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: 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. The smallest adhesive quantities starting from 0.001 ml can be applied - with a repeatability higher than 99%. Read More
Lavoce DN14.300T New “Next Generation” Neodymium Large-Format Compression Driver
Professional loudspeaker transducer company Lavoce Italiana has been keeping busy working on the development of a new series of impressive devices, steeping up on the performance metrics and features from previous lines. Lavoce has now announced its “Next Generation” neodymium 1.4" throat compression driver, the DN14.300T. A new driver that combines consistency with top performance and basically puts Lavoce on the map as a serious supplier in this category of high-frequency units. Read More
Sensory Unveils VoiceHub Portal for Flexible Wake Word and Voice UI Model Development
For those product categories that require simple voice interfaces completely implemented on-device, or for developers at the testing stages of a new voice UI, there is now a fast, free, and flexible solution. Sensory, the Silicon Valley company pioneering AI at the edge and the de facto standard for enabling a voice UI on apps and devices, unveiled VoiceHub, a new online portal that enables developers to quickly create wake word models and voice control command sets for prototyping and proof-of-concept purposes. Read More
miniDSP Introduces UMIK-2 OmniDirectional Acoustic Measurement Microphone and UMIK-X Distributed MEMS Microphone Array
The hard-working minds at miniDSP have not stopped for the past few months. The Hong Kong company introduced two new advanced products in its Acoustic Measurement product line, including the UMIK-2, miniDSP's second-generation omni-directional acoustic measurement microphone, offering a significant upgrade in performance and functionality compared to the popular UMIK-1. And for multichannel measurements, there's the new UMIK-X USB Multichannel microphone array, offering up to 16-channel audio recording, A2B wiring, and REW integration. Read More
TIDAL Launches TIDAL Connect HiFi Casting Technology
TIDAL, the global music and entertainment streaming platform, launched TIDAL Connect, the first casting technology from a music streaming service to allow users to stream music in lossless audio quality directly to connected devices, available through TIDAL’s HiFi premium tier. With TIDAL Connect, the company confirms launching partnerships with nine prestigious audio equipment manufacturers and StreamUnlimited as an integration launch partner. Read More
Prism Sound Launches ADA-128 Modular Audio Conversion System
Prism Sound’s long history of developing high-quality studio interfaces and conversion products has reached new heights with the launch of the ADA-128 – a modular audio conversion system offering up to 128 channels of 32-bit A/D and D/A conversion at sample rates of up to 768kHz. According to the British company, which is now part of the Audio Squadron group of companies, managed by US-based Tracktion, this new modular system brings new levels of flexibility to the professional audio market. Read More
Editor's Desk
J. Martins
The Audio Voice 300
Saying It in Words That Matter
The Audio Voice is now in its 300th edition and ready to enter its 7th year. I never even thought about this when we committed to a weekly newsletter - "created to address the interests of both audioXpress and Voice Coil readership communities," as we stated in the very first “From the Editor’s Desk” text.

And this special 300th edition also introduces a design refresh, enforced by a new graphic template used by the mail engine that distributes this content. This is supposed to be an improved experience on mobile devices, not so improved if you have a very big screen.

I always checked our newsletters in mail client apps using my iPhone and they always looked great - exactly like what they looked like in the desktop version, which I thought was fine.

When we started this journey, I envisaged having a newsletter that actually looked like pages of a magazine, with two or three columns. Unfortunately, Google decided this was not to be since the interface for its Gmail web engine only allowed visualizing roughly 650 pixels maximum width of a message. Everyone else just followed along (Apple was busy with other things apparently) and here we are. Restricted to 650 pixels skinny emails viewed on laptops with HD screens and desktops with 5K screens.

A good reason to share the fact that more than 80% of our readers access our websites only using large-size screens, not using smartphones. As my experience tells me, that happens, when people visit a website to actually read articles.

Anyway, we did our best to adapt our existing template to this new restricted environment (lots of small tweaks to come in the next few weeks), while we look for something better.
Like the website, The Audio Voice was designed to serve an expanded audience, originally united around the audioXpress and Voice Coil titles.
With this new template, I was also told to restrict my articles to a fraction of what I'm used to. Well, that part is definitely my fault. When we have guest articles in The Audio Voice, I always request 800 to 1200 words maximum, and I always end up writing close to 2000 words. That is because most of the time I write our editorials in the hour before sending the newsletter and bringing down the word count would take another two or three hours, which we never have.

Now, with this new design, I'll have to try to say more in less words, or invite you to read the rest directly on the website. Maybe that's a good idea. You can read the lead text in the mobile-friendly version, and click the link to read the full version in the big screen. That should be fine, as long as we continue to stay relevant, and we plan to try.

