Industry & Product News
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Periodic Audio Announces New Carbon Flagship IEM
Periodic Audio is launching its new flagship in-ear headphones during the fifth annual CanJam SoCal show, June 22-23. Known for its use of periodic elements to create unique drivers with beryllium, titanium, or a magnesium/aluminum alloy, Periodic Audio pushes the envelope with the new Carbon (C) IEMs, featuring diaphragms made from lab-grown diamonds. According to the company, the Carbon design provides the ultimate statement in resolution - with incredibly low distortion - below that of any other IEM on the market today .    Read More

Danley Sound Labs Introduces New Versatile Full-Range Compact Loudspeakers
Tom Danley and his team of loudspeaker engineers continue to work hard to be innovative even in the most apparently conventional design categories (e.g., such as full-range compact loudspeakers). During InfoComm 2019, Danley Sound Labs introduced the new and affordable FLX-12 Full-Range Loudspeaker, a point-source rugged cabinet that can be pole-mounted, hung from rig points, or lain on its side as a floor monitor. The second product is the small-format but powerful Go2-6CX, which uses a 6" coaxial driver, creating an extremely versatile solution for integrators .    Read More

SEAS Announces Third Excel Graphene Woofer
Following the introduction of its completely new Excel Graphene Woofer Series with the W16NX003 (E0073-08), followed recently by the 19-series W19NX001 (E0076-08), SEAS Fabrikker has announced the third product in the line, the W18EX003 (E0074-08). According to SEAS, the new line is designed for truthful high-res audio reproduction with outstanding clarity and dynamic capability in mind, and the new W18EX003 represents a successor to the famous W18EX001 (E0017-08) model. All Excel Graphene drivers feature a graphene-coated magnesium cone .    Read More

Harman Partners with SoundHound to Introduce Voice-Enabled Solutions for the Hospitality Industry
Harman Professional Solutions and SoundHound, the voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies company, announced a partnership to power the voice interface for future JBL Professional-branded solutions for hospitality environments.  SoundHound will supply its Houndify voice AI platform to be implemented in Harman's Hospitality Cloud AI, JBL Professional smart speakers, and AMX control systems to deliver what Harman is calling Smart Hotel Room Experiences .    Read More

Diodes Announces New USB Type-C Ultra-Low THD Analog Audio Port Switch  
Diodes Inc. has announced the PI3A6386 USB Type-C multimedia port switch, designed to enable manufacturers to continue supporting legacy data and analog peripherals through USB Type-C ports. As a result of the adoption of USB Type-C ports in mobile phones and tablets, manufacturers are removing other ports such as USB 2.0 and 3.5mm audio sockets. The PI3A6386 port switch enables legacy data and audio signals to be passed through the USB Type-C port, allowing consumers to continue using existing peripherals .    Read More

d&b audiotechnik Introduces InfoComm 2019 A-Series Augmented Array Loudspeakers at InfoComm 2019
The all new A-Series from d&b audiotechnik introduces what the German company calls the augmented array: an advanced loudspeaker concept "born from the d&b applied evolution system development philosophy." Combining variable splay angles, two approaches to acoustic optimization, and advanced waveguide design, the A-Series addresses applications where coverage flexibility in both the horizontal and the vertical is paramount .    Read More

WiSA Announces Certification for Primare Prisma SC15 and PRE35 Network Preamps
The Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA) founded by Summit Wireless Technologies, announced the certification of two products from Primare's Prisma line, including the SC15, a compact, full-featured system control and network player providing high-quality sound and performance, and the PRE35, a fully balanced stereo preamplifier with DAC and network modules. Both products from the Scandinavian company are available now .    Read More

Wi-Fi Celebrates 20 Years with More Than 20 Billion Anticipated Device Shipments over the Next Six Years
More than 20 billion Wi-Fi devices are forecasted to ship between 2019 and 2024, according to a new market data report from global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research. Continued growth in traditional markets of strength, alongside traction in mesh networking systems, smart home, automotive, and IoT applications will drive the Wi-Fi market forward to nearly 4 billion annual device shipments by 2024 .    Read More

Editor's Desk
J. Martins

ALMA, ALTI, and AISE 2019
What Happened in Orlando...

