Industry & Product News
Audio Precision Announces New APx517B Acoustic Analyzer Fulfilling the Requirements of Production Test
Audio Precision announced the APx517B acoustic analyzer, specifically designed, configured, and built for the production-line testing of speakers, microphones, headphones, headsets, and the wide range of consumer electronics incorporating speakers and microphones. With the introduction of the APx517B acoustic analyzer, manufacturers can deploy an integrated acoustic test system that brings the renowned quality, reliability, and robustness of Audio Precision’s lab-oriented analyzers to their production lines. Read More
Scan-Speak Announces New Large-Size Ellipticor Woofer 38WE/8582T00
In the year when Scan-Speak celebrates its 50th anniversary, it seems the Danish engineering team is keeping R&D busy and getting to roll out a series of exciting new products. audioXpress was aware that new Ellipticor drivers were on the way, and now we have received confirmation of the first announcement, a large-size woofer (38cm - 15") with a paper cone and a SD AirCirc neodymium magnet system. The new Ellipticor 38WE/8582T00 woofer offers really good specs, as was to be expected! Read More
RHA Launches TrueControl True Wireless Earbuds with Adjustable ANC
RHA has introduced TrueControl ANC, a new cutting-edge true wireless earbuds design with an ergonomically stylish profile that is akin to custom IEMs, improving the combination of passive and active noise cancellation (ANC). The RHA TrueControl ANC combines a Qualcomm platform with aptX with advanced active – and adjustable - noise cancellation, advanced connectivity, and a 20-hour battery life. In addition, users can use the new RHA Connect App to customize their listening experience. Read More
Celestion Introduces HornWizard App for High-Frequency Horn Design
As a leading manufacturer of professional audio drivers for sound reinforcement applications, as well as guitar and bass loudspeakers, Celestion has a long history with horns and horn-loaded transducer designs, an area the company continues to explore in new designs and to better support customer projects and requirements. The Celestion engineering team programmed its own tools for horn simulation. Now, Celestion has announced HornWizard, a new desktop and mobile application that is basically a portal to the company’s powerful horn design software. Read More
Bold North Audio Releases Two High Excursion 6.5" Woofers Employing XBL2 Technology
Expanding its line of premium and performance-based drivers, designed and manufactured under the Bold North Audio brand, MISCO has announced the introduction of the BWX-6501 and the BWX-6502, two high performance 6.5" high excursion woofers with an XBL2 motor design and 10mm linear Xmax. These new models add to a growing line of premium and performance-based drivers, all designed and manufactured in MISCO’s own facility in St. Paul, MN. Read More
Klippel Analyzer System Receives Software Updates for Testing DSP-Based Audio Devices
Klippel has been keeping busy in the last few months, continuously improving its measurement technology for loudspeakers and audio systems. With the dB-Lab 210.918 and QC 6.7 software updates, Klippel has introduced new tools for testing DSP-enhanced speakers, headphones, and connected audio systems, first with and a hardware add-on for the SCN Scanning Vibrometer, and second with an extension for automatic testing at multiple excitation levels using the TRF module. Read More
Editor's Desk
J. Martins
The Big End-of-the-Year Rush
Shifting Realities, Readjustments, Concerns and Positive Notes
As we all know, the year 2020 has been unique and completely unpredictable. As it was to be expected, most plans and roadmaps had to be continuously readjusted as the markets cycled through the restrictions and unfortunate limitations of the global pandemic. But as manufacturers and product managers know all too well, product development and production cycles are long and while adjustments are possible, they always come at a cost. For marketing people, 2020 was a year for innovation, readjustment, reimagining, and a lot of "pivoting" - continuously following consumers’ reactions and mindset.

In theory, this works when readjusting channel strategies and promotional focus, but not so much for product cycles, considering how much has changed in the last crazy 10 months. For most companies, month after month, decisions had to be made about entering the next stage or just hold. Until you get to point when it becomes simply impossible to stop the containers and all you can do is fire-up the engines, hold steady, and go for it. That's what we are witnessing in many industries, audio products included, obviously.
The 2021 Audio Engineering Society (AES) fall convention will relocate with the NAB Show, October 11–13, 2021, this time in Las Vegas.
The result is now becoming visible, with many companies starting a crazy end-of-the-year rush to place their products in the market, as soon as the correct (or possible) distribution strategy was defined and cleared. For audioXpress, this is starting to feel like a strange time-warp effect, where conversations, briefings, and announcements we witnessed last year and earlier in 2020, are now suddenly reappearing.

This was noticeable in the pace of news for the past two weeks and I am certain will continue until at least mid December, when we will enter a new “empty” cycle, where actual new product developments will be delayed by the past and ongoing supply chain disruptions of the pandemic. And small audio companies are particularly affected by those, with the situation made worse, ironically, by unexpected events like the recent AKM Nobeoka factory fire in October with the company now confirming that production of critical DAC, ADC, and SRC will be suspended for at least 12 months. In 2021, for many brands, things will be hard, but there's also a lot of new opportunities, as priorities change, companies shift their suppliers looking for resilience, and some more vertically integrated operations find themselves leading the way.

