audioXpress' October 2021 Issue
Is Now Available audioXpress' October 2021 issue features:
From The Editor's Desk: Home Theater And Home Entertainment
USound Megaclite 4.0 UH-R2040 MEMS Earphones
The Complete Linear Audio Library On USB
Ultra-Linear: Why It Works And When It Will Not (Part 1)
Cascodes, Folded Cascodes, And Current Mirrors (Part 1)
Refurbishing Altec Lansing Vintage Speakers
The Tetrahedral Test Chamber Story (Part 2)
Raising The Bar On Residential Entertainment
A Tale Of Speakers In A Room
Hollow-State Electronics: Effects Of Negative Feedback
And much more!
Within his editorial, J. Martins says "This edition of
audioXpress offers a balanced mix of content addressing audio electronics knowledge, technology reviews, speaker building and measurement, and our latest market update report focused on home theater, and associated residential
technologies. I always find curious that some audio-centric publications choose to label themselves "two-channel" focused and refuse to address anything that falls outside that artificially created sweet spot. I understand the reason for that self-imposed restriction originates from the (limited) perception that home-theater speaker audio designs and integrated AV receivers that are dominant in the space not to mention the dreaded home-theater-in-a-box products compromise high-fidelity by design. I believe that perception to be misguided. Many great audio companies and many more installation professionals have already proven that's not the case. And we should not underestimate the fact that audio systems surrounding a living room TV was always part of valued home entertainment experiences for many families."
See what's within this issue of audioXpress.
AES Immersive Audio Within
Today at 12pm Eastern time zone is the Audio Engineering Society's (AES) webinar concerning immersive audio within automobiles. According to the AES, "Expanding on a series of webinars to explore automotive audio design and applications, the Audio Product Education Institute (APEI) presents a session focused on Immersive Audio, exploring the different ways to translate actual immersive audio content and generate immersive experiences. Currently on the minds for both automotive brands and consumers, immersive audio reproduction results from a convergence of multiple technologies and concepts, from multichannel playback to acoustic auralization of perceived listening spaces, to DSP enhancement of sound reproduction."
"Most consumers are familiar with the term 'Immersive Audio' to describe what we might know as a height or channel-based, object-oriented process, which first appeared eleven years ago, and which was given some criteria standards by the Society of Motion Picture and TV Engineers (SMPTE) just a few years ago. With consumers now being offered immersive, 3D audio, and spatial audio experiences in all types of playback platforms, and with actual immersive audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos, becoming widely recognized,
it's only natural that automotive audio followed the trend, and naturally strives to take it a step further."
09 / 14 / 21
RIAA 2021 Mid-Year Music Industry Revenue Report
According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which is a trade organization that promotes the financial vitality of major music companies, "Recorded music revenues in the USA grew 27% in the first half of 2021 versus the prior year, from $5.6 to $7.1 billion at retail value. Paid subscriptions continued to be the strongest contributor to growth, comprising nearly two-thirds of total revenue, averaging more than 80 million paid subscriptions for the first time. The effects of Covid-19 continued to affect the industry, and year-over-year comparisons are significantly impacted by store closures, tour cancellations, and other disruptions from both 2020 and 2021."
Revenues from streaming music grew 26% to $5.9 billion in the first half of 2021. Streaming
accounted for 84% of total revenues for the period. Vinyl LP sales, an audiophile favorite, grew from $240.9 million in 1H 2020 to 467.4 million during 1H 2021. This is an outstanding increase of 94%!
Physical compact disc (CD) sales grew from $142.7 million to $205.3 million (43.9% increase) during those same periods. An interesting
category called 'Other Physical' grew from $2 million to $6.8 million (a 230.3% increase). The #1 revenue producer for the music business is paid subscription streaming, which grew from $3307.1 million to $4130.6 million (24.9% increase).
