Audio News for December 9, 2014

RadioShack Lenders Claim Default – The firm’s CEO said the two lenders are attempting to pull the rug out from under RadioShack. The two vendors claim that RadioShack entered into a recapitalization agreement with another investor group led by Standard General, thereby violating its covenants. The controversy prompted the NY Stock Exchange to temporarily halt trading in RadioShack shares, which fell 11% after trading resumed. RadioShack said it intends to focus on executing its holiday business plan and will continue its cost-cutting efforts. They have rejiggered store hours at select locations to reduce annual operating costs by $35 million.

Zero Edge FLEX Projection Screens from Screen Innovations – The new screens, with a flexible form factor, are available in up to 250 inches diagonal. They come in four models: Slate (ambient-light-rejecting), Maestro Weave (acoustically transparent), and Pure White or Pure Grey. The new design will allow integrators to navigate tight spaces and will cut down on freight damage and ease international shipping. The 80-inch Zero Edge Flex is $1998.

Audio-Technica Readies “Hi-Res” Headphones – Their new ATH-MSR7 over-ear headphones will ship in March. They have 45mm True Motion drivers, a lightweight and highly responsive voice coil and diaphragm, and a two-layer aluminum/magnesium housing with air damping technology. Three precisely-placed air vents control the airflow to provide greater dynamics and sonic impact, and the housing is engineered to mirror the ear to enhance low-frequency sounds. The headphones have memory-foam ear pads, a padded headband, in-line mic and remote, and a swivel design. Two detachable cables are included: 4-foot and 10-foot. SRP will be $249.

Our Own Harper’s Index – 84% of consumers prefer to listen to a whole album in sequence if it is in hi-res audio. As of Sept. 2014, more than half of all download revenues are for hi-res audio files. (Or at least files called that, though they may not actually be.) 84% of parents bought technology gifts for their children last year. 74% of U.S. smartphone users age 18-24 check their phones immediately upon waking up each morning. 46% increase in requests of Twitter user data by world governments since the beginning of 2014.

AV Enthusiasts Should be Mad at Fireplaces – Safely mounting a 70-inch HDTV over your fireplace is not easy, nor is running wires to its location. The viewer is then required to look up at their new UHD TV like they are sitting in the front row of a movie theater. Even worse are the acoustic fallouts from a fireplace – a bass trap that sucks desired frequencies right out of the room. Acoustic analysts suggest a piece of .75-inch MDF cut to fit and inserted into the fireplace hole to minimize the problem.

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