Industry & Product News
Download PCB Piezotronics's Free Microphone Handbook - Updated!
The PCB team of acoustic experts and mechanical, industrial, and electrical engineers shared more than 35 years of their collective microphone design and manufacturing experience in this new microphone handbook. This recently updated technical resource is beneficial for a variety of entry level to intermediate research and design acoustic engineers. Download the free PDF version of the Microphone Handbook now .    Learn More and Download

Weiss Engineering Announces New DSP501/DSP502 Digital Signal Processors
The DSP501/DSP502 are two new state-of-the-art Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) from Swiss company Weiss Engineering, founded in 1985 by Daniel Weiss. The two new processors, featuring exclusive algorithms developed by the company, are described as "the essence of our experiences." The implementation in the two new hardware units intends to "enhance or adapt the audio signal to the room acoustics or speakers at hand," and combines some rather unique features .    Read More

WiSA Association Projects WiSA-Ready TVs to Exceed 20 Million in 2020
The Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA), LLC, founded by Summit Wireless Technologies, and comprised of more than 60 leading consumer electronics brands, announced its global TV member brands have expanded to 7 with projected WiSA-Ready TVs to exceed 20 million in market in 2020. With the addition of TPV, which markets under the Philips TV brand, WiSA and its collective members will continue to deliver best-in-class, wireless, high-resolution, multi-channel audio to the home entertainment experience .    Read More

xMEMS Demonstrates True MEMS Speaker for Earphone Applications
xMEMS Labs, a MEMS solutions start-up headquartered in Los Altos, CA, announced the demonstration of a novel MEMS speaker for earphone applications. This demo, according to the company, showcases not only the benefits of MEMS technologies with small size and low power consumption, but also its scalable design that will enable applications in many markets. The company, which has not yet revealed specifics about its MEMS speaker technology, claims to have developed a complete MEMS process that reduces manufacturing complexities .    Read More

Sennheiser Enters Automotive Sector Showing First In-Car AMBEO Sound System at Monterey Car Week
Sennheiser developed an AMBEO immersive audio solution for in-car entertainment and communication in collaboration with Southern California-based luxury automaker, Karma Automotive. Engineered using the highest-grade microphone and loudspeaker technology and 3D audio expertise, the AMBEO sound system provides impressively enveloping sound and clear audio for phone calls. The system can first be experienced as a technology showcase on a new 2020 Karma Revero GT during Monterey Car Week (August 15-18) .    Read More

HEAD acoustics Introduces coreA2B High-Performance Solution for Automotive Audio Performance Testing
Providing high-quality audio is an important part of modern audio systems in vehicles. For this purpose, Analog Devices has developed Automotive Audio Bus (A2B) technology, optimized for delivering superior audio quality. Now, HEAD acoustics has launched coreA2B, a high-performance solution for testing audio performance on the A2B bus technology implemented on a measurement extension board for the company's multi-channel hardware platform labCORE .    Read More

AKG Launches the K361 and the K371 Professional Studio Headphones
Harman Professional Solutions announced new AKG K361 and K371 professional studio headphones targeting musicians, producers, and all content creators looking for a versatile monitoring solution that also combines style and mobility. The new K361 and the K371 headphones blend studio-quality sound with a compact, foldable design, enabling creators to produce professional content in the studio or on the go .    Read More

MSE Audio to Showcase New Four-Way Induction Dynamics ID1 at CEDIA 2019
MSE Audio will showcase the Induction Dynamics ID1, a switchable four-way tower speaker with dual 10" subwoofers, at CEDIA 2019. Designed to respond to both home theater applications and as a stereo music listening system, the new Induction Dynamics ID1 pushes the envelope in audio performance by combining a four-way tower speaker with a subwoofer section via a rear switch with variable crossover frequency .    Read More

HEDD Confirms Air Motion Transformer HEDDphone Launch in 2019
A headphone that is based on a real Air Motion Transformer (AMT) driver, as used in professional studio monitors? The first presentation was at the 2019 High End show in Munich (May 2019), followed by another recent series of demonstrations at the CanJam London 2019 show (July 2019). Now HEDD Audio has announced that, before the end of 2019, the company intends to ship the new HEDDphone - the first full-range headphone design based on HEDD/ADAM founder and speaker veteran Klaus Heinz' world-known AMT driver .    Read More

Editor's Desk
J. Martins

Audio Marketing Refresh
The Humble But Mighty Press Release

There's so much an audio brand can do in terms of effective promotion (that all important "P" in the marketing mix). And it all starts with the humble but mighty press release. Remember, it's not official until you send it! 

If you want press coverage (for free) send out a press release. Send one on the product Unveil, another if you Display it at a show, and another when you Launch it. Even send another when the product is Available... Just send new photos with each one, and add some interesting new facts.

It is amazing how so many "grown-up" people in the audio industry - including many consumer audio, and almost all high-end audio and hi-fi companies - completely ignore what a press release is about, what it is used for, or simply disregard the fact that when they actually "release" a new product, they need to tell the press, which will help tell the world about it. And no... handing out a leaflet with a bunch of specification bullet points IS NOT a press release.

