Audio News for November 4, 2016

by | Nov 4, 2016 | Audio News

Classical Music Can Be Your Best Friend in This Political Turmoil – Research suggests that classical music could be just the thing to calm you down. Sort of like Vivaldi replacing Valium. Recent Research in Bochum, Germany had 120 participants in which half lay down in silence while the other half listened to classical music. When vital signs were taken afterwards, all had lower heart rates and other benefits, but the benefits were greatest in those who had listened to the classics.

iPhones Not the Only Apple Products Dropping the Optical Out Jack for Headphones  – The old MacBook Pro had an optical audio output but it is gone with the new 13-inch model, and not likely on higher-end models either. The port is described by Apple as  a 3.5mm headphone jack with support for audio line out (digital/analog). There is no listing for S/PDIF optical digital audio output. Apple says “plenty of USB-C zero-latency professional peripherals are available now, or coming very soon.” Whether the MacBooks are provided with an adaptor for headphones like the new iPones is unknown.

New Inexpensive LG 3D Blu-ray Deck –  The PB556 is only about $166, plays Blu-rays, DVDs and CDs, has Wi-Fi built in, has HD upscaling for an improved home cinema experience with standard DVDs, and is compatible with Netflix and YouTub apps. There are many smart TV features in the unit. It has a multi-room hub built in and if you own an LG wireless headset, you can stream audio from your TV directly to it. You can use your Wi-Fi network to add extra LG Music Flow speakers for surround or to enjoy music in every room of your home. However, it is built to its low price and needs tinkering for optimum performance, according to Tech Radar.

Sony Smallest and Lightest Hi-Res Audio Player With Digital Noise Cancellation –  The Walkman NW-25 ($442 on Amazon) replaces the A15 model, has premium components, wireless streaming via LDAC, plus very long battery life. It comes with 16GB internal memory (good for up to about 480 24-bit FLAC audio files) and a microSD slot for larger collections. Sony’ S-Master HX full digital amplifier is used and it is available in charcoal black.

Google Wants to Cut Costs on a High-Speed Fiber-Optic Network – and have reorganized to create a holding company called Alphabet. They have a growing list of fledgling businesses, including home electronics maker Next and life sciences outfit Verily. Google is now one of Alphabet’s  subsidiaries. Last year Google’s search on mobile phones surpassed desktop quieries and mobile web searches are now the driving force behind the revenue growth of Google.  Wireless and fiber partnerships are being now considered by Google. Google remains the dominant Internet force, with seven services – each having more than a billion users.

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