The annual ALMA International Symposium & Expo (AISE) 2019, took place June 9-10 at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Universal Orlando, just prior to InfoComm 2019. Once again, it was the strongest event ever for anyone in the loudspeaker and electroacoustic development in general. This was the first event since the association decided to move away from Las Vegas and CES, and leverage the opportunities of working closer with the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) and its annual trade show, InfoComm.

ALMA is now ALTI - Audio & Loudspeaker Technologies International, "Built for and by professionals in the Audio and Loudspeaker Technologies Industry to learn, to teach, to grow and to get business done."

Altius, Citius, Fortius, is the Olympic Latin motto proposed by Pierre de Coubertin upon the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894, and it translates to "Higher, Faster, Stronger." AISE 2019 was supposed to live up to a similar motto, signaling a crucial step forward in the association's evolution and growth, while looking to promote activities in Europe in the future.

Unfortunately, the move to June and just prior to InfoComm didn't awarded the synergies and growth that was expected. Not that AISE 2019 was worse than previous years. There were 22 exhibitors at AISE 2019, including Loudsoft, Ferrotec, HEAD acoustics, PCB Piezotronics, Audio Precision, Eminence, Hernon, Menlo Scientific, Prism Sound, Bomatec International, GRAS Sound & Vibration, Listen, TeXtreme, CrySound, Tectonic, SB Acoustics, COMSOL, NTi Audio, Knowles Corp., Materion, Dr. Kurt Mueller, MISCO, and Warkwyn-Klippel. And knowing that content is king at AISE, this year's edition included one of the best schedules ever, with three rooms constantly offering something for the attendees, during the two days.

AISE 2019 allowed visitors to engage with new and traditional exhibitors, from test and measurement, to manufacturing equipment, driver, transducer, components and material manufacturers.

In the promotion for AISE 2019, I called it "the audio industry's best kept secret," and this year it remained exactly that. Attendance didn't grow as expected, even if the sessions schedule and the exhibits were the strongest ever. At the end of the two days, there was some feeling of frustration when it became clear that InfoComm attendees were not coming, and that much more needs to be done to actually realize the synergies between the shows. And in 2020, AISE will be held in Las Vegas, where InfoComm takes place on even years, creating the challenge of a location even further away from InfoComm - the South Point Hotel, modern, affordable, but a good 30-minute drive (at least) from the Las Vegas Convention Center.

And other aspects also need to be revised, such as the earlier sessions (8:30!) that had lower attendances. It would be a good idea to start around 9:30 AM next year. Attendees would have at least the chance to grab a cup of (free) coffee and greet colleagues, and maybe quickly look at some of the exhibits before the first session. And speaking of coffee, the catering in general at the DoubleTree was of very good quality and it is nice to have breakfast and lunch buffets in the adjoining spaces, making the whole experience extremely convenient, and the networking time even more enjoyable.

With all the good and not so good things, among ALMA members and exhibitors there was still a spirit of determination to keep working and keep up with the association's mission "to learn, to teach, to grow, and to get business done!" After all, nearly all exhibitors reported that the few visitors were of the highest quality, that business was done anyway, and that nearly everyone felt proud of what was promoted in general. Certainly, the pleasantly surprised attendees enjoyed extra-quality time with all the top-notch professionals and the extremely high-quality of the presentations and sessions, and they can help spread the word.

As always, the presentations were of outstanding quality and attendance was strong, but not enough for two or more concurrent sessions. The schedule was one of the strongest ever...

