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High-End Audio, High Fidelity Audiophile Industry News


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09 / 29 / 15

Sonos Play:5 And New Trueplay Room Calibration Capability
Sonos Play:5 And New Trueplay Room Calibration CapabilitySonos just introduced their new loudspeaker-tuning software called Trueplay and an all-new flagship Sonos Play:5 ($499) smart speaker. With Trueplay, millions of listeners can easily tune their existing Sonos speakers to optimize the sound no matter where the speaker is placed. The new Sonos Play:5 has a built-in amplifier and six custom-designed synchronized drivers including three mid-woofers and three tweeters. Sonos' Trueplay stems from the insight that few homes are acoustically perfect. The placement of the speaker within the room impacts the way music sounds. With Trueplay, anyone can tune speakers with the press of a button. Using the Sonos app, the microphone on an iPhone or iPad plus a special tone emitted by the Sonos speaker provides system analysis on how sound reflects off walls, furnishings, glass and other surfaces in any given room. Sonos' Play:5 is their new flagship smart speaker with six synchronized drivers. This array produces a soundstage that has a stereo image audibly wider than expected. For the first time in the company's history, the drivers have three carefully calculated orientations. This flexibility, combined with Trueplay tuning, enables placement in any room to achieve an audibly wider soundscape. In addition to horizontal orientation as a standalone speaker, two Sonos Play:5 self-powered speakers may be paired together vertically deliver a focused sweet spot. Paired horizontally, they create a larger stereo image for an immersive, room-filling listening experience. New touch controls offer an intuitive, easy way to play, pause, adjust volume and change the track. Smart sensors make these touch controls responsive to all orientations, so the volume-up is always facing upward. Sonos provides control within every room of your home with one easy-to-use app that brings together your favorite music services such as Deezer, Pandora, Spotify, TIDAL, Google Play Music, and Groove. Enjoy the Music.com reviewed the Sonos wireless multi-room music listening system at this link.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
MP3.comAs news of the ''Music Owners' Listening Rights Act of 2000" hit the streets yesterday, mp3.com was fast to react to this favorable news by kicking off a ''million e-mail march.'' This bill could save MP3.com many millions of dollars while also legitimizing their previous practices of offering copyrighted music on demand when consumers showed they already owned the music. A link on MP3.com's home page will read ''hands off my music!' and this will allow people to directly e-mail their Congressional representatives by zip code. In July of this year MP3.com asked users to write Senators Orrin Hatch and Patrick Leahy to pass legislation that would overturn the copyright-infringement judgment against MP3.com in April. It seemed to work as Leahy was bombarded with over 17,000 e-mails. This was, in fact, more than he received concerning President Clinton's impeachment! Due to receiving so many e-mails, Lehey had to temporarily shut down his e-mail system due to the overflow. ''People buying CDs are the lifeblood of the music industry and they should be permitted to use new technologies that give them exciting ways to access their music,'' said mp3.com's Chairman and CEO Michael Robertson. ''We applaud and support elected officials and those seeking office who are working to give consumers access to the music they have purchased, anywhere and anytime.''

 

09 / 28 / 15

Casual Reactions Who made me? Everybody's talking... I think it is art. Article By Herb Reichert
Casual Reactions
Who made me? Everybody's talking... I think it is art.
Article By Herb Reichert

 

Mike Oldfield's The Space Movie Original Soundtrack
Mike Oldfield's The Space Movie Original SoundtrackMike Oldfield's The Space Movie original soundtrack (£9.99) will be released for the first time on CD by GONZO Multimedia. The newly restored and complete edition of Mike Oldfield and Tony Palmer's "The Space Movie" soundtrack features all the talk-back between the astronauts and ground control, as well as orchestral versions of music by Mike Oldfield. This classic film was originally commissioned by London Weekend Television and Virgin Films in 1979 to mark the 10th Anniversary of the first landing on the moon. A recent discovery of a print in mint condition has enabled them to issue the film in its complete edition. "The invitation to make the film came out of the clear blue sky from NASA in January 1978," said Producer Tony Palmer. "I was invited to Washington and shown the mountain of film NASA had collected from the very beginnings with John Glenn, the first astronaut to orbit the earth in February 1962, until Apollo 17 December 1972. Use whatever I wanted, I was told, plus all the talk-back between ground control in Houston and the various space missions. NASA's extraordinary and spectacular images made me realize I had access to a treasure house beyond imagination. From the beginning, I wanted Mike Oldfield to write the music, and the soundtrack which emerged – a combination of hitherto unreleased recordings including the orchestral versions of Oldfield's early masterpieces, Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge – is remarkable, perfect in every way; evocative, powerful, an inspiring match for the images. And I'm sure it is that, plus of course the astonishing NASA footage and the sound of the astronauts chatting away in space. Virgin Films may have long gone, but together these elements made and make the film what it is – something rather special." This version comes complete with Director's Cut Bonus DVD of the movie.

 

09 / 27 / 15

Enjoy the Music.com's Special 20/20 Award Enjoy the Music.com's Special 20/20 Award -- Amplification
Enjoy the Music.com's Special 20/20 Award -- High-End Audio Amplification
As Chosen By Editor & Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin

 

09 / 25 / 15

Reference Recordings Upcoming Blues Release Fiona Boyes Box & Dice
Reference Recordings Upcoming Blues Release Fiona Boyes Box & DiceReference Recordings upcoming blues release Fiona Boyes Box & Dice! will be available worldwide October 9, 2015. The cigar box with the green dice knobs (hence the title Box & Dice) as well as the four-string guitar are one-of-a-kind instruments made for Fiona. The baritone National Reso-lectric is quite rare. The six-string blond guitar is custom-made for Fiona by Maton of Australia. Fiona Boyes plays deep Blues, influenced by a myriad of traditional regional styles. She has carved an international reputation as a blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, and American reviewers have described her as a "musical anomaly" and "Bonnie Raitt's evil twin"! Equally at home on acoustic or electric guitars, her mostly original repertoire is like a Blues travelogue. Listen to her play and you'll hear pre-war Delta slide, single chord Mississippi Hills grooves, intricate country blues finger picking along with material drawn from the classic blues sounds of New Orleans, Chicago and Memphis. Fiona continues to joyfully explore the music she loves with recent acquisitions such as cigarbox guitar and a rare National Reso-Lectric Baritone adding new textures to her live shows and recordings. Reference Recordings is excited to announce the worldwide release of her brand new album - Box & Dice! - her first recording with her long-time Australian rhythm section, drummer Mark Grunden and Dean Addision, double bass. As always, enjoy the music!

