Industry & Product News
The Pro's Secret Tool: punQtum Digital Intercom Systems
It's not exactly a secret that a new company called punQtum B.V. is now promoting a new technology and a new business model to revolutionize intercom applications in the professional audio industry. Making a digital and network-based solution that everyone can use with the same or more confidence of an analog-wired intercom system, but with key advantages in every front, is the technical foundation. The business model consists of creating a pro-community driven eco-system, where real users and experts become the drivers .   Read More
BDNC Now Shipping STAPEZ Flat Glass-Composite Speaker Drivers
BDNC Holding, Ltd., is now in production of its highly advanced flat glass-composite diaphragm woofer. Available through Digi-Key under the brand STAPEZ, this new innovative driver uses ultra-thin tempered glass as the diaphragm, combined in a low-profile woofer able to produce extended bass response. At present, the smallest size is 80 mm × 20 mm × 7.2 mm but BDNC is also working on smaller models and has already launched a 40 mm headphone driver using the glass-composite technology .    Read More  


Bluetooth LE Audio and LC3: Market Overview, Technology Trends and Forecast from SAR Insight & Consulting
Cinemas, gamers and the hard of hearing could all benefit from Bluetooth 5.2, according to the latest "Bluetooth LE Audio and LC3: Market Overview, Technology Trends and Forecast" report from SAR Insight & Consulting. Bluetooth will continue to be a popular and flexible way to connect devices, thanks in part to the technology being refreshed to remain relevant to component manufacturers and consumers, says SAR Insight & Consulting .    Read More

 
Bragi and CEVA Collaborate to Drive New Class of Hearable and Personal Audio Devices
CEVA, the leading licensor of wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies, and Bragi GmbH, the hearables pioneer from Munich, Germany, announced a strategic collaboration to drive a new class of hearable devices where the user experience is customizable via the industry's first hearable app store and the new Bragi 4 operating system. Target devices include headsets, hearing aids, True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds and a host of other smart audio devices for the consumer and the smart home .    Read More  


WiSA Certifies Center Channel and On-Wall Speaker Solutions from System Audio
The Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA) announced it has certified two new speakers from System Audio. The newly WiSA Certified products from the Danish company include the SA Legend 10 Silverback, a wireless active center-channel speaker and the SA Legend 7 Silverback, a wireless on-wall speaker. These elegantly designed solutions deliver high-quality sound and work seamlessly with all WiSA Certified transmitters and in harmony with all WiSA Certified speakers to create a complete, best-in-class home entertainment experiences .    Read More  

Genelec Announces GLM 3.2.0 Software Update Providing Expanded Support for The Ones Point Source Monitors
Users of Genelec's Smart Active Monitoring range can now take advantage of the newly updated 3.2.0 version of the Genelec Loudspeaker Management (GLM) software, which offers compatibility with a wider range of Genelec models - plus adding a host of other improvements. The software update provides support for the latest The Ones point source monitors - namely the 8351B and the 8361 coaxial three-ways and the complementary W371 Adaptive Woofer System - which work seamlessly together via GLM to create a full-range monitoring system .    Read More  
    
Sennheiser Announces Momentum True Wireless 2 with ANC
The new Momentum True Wireless 2 is Sennheiser's latest effort to demonstrate it is also in the major league when it comes to true wireless earbuds, offering an updated proposition that combines style and convenience also with quality sound. The second generation of the Momentum True Wireless from Sennheiser brings enhancements such as Active Noise Cancellation, refined ergonomics, and an outstanding 7-hour battery life that can be extended to up to 28 hours by charging on the go using the supplied case .    Read More


The Widex Moment Hearing Aid That Doesn't Sound Like A Hearing Aid
The new Widex Moment is being promoted by the Danish audiology specialist as a hearing aid (HA) that "delivers the purest, most high-quality sound for an audiophile." "With Widex Moment, those that appreciate high quality audio, but have hearing loss, don't need to oscillate between hearing aids and high-end headphones. They can now have both in one device - with the hearing aid acting as the best headphones they've ever used," Widex states .    Read More  

Editor's Desk
 
J. Martins
(Editor-in-Chief)
 


Dealing with COVID-19
Uncertainty? Yes, But Prepare for Return to Normality
Our deepest sympathy goes out to all those directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Our thoughts in particular go to all who were first and most severely affected in China and Italy. A word of praise, in particular, to our loudspeaker manufacturer friends with operations in Italy and China who were particularly affected. Really glad to see that they reacted quickly, managed to remain afloat, and are getting ready for a strong restart.

Some lost business may be compensated for in later quarters, if supply, manufacturing, and logistics return to normal. Supply chain diversification is a good idea says Futuresource Consulting .

This virus is now a global problem. While the whole world follows the advice from the scientific and the medical communities and the World Health Organization, most of us are forced to stay at home, working remotely, while many others are required to stay firmly at their work posts. Together, helping each other, we will all recover from this crisis.

Yes, the health and safety of employees, partners, customers, and everyone around us is everyone's top priority. But at this particular moment, I would like to share what I think are some essential thoughts about how businesses should react to this global crisis. And, of course, I wrote these thoughts thinking specifically about all types of companies in the audio industry.