09 / 13 / 21
Futuresource's Audio Collaborative 2021
Futuresource's special Audio Collaborative event is once again returning to the virtual stage. This event will cover many topics including how technology continues to accelerate in line with the need for high-quality true lossless music, modern immersive audio, plus how businesses are
utilizing creativity to meet the demands of an ever-evolving industry. Futuresource's Audio Collaborative will be returning for its eighth year on November 10th and 11th. Their virtual event will explore the evolution of audio, embracing the creativity, strategy and development of technology across the entire space. You can join them for free on a range of engaging presentations and panel sessions, brought together by a wealth of industry thought leaders and innovators. Session examples during this year's event include:
Stepping Up the Journey to Better Quality Audio
What Next in Headphones and Hearables Mega Convergence?
The Return to Work Enterprise Audio Evolved
Live Streaming Post Pandemic Opportunities in the Wider Audio Ecosystem
The Return of Live Events and the Future of Live Sound Technology
Across the Metaverse Is this the Biggest Deal since the Internet and What does it Mean for the Audio Industry?
09 / 10 / 21
Joni Mitchell Chosen As MusiCares POTY For 2022
MusiCares, an organization that helps safeguard the health and well-being of musicians via wellness initiatives, has chosen Joni Mitchell as the MusiCares 2022 Person of the Year (POTY). The event in her honor will take place January 29, 2022 and marks yet another milestone for this longtime musical legend. As an eight-time Grammy Award winner and 16-time nominee, Joni's MusiCares event will donate all proceeds to provide essential support for professional health and human services across a spectrum of needs. The tribute will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sat, Jan. 29, 2022, two nights before the 2022 Grammy Awards show.
"The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during Grammy Week," says MusiCares. "It includes a reception and silent auction, offering an exclusive selection of one-of-a-kind items for bidding guests, followed by a dinner and tribute concert, featuring renowned musicians and other artists paying tribute to
Mitchell." Joni Mitchell says, "I'm honored to be chosen as Person of the Year by this great
charity. I look forward to being part of this gala that will help MusiCares continue their inspired work in providing a support system for those in need."
09 / 09 / 21
T.H.E. Show Group Plus Their 2022 Event
This just in: "T.H.E. Show is delighted to announce BIG program rollouts for the remainder of 2021 and the forthcoming 2022 year! In addition to our 2022 show dates of June 10-12 in Long Beach, CA, we are thrilled to finally announce the launch of T.H.E. Group in October! We will be sending out more information for T.H.E. Group sign up as well as scheduling information but know that T.H.E. Show has expanded into the national and North American markets with our ambassadorships. This means T.H.E. Show will be having events in Southern California (as usual), Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Park City, Napa Valley, parts of Canada and more!"
T.H.E. Show wants you to stay tuned as information will be released in the coming weeks and they thank you for being a part of this wonderful hi-fi / high-end audio community! As many of you know, they release quite a bit of information on their social media platforms, so follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you have any questions and / or wish to get involved with T.H.E. Group early, become an official T.H.E. Ambassador, etc, please
Emiko, their Director of Marketing.
Qualcomm CD Quality Bluetooth Lossless Audio
Qualcomm welcomes 1980s digital audio quality with their introduction of aptX Lossless audio technology that delivers CD quality sound. aptX Lossless is a new capability of the company's Adaptive technology and a new feature of Snapdragon Sound Technology that is designed to deliver lossless 16-bit/44.1kHz audio over Bluetooth. Qualcomm Technologies has taken a systems level approach and optimized a number of core wireless connectivity and audio technologies, including aptX Adaptive, which work together to auto detect and scale-up and are designed to deliver CD lossless audio when a user is listening to a lossless music file and the RF conditions are suitable.
To help deliver 1980s sound quality to the
listener, CD lossless is reliably delivered over Bluetooth wireless technology
as aptX Adaptive works in conjunction with Qualcomm Bluetooth High Speed Link technology to help deliver the required sustainable data throughput. Designed to work seamlessly together, these technologies deliver rates beyond 1Mbit/s yet smoothly scale down to 140kbits/s in congested RF environments to minimize any audio dropouts or glitches for a consistent and reliable listening experience. User can select between lossless CD audio @
16-bit/44.1kHz or compromise with lossy 24-bit/96kHz.
09 / 07 / 21
Hi-Fi World's October 2021 Reviews & Think Pieces Hi-Fi
World's October 2021 issue features your chance to win a pair of Black Rhodium Stream A mains cable worth £600.