 

Autonomic Control MMS-2A / MMS-5A Now Meet Hi-Res Audio Standards
Autonomic Control MMS-2A / MMS-5A Now Meet Hi-Res Audio StandardsAutonomic Control's Mirage Media Server MMS-2A and MMS-5A ($1995 and $4250 pictured) are amongst the first to announced that the Japan Audio Society has certified their network storage and music streaming units to meet the Hi-Res Audio logo'ed standard, which is for the DAC and not for the ability in Internet streaming or storage capability. The Mirage Media Server handles many digital music file formats including 24-bit/192kHz. The Mirage Media Server MMS-2A and MMS-5A blends high-resolution playback with the luxury and convenience of whole-house music controlled by Apple or Android devices and/or from the Mirage Media Controller app on any computer. The MMS-2A comes wit a 128 GB SSD hard drive, has external storage expandable storage via USB and can handle other network shared storage devices. MMS-2A also has one stereo set of RCA analog preamplification output, S/PDIF RCA coax output and HDMI output. Automic Control's MMS-5A comes with a 1 TB hard drive, has four sets of RCA analog output, S/PDIF RCA coax, and HDMI out. With up to three or six available streams (depending on model), separate programming can be enjoyed by different family members at any time and in any room throughout the home. Mirage's Media Server provides users with playback of all popular streaming services such as Pandora internet radio, Rhapsody, TuneIn Radio, SiriusXM Internet Radio, Slacker, Napster, TIDAL, Murfie, Deezer and Spotify. "Autonomic has been delivering the finest high resolution whole home audio streaming devices since 2009," said CEO Michael de Nigris. "We are very pleased to see the increased emphasis on high quality audio output by both the industry and consumers, and are honored to be included in the roster of prestigious companies recognized by the Japan Audio Society for excellence in audio reproduction."

 

09 / 24 / 15

TAS' Illustrated History of High-End Audio Volume Two: Electronics
TAS' Illustrated History of High-End Audio Volume Two: ElectronicsThe Absolute Sound has announced their Illustrated History of High-End Audio Volume Two: Electronics ($129.95). As a follow-up to their critically acclaimed Volume One: Loudspeakers, this beautifully illustrated 336-page large-format handcover book celebrates high-end audio's legendary electronics manufacturers. Within the book are profiles of 97 electronics manufacturers from all around the world. Both solid-state and vacuum tube amplification devices are represented with extremely high quality photography and detailed descriptions by the industry's leading experts. Everything from advancements to the latest state-of-the-art is represented. There are interviews with the founding fathers, with is presented within this richly illustrated and timelines book. You can visit The Absolute Sound's store website to see examples of what in within this incredible book. As an added bonus, the first2500 limited edition copies will be signed and numbered. Enjoy the Music.com has a very special video featuring The Absolute Sound's Editor Robert Harley as he showcases their Illustrated History of High-End Audio Volume 1: Loudspeakers as seen below.

 

Blumenhofer Acoustics Genuin FS3 MK2 Loudspeaker
Blumenhofer Acoustics Genuin FS3 MK2 LoudspeakerBlumenhofer Acoustics Genuin FS3 MK2 (€9750 per pair) is an overhauling of their previous model that has been available for the past decade. The Genuin FS3 MK2 has larger components than its predecessor and more modern components. Blumenhofer Acoustics Genuin FS3 MK2 loudspeaker combines a horn-loaded tweeter with cone driver. This high-ish efficiency two-way loudspeaker has a sensitivity of 92dB/W/m @ 8 Ohms via a specially tuned 18mm thick composite wood cabinet that has a bass-reflex port. Resonance and flow has been optimized for the bass reflex tunnel. Drivers include a 1" compression unit with Titan membrane and a 10" paper woofer. Loudspeaker wire posts are gold plated tellurium copper and the Genuin FS3 MK2 can be bi-wired / bi-amplified. Switchable impedance linearization for the crossover frequency and a flat 8 Ohm impedance curve make the Genuin FS3 MK2 very easy to drive for both solid-state and vacuum tube amplification. The top tweeter horn driver is time-aligned to ensure accurate sound matching with the 10" woofer. Overall frequency response is 40Hz to 20kHz (+/-2dB), cabinet dimensions are 39" x 11.75" x 14" (HxWxD) and it weighs 66 lbs.

 

09 / 23 / 15

Classé Sigma Series Brings High-End Sound At Affordable Pricing
Classé's New Sigma Series Bring High-End Sound At Affordable PricingClassé has just announced their new series of components called Sigma, featuring the SSP 7.1 channel surround sound preamp/processor and two amplifiers, the AMP2 and AMP5 rated at 2 x 200W and 5 x 200W into 8 Ohms respectively ($5000, $5000 and $3500). Classé's Sigma SSP has been optimized as a high-performance stereo preamp/processor with video switching, multi-channel processing and bass management. Connections for USB and Ethernet streaming augment the HDMI, S/PDIF coax and TosLink optical digital inputs. Balanced and single-ended analog inputs, including an optional phono stage, make the Sigma SSP a truly versatile preamp/processor. Classé's new Sigma amplifier models are derived from their Delta series CA-D200 with Class D topology that addresses the problem of dead-band-time – the time when both halves of the amplifier are off. The Classé solution achieves a low three nanosecond dead-band-time, thus dramatically lowering distortion and enabling numerous other design advantages. "High-end [audio/video] is about passion, discovery, experience and technical exploration. It's not just who can make the most expensive things." said Dave Nauber, President of Classé. "Making more affordable products that are truly high-end is a greater challenge, which is why there is a gap in the market between offerings from the mass-market CE companies and the high-end brands. We chose to exploit our cost advantage as part of the B&W Group to fill this void with some exceptional new products. Our goals in designing the Sigma series were to deliver true, high performance for the audiophile, offer versatile connectivity to accommodate a wide range of sources, bundle it with a host of performance-oriented features and package it in a compact and affordable chassis. We have done all that and more. With their efficient use of power, the Sigma series designs generate less heat and are more eco-friendly than other conventional designs."

 

Zesto Audio EROS 300 Monoblock Vacuum Tube Amplifier
Zesto Audio EROS 300 Monoblock Vacuum Tube AmplifierZesto Audio is proud to announce the launch of their newest product, the EROS 300 Monoblock amplifiers ($19,900 per pair). In development for more than three years and over 79 circuit revisions later, the Eros 300 is ready for Prime Time. Zesto Audio's Eros 300 uses a matched sextet of KT88 and two 12AU7 vacuum tubes to produce 150 Watts per monoblock in pure Class A power. A push-pull and ultra-linear circuit topology combined with a more robust choke based power supply incorporating a custom toroidal power transformer are some of the design highlights. The Eros 300 has Auto-Bias, so it is easy to use with no adjustments or tweaking. Zesto Audio's EROS 300 has two options for your speaker cables, the three-way binding posts or the Speak-on connector. There are both 4 and 8 Ohm taps provide an efficient transfer of power to loudspeakers. All fuses are easily accessible and the balanced XLR input connector has its own ground lift switch to eliminate hum. Frequency response is from 20Hz to 50kHz, dimensions are 17" X 20" X 10" (WxDxH) and each monoblock weighs 64 lbs.

