Audio News for March 21, 2017

Hi-Res Support Not for Sonos – Sonos says people should listen to lossless CD-quality audio and stop listening to MP3s before talking about hi-res audio. They support lossless CD-quality files but no higher. So we are not likely to see hi-res audio support on Sonos anytime soon; there are more important areas of focus for Sonos, according to director Giles Martin. “The difference between MP3s and 44.1 is the one. For most, you wouldn’t notice the difference… I think there should be a agreement on what high-resolution is.”

Pioneer Hi-Res XDP-300R Portable Audio Unit – The new XDP-300R portable audio player (about $1000)  has dual DACS, balanced circuitry, and is capable of playing back up to 11.2MHz DSD. 384 KHz/24-bit FLAC/WAV or MQA. It has a 4.7”, 1280 x 720 display and uses micro-USB charging. The player has Wi-FI, Bluetooth 4.2 aptX, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and has 32GB storage and dual microSD cards. There are two separate motherboards, to avoid interference.

Research Does Not Support “The Mozart Effect” – Researchers say that there is no reason to believe that playing classical music for your unborn baby will put them at any sort of advantage later on. But good music can relax the mother.  Babies can respond to noise, but don’t bother to queue up Spotify.

Surround Sound at Home – No Longer a Geeks-only Pursuit – With more immersive rigs such as Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D, you now hear more detail and it is like you are in the middle of the sounds. The extra back channels of most 7.1 setups was not very useful (especially for music), but the object-oriented overhead sounds of the new immersive setups really are. There are even soundbars now with a Dolby Atmos vertical setup and a subwoofer and no surround speakers at all.

Composers Have Broken with the Shift Key on Their Keyboards – and more of them are using all lowercase titles for their works. While some think these grammatical rebellions are poetic and others see them as pretentious, composers who channel their inner E.E. Cummings do so advisedly, for reasons musical, poetic, political and idiosyncratic.

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