increasing digitalization in the broadcast and A/V market, Neutrik has decided to launch the new mediaCON USB Type-C series. Neutrik built a push/pull lockable and space-saving mediaCON chassis that can be mounted from the rear and front side as well. The mediaCON cable guarantees the performance of 20 Gb/s and is able to transport power up to 100 W. The over-molded housing of the cable is designed for ruggedized strain relief and protects the housing from mechanical stress .   Read More

Editor's Desk
J. Martins

ALMA International Symposium & Expo 2019
The Audio Industry's Best Kept Secret!

It's not a secret that the audio industry is changing. Speakers, headphones, audio signal processing, and the ability to master the design of sophisticated audio devices from large-scale sound reinforcement to personal audio are driving growth. Innovation is accelerating with new high-quality designs and materials, ever more powerful and efficient amplifiers, and the availability of advanced simulation, design, and measurement tools. Streaming audio, microspeakers, ultra-efficient transducers for earbuds, far-field voice capture and recognition, and acoustic calibration systems for smart speakers are among today's top trends determining the hottest product segments globally.

ALMA is the only international trade association dedicated to improving the design and manufacture of loudspeakers and related technologies.

Yet, only a few audio professionals have learned that the opportunity to be directly engaged in all that happens every year at one single event. Every year, audio experts, the top high-end speaker designers, and business managers from North America, Europe, and Asia convene to meet key suppliers and learn about the latest solutions and techniques. An event where vendors looking for the latest ideas go to hear from those experts, and where many of the industry key suppliers are conveniently gathered in one place to show their latest components, materials, and solutions.

Over the last few years, students looking to get their first opportunity in the industry and some of the largest technology companies looking for talent to help them introduce their new products to the market have also discovered this unique opportunity. Simply by getting there, students increase their chances of starting a career in audio, while veterans and audio consultants garner new projects and clients.

This key event for the audio industry is the ALMA International Symposium & Expo (AISE), promoted by the Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing & Acoustics (ALMA) International. The two-day event traditionally happened just before CES, the largest annual consumer electronics show. Now, that industry gathering is going to become less of a secret, since this year's AISE is expanding and moving to June 9-10, 2019, just prior to and in affiliation with InfoComm in Orlando, FL.

It's important for everyone who reads this newsletter to learn more about AISE 2019 and why they need to be there. For the essential information about the event, content presentations, exhibition, logistics, and more, read our industry calendar highlight here, and visit ALMA's own website. Yes, there are still plenty of opportunities for new companies to participate and support the event.

Every year, renowned industry experts enrich the ALMA International Symposium & Expo with two days of valuable sessions, seminars and product, and technology showcases.

ALMA International is a not-for-profit industry association and, as such, its aim is to promote standards, education, and networking for technical and business professionals in the acoustics, audio, and loudspeaker industry. Throughout its 55-year history, ALMA mainly received support and recognition from companies focused on the high-end audio and consumer market. Gradually, the association's link to other industry segments (e.g., professional audio) was created by ALMA's attendance at events like InfoComm or CEDIA and the regular presence of ALMA board members at NAMM. Over the year's ALMA attempted to promote industry gatherings also at European trade shows (e.g., Prolight+Sound) and the desire to expand globally was always expressed but not fulfilled so far.

Directly supported by some of the largest loudspeaker manufacturing companies, as well as suppliers of technologies, solutions, and services to the loudspeaker industry, the desire to work closer with another industry organization was always present and was finally achieved. In 2018, ALMA established an agreement with the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA), owner of InfoComm. The two organizations offer content for the audio industry, but in complementary ways that will benefit participants who take advantage of the education, exhibitions, and networking that make AISE and InfoComm outstanding co-located events.