 

09 / 22 / 15

Nielsen Music 360 Report Says 91% Of Americans Listen To Tunes
Nielsen Music 360 Report Says 91% Of Americans Listen To TunesAccording to a recent survey by Nielsen, a company that studies consumers in more than 100 countries to provide a complete view of trends and habits, music remains an important part of American's lives. Nielsen has recently reported within their Music 360 2015 report that 91% of America's population listens to music, racking up over 24 hours each week. This figure is about the same as their 2014 survey. A total of 75% of Americans listen to music online in a typical week, which is up nearly 12% from 2014. "While Americans streamed more than 164 billion on-demand tracks across audio and video platforms in 2014, they streamed 135 billion in the first half of 2015 alone – up more than 90% from the same period last year" says Nielsen's press release. Furthermore, 44% of Americans are using their portable devices (smartphones, etc) to listen to music in a typical week, which is an increase of 7% over 2014. Nielsen says that desktop computer listening is waning. As for just what is being listened to, surprisingly it is terrestrial radio that continues to be the leader with 61% of respondents discovering new music via legacy AM/FM or satellite radio (a 7% increase over 2014). Teens rely more on social media and their friends and the report claims that "65% say they discover new music through family and friends, well above the average of 45%". Live events are also playing their role as 12% claim that live events are a source for new music discovery, which is up over 70% from 2014, and a total of 50% of those who responded have been to a live event during the past year. Another trend is that "When the festival is out of reach, either financially or by distance, savvy fans are nevertheless following along online, presenting brand sponsors with an opportunity to reach 'virtual attendees' and extend their activations beyond the field!" says Nielsen. The music industry does have a major problem as those "Very/Somewhat Likely" to pay for an online streaming music service in the next six months is only 9%. Only 13% are "Neither Likely Nor Unlikely" to pay, and a staggering 78% are "Somewhat/Very Unlikely".

 

Music And Audio: A User Guide To Better Sound
Music And Audio: A User Guide To Better SoundMark "Dr. AIX" Waldrep, Ph.D., the founder of AIX Records / iTrax and daily blogger at RealHD-Audio, has announced his new comprehensive book on music and audio on Kickstarter. Music and Audio: A User Guide To Better Sound provides practical information about music production and audio systems, with a special focus on how to inexpensively and dramatically improve your listening experience. The User Guide includes a Blu-ray (or downloadable) with demo tracks, test tones, and a unique set of tracks for comparing different formats. Do you think you can hear the difference between CD's 16-bit/44.1kHz digitized audio from a native Hi-Res Music file? On the Blu-ray disc is a total of twelve high bit and sampling rate music tracks presented in stereo and surround sound, mixing, format and mastering comparisons, plus a complete set of test tones. Imagine being able to instantly switch between a 256 kbps MP3 and a 96kHz/24-bit source or a heavily mastered versus unmastered track to hear the difference within your home or portable audio system. Dr. Waldrep has been a professional audio engineer and media producer for over 35 years and worked on hundreds of projects including discs for The Rolling Stones, Kiss, Tool, 311, The San Francisco Symphony, and Mark Chesnutt. He has been a member of The Recording Academy, Audio Engineering Society, and Consumer Electronics Association for many years and given numerous presentations, keynote addresses, and seminars on high-end audio recording and reproduction around the world. The book will also contain interviews with Robert Stuart of Meridian and inventor of MQA, Robert Margoule (Stevie Wonder), Dave O'Donnell (James Taylor), and Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac).

 

09 / 21 / 15

Primacoustic Paintable London 8 And London 10 Room Kits
Primacoustic Paintable London 8 And London 10 Room KitsPrimacoustic, a division of Radial Engineering Ltd., has announced their Paintables versions of the company's popular London 8 and London 10 room kits ($229.99 and $499.99 respectively). These easy-to-use kits include everything you need to turn any room into a great sounding studio or home theater. Designed to address acoustical concerns that are common to all rooms, London kits help control primary reflections, flutter echo and excessive bass. Panels are mounted using Impalers that eliminate the use of wall-damaging glue. The London room kits include all the necessary hardware including wall anchors, screws and even a drill bit, for a quick and easy installation. Each acoustic panel is made from high density six pound glass wool for even absorption and the panels are edge-treated with resin and then fully encapsulated with micromesh to prevent dusting. Originally available in a choice of grey, beige and black fabric coating, the new Paintables are now available in pre-painted Absolute White. Unique is the ability to lightly spray paint the panels without disturbing the acoustic properties. As with all Primacoustic panels, the Paintables have been independently tested for acoustic performance and to achieve stringent Class-A fire ratings, making them safe for use in all types of installations in all jurisdictions around the world. According to Primacoustic's Jay Porter, "The London series of room kits make it super simple to effectively treat many spaces and with this new paintable line, you can eliminate any concern about how the panels will integrate with existing decor. The kits are an ideal solution for home theaters, two-channel audiophile listening rooms, project studios, video post-production suites, theater projection booths, video conferencing rooms, voice-over booths, broadcast suites and podcast studios."

 

Enjoy the Music.com Show Report Schedule
Enjoy the Music.com And Enjoy the Music.TV 2015 Show Report Schedule
Seen below is a listing of Enjoy the Music.com's planned 2015 show coverage for the remainder of the year. We have already reported on CES 2015 in Las Vegas, AXPONA in Chicago, HIGH END in Munich, T.H.E. Show Newport, CE Week 2015, CAS 2015 in San Francisco and Capital Audiofest in Washington DC. Whilst we may be adding more shows during 2015, we feel these events are a good basic starting point. Enjoy the Music.com is the Internet's largest site for audiophile show coverage, as we have over 190 high-end audio reports online at this link.

October 2nd to 4th, 2015
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015 (RMAF 2015 Show Report)
Marriott Tech Center Hotel
Denver, Colorado
Add this event to your calendar.

October 2nd to 4th, 2015
CanJam @ Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015
Marriott Tech Center Hotel
Denver, Colorado
Add this event to your calendar.

October 30th to November 1st, 2015
TAVES 2015 Show Report
Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites
Toronto, Canada
Add this event to your calendar.