2021 promises to be interesting and totally new territory on multiple fronts. In another sign of change, we will have to face a completely new industry trade show calendar in 2021, where all the major shows are now trying to gain a margin for potential vaccine distributions and a return to global traveling, by moving to the last six months of 2021. While InfoComm 2021 remains determined to keep its original June schedule, Mobile World Congress is now scheduled for end of June next year, a few weeks after the also delayed Integrated Systems Europe show, both in Barcelona. While they don’t overlap, all those shows are probably scheduled too early, but if they delay again, they will not be able to find another slot in 2021.

Because now we received notice that the 2021 Audio Engineering Society (AES) fall convention will co-locate with the NAB Show, October 11–13, 2021, this time in Las Vegas, NV. The co-relocation brings together the premiere convention for audio professionals with the world's largest convention encompassing media, entertainment, and technology. The AES Show will take place at the Westgate Hotel, adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center where the NAB Show will be held October 9–13, 2021. A smart and synergetic move, in my view.

Another important show for the audio industry, the High End 2021 show in Munich, Germany, announced a change of dates from May to September, for added reassurance. Both the High End 2021 and the newly announced International Parts+Supply (IPS) B2B expansion will now take place September 9-12, 2021. And there’s more to come…
It's going to be a busy end of the year, if all goes well.
Elliptic Labs uses ultrasounds transmitted through a device’s built-in speaker and microphone to sense a user's presence, recognize gestures, and connect and pair securely with other devices.
On a positive note, I want to conclude with the story of a Norwegian company that audioXpress met in Las Vegas, during CES 2020. Throughout 2020, Elliptic Labs has shown that it was able to thrive in the midst of the worst possible market circumstances, signaling continuous and important wins for its ultrasound cutting-edge technology. We have seen other companies exploring sound technologies and radar, and combine existing audio chains (microphones, speaker, amplifiers) in consumer electronics, computers, and mobile devices to generate all sorts of new applications, from security to user interfaces. But while others were doing demos looking for a market, Elliptic Labs was expanding its ultrasound technology and framework to even more product categories, markets, and brands. Elliptic Labs successfully introduced its ultrasound sensing technology and signed early agreements with major critical chip suppliers such as Texas Instruments, Infineon, Knowles, Cirrus Logic, and AAC Technologies, at the implementation level, while securing alliances with chipset manufacturers ARM, Intel, Qualcomm, and more recently MediaTek. And the company's efforts in ultrasound-based sensing are just in the early stages. This is a good illustration of the enormous potential of audio technologies in areas that remain to be explored. Check it out here.
Fresh From the Bench
Earthworks M23R Measurement Microphone
An Affordable Reference Solution
By Stuart Yaniger
The November 2020 edition of audioXpress included another test and measurement focused review from Stuart Yaniger. This time, Yaniger had the chance to try out and objectively evaluate the latest Earthworks M23R Measurement Microphone. The M23R is the latest omnidirectional model in Earthworks' infinitely matched series of measurement microphones. It is designed to be an affordable reference solution, delivering an IEC 61672 Class 1 frequency response before applying any equalization. And Yaniger discovered why this is another valuable addition to Earthworks' already strong portfolio and certainly a great solution for anyone who needs a microphone with accurate and flat response, good polar pattern, low distortion, and for its size, very low noise and high output. This article was originally published in audioXpress, November 2020.  Read the Full Article Now Available Here
Voice Coil Test Bench
SB Acoustics Satori TW29TXN-B-4 TeXtreme Diaphragm Tweeter
By Vance Dickason
In this Test Bench article, Vance Dickason focused on a home audio TeXtreme diaphragm tweeter from SB Acoustics' Satori line, the TW29TXN-B-4. What makes this tweeter so special is that it has a new TeXtreme diaphragm, the same material used in the latest Eminence N314X, characterized in the May 2020 issue of Voice Coil, which was the first compression driver commercially available in the industry to use a TeXtreme diaphragm. SB Acoustics has been experimenting with the new-generation material in different designs (including the upcoming Satori MW16TX-4 woofer with a TeXtreme cone) and, likewise, the Satori TW29TXN is the first home audio tweeter that uses a TeXtreme diaphragm.
TeXtreme thin-ply carbon is a novel type of material that is used in applications that require a high degree of stiffness performance in combination with ultra-light weight (read Mike Klasco's detailed article here).
Features for the Satori TW29TXN include a 29mm TeXtreme diaphragm with a 8mm wide surround, an non-reflective cast aluminum rear cavity, a two part aluminum faceplate with integrated mechanical decoupling, dual balanced compression chambers, high saturation neodymium ring type motor magnet with a T-shaped pole and dual copper shorting rings (Faraday shields), copper-clad aluminum wire (CCAW) voice coil, foam mounting gasket, silver tinsel leads, and gold-plated terminals. This article was published originally in Voice Coil, September 2020.  Read the Full Article Now Available Here
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