Audio News for October 14, 2016

Astell & Kern Hi-Res Players Get Tidal Integration – Tidal support is beginning to roll out to A & K players via an over-the-air (OTA) firmware update. This isn’t the first streaming service built into A & K players, but earlier services such as Groover+, MOOV, and Deezer were liited in terms of where they could be used. Tidal, on the other hand, is available in more than 50 countries. It features lossless audio, though Spotify and Apple Music still lack this feature. Tidal’s standard plan is $10 a month, with the lossless audio plan $20 a month. A 30-day free trial is available. (Tidal reportedly owes a great deal and is having trouble staying afloat.)

Naim’s New Uniti Hi-Fi Kit – Audiophiles loved Naim’s wireless speakers and they sounded good.  Now they have introduced the Naim Uniti star at about £3000. You will of course need good speakers with it. It supports all hi-res audio formats, it will rip from CDs to a USB stick and multiroom with existing Naims via iOS or Android apps, and there’s a five-inch color screen on the front. There’s also a half-sized unit without the CD drive for £1600.

DTS:X Has a Scalable Solution of Cinema Audio – The fast pace of technological advancement has affected many industries; the theatrical exhibition and film production have certainly been part of this. Digital conversions of movie theater projection systems has been so widespread that is now rare to encounter 35 or 70mm projectors anywhere. The advent of increasingly sophisticated sound systems is the latest thing in theaters. DTS:X, one of the newer formats, differs from the rest by being not prescriptive. It scales to any number of speakers in any configuration It is a full uncompressed PCM object-based audio system, allowing for the most accurate placement of sounds in the theater. Exhibitors can now boast immersive sound in even the smallest theaters to give their ticket buyers a compelling, artistically accurate experience. China is a big market for DTS:X and the first screens are now under construction in France. 50 DTS:X titles have been produced so far and there are 164 DTS:X-certified screens. The number of films and the screen-count should continue to expand at a solid pace moving forward. (Last month Tessera Technologies – a specialist in innovative imaging and semiconductor packaging and bonding – acquired DTS, Inc.)

New Sony Hi-Res 2.1-Channel Soundbar – The HT-NT5 ($700) is a slim soundbar with three-way speakers and six separate amps to let you experience hi-res audio (they say). Specially-designed upright tweeters and S-Master HX amps draw one deeper as fine audio details unravel around you. The powerful subwoofer offers deep booming lows. And it can connect wirelessly to stream music from your favorite services.

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