Audio News for September 23, 2014

by | Sep 23, 2014 | Audio News

Radio Shack Trying to Avoid Bankruptcy – The iconic CE chains continues to burn thru cash, and may not be able to fund operations “beyond the very near term.” It is in advanced discussions with potential white knights, considering forming a partnership or seeking out-of-court restructuring. It just failed to convince a major vendor to modify their business relationship to help ease the financial strain. Short of these fixes, a voluntary Chapter 11 or even Chapter 7 liquidation could follow.

JVC Adds Four Waterproof Headphone Models – two in the Gummy Sport line and and two in the Extreme Fitness line. Four color combos are offered and these are earbuds, not over-the-ear headphones. Prices range from $15 to $40. Starting with the $20 model a universal in-line mic and remote are added, and the two top models have three sizes of earpieces. JVC was among the top five headphone sellers in the U.S. last year.

Marantz Premium Headphone Amp – The company’s first headphone amp with integrated DAC, the HD-DAC1, at $799, will be available next month. It can drive headphones up to 600 ohms, has a three-level gain control, and both fixed and variable RCA outputs. It supports 129K/24 as well as DSD and Double-DSD. There is extended isolation around the USB input to eliminate high frequency noise generated by a computer, plus a jitter remover and Dual Clock for extreme accuracy.

Lexar Introduces Fastest UHS-II Memory Cards Available – Their new 2000X SDHC/SDXC cards are for users who need to transfer FullHD, 3D or UHD video content. The 32GB model is $105 and the 64GB capacity model is $184. The cards will available in Q4 of this year.

Hi-Res Walkman for Those on the Move – Things have moved way ahead since the original Sony Cassette Walkman; the new NWZ-A17 (-A15 and with lower built-in memory in the rest of the world) packs audiophile performance into a portable hi-res audio player. It has the S-Master HX digital amp, with super-wide bandwdith and up to 30 hours battery life when listening to hi-res sources. It uses a POSCAP capacitor as a charge pump for the digital amp to minimise noise and distortion. It has HX technology to upscale MP3 files, and 64GB of internal memory, which can be increased via the microSD memory card slot. It plays most popular digital formats but surprisingly not Sony’s own DSD. Other hi-res Sony introductions include the MDR-Z7 and MDR-1A headphones, the MDR-1ADAC, and the PHA-3AC headphone amp. The digital Walkman is $300, $100 cheaper than the upcoming Pono player.

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