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Audio News for February 27, 2015

Clark Terry Dies – Virtuoso trumpeter Clark Terry has died. He was featured in the current film Keep On Keepin’ On (much more positive than Whiplash). He was one of the most-recorded jazz musicians in history, with more than 900 albums. He was also known for his hilarious “Mumbles” blues vocals which he created. He had a lifelong devotion to mentoring young musicians, and influenced such talents as Quincy Jones, Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis and Dianne Reeves. Terry was greatly loved as a source of inspiration, respect, decency and human rights.  He was the first black staff musician at NBC, and had multiple bands including big bands, youth bands and other ensembles. He inspired everyone by example.

Oppo Releases Portable Headphone Amp/DAC – The award-winning line of audio products from Oppo Digital has been expanded with the HA-2 portable headphone amp and DAC. With its built-in rechargeable battery, it is engineered to enhance music playback from portable players and mobile phones. It has a leather casing and looks different from other electronic devices. The HA-2 has A-B amplification and a USB DAC, handles D-to-A conversion for all Apple products, a range of Android devices, and PCs. It supports PCM up to 384K/32-bit and DSD audio up to 12 MHz. All dynamic headphones can benefit from its excellent performance, and it may be charged in 30 minutes on-the-go. There are two gain level settings: High and Low, plus a Bass Boost function. Retail is $299.

Target Expanding CE Pilot – The fifth-largest electronics retailer in the U.S. has created an enhanced entertainment and electronics experience in 42 of its stores, and plans to extend the concept to another 275 stores. There will be live smartphone and tablet displays and chairs to allow customers to sit as they test-drive products. Target just cut in half the minimum for free delivery of online orders, from $50 to $25, which undercuts both Amazon and Walmart.

Sears’ CE Strategy – They are adding new CE categories and brands thru vendor partners and creating a dedicated in-store presence for goods from its website’s Marketplace sellers. The retailer is re-merchandizing CE around a connected-home strategy and is opening hundreds of Connected Solutions shops to support it. Sears says it is the country’s No. 1 appliance retailer, but according to Twice magazine Lowe’s is now in the top spot.

LG Pricing Set on UHD OLED Displays – 65-inch (April) $8,999. 55-inch (now) $3,499. Both are slim with a frameless design. They emphasize deep blacks, crisper images and infinite contrast, making OLED the top image display today, replacing plasma, which is no longer made.

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