In the spirit of change, there was also the news, enthusiastically confirmed by Dan Foley, the association's president, that something else was evolving: its own mission and identity. To better reflect the present-day association, ALMA has changed its designation to ALTI, an acronym for Audio and Loudspeaker Technologies International. As Dan Foley explained, "The name change is more than just a new name and a new logo. It is a statement to current, past, and future members that this is not the 'good ole boys' network.

"Since 1964, ALMA was founded by and developed for Engineers by Engineers. The association has enjoyed an important niche in the audio universe. But times change and technology leaps forward." This means that ALTI will embrace and promote the evolving industry, reflecting more than just the loudspeaker industry but the whole audio industry ecosystem, just as reflected in recent years by the diversity of presentations and exhibitors at AISE.

During the traditional ALMA Banquet and Awards Ceremony, Dan Foley explained why he was now the president of ALTI.

"To be clear, ALTI will always be focused upon the electroacoustic industry while including related and connected technologies. Dedicated to the technical side of the industry and fully embracing the business side of the industry," Foley added.

And moving AISE to June and the association's involvement with InfoComm is one way to do that, looking to attract Pro Audio participants and more diverse audio related segments.  We discussed those challenges and the plans for the association with Barry Vogel, Executive Director of ALTI. From Vogel, we also learned that the decision to change the name of the association was actually taken during the previous edition of AISE 2019, in Las Vegas, a year and half ago.

"We've been talking about this for probably over three years. We were treading water. The show wasn't shrinking, but we never seemed to be able to grow it. And in the surveys that we took, when we asked things like 'Do you like the show prior to CES?' people said yes, but when we asked them 'Do you go to CES,' only 10% actually attended CES. On balance, at our registration here, we asked every person that checked-in 'Are you going to InfoComm?' Roughly half of them were. That to me says that there is greater affinity between our show and InfoComm, versus our show and CES."

The Speaker Builders Workshop was certainly the highlight on the second day, with everyone assembling their own speakers. Eminence Speaker supplied a 6.5" driver to assemble, Hernon supplied the assembly support, Audio Precision provided the measurement gear and the workshop was also supported by Klippel, Ferrotec and Comsol. All participants learned something about loudspeaker building and got a cool souvenir to take home from AISE 2019.

Of course we discussed with Vogel the arrangements with AVIXA and we asked him about the need for more proximity to the actual InfoComm show, being less of a gap between the events. "We were looking at that. We decided that the only way that we could do this for now was to overlap some of InfoComm's education days, but not overlap their exhibition. It's the same kind of flow as with CES." Vogel said.

"We are seeing the greatest opportunity in the crossover with InfoComm... Dave Labuskes (AVIXA's CEO) is just excited about the opportunity to offer a level of training that they don't get right now at InfoComm, and their education people are anxious to work with us about developing things together. We are even discussing a possible certification program, which the industry has been asking for, something that on our own we were just not able to do. Of course, we would like to get even closer, physically, to the actual show, but when we started looking at the options, we would have to raise our prices substantially to cover the cost - that would be a problem."

"What I am hoping for is that the bonding and the cross-pollination between the two events becomes strong enough that the value proposition on our side builds. When that happens, there's all kinds of conversations under way... Bringing us physically closer, without a doubt is the goal. We know that what we have is not optimum. It's better than what we had, but it's not optimum."

"This relationship is new, and the communication was still not what we hoped it would be, and some things that we had planned on doing this year just didn't come together. But it is the first year and we have things happening. We are working at building a relationship," Vogel explained.

And after all, AISE continues to be, above all, about building partnerships and doing business. That much was reflected in some of the topics discussed in the sessions, where everyone agrees that the industry needs to work closer than ever. One of the reasons being the challenges of the nearly 6,000 Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) item classifications that have been identified for the imposition of a 25% penalty tariff on US imports from China, and the fact that China has retaliated with tariffs of their own. The trade wars and the tariffs are certainly the largest challenge ahead and the strongest reason for companies to expand and consolidate their supplier networks. 