Reviews and articles within this issue include:
Seven Pages Of Your Views
Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 Loudspeakers
JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker
Arcam ST60 Network Player / DAC
Technics SU-R1000 Integrated Amplifier
Coherent 6D Power Cable
Denon DVD-5000 DVD Player From 1999
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Pro Turntable
Paul Rigby on Seamonsters, by the Wedding Present Beefheart by John French Babble On An' Ting by Kris Needs / Alex Paterson Radio 1 by Robert Sellers
Philips Fidelio l3 Headphones
Bryan Ferry's Boys And Girls
...and much more!
Within his editorial Noel Keywood says, "If you want a powerful amplifier in a small case, a Class D NCore amplifier from Hypex (Netherlands) has become a popular
choice I said last month. Reason being NCore has overcome all the problems of Class D, notably high frequency distortion, load sensitivity and D.C. on the loudspeaker
terminals. So I was a bit taken aback to encounter all these problems on Technics new SU-R1000 Reference not-Class D amplifier you can read about on p10. I have to call it that at their insistence, but that
it's not Class D is a technicality: all the same issues arise. It is what is commonly termed an
'analogue switching amplifier'. These have been around for 20 years or more, without gaining popularity so a surprise that Technics should try again in unconvincing fashion."
See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World
at this link.
09 / 02 / 21
Celebrating 16 Years Of RMAF! Thousands of photos!
Hundreds of pages!
Live streaming videos!
Educational seminar videos!
RMAF Show Is Cancelled...
(September 2, 2021) We are deeply saddened to report the
following from RMAF: A year and a half ago, our hearts were aching as we made the hard decision to cancel our 2020 show. Back then, we somehow imagined that as a country, we could band together and transcend COVID-19, and our lives could return to normal. We hoped we could ride out a year in isolation and emerge healthy and ready to gather again. Here at RMAF, we spent the year improving our business by producing new room layouts with all the outlets marked, and created a handbook to guide exhibitors as they learned yet again to navigate their exhibitor accounts. We imagined ourselves enthusiastically greeting our audio industry friends in a few weeks, and
we've held onto that dream in spite of our nervous fears and scary news reports.
Even though some parts of the United States are fully open, the number of people contracting the virus, and the number of deaths attributed to it are still rising, and the CDC is projecting an even more deadly Lambda wave this fall. We are frightened on behalf of our friends in the audio industry on many levels. The very worst thing that we can envision is for someone to fall ill because they came to our show, whether as an exhibitor, a journalist, an attendee, or a volunteer. Good health is a precious gift, and we are learning that although recovery is possible, the residual effects of COVID-19 and its variants can be profound, and we are unwilling to risk even one case. Up until now, we have held onto the possibility that our October show could be produced as planned. After reading and listening to the news concerning the Coronavirus pandemic, and watching the cancellation of numerous other shows, we no longer hold that hope. In spite of our initial optimism, we have read and listened to all of your thoughtful comments and then looked at the numbers and made the difficult decision to cancel RMAF
2021. Read more within our RMAF 2021 show report
09 / 01 / 21
Special Best Of 2021 Blue Note
Award Issue! Enjoy the Music.com's September
2021 Review Magazine
This month's Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine features our very special Best Of 2021 Blue Note Awards! Our annual Blue Note Awards celebrates the many great achievements by manufacturers within the luxury high-end audio industry. We also have two World Premiere reviews too! All this and much more within
Enjoy the Music.com's
September Review Magazine.
Best Of 2021 Blue Note Equipment Awards Enjoy the Music.com celebrates the best high
fidelity audio gear of 2021! Enjoy the Music.com's
Best Of 2021 Blue Note Awards celebrates the many great achievements
by audiophile manufacturers within the high-end audio and Hi-Res Audio industry. Our
Blue Note Awards is a culmination of more than two decades of reviewing and carefully
choosing what products have earned special recognition for our annual awards. Our Best Of
2021 Blue Note Award celebrates the finest products we have reviewed during the
previous 12 months. Recipients have
been carefully chosen after much debate and consideration by our staff of
reviewers. With each passing
year our industry has experienced great advancements in technology including analog
circuitry, vinyl LP and analog tape playback, digital-to-analog
converters (DACs), headphones, loudspeaker design, plus of course portable media
players, computer software and streaming media. ---> Enjoy
the Music.com's Best Of 2021 Blue Note Awards.
