Industry & Product News
Positive Grid Unveils Spark Smart Guitar Amplifier and App Featuring Intelligent Technology and Voice Control
Positive Grid introduces Spark, a smart guitar amp and accompanying app (iOS/Android) driven by intelligent technology to offer real-time accompaniment, Auto Chord detection and intuitive practice features for players of all levels. Spark also functions as a full-range, 40-W combo amp and features a variety of tone-shaping options plus amp and fx modeling built upon the company's award-winning BIAS engine. The intelligent guitar amplifier and proprietary voice-activated app generate real-time practice tools and backing accompaniment .   Read More
Qualcomm Introduces New Amazon Alexa Development Kit for Affordable Smart Home Products
Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, announced a new development kit based on the Qualcomm QCA4020 multimode SoC that is qualified by Amazon's Alexa Voice Service (AVS) for AWS IoT Core connected devices. The new Qualcomm Home Hub 100 kit supports Alexa Voice Service using a microcontroller (MCU) and Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) with Multimode Connectivity and adds to Qualcomms' line-up of voice enabling products including kits that can allow OEMs to easily integrate Alexa into smart speakers and hearables .    Read More

DALI IO Headphones Combine Danish Design with ANC and Latest Wireless Technology
Introduced at IFA 2019 in September and already available in Europe, Lenbrook Americas formally announced the launch of DALI IO headphones to the US market. The new headphones reflect the combination of the Danish brand's transducer expertise and design and combine all the features that consumers expect. Two "over ear" models to start, the IO-6 ($499 US MSRP) is an Active Noise Canceling (ANC) wireless headphone, while the IO-4 ($399) offers similar features and performance without ANC .    Read More

Infineon Expands CoolGaN Portfolio with New Device Tailored for Premium Audio Systems
Infineon Technologies broadened its CoolGaN series with two new devices: the CoolGaN 400 V and the CoolGaN 600 V. Gallium nitride (GaN) offers fundamental advantages over silicon, with outstanding specific dynamic on-state resistance and smaller capacitances compared to silicon MOSFETs. The new CoolGaN 400 V device will appeal to audio product designers looking for a premium solution for home or professional Class D amplifiers, and car audio systems that are able to translate high-resolution audio material .    Read More

Apple Reveals New AirPods Pro with Active Noise Cancellation
In another product announcement that didn't go as planned, following a lot of rumors and leaks coming from China, Apple was forced to unveil its latest addition to the AirPods family. As widely anticipated, the AirPods Pro have a new improved design, combining a slightly similar shape to the original loose-fit design, but slightly twisted to support a silicon in-ear tip, in order to make the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) effective. The all-new lightweight design is now available.    Read More

New Q B12 Subwoofer for Immersive Home Cinema Sound from Q Acoustics
Q Acoustics announced its most powerful subwoofer to date, the Q B12, designed to pair with Q Acoustics' 3000i and Concept 5.1 speaker ranges in 2.1 or home theater setups and offering an adjustable crossover frequency range from 70 Hz to 225 Hz (12 dB/octave). Featuring matching finishes, the Q B12 will be available alongside speakers in three home cinema packages including the 3010i 5.1 PLUS (compact), 3050i 5.1 PLUS (tower), and Concept 5.1 Plus (mid-sized) - or it can be purchased individually for those seeking to expand their existing home systems.    Read More

Axiim LINK USB Wireless Audio Transmitter for WiSA Ready TVs and Xbox One Now Available
Axiim, a company that specializes in wireless home audio/video products, announced that its highly anticipated Axiim LINK USB transmitter for WiSA Ready products is now available. The Axiim Link USB wireless audio transmitter is the essential component connecting 2019 LG OLED and NanoCell WiSA Ready TVs as well as the Xbox One gaming console to WiSA certified speakers. LINK is WiSA multi-channel wireless USB audio transmitter and is available now for $229 USD .    Read More

