Audio News for September 18, 2015

Pioneer Hi-Res Portable Is First With MQA – The XDP-100R Digital Audio Player just unvieiled by Pioneer & Onkyo has many features but the most interesting is MQA technology licensed from Meridian. (That’s the technology that allows sending hi-res files over standard two-channel connections…Ed.) It also handles PCM up to 384K/32-bits (although the 32-bits is downconverted in the unit to 24-bits), plus DSD at normal, double, and even quad rates. Based on Android OS, it supports up to 11.2 channels, FLAC & WAVE audio files and streaming audio. The OnkyoMusic app is preloaded and it has two micro SD card slots allowing one to maximize total storage up to 288GB. The display is 4.7 inches and it uses ESS SABER DAC ES9018K2M and 9601K. When it comes out in the U.S. in November, the price is expected to be around $770. The closest competitor is the Astell & Kern AK380, which is $3500. [The player seems to put audiophiles near the highest audiophile peak. However, bear in mind there are no commercial 384K recordings being made, and less than a hundred really hi-res recordings – most the ones being sold by online hi-res stores are original old analog tapes simply upsampled to digital hi-res. And at a much higher price than the standard CD version.]

Panasonic Introduces Its First UHD OLED TV – The 65-inch TX-65CZ950 uses technology inspired by Panasonic’s professional AV division together with experts from the Hollywood film-making community, including a colorist best known for work on Oblivion and Insurgent. This is said to be the first UHD OLED TV to be certified by THX. A spokesman said that over 400 laboratory tests were performed, and the result is capable of creatng bright objects with excellent white uniformity delivering native UHD, and up-converted HD images with contrast and clarity previously reserved only for professional monitors. Much of the Panasonic copy referred to their improvements over their only other OLED competitor, LG, but without mentioning the brand. The price in the U.S. has not been announced.

LG Prepares Rollable OLED TV Display – LG might go to CES in January with a protoype of a rollable OLED TV display, though mass-production probably wouldn’t happen for three or four years. The 55-inch display can be rolled into a tube and carried to wherever a consumer wants to watch TV. A research office said the large-sized rollable OLED panels can ensure their lead over rivals, and are more profitable than devices which use small OLED displays.

Wide Price Range in TV Mounting Systems – Brand View, together with Twice magazine tracks daily prices for retailers and vendors of key consumer electronics categories. Their tracker for the first half of this month show a range from $75.31 (Walmart) to $123.03 (Tiger Direct) for the same display rack for a TV. Actual wall mounts were more expensive, such as the Sanus full-motion mount for 51” to 70” displays. It was $229.99 at B&H but $349.99 at Best Buy.

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