Audio News for March 10, 2017

How Contemporary Composers Are Reinventing Classical Music –  Composing classical music in 2017 is similar to how it was in 1817: You create a piece and hand it to someone else to play, often a large number of people you probably have never met. But audiences are increasing – a Canadian  festival curator said “It seems to me more people are going to the orchestra now than 20 years ago, and new music concerts seem more popular – perhaps as a response to a desire for living arts…” A handful of composers have a foot in the pop music world and one in classical. The Canadian Symphony Orchestra performed with Inuit throat-singer/composer Tanja Tagaq a harrowing work titled Qiksaaktuq, about murdered and missing indigenous women. She straddles her own “punk/metal/experimental/strange” music and the classical realm. Members of the orchestra find entirely new ways to play their instruments, making sounds inspired by her uncommon range of singing tones and vocal effects. The CSO has create the New Creations Festival to give second performances of such worthy compositions, and more are sought by performers eager to tour them.

New Rosewill Hi-Res Headphone Series – Their EX-500 ($60 retail) and EX-700 ($70 retail) headphones have hybrid dual-driver support and are engineered for rich sound, a wide soundstage, and crips digital audio reproduction. Oxygen-free copper and gold-plate 3.5mm plugs are used to maximize conductivity and keep sounds distortion-free. The in-ear phones are capable of 24-bit/192K music files and both are able to output audio higher than 40K and are certified to bear the Hi-Res Audio logo from the Japan Audio Society and Consumer Technology Association. Their patented SpinFit earbud technology allows the headhones to be seated deeper into the ear to cancel out surrounding noise while enhancing treble and bass. Each model includes five pairs of earbud tips.

LG Partners with Valve to Offer the SteamVR Hardware – LG is the first company since HTC to show a new VR headset that has improvements over the familiar Vive. The display is mounted on an adjustable rigid headband wrapping around the back of your skull, like the extremely comfortable PlayStation VR. It avoids the ski goggle-like nasal pressure and air-choking seal around the eyes of headsets like the original Vive and Oculus Rift. The resolution is also improved, with a single OLED display. There was slightly less of the apparent “screen door effect” separation between pixels. LG plans to have the headset out by the end of this year.

New Wrensilva Home Audio Record Console – The Loft is a fresh take on the record console, offering the power and capabilities of full-size consoles in a more affordable and streamlined audio system. It was handcrafted in San Diego, and comes with a 300-watt amp as well as Sonos functionality. It can be used with Wrensilva two-way bass reflex monitor speakers. The console can connect to virtually any system and is $3000 or $4,498 with the pair of speakers.

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