 

09 / 19 / 15

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest And CanJam 2015 In Denver
RMAF 2015 Show Report -- Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015Enjoy the Music.com is proud to celebrate our 12 years of reporting on the highly popular RMAF event (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest​)! RMAF & CanJam have teamed up once again and will feature high-end, high fidelity audio equipment and portable audio at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel from October 2nd through the 4th. Enjoy the Music.com will deliver to you many special surprises during our show report! The RMAF and CanJam 2015 show will feature an abundance of products sure to resonated with everyone. While two-channel high fidelity audio (audiophile) will take center stage, there is a special CanJam headphone and portable media players (PMP) section for music lovers on the go. Everything from planar magnetic and dynamic driver on and over the ear headphones to in-earn monitors (IEM) can be heard within the CanJam section. See Enjoy the Music.com's RMAF 2015 report here and our CanJam 2015 report here. 

 

09 / 18 / 15

HDtracks Offers Great New Music At High Resolution Sound Quality
HDtracks Offers Great New Music At High Resolution Sound QualityHDtracks, the pioneer and leading high resolution digital download company in the world founded by three-time Grammy nominee and musicians David Chesky, are heating up this summer with new high resolution music releases. Surf's up for The Beach Boys' 1964 masterpiece All Summer Long, along with the latest albums from modern artists like Muse, Atlas Genius, Steep Canyon Rangers and others, plus opera Star Joyce DiDonato, electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre and many more are available for digital download. These new additions are all available via DRM-free CD and DVD-Audio quality downloads at the highest possible bit/sampling rates. In 1964, a California band called The Beach Boys took to the surf and came up with an enduring masterpiece of rocking beach music and surf culture. The Beach Boys' All Summer Long was an all-American masterpiece to rival the pop tsunami and includes the title track plus iconic hits such as "I Get Around," "Wendy," "Drive-In," and "Don't Back Down." Steep Canyon Rangers is a hugely popular Rounder Records' string-and-sing band that has been collaborating with comedian/banjo player Steve Martin. Also now available is Essential Recollection, a new compilation from Jean-Michel Jarre. He helped to pioneered electronic, ambient, and new age genres since the 1970s. Jean Michel personally selected all the tracks, and mixed them together with an artistic purpose – the result is a true sonic adventure through this creative genius work. HDtracks has access to best-selling contemporary and legendary artists like Daft Punk, Miles Davis, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Rush, Justin Timberlake, Green Day, Metallica, Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, The Weekend, Willie Nelson, the Grateful Dead and many more are now available to download.

 

Bowers & Wilkins New 800 Series Diamond Loudspeakers
Bowers & Wilkins New 800 Series Diamond LoudspeakersBowers & Wilkins' new 800 Series Diamond elevates the company's loudspeaker performance as a product of research and development that spans 40 years. The new 800 Series Diamond is the result of an intensive seven-year project to make their best even better. This fundamental evolution of the range is such that almost all of the component parts are different from the outgoing 800 Series Diamond. Changes involve a vast number of technological, engineering and acoustic innovations that combine to create "a sublime listening experience" says the company. The transformation of the midrange drive units with a new Continuum cone was developed in-house and replaces the Kevlar cones that have long been a major factor of the 800 Series performance. The Continuum cone takes the best acoustic aspects of the company's Kevlar further, providing a level of clarity that has now "been dramatically improved by the introduction of the Aerofoil cone, which considerably reduces distortion thanks to a new variable profile cone geometry more advanced sandwich construction". These innovations, when teamed with improved cabinets, a more robust Matrix bracing system, plus a new solid body tweeter assembly with vastly improved Turbine head midrange enclosure means undesirable cabinet-induced distortion has been reduced. A slender, more modern industrial design remains true to Bowers & Wilkins long tradition. With distinctive aluminum pods on all models securing and decoupling drivers from the enclosure, and the Turbine head constructed from a single piece of aluminum sitting on a sleek reverse-wrap cabinet on the 'headed' models, the luminously finished cabinets are crafted from layers of wood, curved into shape under intense pressure. "This is not an update," says Bowers & Wilkins Head of Research Martial Rousseau. "This is a completely re-imagined design. One of the few remaining elements is the Diamond tweeter. We found it impossible to improve on the performance offered by diamond, although behind the diamond dome, the motor system was improved considerably." New models from Bowers & Wilkins include the following:

802 D3 $22,000 per pair
803 D3 $17,000 per pair
804 D3 $9000 per pair
805 D3 $6000 per pair
HTM1 D3 $6000 each
HTM2 D3 $4000 each

Floor Stands
FS-805 D3 $500 each
FS-HTM D3 $600 each

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
The Interactive Internet-Aware Home Has Arrived
Cisco Systems, Inc.Looking for a way to fully monitor and control the home environment, while also having complete internet implementation, leading internet technology leader Cisco Systems, Inc., has unveiled its "Internet Home". Their 1700 square foot Internet Home demonstrates the benefits of having a high-speed always-on Internet connection. Joined by developer Playa Vista, this technology is being developed for use in not just homes, but also for the commercial community development. Other developers such as Digital Interiors, The Great Indoors, Hewlett-Packard Company, Sears, Roebuck and Co, and Whirlpool helped to demonstrates the power of the Internet in enhancing daily living for consumers and business'. Since the Internet offers everything from shopping for groceries to listening to music or sending family photos to grandparents, it makes since that one day we will have fully web enabled homes. "The Internet Home drives home the message that always on, high speed Internet connections are available in today's home, whether it's an older home or brand-new development. It also demonstrates how an always on, high-speed Internet connection is as easy to use as turning on a light or a water faucet," said Mike Moone, Group Vice President and General Manager, Cisco's Consumer Line of Business. "We are pleased to be working with leading consumer companies and community developers to help make Internet Homes a reality for consumers."

