Audio News for November 11, 2014

Founder of The Absolute Sound Harry Pearson Dies – The 77-year-old had originated the term “high end audio” and probably the whole industry itself (although he got the idea from Gordon Holt), and died at his home in Sea Cliff, NY.  They had both revived the audio business which had become mass market and dependent on exaggerated advertising and often useless measurements of their “perfection” which had little effect on how gear really sounded. He was not an engineer of any sort, but used his writings (at first the magazine didn’t even accept advertising) to create an audiophile viewpoint, using special adjectives and descriptions which he invented himself. He made hi-fi into a less technical and more music and people-focused thing. He became almost a mythical character for most people in audio; for one thing he never published a photograph of himself. He even had his cover artist ROBBII paint a full-length portrait but only from behind. (When I did my national radio series I wanted to interview him as I had many other leaders in audio, but he refused.) Although he had some problems in his later years, the audiophile press basically exists only because of him and Gordon Holt.

Onkyo Adds Spotify Connect and New Control App –  A firmware update from Onkyo adds Spotify Connect to its network-enabled AV receivers of this year. It allows Spotify Premium subscribers to stream over 20 million tracks, and is added to the suite of existing streaming options bundled with Wi-Fi-enabled Onkyo home theater gear. Users can make calls or use other apps without interrupting playback from Spotify Connect. The new improved iOS8-compatible app, Onkyo Remote 3, is available as a free download from the App store and combines control and streaming functionality in a simpler user interface with a new “flat” design which allows users to unlock the full potential of their Onkyo component without leaving the lounge. It locates and streams hi-res PCM, 2.8 MHz DSD and 5.6 MHz DSD (in 2014 models only) stored on compatible network-attached devices. Playback can be managing in up to three zones from anywhere in the range of the home network, and there is limited control of other AV and hi-fi components connected to the receiver or tuner. Onkyo 2014 network products also feature Dolby Atmos, 4K/60Hz video, Wi-Fi for hi-res audio, and Bluetooth with Advanced Music Optimizer.

James Cameron Says 3D TV Was Premature – Cameron, the director of Avatar, is working on Avatar 2, but says the need for 3D glasses has been the main hindrance for 3D TV. He said people are willing to wear the glasses for a few hours in a movie theater, but with TV at home it is much different. He does think we’ll see another attempt when glasses-free 3D TV gains traction.

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