InfoComm is a show that attracts more than 40,000 industry professionals to Orlando, FL, and Las Vegas, NV, every year (the show is promoted in the two locations every other year). It is the largest professional audiovisual trade show in North America, with almost 1,000 exhibitors of products for audio, unified communications and collaboration, display, control, digital signage, home automation, security, and live events. InfoComm 2018 in Las Vegas featured 550,000 net square feet of exhibits, demo rooms, and special events space, making it the biggest ever edition of the show. InfoComm 2019 opens June 8 with its convention and education sessions, while the exhibition will be held June 12-14, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

For certain, June is an easier travel time than immediately after New Year, flights and accommodations are generally less expensive, InfoComm is a more closely aligned audience for crossover attendance and exhibiting, and there are more than 16,000 InfoComm attendees directly related to the audio industry. Also, the location for AISE 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the entrance to Universal Orlando, is a great facility.

If logistically, this co-location with InfoComm represents an important benefit for AISE, it also represents a new challenge. That of expanding its scope in all audio industry application segments, not being converted into a new gathering for pro-audio-focused companies. Therefore, it is more important than ever to explain why audio professionals and companies in all application segments should attend the event.

All angles of the loudspeaker industry are covered at AISE!

Even though ALMA anticipates a marked increase in overall traffic at AISE 2019, the event is still extremely affordable for both attendees and exhibitors, representing great value. And there are multiple no-cost, and low-cost ways to promote participation at AISE. Manufacturing companies that are simply interested in attending and talking to exhibitors might consider sponsoring some of the activities, or having a table to promote themselves, hire new talent, or promote a session to discuss ongoing research. It's a great way to exchange thoughts and ideas and make strategic connections, promote innovation, and business growth.

ALMA's Education Initiative supplies a free All Access Pass to qualified students as an opportunity to network with industry veterans and for potential employers to seek interns and employees. This program is doubling year over year!

The floor layout is designed to promote a flow of visitors to the exhibits at all moments, directly accessing the three breakout session rooms. Sessions include discussion panels, seminars, papers, and product/technology showcases. The Speaker Builders Workshop - how to design and specify a transducer for your product - will be a full-day track with several presenters on June 10, 2019.

Attendees can expect ALMA's acclaimed technical and business content with more than 30 hours of education in two packed days. Among the many reasons to attend AISE 2019, it is clear that some of the already confirmed topics for these sessions would be more than enough reason to plan an attendance (full content details will be updated here). 

You can learn more about ALMA's 2018 AISE edition by reading audioXpress' report. Just click on the photo.

Here are some of the confirmed sessions.

Experts from COMSOL will attend AISE 2019 to explain how Multiphysics software can be used in loudspeaker designs. HEAD acoustics' experts will share everything they know about evaluation of Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headphones, how to evaluate and compare smart speakers, and what is possible to measure smart home devices and applications. Listen, will explain how to test smart speakers, hearables, smart home devices, wireless headphones, and automotive entertainment systems. NTi Audio will discuss the challenges and best practices for microphone end-of-line testing. LOUDSOFT will present on the topic of QC testing and many other measurement techniques. And MISCO and Warkwyn experts will talk about their experiences on using modern analysis tools to recreate an iconic speaker.

Stephan Schonfeld (Klippel GmbH) will explain everything about SPLmax and how the new standard IEC 60268-21 defines acoustical measurements for assessing the sound pressure output of active and passive loudspeaker systems. Wolfgang Klippel will present a new seminar on "Green Speaker Design" and the optimal use of system resources, addressing the implications for enclosures, panels, passive resonators, amplifiers, cables and DSP. Ferrotec's Vanessa Rene will detail the thermal benefits of ferrofluids, as used by more than 300 speaker manufacturers around the world. Mark Valentino (PCB Piezotronics) will promote a technical session on acoustics to address the differences of test-and-measurement lab-grade microphones when compared to audio-grade microphones and the advantages of each. Michael Klasco (Menlo Scientific) will share his knowledge on materials and the latest technologies for headphones and how to design microphones and speakers. Doug Button will explain how to reduce distortion in loudspeakers with Digital Signal Processing (DSP). For students and those less familiar with loudspeaker technical disciplines, Mark Beach will explain loudspeaker parameters such as Qts, EBP, Xmax, Fb, Vb, and others.