 

09 / 16 / 15


Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2015 High-End Audio Show Report Part 2
CAF 2015 Coverage By Kemper Holt

 

09 / 10 / 15

 

09 / 09 / 15

Australian Hi-Fi September / October Issue Is Now Available Online
Australian Hi-Fi September / October Issue Is Now Available OnlineEnjoy the Music.com has just posted Australian Hi-Fi's latest issue! This issue features sound bites of the Naim NAC-N 272 streamer, Bose SoundLink Mini III, AVM Inspiration SD2.2, Focal XS wireless powered speakers, Perreaux Audient VP3 preamp, Sony MHC-V7D mini-system, MSB Select DAC III, Harbeth HL-Compact 7ES-3, Sonus Faber Venere S, Wilson Audio Sabrina, Astell&Kern AK380, Soltanus ESL, Thorens TD-903, Sennheiser Momentum IED, Jelco prices drop, Soulines Satie DCX turntable, Gold Note CD-1000, and Audioquest Nighthawk headphones. Full euipment reviews include the Triangle Esprit Titus EZ speakers, Benchmark DAC2 HGC preamp with DAC, Marantz PM6005 integrated amplifier, B&W P5 wireless headphones, KEF Reference 3 speakers, and Rhyme Acoustics P2206 speakers. Within his editorial, Greg Borrowman says, "The simple fact is that if any piece of music is played too often people will eventually turn their noses up. In the classical world, there is no better example than Vivaldi's Four Seasons. It's a truly lovely work that any composer would be proud to have composed, but play it now and classical aficionados will question your musical taste. The fact is that the hi-fi industry has been over-playing demo albums since hi-fi shows began. In the 1960s (curiously enough, the only time jazz would get a look-in until Krall came on the scene), the industry over-played Miles Davis' Kind of Blue and Dave Brubeck's Take 5 with these albums on permanent rotation (literally... it was only vinyl back then). In hi-fi's hey-day (the 1970s) Hotel California and anything by Thelma Houston echoed down hotel corridors. In the 1980s it was Money for Nothing and Jennifer Warnes' Famous Blue Raincoat. The 1990s saw Holly Cole enter the fray with Don't Smoke in Bed. And some of the most hellish demo discs were made by hi-fi companies themselves as free giveaways for their dealers. This list includes Paradigm, Mission, B&W, Marantz, Philips, Harman, KEF, Jamo, Klipsch, Dynaudio, Clearaudio and (strange but true!) Toshiba." You can see what's in this issue of Australian Hi-Fi here.

 

Pioneer XDP-100R Portable Media Player Is First To Handle MQA
Pioneer XDP-100R Portable Media Player Is First To Handle MQAPortable audio is heating up like an inferno as Pioneer is offering their XDP-100R digital audio player (£499 including VAT) that handles all major digital audio files types up to DSD 11.2MHz and 384kHz/24-bit and is the world's first to include MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) support. Setting out to make its best-ever audio player to date, Pioneer equips the XDP-100R with support for two microSD cards plus 32GB internal memory and arms it with ESS Technology's ES9018K2M SABRE DAC and SABRE 9601K amplifier. Furthermore, its clever internal design enables sufficient space to allow separation of the DAC, amplifier and CPU circuit boards. This isolates the audio circuitry from unwanted noise plus helps to maximize performance levels. Using an Android-based OS, the Pioneer XDP-100R download apps from Google Play, handles video playback on the 4.7" 720p touchscreen and can stream music from your favorite apps including TIDAL, Deezer Elite, etc. As Onkyo and Pioneer have recently partnered, the Pioneer XDP-100R uses Android Lollipop and via Wi-Fi you can download high-resolution music from OnkyoMusic.com via a preloaded app. MQA is a new British technology to bring the listener as close as possible to the artist's original performance. Using pioneering scientific research into how we hear, Bob Stuart has created a technology that captures high resolution audio yet adapts according to the bandwidth available. "We are delighted to be on board with Pioneer and more excited than ever at the prospect of sharing MQA's incredible audio performance with music fans everywhere" says MQA's Bob Stuart.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Parental Advisory Notice For Music On The Internet
Parental AdvisoryPutting more emphasis in music labeling on the Internet, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has decided to change the guidelines for the "Parental Advisory Label" on sound recordings. The RIAA wants various websites who stream music with qualifying lyrics to kindly display the Parental Advisory label. The RIAA notice says "It is understood that in most cases, the online sellers of music are not affiliated with the record company and therefore will make their own decisions with regard to this policy... But, record retailers have been important and conscientious partners in informing parents about the Parental Advisory Label and it is important to continue to work together." The RIAA's President, Hilary Rosen, said "The recording industry takes seriously our responsibility to help parents identify music with explicit lyrics. We believe that not all music is right for all ages and our Parental Advisory Label was created for just that reason. Parents can use the label to identify music that may not be appropriate for their children and make the choice about when – and whether – their children should be able to have that recording. Music can also be an opportunity -- an outlet for parents or other adults to talk to kids and an opportunity for adults to tune into what kids are thinking and feeling. Listen to the music they choose and ask them why they like a certain song or album. What do they think the artist is saying?"

 

09 / 08 / 15

Capital Audiofest 2015 Show Report Part 1
Capital Audiofest 2015 Show Report Part 1The Capital Audiofest (CAF) has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere that can be hard to find at the bigger shows allowing for more time in each room and a chance to ask questions of the exhibitors. The attendance was strong Friday and Saturday, with Sunday starting slowly but by 12pm it picked up. Many rooms were busy past the 4pm close. I made it a point to quickly interview several women at the show, most were brought along by a husband/boyfriend and all admitted they were actually having fun, and all the men said the gals had better hearing. Saturday had the most diversity of ages/gender and it was gratifying to see youngsters and women enjoying themselves. Two of the couples I talked with had both husband and wife very interested in their two-channel setup and said playing music daily was the norm. They actively share their hobby with friends and guests too. Enjoy the Music.com's Kemper Holt has posted part 1 of his extensive CAF 2015 report here.

 

09 / 04 / 15

Nick Mason Discusses Sound Quality And High-End Audio
Pink Floyd's Nick Mason says "What worries me is that people simply don't have the space anymore to run this sort of high-end hi-fi system we all strived for 20 years ago." 

 

64 Audio Offers Patented ADEL Within Their In-Ear Monitors
64 Audio Offers Patented ADEL Within Their In-Ear Monitors64 Audio (formerly 1964 Ears) announced today the launch of a ground breaking new line of professional in-ear monitors (IEM) and consumer earphones. Both lines will have the company's revolutionary patented ADEL (Ambrose Diaphonic Ear Lens) technology. ADEL is the world's first and only patented in-ear technology that is said to "safely deliver a louder, more spacious and richer sound while minimizing the risk of hearing damage" says 64 Audio. 64 Audio will also be using a new process called 3Dfit Technology. This new in-ear impression manufacturing method will create a more accurate and comfortable fit for your CIEMs. A-Series Custom IEMs is a new product offering a variety of speaker options from two speakers in each ear and up to 12 speakers in each ear. Prices range from $599 to $1999. Each of these products is specifically designed for live stage musicians and music lovers the world over. The result is a variation of sound signatures that compliments every professional or aspiring musician or music enthusiast to provides complete aural enjoyment for any audiophile no matter what device they're being listened through. "We are extremely excited to be the first company that not only brings the highest fidelity products, but also offers a real solution to hearing loss, which is a known problem in the music industry," said Vitaliy Belonozhko, Founder and CEO of 64 Audio. "The collaboration between 64 Audio and Stephen Ambrose of Asius Technologies was natural and could not have happened at a better time!"

