Audio Issue with Google Pixel Smartphones – All Google Pixel XL smartphones, when you crank up the volume to one of the last three volume settings, produce a static distortion. Not heard on other smartphones. Google doesn’t seem to know about the problem.
DEG Hi-Res Audio Pavillion at CES – The Digital Entertainment Group will have a coalition of Hollywood studios, CE retailers, manufacturers, technology providers, and the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing at the Pavillion, in the Central Hall of the LVCC. People from the RIAA, Japan Audio Society, MQA Ltd, and the major music labels (there are only Warners and Universal now) will also be there. Their goal is “to bring a studio-quality experience to a new generation of fans.” A series of live sessions with award-winning music producers and engineers will take place. Attendees will get insight into the process of creating hi-res studio-quality recordings and a perspective on how to better appreciate these recordings as a listener.
Classical Music Helps Men at Work (But Not Women) – New research at the Imperial College London and the Royal College of Music was part of the Centre for Performance Science, and was part of their wider research into the effect of music on performance, particularly in a medical setting. Music is reportedly played by the 72% of the time in an operating theater – however experts are divided on whether it has a beneficial effect. The researchers said that classical music was the best option of men when concentrating on a task, and rock music might hinder their chances. Results with men who listened to Mozart vs. AC/DC showed that they made more mistakes in a video game on rock. Music was found to have no effect on women’s performance. They took longer to play the game, but made fewer mistakes.
Audio is Next Emphasis in Sony’s Resurgence – After a new philosophy that streamlined its TV and camera divisions, Sony is putting an emphasis on audio with their acclaimed Z-series UHD displays. A Sony representative said “…we’ve neglected a segment of the industry we can do well with.” Their soundbars, over-the-ear headphones, Wi-Fi-speaker systems and AVRs are potential growth areas. The recently-released MDR-1000x Bluetooth-active noise-canceling headphones are designed to take on and surpass similar products from Plantronics and Bose and become the noise-canceling market leader. (Anything cheaper and better than Bose should be of great interest.)