Sound Devices Announces New 888 Portable Production Mixer-Recorder
Sound Devices announced the third mixer-recorder in its new 8-Series: the 888 Portable Production Mixer-Recorder. The 888 is the smallest location mixer-recorder available that offers Dante for sending and receiving audio over Ethernet. Featuring eight ultra-low-noise, 8-Series microphone preamplifiers, 16 channels, 20 tracks, multiple powering methods, and support for multiple USB control surfaces, the 888 can be easily tailored to any sound professional's workflow.    Read More

Guest Editorial
  Mike Klasco
(Menlo Scientific)

ISEAT 2019 - International Symposium
on ElectroAcoustic Technologies
Loudspeaker Engineers Meet in Shenzhen, China Next Week!

Loudspeaker engineers have few choices for professional forums. The Audio Engineering Society (AES) is an outstanding international organization although not entirely focused on speakers. ALTI (formerly ALMA) is loudspeaker-centric but does not have a strong base in China. And although you may not have heard about iSEAT, for most Chinese speaker engineers that is their preferred professional organization. The International Symposium on ElectroAcoustic Technologies (ISEAT), founded in 2007, is held every two years and has successfully conducted six sessions. This year's theme is "The Third Wave of Sound," and it is set for November 9-10, 2019, in the Shenzhen Virtual University Park, an affiliate of Nanjing University.

In terms of location this is one world-class facility with a large auditorium and lecture halls. The back story on this is many members of ISEAT are alumni of Nanjing University, which produces most of China's audio engineers. ISEAT's Chairman and founder is Professor Dr. Shen Yong, Vice dean of Shenzhen Research Institute of Nanjing University and Director of Shenzhen Acoustics R&D Center of Nanjing University. Professor Shen Yong was the first Ph.D. in electroacoustics in China.

Detailing a little about this year' "Third Wave of Sound" topic, Prof. Shen Yong explains that in the first wave of sound, the Chinese acousticians were very advanced and were responsible for the 12-tone equal temperament used in the tuning of musical instruments research and first proposed by the Chinese Ming Dynasty acoustician Zhu Zaiyu. "Unfortunately, the Chinese did not understand the results of Zhu Zaijun's research."

Professor Shen Yong, the chairman of ISEAT, will discuss "The Third Wave of Sound" at this year's edition.
"The second wave of sound occurred between 1862 and 1877, when a few landmark events occurred in Europe and America." According to Prof. Shen Yong, these followed the publication of landmark works by Helmholtz (Germany) and Rayleigh (United Kingdom), the telephone patent applied by Bell, and Edison's invention of the phonograph.

"The third wave of sound is going on at the moment," Prof. Shen Yong says. "143 years ago, Europe and the United States successfully grasped the great opportunity brought about by the second wave of sound, and created a new era of technology, and benefited from it. Now, the third wave of sound has arrived, and the countries of the world have once again returned to the starting line. Who will grasp this new and significant historical opportunity?" And he concludes, "ISEAT 2019 is just around the corner. It is a window for Chinese people to understand the world's acoustic frontier technology. It is also a bridge connecting academic and business circles. It will help China win in the third wave of sound."

"Humans have experienced three waves of sound so far. The new technology has already arrived, and whoever can accurately grasp the third wave will open the door to wealth in the new era. I hope that the Chinese acoustic academia and business community can work together to seize this historic and significant opportunity," Prof. Shen Yong states.

At ISEAT, famous experts, industry leaders, and senior engineers from all around the world gather and discuss the development and application of new technologies, new materials and new equipment in electroacoustics and related fields. ISEAT is a high-level international exchange platform for electroacoustics technology. Presentations from the leading audio experts are truly global, many of whom our readers will recognize, including Wolfgang Klippel (Klippel), Steve Temme (Listen, Inc.), Dr. Sean Olive (Harman International), Peter Larson (Loudsoft), Richard Little (Goertek), Ken Forsythe (EAW), Mark Dodd (Celestion) and just about all of the leading Chinese experts of speaker engineering.