 

Ozark Henry's Paramount Is First Auro-3D Album Release With Orchestra
Ozark Henry's Paramount Is First Auro-3D Album Release With OrchestraBelgian pop/rock musician Piet Goddaer, better known as Ozark Henry, has released the world's first multi-channel Auro-3D release that features a full orchestra arrangement. His highly-anticipated album Paramount is available for streaming at this link in normal stereo or via both stereo and multi-channel on Blue-ray. Since the 1990's, Ozark Henry has been a strong cultural icon and creative force in Belgium across many mediums including music, cinema, design, fashion and goodwill. As a musician, Henry has released seven platinum albums, three film soundtracks and earned six Music Industry Awards (the Belgian equivalent of the Grammys). MTV Europe nominated him for Belgian Artist of the Year and in 2013, he was the second most downloaded artist in Belgium. In 2014, Henry succeeded Lou Reed as brand ambassador for fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester. Just recently, the United Nations appointed Henry as the Goodwill Ambassador against human trafficking. Paramount is the follow up to his debut USA release Stay Gold, which includes the International platinum single, "I'm Your Sacrifice" with over four million views on YouTube. Paramount features 14 symphonic re-works of songs from Henry's extensive catalog spanning three decades, as well as an ethereal cover of David Bowie's "Heroes." Henry partnered with the immersive audio company Auro Technologies in the production of the album because he wanted listeners to experience the album exactly as it sounded when it was recorded. The result, Paramount is the first Auro-3D album featuring a full orchestra (National Orchestra of Belgium). Mixed by Ronald Prent at Wisseloord studios in the Netherlands, and mastered by three time Grammy award-winner (and nine times nominated), Darcy Proper, Paramount will be released by Sony Music Masterworks on digital platforms including iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora. Sony will also make available high-resolution digital download files on services like Acoustic Sounds, HDtracks, and Pono. Auro Technologies will release a physical Pure Audio Blu-ray on Amazon and other select retailers, via the Auro-3D Creative Label, which will include a stunning Auro-3D 9.1 mix alongside traditional stereo and 5.1 mixes.

 

Music School Online: Learn To Play Music From Professionals
Music School Online: Learn To Play Music From ProfessionalsDo you have a musician in the family or you want to learn how to play an instrument? Do you want to be taught by a seasoned professional within the comforts of your home at a reasonable price? If so, then you need to check out Ken Lewis' incredible Music School Online! Music School Online is highly recommended by Editor and Creative Director of Enjoy the Music.com, Steven R. Rochlin too. Ken Lewis launched Music School Online (MSO), which is sister site to Audio School Online that provides you the skills to produce, engineer, become a beatmaker, or artist with the tools and training you need to record, edit, and mix your music and improve your recording studio skills and techniques. So who is Ken Lewis you ask. Ken is a seven time Grammy nominee, with credits on over 75 gold and platinum records, 60 #1 records and 42 total Grammy nominations and winners. He has produced for Eminem, Kanye West, Ariana Grande, Ciara, Future, John Legend, J Cole, Skrizzly Adams and countless others. Ken's mix credits include Kanye, Wu Tang Clan, Jeremih & 50 Cent, Sean Paul, Justin Bieber, Usher and countless others while he's earned musician and arranging credits for artists such as Drake, Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, and countless others. Getting back to Music School Online, Ken Lewis is joined by other professional musicians to teach you how to play your fave instrument right in the comfort of your home. Each online lesson will show you step-by-step the skills (to build upon) to play music. As you progress through the lessons, your musical talent will shine as you build on the fundamentals needed to master playing music. Music School Online keeps it fun and you learn to play some of the most popular songs you hear on the radio today. It doesn't matter is you are a newbie or seasoned pro, as odds are there is something from every musician to learn on the site. And remember, if you want the skills to record and master your music, don't forget to visit Ken Lewis' Audio School Online too! As always, in the end what really matters is that you... enjoy the music. You can see Enjoy the Music.com's interview with Ken Lewis during our CES 2015 live stream at this link.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
A total of 34% of U.S. colleges and universities have chosen to ban the use of Napster on their campus servers. Colleges fear either the very high demands of their servers and bandwidth as needed by the vast amount of Napster. Still, their worst fear is that the RIAA or music software copyright holders may start to sue colleges and universities which could become very costly to defend. "I would not want to be the university president who neglected to update the school policy regarding music downloads this year," said Labatt. "Long legal battles can be costly, and one school could easily be singled out to set legal precedent this year."

In an effort to bring legal music downloads to Internet users, Yahoo is working with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in paying royalties to artists and record labels for the music streamed via their network. Approximately 15 to 22 percent of Yahoo's gross revenues could be paid to cover various royalty fees. "Our agreement with Yahoo confirms that music on the Internet will thrive when parties work together," said Hilary Rosen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the RIAA. "We commend Yahoo for blazing a trail in the marketplace and demonstrating its commitment to the artists who create music." As the decision against MP3.com's illegal actions went down, there are other sites that are legally working with the RIAA such as OnAir.com (formerly WWW.com), Soundbreak.com and Musicmusicmusic.

 

09 / 03  /15

Technics New Turntable And Grand Class G30 Series
Technics New Turntable And Grand Class G30 SeriesTechnics has announced new hi-fi products including their much-anticipated turntable and is a follow-up to their legendary SL-1200. Their turntable will have a direct-drive motor that improves upon the quality of sound in the SL-1200 and is slated to be available in 2016. Technics new turntable design is a complete rebuilding and modernization of the SL1200. "Turntables are a very iconic product for the Technics brand" says Technics director Michiko Ogawa. "It is important to show our sincere dedication [to that]. The turntable market is very small but it is a very important brand product." The newly-developed direct drive motor has a coreless stator design that eliminates cogging and twin rotors that reduce bearing load and minimize tiny rotational fluctuations (wow & flutter) whilst also maintaining high torque. An oil impregnated high-precision bearings will minimize unwanted vibrations during rotation. Technics' redesigned direct drive motor control technology involves a special spindle motor control technology that switches the stator winding drive mode according to operating conditions to provide both high starting torque and high rotational stability. There will also be adaptive rotational control technology that achieves optimized compensation according to precision rotational position detection and load fluctuation factors. Technics also will be offering their Grand Class – G30 Series that consists of two hi-fi audio components designed to deliver a superlative musical experiences. Technics' A Network Audio Amplifier SU-G30 will be joined by the Music Server ST-G30, both available in the Spring of 2016. The SU-G30 inherits the reference-class audio technology concept with their JENO Engine that transmits and processes audio signals in full digital and with minimal jitter from the input stage to the power stage. The GaN-FET Driver performs high-speed switching with minimal loss. The LAPC conducts speaker load adaptive phase calibration to achieve ideal gain and phase characteristics for any type of speaker. The newly developed low-distortion switching power supply realises accurate power supply by suppressing switching frequency fluctuations caused by load shifting. The SU-G30 features a built-in network playback and is built to transmit digital audio data through the shortest possible signal path from the music sources all the way to the power stage with extremely low signal degradation. Supporting a diversity of input sources, such as Spotify, Internet radio, digital audio (DLNA, USB, and Bluetooth) and analog audio (Line and Phone), the SU-G30 digitally processes all types of signal sources and supports the latest high-resolution formats up to 384kHz/32-bit and DSD11.2 MHz. Output power of the SU-G30 is 50 wpc stereo @ 8 Ohms (100 wpc @ 4 Ohms).