Electrocompaniet ECI 6 DX MKII
Int. Streaming Amp Review A Norwegian thoroughbred with power and lossless
hi-res streaming music
finesse. Review By Phil Gold You may
have heard of Dr. Matti Otala of the Tampere University in Finland. Even if you
haven't, the fine sound that the best transistor amplifiers are capable of today
is a direct result of his pioneering work in the seventies on Transient
Intermodulation (TIM). This is a type of distortion, previously unidentified,
produced by early transistor amplifiers which made them so tiresome to listen
to. Per Abrahamsen and Svein Erik Børja read Dr. Otala's paper and set out to
design a transistor amplifier that would minimize TIM. Their 25 Watt amplifier,
introduced in 1976 really did change the world and won their new Norwegian
company, Electrocompaniet, many fans and customers including Bruce Swedian
(Michael Jackson's producer). He used Electrocompaniet amps to master Michael
Jackson's albums HIStory and Invincible. Electrocompaniet
amplifiers found their way into many recording studios around the world
including Abbey Road. ---> Electrocompaniet ECI 6 DX MKII
int. streaming amp review.
HEDD HEDDphone Headphone
Meet the New Boss? Definitely Not the Same as the Old Boss Review By Trav Wilson Can
a pair of headphones be priced at almost $2,000 and still be considered a
bargain or even a good buy? I've been wondering about that a lot of late. It
depends on your perspective, I suppose. And your pocketbook. The HEDD HEDDphone
might make you reach for your wallet. What if those headphones compare favourably with the absolute
top-tier performers; including some that are priced significantly higher and
some more than twice as much. What if they are a real contender in materials,
craftsmanship, and (most importantly) sound reproduction? Make no mistake about
it the Heinz Electrodynamic Designs HEDDPhone belong in the top tier of
headphones available. Several of the best headphones come from long-established
German headphone companies; including Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, and Ultrasone ---> HEDD HEDDphone
stereo headphone review.
WyWires Diamond And Platinum
Cables Review WyWires makes products that are incredibly easy to recommend because they simply work. Review By Sam Rosen Before
I start this review I want to make one thing clear, I love WyWires. To be clear
the reason I love WyWires is because they have been the only cable brand that I
have found that truly enhances my system without any drawbacks. They are not
cheap, but the cables act more like components than cables. They seem to provide
a level of detail, clarity, and space that you would associate with a cooler
sounding system, but they manage to do so while keeping the tone just to the
warm side of neutral which is where I really prefer it to be. For this review I reached out to Alex, the owner of
and asked if he could send me his phono cable and his digital AES cable. Alex
asked if I would be interested reviewing both the Platinum and Diamond versions
of these cables. I happily took him up on his offer and a few weeks later all
four cables arrived, along with a set of Platinum balanced interconnects that I
requested to help connect one of my review components into the system. ---> WyWires Diamond
and Platinum Cables review.
Apple Acquires Classical Music Streaming Service Primephonic
This just in from Apple: Apple today announced it has acquired Primephonic, the renowned classical music streaming service that offers an outstanding listening experience with search and browse functionality optimized for classical, premium-quality audio, handpicked expert recommendations, and extensive contextual details on repertoire and recordings. With the addition of Primephonic, Apple Music subscribers will get a significantly improved classical music experience beginning with Primephonic playlists and exclusive audio content. In the coming months, Apple Music Classical fans will get a dedicated experience with the best features of Primephonic, including better browsing and search capabilities by composer and by repertoire, detailed displays of classical music metadata, plus new features and benefits.
Primephonic is no longer available for new subscribers and will be taken offline beginning September 7. Apple Music plans to launch a dedicated classical music app next year combining
Primephonic's classical user interface that fans have grown to love with more added features. In the meantime, current Primephonic subscribers will receive six months of Apple Music for free, providing access to hundreds of thousands of classical albums, all in Lossless and high-resolution audio, as well as hundreds of classical albums in Apple
Music's Spatial Audio, with new albums added regularly.
