Audio News for August 5, 2016

Cadillac CT6 Bose Panaray Audio System – The $3700 optional audio system puts 34 tiny speakers around the cabin to create an immersive soundstage. It succeeds where most surround sound systems fall short: it perfectly blends the discrete channels into a uniform soundstage. The system’s center channel silently rises from the center of the dash when you start the car. The system even levels out satellite radio, dialing back the overly sharp tones and injecting a bit of life into the clinical sound. The Panaray system shines most when fed hi-res audio. An optical drive is a $250 option. Without an SD card the only other way to play back hi-res files is thru a connected smartphone. The iPhone doesn’t support FLAC and there was a difference between a high-quality CD rip and an audio file purchased on iTunes. The exact wattage is not revealed, but there is enough power to achieve pounding bass and crisp high end. Luxury vehicles have long strived to provide occupants with surround sound, and the Panaray system delivers on this promise better than most others.

Warner Licenses MQA – The technology allows for audio files small enough to stream or download, and WEA veteran Mike Jbara has been named CEO of Warner’s tech company MQA. Bob Stuart, inventor of MQA, said “Our mission is to improve the quality of distributed music and to help connect artists to fans.” MQA music is currently available via High Res Audio, Onkyo Music, e-Onkyo, 7digital, 2L and Technics Tracks.

iTunes Adds Features for Classical Music Fans – Finding what you want in classical music is often more tricky than with pop. The last 12.5 Beta version from iTunes has added grouping tags directly to divide their classical music into works and movements. Users will enter a work’s name, movement and movement number, and iTunes will be smart enough to figure it out. It will be part of the new MacOS Sierra, coming out soon, or perhaps when the new iPhones are launched.

Auriel Audio Platform from Niles Expands to Home Control –  The Niles MRC-6430 is a multi-zone audio ecosystem which integrates multi-room audio and home theater control in single chassis. The new Auriel 2.0 version adds built-in streaming audio services, climate and lighting control and remote access. The Auriel Set-up Wizard provides a simplified solution to configuring the sources, zones and interface devices. Niles’ ethos is “One touch to music.”

THX Ltd. Partnership with Home Acoustics Alliance – Premium home theater training courses will be created, to further enhance the THX Certified Processional Training Program. Six days of training are involved, and over 5000 individuals have taken the training courses over the past three decades.

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