 

 

Australia's OpenLIVE Has CD Quality And Higher Music Downloads
Australia's OpenLIVE Has CD Quality And Higher Music DownloadsOpenLIVE has officially launched Australia's first CD quality and higher music download store. While the company seems to confuse Hi-Res Audio with lower quality CD on their website and the press release we received, just as Pono offers many tracks yet most of them are at lower quality CD resolution as well, OpenLIVE does offer over 1,500,000 tracks and will be updated regularly during the coming months to reach more than 2,500,000 music tracks. OpenLIVE's extensive catalog of music includes a large range of artists from different genres. OpenLIVE has plans to continue to grow this library to provide music fans with one of the most extensive online downloadable music catalog available within Australia. OpenLIVE says they have also developed some exciting new technology in the live music space that will result in a growing collection of live recordings being made available to fans, yet we're not sure what that technology is other than working with artists like others to get live recordings. "Very soon, any band or artist playing in OpenLIVE enabled venues will have the ability to capture, archive and release their live performances with just a few clicks" says Simon Tait, Chief Technology Officer. "Hi-Res music has benefits across all genres. The depth, feeling and sense of realism can be heard, and felt regardless of the type of music. It's not just for classical and jazz aficionados, it's genre agnostic and this is borne out by the sheer number of artists who make their catalogs available in Hi-Res formats." A note to OpenLIVE's CEO and employees, please stop using the term Hi-Res when you really mean CD quality digital music files. They are different as newer Hi-Res Audio is better than the decades old CD resolution and you may be adding to customer confusion within the marketplace, which i'm sure none of us desire.

 

09 / 02 / 15

Alliance For Open Media Joint Development Foundation
Alliance For Open Media Joint Development FoundationAre you tired of developing content in proprietary, perhaps outdated formats, for audio and video delivery in the modern world we live in today and that of the future? If so, then the newly formed Alliance for Open Media is a Joint Development Foundation project formed to define and develop media codecs, media formats, and related technologies to address marketplace demand for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. The Alliance's initial focus is to deliver a next-generation audio and video format that is interoperable and open, optimized for the web and scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth. Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware, this new alliance of major players within the marketplace promises to deliver the highest-quality, real-time audio and video delivery with flexibility for both commercial and non-commercial content... including user-generated content. With seven leading Internet companies announcing the formation of the Alliance for Open Media, their founding members include such heavy-hitters as Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix. The new Alliance is committing its collective technology and expertise to meet growing Internet demand for top-quality video, audio, imagery and streaming across devices of all kinds and for users worldwide. "As a founding member of the Alliance for Open Media, Cisco is committed to offering our innovation and resources to the creation of a next-generation video codec," said Jonathan Rosenberg, CTO of Cisco Collaboration Technology Group. "We have been very vocal about our desire to deliver a royalty-free codec and we believe that joining the forces of the designers of the Daala, Thor and VPx codecs in AOMedia will multiply our collective efforts to deliver next-generation media codecs, formats and technologies." Matt Frost, Head of Strategy and Partnerships for Google's Chrome Media says "Google launched the WebM Project in 2010 in the belief that web video innovation was too slow and too closed, and that broad collaboration — in the open — would fix both problems. The Alliance for Open Media is a big leap forward for these core philosophies, and we're gratified that our AOMedia partners share this vision. Our combined strength, resources and expertise will drive the next generation of web media experiences much further and faster than WebM can do alone." We also have Jonathan Khazam, Intel Vice President and general manager of the Visual & Parallel Computing Group, who said "Intel Corporation is pleased to be a founding member of the Alliance for Open Media. Intel is committed to open standards and leadership in next generation video technologies that are central to new user experiences. The Alliance's open framework will enable Intel and other alliance members to help usher in the next generation of video-oriented experiences that combine higher quality with lower delivery costs." There are also quotes from industry leaders including Microsoft and Mozilla on the Alliance for Open Media's website. Other members will be announced at a future date.

 

Sony NW-A25HN / NW-A27HN And Upper Line NW-ZX100HN Walkman
Sony NW-A25HN / NW-A27HN And Upper Line NW-ZX100HN WalkmanFans of the Sony Walkman series of portable digital audio players can look forward to the new NW-A25HN/NW-A27HN and upper line NW-ZX100HN (~€400 and ~€700 respectively). Sony's upcoming NW-ZX100HN Walkman Hi-Res Audio player is said to also have digital noise cancelling function whilst having the capability to enhance lower quality lossy compressed MP3 files using DSEE HX. S-Master HX performs digital processing of the audio signal to everything from MP3 to the new Hi-Res Audio music files. Sony has improved flexibility by incorporating noise reduction to keep out unwanted outside noise from interfering from the music as heard by the listener. There are four independent headphone driver power supplies that feed the positive and negative electrical signals of the left and right channels. Sony's NW-ZX100HN incorporates LDAC, a new audio technology from Sony that allows you to enjoy high quality wireless audio via Bluetooth and has three times the data rate than standard Bluetooth. The advantage of LDAC is in its ability to provide high quality wireless listening. Sony has analyzed every circuit and part, including using tin solder to achieve what the company feels is a more natural frequency balance. The circuit board is filled with copper to produce "a more firm bass and distinct high range and clear vocals". Internal memory is 64GB and there is a microSD card slot. Operation of the NW-ZX100HN is via a 3.0" TFT color QVGA (400 x 240) touchscreen, playback time per charge is 45 hours, the entire unit weighs 145 grams and dimensions are 53.8mm x 119.5mm x 14.8mm (WxHxD). Sony's lower line NW-A25HN / NW-A27HN also has digital noise cancelling and will be available in 16GB for the NW-A25HN and 64GB within the NW-A27HN. The screen is 2.2" TFT color QVGA (320 x 240). Color choices for the units are are silver, black, fuchsia, turquoise, and lemon yellow. Battery life is expected to be around 50 hours of music playback. Dimensions are 43.6mm x 109mm x 8.7mm (WxHxD) and the unit weighs 66 grams. You can read Enjoy the Music.com's world premiere review of the Sony NW-ZX2 Walkman at this link.

