Industry & Product News
Loudspeaker Bonding in Perfection! Precise Adhesive Application to Components
Bonding is an important point when it comes to ensuring the quality of each finished loudspeaker. What you need: Most precise adhesive dispensing and absolute repeatability in fast processes! preeflow dispensers are proven in loudspeaker dispensing applications worldwide: Bonding of coils, magnet system, membrane damper adhesives, wire fixation and contact protection. Smallest adhesive quantities starting from 0.001 ml can be applied - with a repeatability higher than 99%.  Read More 
HIFIMAN Debuts TWS800 True Wireless Earbuds with Onboard Amplifier and High-Quality Drivers
Following HIFIMAN's spectacular debut with the TWS600 True Wireless Earbuds - with its unique long-range radio - the company has now announced that it will soon deliver its second TWS model. The new TWS800 offers "demonstrably improved sonics and exceptional Bluetooth reception that meets and exceeds expectations for the price," HIFIMAN states. The new Bluetooth 5.0 design will focus on the quality reproduction, combined with rugged resistance to dirt and sweat.  Read More 
XMOS Announces All-New Software Development Kit for Artificial Intelligence Development
XMOS announced its all-new software development kit (SDK) for the artificial intelligence of things (AIoT). Designed to harness xcore.ai, the company's latest crossover processor, combining high performance AI, DSP, I/O and control in a single economical device, the new AIoT SDK makes it easier for engineers to develop connected products that can sense, think, decide, and act. The XMOS SDK incorporates TensorFlowLite for Microcontroller development tools.  Read More 
SPL Announces Series One Line of Desktop-Friendly Headphone Amps
SPL of Germany has developed a new product line that combines the sound of its big devices with a desktop-friendly design and an affordable price. The Series One line was equally developed for professional recording studios, home studios, musicians, music lovers, and media creatives of all kinds. The first two Series One devices, Phonitor One ($499) and Phonitor One d ($699) - both headphone amplifiers - are now shipping. More devices of the new Series One will be announced soon.  Read More 
Merging Technologies Celebrates Double Anniversary with Pyramix and Ovation 9 Releases Expanding Immersive Audio Tools
Swiss manufacturer Merging Technologies has signaled two major anniversaries for the company by introducing major product releases. The most respected of all digital audio workstations, Pyramix celebrates 25 years with a major software release that improves its Dolby Atmos workflow, introduces new packs and prices, and a new activation system. And because Merging Technologies is also celebrating its 30th anniversary, the company announced a major new release of Ovation, the company's orchestration solution for live shows, now offering compatibility with Flux and Dolby as Renderer Partners.  Read More 

HEAD acoustics Promotes Free Online Seminar on Listening Effort Inside Vehicles
HEAD acoustics will promote a new online presentation titled "Optimizing Listening Effort in Vehicles." This new free online seminar - October 13, 2020 - will address HEAD acoustics' vast research in both communications and automotive audio, detailing how to explore the company's listening effort evaluation tool called ABLE (Assessment of Binaural Listening Effort). This implementation allows researchers to evaluate listening efforts inside vehicles, including for telecommunication applications.  Read More
 
Cambridge Audio Reveals New-Look SX Series Speakers for Home Audio
London-based Cambridge Audio just announced a refresh of its SX series of speakers, a range of compact and very affordable speakers that are ideal for any home audio system. Cambridge Audio's refreshed line of SX series speakers now has a bold new look, featuring an all-new matte-black finish and a new logo. The new range comprises SX-50 and SX-60 compact bookshelf or stand-mount speakers, the SX-70 center speaker, stunning SX-80 floor-standing speakers, and the matching SX-120 subwoofer.  Read More 


Amazon Music Partners with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group to Remaster Thousands of Songs and Albums in High Resolution
Amazon Music announced a partnership with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group to remaster thousands of songs and albums to be streamed in its Ultra High Definition (High Resolution Audio) premium tier music service, upgrading the digital streaming audio quality of these songs to the highest available. Music from the Eagles, Marvin Gaye, Nirvana, Tom Petty, Diana Ross, Waylon Jennings, the Ramones, 2 Chainz, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez and more, is now available in exclusive remasters on Amazon Music HD.  Read More