Probably the most surprising part of how this entire pandemic situation evolved was the speed at which it spread, but also the pace of reaction in different countries. As a result, while some parts of the world are already experiencing "stay home," or mandatory shutdowns and quarantine situations for weeks, others are still just in the early stages of precautionary measures and mitigation. But this will gradually change, including in all 50 US States, so companies should prepare to operate under these variable conditions and constraints, always looking ahead.

This is temporary. Keep your online operations working and plan ahead. Anticipate changes. Plan for different rules. Remember, as with the virus hit, everything can change in just a few days.

Stay in Business
Keep your products available. Revisit your supply chain to make sure you can keep up with demand. Pivot to online tools and offer the best options. Remember, going online is not the same as direct to consumer. Brands and manufacturers rarely need or can succeed by selling directly online. You still need to work with a distribution channel to get closer to your clients in every way - for deliveries and technical support. So, make sure your channel partners are also ready to offer online sales, now that people cannot visit their physical stores or locations.
Work on creating and delivering all the tools that your distributors need to generate an online catalog, refreshing the products, and promotions on your side, so that your channel partners can effectively fulfill their roles.

Keep Doing Your Job. Rethink Strategy
As I wrote in my previous COVID-19 editorial, two weeks ago (it seems like ages ago...), use the available time to reorganize, focus on product development and other essential bench and back office activities, and get ready for a full-force return at a later date. And communicate more, not less. Get those press releases out, regularly. Get your marketing closer and more agile. Engage with your PR people to work on your product releases and promotion calendars now that you don't have a trade show to maximize reach and boost your message.

Promote Your Calendar
Now that the calendar is not determined by a trade show, you have less control of the timing, not more. So, review your product cycles to plan ahead for your promotion and distribution strategies. You will need to make sure that your messages get out when intended. Everyone will be facing the same challenges and trying to fight for a slot on the calendar. As I already mentioned, forget the "webinar" format and work on creating deliverables available on-demand. Scheduled events only work for channel communication and internal training.

Make Your Product Essential
If you build a strong emotional connection with your user base, even if your product belongs in the luxury category, or isn't exactly a staple product, you will get the business from potential buyers. But if you want to really succeed under the current difficult circumstances, rethink your strategy to focus on "must have" products. And maybe now is not the time to build me-too products with no differentiation.

The COVID-19 pandemic will force companies around the world to radically rethink how they operate and embrace technological investment, says ABI Research.

Price Smart
If your product is in stock and available, rethink your price strategy. No, don't discount it heavily to empty the shelfs, unless you intend to close your business (not a smart move under the circumstances). First think. Is your product essential? Do you have an advantage by actually being able to ship today? Maybe it's time to encourage up-selling and cross-selling instead: Buy the standard product, get the optional extra for 50% less. Buy the product, get extra supplies and replacement parts for just X. 
Or don't. Simply keep the list price and offer discounts to resellers, using the opportunity to expand your global reach...
Increasing the price under these circumstances is also not a wise decision. Any extra revenue earned today will be strongly offset by the damage the company's image will suffer once the uncertainty eases and people realize what you did.

Plan for a Return
This is temporary. Anticipate changes. Plan for different rules. Remember, as with the virus hit, everything can change in just a few days. This global effort to contain the virus will require a six-month effort at a minimum, but things will gradually return to normal and at different paces. Things will start changing after just two weeks. You want to be ready to respond to the markets that recover first.  The last problem you want to face is things returning to normality and not being prepared for it!  
                       
Show Report
Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) 2019 -  Rainbows, Unicorns, and Great High-End
By  Oliver A. Masciarotte
 
AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) 2019 took place April 12-14 at The Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center and Hotel. In this report for audioXpress, Masciarotte spent three days traversing multiple hotel floors packed with listening rooms, which this year included 50 new exhibitors, and writes about all the product highlights in most categories, from speakers to headphones, electronics and the traditional oddities. As Oliver writes in his introduction, "This year's AXPONA was a sort of Groundhog Day, in that a fierce storm accompanied the event. Rather than last year's fight to get home amid the literal wreckage strewn about the highway, my battle this year was traveling to the show. However, my trusty hybrid plowed through it all, and I settled in for some excellent audio the following day." This article was originally published in audioXpress, August 2019 . The AXPONA 2020 edition will not take place in April as scheduled, so we thought it would be fit to revisit this report now.    Read the Full Article Now Available Here
Voice Coil  Test Bench
Motus Audio UH25CT1 Dome Tweeter
By  Vance Dickason
 
More of a curiosity these days, the Motus UH25CTi 1" dome tweeter, from Motus Audio, a US high-end driver OEM distributed by Solen.ca, was reviewed in Voice Coil December 2012 and the review appeared also in audioXpress February 2013. References to Dickason's measurements of this driver can still be found all over the Internet today, since DIYers in particular have never stopped finding applications for this unusual dome tweeter. Motus Audio was founded in 2010 by Trevor Ryan, who also started Ryan Acoustics, a finished product speaker manufacturer from Riverside, CA. "With his extensive experience in Asian sourcing and assembly of high-performance speakers, Ryan brings the high-end-manufacturing-in-China perspective to the OEM raw driver market," Dickason wrote about the company. The original manufacturers' description for this tweeter said: "The UH25CT1 blends a die cast faceplate and enclosure, coated textile dome and internal Cardas wire into what we feel is one of the finest tweeters available." We believe this original review deserves to be available to everyone on our website.  This article was originally published in Voice Coil, December 2012 .    Read the Full Article Now Available Here
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