08 / 30 / 21
Hi-Fi+ September 2021 High-End
Audio Magazine Hi-Fi+'s September 2021 issue
features the following:
Editorial: Is High-End Audio 'Green'?
Your views on all things audio
Meet Your Dealer Hifonix
English Acoustics Stereo 21c Tube Amp
German Physiks Emperor Int. Amp.
Dali Rubicon 6C Wireless Speakers
Audio Research Reference 80S Tube Amp
Taiko Audio SGM Extreme Music Server
ATC SIA2-100 Integrated Amplifier
Dynaudio Emit 30 Loudspeaker
Nordost Valhalla 2 Ethernet Cable
AGD Productions Andante / The Audion Preamp & Streamer
AGD Productions Mono Power Amplifiers
Adot MC01 KIT 2 Fibre Network System
Lateral Audio Stands LAS-9 Cadenza Equipment Supports
Zanden ODC-1 Disc Cleaning System
Building A Jazz Collection
Bernard Butler Solo Album
Contemporary, Classical, And Audiophile Music
Within this month's editorial, Alan Sircom says
"Is audio 'green'? After recent dire proclamations about the ongoing impact of climate change by the United Nations,
it's something that should be of concern to all, and it's hard not to question the green credentials of audio in a wider context when what passes for a heatwave in the UK coincides with trying to review two hot-running tube/valve power amplifiers. The traditional stance toward ecological concerns and high-end audio has often been little more than
'get off my lawn!' but even that is changing, and not simply as the result of enforced legislation."
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+
magazine at this
08 / 27 / 21
Show Updates For RMAF, CAF, UK Audio Show, And
RMAF 2021 is a go as COVID and its variants will be with us for a while. While
they don't "want to minimize anyone's concerns, we've decided that we have to learn to live around it instead of under
it!" says RMAF. "Apparently, we are not the only ones thinking that, because we are still booking space at our show and receiving lots of inquiries! And as for attendees, we did have one guy cancel, but we are selling tickets every day, so we are feeling positive about our decision." RMAF is from October 8th through 10th at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center within Aurora,
Colorado. ADDED September 2: RMAF has been cancelled... for
forever. Learn more here.
The Capital Audiofest is still on for 2021! With all of the moving parts in our industry, CAF is still moving forward and will continue to keep you up to date,
the State of Maryland is fully open but requires that all participants wear masks for indoor events at this
time. CAF hopes to opened up the 2nd and 4th floors during 2021 with over 120 exhibitors and over 220 brands! There may also be over 40 Atrium Marketplace vendors including at least two dozen vinyl/LP sellers, making the show a veritable Record Fair. Qobuz may once again set up a Listening Lounge in the Plaza II Ballroom, for show-goers to sample streaming and turntable set-ups with headphones, and just hang out and chill, with free
Wi-Fi. Capital Audiofest is from November 5th through 7th at the Hilton Hotel within Rockville, MD.
UK Audio Show is also a go as "in our view definitely something worthy of being added to your list of things to
attend" says show promoter Chester Group. "There are very few consumer shows around the world that support and continue to support one specific consumer product but uniquely that is the case when it comes to High End Sound reproduction, and at the last count with over 5000 brands out there perhaps
it's understandable that Audio Shows ( or Hi-fi as it used to be referred to ) continue to be
organized around the world." The UK Audio show is scheduled for October 9th through 10 at the De Vere Staverton Estate within
CEDIA Expo is still a go and per the current CDC
guidelines and they will be implementing face mask requirements. Attendees who are not fully vaccinated must wear a face mask at all times. Attendees who are fully vaccinated are encouraged but not required to wear masks. Masks will also be provided at the registration counter if needed. The CEDIA Expo is from September 1st to 3rd and below is an interview with CEDIA
Expo's Jason McGraw with a message to both exhibitors and attendees.