In contrast, most pro audio companies never forget to send out press releases, sometimes three or four, until they have sold out their first production run (and we will discuss the importance of that strategy for the distribution channel in another text). Companies attending shows such as InfoComm send out press releases about their ugly black boxes with very little to say, and still they actually manage to write 500 words about their new product and include two press photos with it. And most of those companies actually hire a public relations (PR) agency to do it and they get their investment worth multiple times, because they know they are targeting a very specific professional audience. And that's why they work and cherish their segment trade press. Because they know that's the most effective way to spread their message in the most cost-effective way. 

Now, how come companies selling $20,000 speakers or amplifiers or whatever, which actually release a new product every two years, think there's no point in writing a simple press release? Something that clearly states when the product was unveiled/released, explaining what their product is and why they did it, and most importantly, why anyone should buy it. In highly specialized markets, where there are 10 influential magazines and another 10 relevant websites needed to reach out to 98% of all the potential early-adopters and influencers and key channel partners, why not spend a few hours actually explaining what their product is, what it does, how they did it, and why their product is different and better?

Yes, all that is a press release, something that provides the basic facts for a magazine and website to talk about it. It's a manufacturers responsibility to present the basic facts about a product up front. And no, there simply aren't enough resources in an audio magazine to run "investigative journalism" about every single company and product being introduced daily in order to "inform" its readers. That's why most of the hi-fi websites are very rich on subjective impressions and opinions and very poor on information and actual facts, and why many companies have trouble differentiating their innovations. The press release is precisely what provides the starting point for good journalists to do their jobs.

Think about this. When your company attends a show and you are explaining your new product to a potential buyer, in most cases you are able to quickly say exactly everything that should have been distributed in your press release prior or at least during the show. If you do the press release, you get more people reaching out for you to have demonstrations. Your potential clients have already received the basic message. They know first hand what they want to know, they want to know more, and sometimes they already know they want it!

And yes, that is also what press conferences are about. If you are unveiling a new product, you should invite the press early on, hand out the press releases and photos (i.e., a press kit), quickly say out loud the main highlights from the press releases, and maybe give a quick demo. Only after all those steps are followed, should there be a Q&A session, otherwise, no one asks any questions. And no, it's not because the press is anxiously waiting for a free beer. It's because, if you didn't hand out information, and didn't explain what the call was about, no one has questions (we do, but it would be embarrassing to ask: who are you, what is this company, what do you do, why we are here?).

If you are a manufacturer, it is your responsibility to put out all the useful information about your product. Write down the facts. Not only those specs provided by engineering for the leaflet, but highlighting the specs that stand out and why, giving the actual technical description of the product, the circuit topology, heritage, and improvements. In the case of speakers, describe the electro-acoustic design, detail the drivers, crossover points, how everything was combined... Tell the story of your product, what was the inspiration for the project, the usage profile you are targeting, and make sure your main selling points stand out. No journalist needs to guess the basic facts if you actually have them and you should make them available. That way, they know they have the basic story to write when they go back, and they can actually relax and listen to the system, instead of painfully extracting information with a barrage of questions. 

But even outside of shows, if you have a product ready, make sure you prepare a proper press release as the first thing to do, much in the same way as it is mandatory to write a manual, print a brochure, and include the reference in your price lists. In this day and age of online media, companies can easily get thousands of dollars' worth of free exposure, just by communicating efficiently with the editors and content managers of those websites. 

Tips for a better website press page.

If you send a nice, well-written press release, with two or three photos (or just give access to a dropbox folder), you get the message out first. Target for 500 words. Less than that and you didn't do much work.... And no, don't share the press release in full on your social media page before handing it out to the media. It's not a question of "exclusives." It simply doesn't hold the same value when a company says, "we launched a new box," to a media outlet saying, "You Need to Find Out About This Box!"

It can be so simple...

P.S.: If a media outlet asks you for a payment to post a simple press release, don't even bother. The readers already have felt the stink and moved on .

Amplifier Series
Powersoft OEM Power Amplifier Modules.  Flexible Power for Active Systems
By  Ward Maas
In this article in the Amplifier Series where audioXpress explores the history, technological developments, and new generation products from some of the most innovative amplifier platform companies serving all segments of the audio industry, Ward Maas writes about Italian company Powersoft, focusing specifically on the brand's OEM amplifier modules. And to demonstrate how easy and flexible the solutions that Powersoft offers are, he assembled a working system with a LiteMod 4HC module. This article was originally published in audioXpress, July 2019 .   Read the Full Article Now Available Here
Voice  Coil Spotlight
Klippel Controlled Sound (KCS) Technology for Nonlinear Compensation of Loudspeakers
By Vance Dickason
Following extensive research, and the publication of several papers, Klippel GmbH has announced its new Klippel Controlled Sound (KCS) technology. This is an integrated approach that leverages the company's software and hardware tools for development, measurement and evaluation of new-generation loudspeaker systems, providing mechanical and thermal protection, automatic system alignment, active compensation of transducer nonlinearities, and stabilization of the voice coil rest position. In other words, enabling research toward the speakers of the future. Among other advanced approaches, the system paves the way for the adoption of Self-Learning and Adaptive Solutions, where the transducer itself is the sensor used to identify key instantaneous parameters. Aiming to design loudspeakers that are smaller, lighter, cheaper, generate more output at less distortion with higher efficiency, eventually incorporating self-protection features. According to Klippel, the first evaluation systems are available for woofer applications. In its July 2019 edition, Voice Coil published an overview of the new Klippel Controlled Sound (KCS) technology, which we are now making available online .   Check it out here!

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