Audio News for August 30, 2016

by | Aug 30, 2016 | Audio News

Audiophile Gurus Forecast Best Buy – Best Buy has been in the news lately, both for prognostications about its longterm future (Money Magazine, CNBC, Bloomberg, Forbes, NPR) and the short term implications of its expanding its Hi-Res Listening Station displays – developed with Sony Electronics, and now available in 82 Magnolia Design Centers at Best Buy, and will expand to 250 stores, as corporate says, “bringing studio-quality music to the masses.”

The new display showcases a high-resolution Sony Walkman, Sony MDR-1A, Sennheiser HD558 and Momentum M2, Polk Hinge, and V-MODA Crossfade. Hi-res listening stations will be set up in 82 of its stores nationwide. It seems as if the audiophile concept has spread to market sectors with money, and for this sector, hi-res headphones just make so much sense, especially with increasingly attractive entry-level price points. It’s also a way of legitimatizing the concept of audiophile sound, and the small window it may create for a new wave of re-recordings of classic audiophile touchstone repertoire has just opened.

Reference Recordings’ New CD – By some magical sleight of imagination, probably buoyed by the success of his first three San Francisco Ballet Orchestra recordings, music director Martin West approached and persuaded Reference Recordings to make an entire CD out of odd bits and pieces of music by the Romantic German composer Moritz Moszkowski (1854-1925), all of it colorfully-orchestrated and relentlessly audience-pleasing, as if it had been intended for ballet-loving audiophiles seeking software for demonstration purposes.

As always with Reference, a large part of the story is Skywalker Sound in Marin County, where the sessions were held, and the recording team headed by legendary recording engineer Keith O. Johnson, and producers Marina and Victor Ledin, who also provide virtuosic liner notes about the “largely, first recordings of Moszkowski’s most memorable and melodious orchestral compositions.”

Google’s Visionary VR Dream Becoming Reality – Google’s (VR) Daydream platform for high-quality mobile virtual reality is reportedly set to debut in the next few weeks, following the launch of Android 7.0 Nougat. Bloomberg reports that Google has struck content deals with filmmakers, video game producers and others ahead of the launch. “Dozens” of apps will be available for Project Daydream initially, including YouTube, HBO, Go Hulu and apps from sports leagues like the NBA and MLB.  While Daydream is rolling out, new Android phones, VR headsets and controllers are expected to make their presence known. Google Daydream was described in May as being a VR platform built on Nougat offering higher frame rates, lower latency and better motion quality and processing than Google’s current Cardboard.

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