UE FITS Wireless Earbuds Use Gel-Filled Tips to Instantly Mold to Fit Each Ear
Ultimate Ears (UE) introduced UE FITS, a new truly wireless custom fit earbuds design that is able to shape to consumers' unique earprints in under 60 seconds. Similar to fingerprints, each person's individual ears are unique. No two prints, even on the same person, are the same. UE FITS mold to perfectly fit individual ears in less than a minute with its patented Lightform technology, enabling all-day comfort. And the moldable earbuds stay in place consistently allowing an improved audio experience.  Read More
 

Editor's Desk
 
J. Martins
Editor-In-Chief



A Step Toward Real-World Education
Product Development: Learning From Experts
As I've previously written, I strongly believe that a magazine and content publisher, should stick to what it does well. That means staying away from event and trade-show production. On the other hand, magazines are perfect partners for professional associations and trade show promoters. And education- and industry-focused entities such as the Audio Engineering Society (AES), ALTI, AVIXA, CEDIA, and many others, are perfect partners for publications such as audioXpress.

Specifically with the AES, audioXpress has long been involved in many of its conference tracks and constantly helping to promote the association's activities. Among the many AES activities in recent years, we felt that audioXpress would be the ideal partner and should be involved with many of its technical tracks, and particularly with the Audio Builders Workshop and the Product Development Track. There's a clear synergy, and many of the experts who write for our magazine - and supporting companies - are also participants there.

The circumstances completely changed in 2020 with the global pandemic and the traveling restrictions, completely canceling traditional activities with in-person events. Precisely at this time of the year we expected to be preparing to go to New York and enjoy another intense and always rewarding International AES Convention, one of the very few shows where audioXpress (and it's sister publications from KCK Media Corp.) actually have a booth every year. Still, our stance regarding our strategic cooperation with industry associations stays the same, and we think it is more important than ever to work together on different initiatives and reinforce our cooperation.

In the aftermath of last year's New York AES convention, and shortly after the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was asked to get involved with the Audio Product Education Institute (APEI), a new initiative of the AES to focus on promoting methodologies, practices, and technologies involved in developing and bringing audio products to market. With a clear education focus, this is totally complementary to what we do in audioXpress.


The Institute's roadmap also intends to focus on six educational pillars, starting with Interactive Voice and DSP, a key technology area where audioXpress has been focused for more than five years; Supply Chain and Sourcing, an area that reflects extremely well the experience of our own team; Modeling and Measurement, another strong area of focus for our technical content; Product Management, one of my favorite topics, on par with my personal marketing management interests; Automotive Audio, a discipline that we started to cover since it got actually interesting; and finally Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, an emerging area that audioXpress has also been exploring for the past few years.

As the first organization focused entirely on Audio Product Development Education, APEI is not restricted to any particular product class or market segment area, is strongly oriented toward innovative and growing segments, and aims to bring "Real World, Hands-On Education" to the industry. Leading the APEI effort, is Scott Leslie, the AES Product Development Track chair since its inception in 2014 (at the 141st AES International Convention in Los Angeles, CA), and a professional with extensive experience in engineering/management roles at Altec, JBL, and many other leading audio companies. The Product Development Track grew in popularity from there and has been part of the annual AES International Conventions each year.

Scott Leslie is now APEI's Managing Director and is building a team of product professionals to expand the institute's capabilities and reach. For now, APEI is focusing primarily on online events, but it aims to promote in-person deep education events for each education pillar, offer brand/manufacturer specific training, build a Resource Library, and promote a product development professionals network and career resource.

As he explains: "The dramatic increase in audio products and their demand beginning with the Bluetooth speakers and now the smart speaker category has created a huge increase in the demand for development professionals in this market. Universities are teaching strong fundamentals but little audio specific or hands-on development skills needed to advance these new team members at the rate they need to to contribute at a high level. Many seasoned professionals from other product areas are also entering the audio world and need audio-specific training and best practices. It became clear the demand for skilled product professionals is greatly exceeding the available education needed to support them." 