Jacob Soendergaard (at right) holds the 2019 Beryllium Driver Award for Lifetime Achievement, awarded to Gunnar Rasmussen, the founder of GRAS Sound & Vibration.

A final word about the annual ALMA Banquet and Awards, at the end of the day, June 9, which was again another highlight of AISE. The Beryllium Driver Award for Lifetime Achievement for 2019 was awarded to Gunnar Rasmussen, the founder of GRAS Sound & Vibration and a pioneer in the construction of acoustic instrumentation, particularly of microphones, transducers, and vibration-related devices. A deserving award for a 70-year veteran of the audio industry with many ground breaking innovations, which was signaled that night by Jacob Soendergaard, member of the board of the ALTI association and his nephew.

The Titanium Driver Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Audio and Loudspeaker Technologies Industry for 2019 went to Gary Church of MISCO, and a 40-plus year veteran of companies such as Electro-Voice, Utah Electronics and Rockford, among others. With many groundbreaking innovations to his credit, his work and industry's contribution were highlighted in the occasion by Dan Digre, President at MISCO Speakers, Oaktron Aerospace, and Warkwyn Labs.

Gary Church received the 2019 Titanium Driver Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Audio and Loudspeaker Technologies Industry.

This year, the association awarded a Gold Driver Award for Service to Spiro Iraclianos, who served as President of ALMA and chairman of the Education Committee from 2011 through 2015 and was instrumental in beginning the process of advancing and modernizing the association's mission. The association also awarded a plaque, recognizing MISCO's 70 years in business and the company's service to the loudspeaker industry as well as their longstanding support to the association. 

AISE 2020 will take place at the South Point Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV, June 14-15, prior to InfoComm 2020, which happens from June 13-19. Help spread the word .

Fresh From the Bench
1MORE Triple Driver Over Ear Headphones
By  Stuart Yaniger
In this review for audioXpress, Stuart Yaniger puts 1MORE's Triple Driver Over Ear headphones through a series of rigorous tests. Intrigued by the design that uses a 40 mm graphene-coated dynamic driver, a ceramic tweeter, and what the company calls a bass reflector, Yaniger investigated and shared his findings. He performed several sets of measurements using an Audio Precision APx525 audio analyzer, the APx1701 transducer interface, and the AECM206 headphone test fixture. A few measurements were repeated using the miniDSP EARS headphone test fixture in conjunction with the APx525. Listening at home, work, and a hotel was mostly done using a CEntrance DACportable DAC/headphone amplifier, and while hiking using an iPhone 8 with a standard Lightning-to-3.5 mm adapter module. This article was originally published in audioXpress, February 2019 .   Read the Full Article Now Available Here
Voice  Coil Test Bench
The L26ROY 10" Subwoofer from SEAS
By Vance Dickason
I characterized the 10" L26ROY subwoofer from SEAS' new Extreme line. The L26ROY has a well-appointed feature set that includes a proprietary cast 16-spoke (eight twin spokes) cast-aluminum frame that has minimal reflection surfaces and is completely open 1.5" deep space below the spider mounting shelf. Other features include the incorporation of a very stiff and rigid aluminum cone with the outside edge of the cone turned down, further stiffened by an inset 4" diameter concave aluminum dust cap. Compliance is provided by a FEA-optimized low-loss (high Qm) NBR surround plus a 6" diameter flat conex spider (damper). All this is driven by a 56 mm diameter (2.2") two-layer voice coil wound with round copper wire on a glass fiber non-conducting former. The motor system powering the cone assembly utilizes two 22 mm thick and 175 mm diameter ferrite magnets sandwiched between a black plated 10 mm thick front plate and a black plated 10 mm thick T-yoke that incorporates a 14 mm diameter flared pole vent surrounded by eight 5 mm diameter peripheral vents. This format drives a substantial amount of air out the gap area and across the front plate below the spider mounting shelf for enhanced cooling of the motor system. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, April 2019 .   Check it out here!

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