Audio News for January 20, 2015

Sale of Google Glasses Halted – Google has stopped sales of their much-praised and then much-attacked Google Glass. Examples of negative publicity: claims of impaired vision; possible diagnosis of ‘Google Glass addition;’ some extablishments banning Google Glass entirely due to a woman at a bar claiming hers were knocked off; fears of clandestine recording of security information. Even the federal government is part of the anti-Glass bandwagon. It’s remarkable that fears of the Glass could in fact unite Democrats and Republicans.

MixRadio Partnership With Harman Kardon Speakers – MixRadio now has a fully integrated steaming music service on the new Harman Kardon Omni wireless speakers. Users can access 35 million tracks with MixRadio’s easy personalized music streaming, and there are also curated mixes from global music experts and top artists. No other setup is required.

New Audeze Planar Magnetic Headphones – Audeze has received much attention for their flagship LCD-3 headphones, but have now brought out a lower-priced version, the EL-8, which is available in either closed-back or open-back design for $699. It is “more ergonomic, flexible and portable than previous models and designed for lifelong ownership.” Its planer magnetic driver was originally developed by NASA for lightweight electronics to withstand the rigors of space. The 100mm neodymium magnet delivers 15 watts of maximum power handling for 200ms and has an efficiency of 102dB. It has nearly double the magnetic flux density of other highest-grade neodymium magnetic circuits, resulting in reduced weight for greater efficiency with mobile devices.

New Paris Concert Hall – Experts write that in spite of the cost overruns, political squabbling, out-of-the-way neighborhood and incomplete acoustic testing, the new Philharmonia hall could be one of the most dynamic and exciting places to hear orchestral music in the world. It is indeed the genuinely accessible and flexible space for symphonic music which Pierre Boulez wished for three decades ago. Paavo Järvi, conductor of the Orchestre de Paris led the opening performance in the new hall. He said “I can’t remember a new hall sounding this good or this characterful at its opening.”

Benefactress of Mariinsky Theatre Dies – Countess Yoko Nagae Ceschina was one of the true fans and supporters of great Russian culture. She died in Italy at age 82. Valery Gergiev, who called her “my sister,” said she was more than just a friend and partner of the Mariinsky Theatre. She also underwrote a tour by The New York Philharmonic.

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