The agenda for 2019, as detailed in the ISEAT 2019 website covers all the relevant topics, from mobile and automobile acoustics to audio signal processing and analysis, and new loudspeaker materials and measurement techniques.

I will contribute my two cents in a talk on new loudspeaker materials coming into the supply chain in 2020. Papers range from piezo MEMS to material science to test and measurement and I will provide coverage for The Audio Voice while at the event. Software and hardware technologies related to electroacoustics, including research results, R&D reports, technology trends, and technology management.

Images from ISEAT 2017. ISEAT is different from other academic conferences. "Since its start, it has paid great attention to the transformation of academic achievements in practical applications. It is a communication bridge between academics and business circles," says Professor Shen Yong.

ISEAT's 2019 line-up for this edition includes, among others: David J. Murphy (AES Fellow and member of the AES Standardization Committee SC-04-03) on "Acoustic Lumped Parameter Modeling Techniques;" Manuel Melon (Professor of Acoustics Laboratory, Le Mans University, France) talking about "Measurement of Linear and Nonlinear Loudspeaker Parameters Using High Speed Cameras and 3D Vision Methods"; Wolfgang Klippel (Klippel) discussing "Optimal Use of Software and Hardware Resources in Active Loudspeaker Design;" Sean E. Olive (Harman), presenting on "Audience Classification Based on Headphones Listening Preferences;" Andrea Rusconi Clerici (Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of USound) discussing "MEMS Micro Loudspeaker: Technology, Challenges, and Applications;" Alfred J. Svobodnik (Chairman of AES Automotive Acoustics Technical Committee) talking about "Virtual Development of Automotive Audio Systems;" James Abbott (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) discussing "The Search for a Quiet Place - Present and Future Trends in Factory Acoustic Test Environments;" Jason McIntosh (SAATI Acoustic simulation and measurement specialist) presenting on "Acoustic Modeling of Thin Protective Meshes and Membranes;" Gregor Schmidle (NTi Audio), talking about "Challenges and Best Practices for Microphone End-of-Line Testing;" Tomas Olofsson (Dirac Research) on "Rational Matrix Methods for Automotive Sound Zones;" Mark Trainer (Minimum Phase LLC) with a presentation on Nonlinear Loudspeaker Simulation Using SPICE; Jingwei Feng (Alibaba) presenting on "Microphone Array Signal Processing and Its Applications;" and Li Shengbo (Master of Electrical Acoustics, Nanjing University) talking about "The Loss of Fundamental Frequency" Theory and Misunderstanding.

All presentations are in Chinese and English presenters have simultaneous translation to Chinese. If you are unable to attend ISEAT 2019, your next chance will be November 2021 (ISEAT takes place every other year). To register, visit or send an email.

Fresh From the Bench
KanexPro HAECOAX HDMI Audio De-Embedder
By  Gary Galo
For our readers interested in the practical aspects of configuring listening environments, this review explains the merits of the KanexPro HAECOAX, an HDMI audio de-embedder, which extracts the PCM datastream from your players HDMI output and feeds the datastream to an S/PDIF output at the disc's full resolution. Gary Galo discovered the device some time ago, enabling him to extract digital high-resolution audio sources from HDMI signals. This article was originally published in audioXpress, July 2016.    Read the Full Article Now Available Here
Voice Coil Test Bench
SEAS Excel Graphene W18EX003 6.5" Midbass
By  Vance Dickason
In this edition of Test Bench, Vance Dickason measures one of the most anticipated driver designs launched in the market in 2019, from SEAS's new Excel Graphene line. This product line combines the already highly prized magnesium cone - a nearly ideal cone material that is both light and stiff but is subject to corrosion in areas of extremely high humidity - with the desirable acoustic properties of Graphene, which also works to provide corrosion protection to magnesium. Following the previous Test Bench on the W16NX003 5.25" midbass woofer, this one focuses on the W18EX003 6.5" midbass driver. This article was published in Voice Coil, August 2019 .    Read the Full Article Now Available Here
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