Widex Moment Audiophile-Quality Hearing Aids
With older music lovers and some reviewers now in their
mid 60s to 70s and needing hearing aids, Widex has stepped up with their Widex Moment audiophile-grade hearing
aid. Widex seeks to delivers the most pure, natural sound ever. Their device gives back quality hearing to those who are suffering due to normal age
degrading and/or for those who have been exposed to loud sounds over many decades that caused hearing damage. Steve Lukather, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and record producer has been playing rock and roll since he was nine years old. He recently upgraded to Widex Moment hearing aids with natural-sounding PureSound technology. "It's really been life-changing," he said, "Suddenly, I'm hearing sounds I haven't heard in 25 years."
Discreet and powerful, Widex's Moment BTE 13 D sits securely behind the ear, provides pure, natural sound. Widex PureSound powered by ZeroDelay offers intelligent automation when you need it, and personalized control when you want it. You can stream directly from iOS or DEX via the Widex Moment app and enjoy hours of music entertainment or conversation. Another musician ambassador for Widex is Brian Jackson, who spent more than a decade writing, recording and performing with USA jazz and soul legend Gil Scott-Heron. His compositions are at the heart and soul of several Scott-Heron albums, including critically acclaimed
Winter In America and Pieces Of A Man. Brian has also worked with Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Will Downing, and Gwen Guthrie.
08 / 24 / 21
Knowles AI-Enabled In-Ear Monitor
TWS Development Kit
The new development kit from Knowles shortens design cycle for OEMs and accelerates timeline to bring TWS products with advanced features to market. Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN) AI-enabled True Wireless Stereo (TWS) Development Platform helps to accelerate the product development process. With this new solution, OEMs gain access to a fully operational TWS development kit, which includes pre-tuned and pre-configured earbuds designed by Knowles paired with a Bluetooth-enabled processing platform. The earbuds come designed with Knowles SiSonic MEMS Microphone Arrays, voice vibration sensors, and a choice of premium speaker driver assemblies with Knowles Balanced Armatures to drive the development of advanced TWS features while reducing time-to-market and lowering the high costs associated with ground-up development.
Knowles has engaged multiple partners to integrate premium features on this development kit, which enable manufacturers to quickly add Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), ambient mode, high definition (HD) audio, voice command, voice call algorithms, and AI-enabled conversation enhancement. TWS takes advantage of Knowles' IA8201 AISonic audio edge processor and Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation's CXD 3781 Codec paired with a premium Bluetooth Audio System on Chip (SoC) to allow for immersive experiences and noise filtering. The Knowles IA8201 AISonic audio edge processor is optimized for advanced voice and audio processing. This robust development platform is flexible, allowing manufacturers to test their own configurations with detachable earbuds, integrate advanced features, and tune for performance and power consumption.
08 / 23 / 21
AXPONA Has Been
Rescheduled To April 2022
This just in from AXPONA:
Dear AXPONA Community,
AXPONA will be rescheduled from October 29-31, 2021 until April 22-24, 2022.
Throughout this spring and early summer, enthusiasm for AXPONA in October was sky high. Attendees were buying tickets, exhibitors were making plans and the media were requesting their press passes. But in recent weeks Covid cases in the US, due largely to the Delta variant, have been spiking again which has adversely impacted consumer travel behavior and corporate travel decisions.
Exhibitors and attendees travel to AXPONA from throughout the United States and from more than 40 other countries. Over the last few weeks, citing concerns over personal health, the unpredictability of international travel restrictions and reinstated companywide travel bans, many community members have told us they are unwilling or unable to commit to AXPONA in October. --->Read more on our
AXPONA 2021 show report page.
Enjoy the Music.com's Best
Of 2020 Blue Note Awards Enjoy the Music.com's September issue features our annual Best Of Blue Note Awards! We'll celebrate the many great achievements by audiophile manufacturers within the high-end audio. While we wait for our 2021 special issue,
don't miss seeing our 2020 Blue Note Awards featuring carefully chosen products that have earned special recognition. Our Best Of 2020 Blue Note Award celebrates the finest products we have reviewed during the previous 12 months. On September 1 (2021) we'll have our
exciting Best Of 2021 Blue Note
Awards for the world to see! As always... enjoy the music! ---> Read our
Best of 2020 Blue Note Awards.
Previous High-End Audio News
For previous high-end audio and music industry news click here.