And on that note…
The most important thing to signal in this 300th edition of The Audio Voice, is that since edition 1, we worked hard to be relevant for the audio community. In the very first editorial, following the 137th Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention in Los Angeles, CA, and the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) in Denver, CO, we highlighted increasing interest in high-resolution audio and headphones. I followed that with a report of an AES session where Loudness for Streaming was debated and it was reported that the -16 LUFS target adopted in Apple iTunes, using the BS.1770-2 loudness standard, established a reasonable loudness normalization for such services. Fast forward to today, and at the AES and elsewhere, the debate continues because someone is still not happy that their creative work needs to be "normalized."

A year later, in this space, I was writing about the new Bluetooth 5 specification and how its increased range would deliver reliable connections in any use case, while maintaining its low-energy functionality and flexibility for developers. Still, no word of the new audio improvements that were supposed to be coming… and were finally revealed (but not finalized) this year.
The Audio Voice newsletter was actually created many years before as a project for a blog that never really took off.
A year after that, we were diving increasingly into the topic of true wireless earbuds, audio personalization, and exploring the evolution of audio codecs in the fast-growing music streaming services. And that's when we started really paying attention to what was happening with voice.

In an editorial titled "What's Missing on Smart Voice" I noted that, with all the industry's excitement about voice interfaces, voice personal assistants, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning, "it was about time to address the elephant(s) in the room. All 7,099 of them!" That is, the language challenge, that remains to be solved.

In this 2000-word editorial, I did write: "So, when we feel excited about smart speakers, discuss all the market potential for Voice Personal Assistants, project the potential of voice recognition technologies, and forecast the use of voice interfaces dominating the market in all sorts of appliances and being the center of the smart home, we need to address language first."

And a few months later we started to seriously explore the topic of hearables, a market that Juniper Research forecasted in November 2017 would grow by 500% over the next five years, predicting “assistive audio" could potentially claim 68% of the sector's revenue. As we noted, the critical technology pieces were still absent, sensors had just recently made an appearance in hearables, and the market was hard at work to introduce active noise cancelling, and audio and voice enhancement approaches, before we could start thinking about "augmented hearing."

And inspired by those developments, a year and half ago I wrote about "The Self-Driving Loudspeaker," forecasting that the progress made in smart speakers, wireless earbuds and voice assistants, and the underlying technologies fostering those consumer-focused developments, would quickly enable an expansion of innovation in other product segments, including for professional applications - basically enabling all speakers to become "smart."
"The development of the essential technologies that enable those product categories - which expand to the now highly discussed smart-speaker category - share many essential components and will inevitably converge,” I noted.

These and many other articles about wireless audio, immersive audio, the evolution of audio networking over IP or the latest innovations for audio product development, were all part of the 300 editions of The Audio Voice and mostly can only be found in the newsletter archives here.

I always thought that gradually we would make these available on the website as well. Now, with 300 of these to work with, that seems unlikely. Which means watching out for these emails every week is the only way to appreciate it. And probably that's the reason why an increasing number of people sign up and anxiously check their inboxes for it.

Sorry to keep you waiting - I was writing another thousand words.
Market Update
The Evolution of Audio DSPs
By Youval Nachum (Senior Product Marketing Manager, CEVA)
To complement the extensive perspective of another Market Update feature article on DSP Products and Applications, published in the November 2020 edition, audioXpress was honored to have the valuable contribution from one of the main suppliers in the field. In this article, Youval Nachum, CEVA’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, writes about "The Evolution of Audio DSPs," discussing how DSP technology has evolved, its impact on the user experience, and what the future of DSP has in store for us. This article was originally published in audioXpress, November 2020.  Read the Full Article Now Available Here
Voice Coil Spotlight
Thin-Film High-Frequency Transducers (Part 1) - The Advantages
By Igor Levitsky
In its August 2020 edition, Voice Coil featured an article by experienced speaker designer Igor Levitsky on “The Advantages of Thin-Film High-Frequency Transducers.” Levitsky is highly recognized in the industry for developing some of the best planar magnetic speaker and headphone drivers for some of the most reputed brands, focusing precisely on this type of technology. As he mentions in this article, over the years, the audio community has acknowledged that speakers based on drivers with thin-film diaphragms deliver exceptional sound quality in mid- and high-frequency ranges. And it seems clear that we will see more and more headphones and speakers using thin-film drivers, as the industry is now perfecting the use of different types of diaphragms and materials for electrostatic, planar magnetic, ribbon and air motion transformer designs. The August 2020 edition of Voice Coil includes the first part of this article, with the second part published in the September 2020 edition.  Read the Full Article Now Available Here
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