 

Hi-Fi World's October 2015 Issue Is Now Available
Hi-Fi World October 2015We just posted Hi-Fi World's October 2015 issue! This edition features reviews of the Castle Avon 5 and the Spendor D1 loudspeakers. Digital gear includes the Lotoo Paw Gold digital audio player, Roksan K3 CD player plus the Chord 2qute DAC. Hi-Fi World also reviews McIntosh's latest entry-level power amplifier, Cambridge Audio CXC CD transport / CXA80 DAC with amplifier and much more. Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "These days all loudspeakers have a port, even if it's hidden somewhere, like in the base of the cabinet. This ‘hole in the cabinet' is a peculiar little thing. I suspect few loudspeaker designers really know how it works even now, and in the early days of ports they certainly did not. As a result they have never worked too well and many still do not, bouncing like the acoustic equivalent of a rubber ball. As a result there's complaint about 'reflex bass' – many listeners object to it. There are very sound reasons for this, if you'll pardon the pun, so Peter Comeau – who has written many learned articles about loudspeaker design for Hi-Fi World – has made an alternative loudspeaker cone loading system available in the new Castle Avon 5 I review on p10 of this issue. I know just where he was coming from with this design and it works a treat in real life rooms." You can see what's in this issue of Hi-Fi World here.

 

The September Issue Of Hi-Fi+ Is Now Available
Hi-Fi+ Magazine127 September 2015Hi-Fi+'s September issue is now available online and includes reviews of the Kiso Acoustics HB-X1, Gamut RS3, KEF Reference 1, Sonus Faber Chameleon B, Fostex PX5-HS active and Kaiser Kawero loudspeakers. There's more as they review the Cyrus Audio Stereo 200 stereo power amplifier, Stillpoints Apertures room acoustics treatment, Modwright PH 150 phonostage, Noble Audio 4s custom-fit in-ear monitors and more. Within his editorial, Alas Sicom says "In many modern listening spaces, the high-performance standmount loudspeaker also benefits from not being large floorstanders. With ever smaller buildings at ever-increasing prices, a large tower loudspeaker can be both physically intimidating and prone to overdriving the room itself. Smaller loudspeakers are increasingly at or approaching full-range replay, but tend not to have the same 'earth-moving' bass of an equivalent floorstander, and this has its advantages in the big city." See the September issue of Hi-Fi+ at this link.

 

Astell&Kern AK380 AMP Adds More Power For Headphone Output
Astell&Kern AK380 AMP Adds More Power For Headphone OutputAs Astell&Kern's first released accessory for their award winning AK380 ($3500) is the much anticipated AK380 AMP ($699) headphone amplifier. Their AK380 AMP further extends the use of the AK380 by handling high-impedance headphones and high-gain output while having the goal of remaining faithful to the original sound. An internal 3400 mAh battery within the AK380 AMP helps the unit to produce 8.1 VRMS high-gain balanced output and 4.1 VRMS via the unbalanced output. To protect earphones / headphones during high output, the volume is automatically adjusted when the amp is powered on or the earphones/etc are disconnected. Furthermore, the gain can be easily adjusted via the AK380's settings. When charging the AK380 AMP is also charged the AK380 when connected. When the AK380 AMP is connected, USB DAC and optical out functionalities through the amplifier are disabled. Astell&Kern's AK380 AMP was designed as an extension of the visual light and shadow theme of the AK380. A diamond pattern engraved into the volume wheel of AK380 is repeated on the amplifier's rear light for design continuity. A micro-USB jack provides input for charging and data transfer. Unbalanced stereo headphone output is via industry standard 3.5mm TRS jack and balanced output is via 2.5mm TRRS. Overall dimensions of the Astell&Kern AK380 AMP are 3.17" x 5.01" x 0.40" (WxHxD) and it weighs 5.82 ounces. You can read Enjoy the Music.com's world premiere review of the Astell&Kern AK380 at this link.

 

09 / 01 / 15

September Review Magazine Features Our Best Of 2015 Blue Note Awards
Within this month's Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine we have a world premiere of the personal audio industry's much-anticipated Questyle QP1R portable music player and a review of the ultra-thin Estron Linum Balanced two-pin 2.5mm TRRS custom IEM cable. Home audio gear is well-represented as Enjoy the Music.com's world premieres include Gershman Acoustics' impressive Grande Avant Garde loudspeakers, the amazingly flexible Parasound Halo Integrated 2.1 channel amplifier with DAC, and the precision DanaCable USB cable. We also have reviews of the very exciting Cary Audio DAC-200ts stereo DAC with preamplifier, Hegel's big hit with their H160 solid-state stereo integrated amplifier with DAC, and Aries Cerat's impressive Incito stereo preamplifier. We round up our equipment reviews with a complete system redo using Nordost's highly-acclaimed precision cables.

You've read the hype in all the magazines about loudspeakers designed by Andrew Jones. Now you can learn the story behind this brilliant man within our exclusive article showcasing Andrew's history. As perhaps the hottest loudspeaker designer within the market today, Andrew has time and again produced a wide variety of speaker projects at various price points. Many loudspeaker companies have benefited from his painstaking research and development. Today, ELAC takes the forefront with Andrew at the helm and you, the music lover, will soon hear these designs in stores worldwide... and at very reasonable prices too!

Enjoy the Music.com has completed our California Audio Show report with more than 30 pages of coverage online! No one else offers you more coverage of CAS 2015. Adding to that, we have upped the resolution of our photos and so click on virtually any image and see it in UHR! We'll be posting our Capital Audiofest coverage in the next few days so remember to check back for that report.

Enjoy the Music.com's annual Best Of 2015 Blue Note Awards brings special recognition to products we've reviewed during the past year. We dispense with long lists and give you only the very best in high-end audio gear. This year's Best Of 2015 Blue Note Awards honor a mere 11 products! We also continue our 20th anniversary celebration with the best phono cartridges and turntables in the past 20 years. Be ready for some eye-opening, and perhaps a few bank account deplenishing, surprises within our Special 20/20 Awards! Yes the Linn LP12 made the list, yet you could very well be surprised what other products made our list.

You can enjoy our September Review Magazine at this link. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Editor and Creative Director
Enjoy the Music.com

 

 

 
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