"In order to better address the huge growth in audio products and the companies developing these products, the Audio Product Education Institute was formed as the next logical progression toward serving the AES Product Development Track audience. Audio products today span a wide range of applications across consumer, automotive and commercial sectors. Overall the audio products market represents approximately $100 billion in revenue. With the huge growth in recent years, comes the challenges of training and keeping product professionals current on the best science, technology, economics, and supply chain and management methods and practices. Audio product companies worldwide today cannot hire and train people at the rate required by the demand for their products. APEI's mission is to serve this need," he adds.

As the October AES event was forced to move entirely online, the association also decided to provide an expansive program during the entire month of October. The Product Development Track was replaced by the APEI Product Development Symposium happening October 14, 15, and 16. Each day, multiple experts from the different educational pillars will provide a variety of presentations. The detailed schedule is now online.


Audio Product Development is precisely what audioXpress promotes daily, weekly, and monthly online, with our newsletter The Audio Voice and in the magazine. These activities fit right into our core audience's interests and that is why audioXpress is the proud Official Media Partner for APEI and specifically for this Product Development Symposium.

audioXpress already focuses on the topics about which audio developers care and we serve the people who daily provide the research on which the audio industry evolves. The AES Product Development Symposium's sessions will be chaired and presented by experienced audio product professionals who are experts in each field, and understand what it takes to launch successful audio products. Acoustics, electronics, DSP, software engineering, and product and marketing management will all be addressed through a real-world perspective.

We highly recommend this event, part of the October online events of AES Show Fall 2020. All Access registration is required to attend the Product Development Symposium, available now at AESShow.com

Until we can all get together again, in person, this is the best we can do.

You Can DIY!
High-End Class-D Audio Board for the Arduino MKR Family
By Jens Tybo Jensen (Infineon)

This article from Jens Tybo Jensen, details some of the interesting and unique DIY projects that are now possible using Infineon's latest Arduino board KIT_ARDMKR_AMP_40W, which is compatible with the Arduino MKRZERO and MKR1000 Wi-Fi platforms. Arduino boards are extremely popular among DIY enthusiasts and a number of add-ons or "shields" exist, particularly for audio players. This new kit adds a MERUS MA12070P multi-level Class-D amplifier board, enabling the creation of advanced wireless audio projects - including full-fledged Alexa-powered DIY smart speakers. This article was originally published in audioXpress, October 2020.  Read the Full Article Now Available Here
                    
Voice Coil Test Bench
The LD25X High-End Tweeter from Creative Sound Solutions
By Vance Dickason
 
This Test Bench article addresses an interesting home audio tweeter from Creative Sound Solutions (CSS). CSS Audio was founded in 2001 and is operated out of the Southeast Michigan area by two friends with a passion for great audio. Ownership of CSS was transferred from Bob Reimer, the original founder, to Kerry Armes and Dan Pointsett in 2017 and they've been working on bringing back some of the drivers CSS is known for, like its high Xmax XBL dual gap woofers, which are still part of CSS OEM lineup. The company designs its own line of OEM woofers and tweeters, which it also uses to manufacture complete speakers and speaker kits branded under the CSS name. CSS sent Voice Coil its latest high-end tweeter, the LD25X, a special driver with a unique dual-gap patented XBL2 motor. CSS licenses the XBL2 technology from inventor Dan Wiggins for two of their woofers and for the LD25X tweeter. The XBL2 motor features a short voice coil traveling between two gaps, allowing for a higher Xmax than most conventional motors can provide. The LD25X tweeter features a 25mm silk dome diaphragm and flat silk surround, in a 73 mm diameter six screw cast-aluminum faceplate anodized semi-flat black. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, July 2020.  Read the Full Article Now Available Here
AX October 2020: Digital Login
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VC October 2020: Digital Login
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