Stephen C Thompson (Penn State University) will explain everything about transducer modeling using SPICE, SimScape, or Modelica software tools. Tim Whitwell (Tectonic Audio Labs) will dissect the audio principles of Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) transducers. LingChen Zhu will present a seminar on Speaker Design Simulation, comparing different tools with real measurements. Parker Anderson will address real-world performance from different cardioid array configurations. Brandon Carroll (Georgia Tech) will present a seminar on new audio signal processing and machine learning algorithms that characterize environmental audio. Md Mehedi (Carpenter Technology) will share his research on new alloy materials that can be used to build smaller, power efficient speakers with improved sound quality. Not to be missed as well, a paper presented by Alex Voishvillo, Balazs Kakonyi, and Brian McLaughlin, on quantification of loudspeaker maximum SPL parameter using different short-term signals. 

In other papers and sessions, industry consultants will address the importance of building strong brand identity, how to manage a supply chain, and be prepared for Global Trade Wars, among many relevant business-focused subjects for industry professionals. 

audioXpress and Voice Coil magazines, and the Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook are ALMA's Official Media Partners and Media Sponsors for AISE 2019.

Further information including content, exhibitors, as well as registration is available on the ALMA website. All registrations are now open and available online.

AISE 2019
June 9 & 10, 2019
DoubleTree by Hilton Universal, Orlando, FL,


From the Vault
Beyond Thiele/Small DUMAX and Klippel Driver Measurement Systems
By  Thomas Perazella
Anyone who is serious about designing a loudspeaker using dynamic drivers is either familiar with, or has used, Thiele/Small parameters to model those drivers. They are generally accepted as ways to predict driver behavior in different enclosures. One factor that is often overlooked when working with T/S parameters is that they are small-signal parameters. All is then well with the world until the first time you use the resulting speaker to reproduce music at any level above a whisper. Then, the demons of driver nonlinearity rear their ugly heads. The good news is that there are measurement methods we can use to determine and quantify nonlinearities. Two methods that have reached the practical stage are the DUMAX system (Drive Unit Measurements At eXcursion) produced by DLC Design of Wixom, MI, and the Klippel Analyzer System by Klippel GmbH of Dresden, Germany. They use very different approaches to measure the nonlinearities. However, both have produced results that successfully model driver behavior under large signal conditions.

The work for this article involved extensive correspondence with both David Clark, the inventor of DUMAX and Wolfgang Klippel. In reaction to its publication, Dr. Stefan Irrgang (Klippel GmbH) found it to be "a very valuable article because it "transforms" the complicated nonlinear behavior to a very reasonable level without simplifying too much." Dr. Wolfgang Klippel said of this article: "I like very much the good humor in your introduction and I am also impressed about the transformation of this difficult subject on the right level for your readers. I also appreciate that you are trying to be very precise at the same time." audioXpress worked with Thomas Perazella and Klippel to recover some of the material used in this article, originally printed in black and white, allowing us to publish the photos now in color. This article was originally published in audioXpress, March 2003 .   Read the Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Eighteen Sound ND4015BE Beryllium Compression
By Vance Dickason
This Test Bench examines Eighteen Sound's ND4015BE beryllium compression driver, which was mated to an Eighteen Sound XR2064 horn. This compression driver is available in two versions, a 1.5" throat and a 2" throat. This review focuses on the 2" throat model, which also features a 4"-diameter edge-wound aluminum voice coil on a non-conducting Nomex former, a 4" pure beryllium diaphragm with a polymer surround, a copper-plated pole piece (shorting ring), a high-precision diaphragm centering system, and a boundary element method (BEM) optimized four-slot phase plug. The neodymium ring magnet, top plate, and bottom plate, plus the color-coded push terminals have a corrosion-resistant epoxy coating. For thermal dissipation, the entire motor structure is thermally coupled to the black aluminum top cover. The XR2064 horn that Eighteen Sound provided with the ND4015BE is a 2" entrance horn constructed of pressure-injected aluminum and painted black. As with all cast metal horns, it is capable of reducing the steady-state driver's working temperature at full power by up to 30°C, which increases the compression driver's power handling. The coverage pattern for this constant directivity horn is 60° × 40°. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, February 2014 .   Check it out here!

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