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Audio News for October 30, 2015

Two New Hi-Res TEAC Components – The UD-503 is a USB DAC/headphone amp with dual-mono architecture and a high quality amp with balanced or unbalanced outputs. It supports up to 11.2MHz DSD and 32-bit/394kHz PCM files. The NT-503DAC is a DAC/network player which can either be used as part of Teac’s Reference mini-component system, or as a standalone unit.

Pioneer Hi-Res Audio Portable –  An early 2016 launch is foreseen for Pioneer’s new Android-based portable which also plays back MQA audio files. Pricing will be around $700. It will be able to download apps from GooglePlay and to handle up to 11.2MHz DSD and 192K/24-bit FLAC and WAV files. It will also have AptX Bluetooth, networked DLNA, 32GB of embedded storage, two 128GB memory card slots and a headphone amp with ESS DACs. It will also dowload 192K/24 FLAC files direct from OnkyoMusic.com.

Object-Based Audio Items at CEDIA – At least six companies unveiled their first AV receivers or processors with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The first in-wall Atmos elevation speakers and a selection of in-room Atmos-enabled cabinet speakers were shown by both SpeakerCraft and Triad Speakers. Several models using up-firing drivers to add height channels to an existing speaker system when the models are placed on top of existing left and right front speakers (and one has a flat ceiling). A number of models had DLNA, AirPlay and support for hi-res audio.

Cirrus Logic Breaks the Platform Model with New Codec – Most platform providers expand content in smartphones by integrating Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM, GPS and power amps into their core platform chips. Cirrus Logic has displaced a platform audio codec with their Moto X Style. It is a complete ecosystem with integrated circuits, software and peripheral devices. Moto X phones have been well received for their always-on voice control feature.

Sennheiser 9.1-channel Immersive Audio Technology – Their Recording Applications Manager Gregor Zielinsky wants to pring purity to audio in music, cinema, sports and gaming – infusing it with emotion and space often stripped away when the sound is squashed into stereo. He suspects headphones will take the first step in make 3D audio technology more mainstream. Then will come immersive audio home systems capable of produced 3D sound from existing stereo content. He sees recordings eventually following Sennheiser’s lead in using 9.1 for greater purity and flexibility in the studio. He feels the one of the most important things when recording music is capturing the emotion, and only 3D sound can give us that emotional experience.

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