Dolby Atmos and DTS:X explained

Theo Nicolakis for TechHive:  Have you ever seen a presentation explaining the difference between the second and third dimensions? If you were to step into a 2D world, it would be like living inside a piece of paper—an entire universe completely flat in its existence. Objects could exist only on a single plane, left, right, straight ahead, or behind. In mathematical terms, you would have only an X axis and a Y axis. In a 2D world, the concepts of “up” or “down” do not exist. There is no Z axis. Jump back over to the third dimension and you’ll encounter an entire world of sights and sounds above and below in addition to all around. Step into a 3D world and you’ll immediately feel as though things are more realistic, more natural, more true-to-life. Imagine how difficult it would be to explain to a person living in a 2D world what the 3D world looks like, feels like, and sounds like.   Cont'd...

Sonos To Open Up API To Simplify Integration With Smart Home Systems

Wireless multiroom-audio pioneer Sonos will open up its API to make it easier for home-automation suppliers to integrate with Sonos speakers and soundbars without having to reverse-engineer Sonos software.  But Sonos isn’t saying when. The “next big thing for us” will be “opening aspects of our platform so other companies [home-automation suppliers] can work with it,” Michael Papish, platform strategies director, told TWICE during the CEDIA Expo. Sonos wants to provide home-automation users with “the right amount of control without compromising sound quality and ease of use,” he said, without saying when the API would be available. For years, home-automation suppliers have reverse-engineered Sonos technology to create applications enabling their home-automation systems to control Sonos systems, and Sonos “won’t cut them off,” Papish said. But when Sonos makes software updates, the reverse-engineered solutions “might not work,” he said. Creating a “standardized protocol” will prevent that problem, he said.   Cont'd...

The LEOPARD Project

An ideal loudspeaker would reproduce sound which a listener would find indistinguishable from that coming directly from a sound source.

Wireless Multiroom Audio: Room For More?

By: Joseph Palenchar for Twice:  Sales growth is slowing in wireless multiroom audio even as more companies enter a market whose top brand – Sonos — enjoys almost a 90 percent dollar share of the market at the retail level. So you’d think the market would be in the midst of a shakeout, shrinking margins, and a downward spiral in average selling prices. But you’d be wrong, at least for now. Some audio suppliers see ASPs and retail-level margins holding steady or rising as high-performance audio brands begin to play in a market established by Sonos 10 years ago. And they aren’t too worried yet about slowing growth because the household penetration rate is still very low. Only 2 percent, or 3 million, of the country’s 116 million households have wireless multiroom-audio speakers, according to estimates from Yamaha, which entered the market in August.   Cont'd...

Bluetooth speakers drive growth in home audio, says firm

The home audio market (wireless speakers, soundbars, Hi-Fi systems, A/V receivers and speaker docks) grew by 22% to ship 71 million units. Trade value also grew by 22%, generating just under US$10 billion worth of revenues in 2014, according to Futuresource Consulting. Wireless speakers and soundbar shipments exceeded market expectations and accounted for the lion's share, far outweighing the decline in demand for traditional audio devices i.e. A/V receivers and Hi-Fi systems. The wireless speaker market was fuelled by strong growth in Bluetooth speakers in the lower end of the price spectrum and multi-room audio at the premium end. Home audio devices increasingly offer wireless functionality and shipments with this feature grew by 93% from 27 million units in 2013 to 53 million units in 2014. Futuresource said it predicts that virtually all home audio devices will be wireless by 2019.

Hitachi Introduces High-Performance Wireless Whole-Home Audio Speakers

Hitachi America, Ltd. today announced the debut of three stylish new Wi-Fi enabled speakers powered by the AllPlay™ smart media platform, a wireless whole-home audio solution developed by Qualcomm®. AllPlay is a complete hardware and software whole home audio platform that offers manufacturers and consumers a unified solution for local media and cloud based Wi-Fi streaming across iOS and Android platforms.   Hitachi’s smart speakers offer seamless streaming of high-quality local and cloud-based audio content – with the high performance and versatility of Wi-Fi – at three affordable price points. Industry-leading audio streaming music services such as Spotify®, Rhapsody® and others have committed to supporting speaker products powered by AllPlay this year.

Sony announces 2015 home and portable audio ranges

Sony has announced an extensive line-up of new audio products for both in the home and on the go.   The home audio products — new sound bars, wireless speakers, and audio/video receivers  —  have prioritised high-resolution audio, multiroom connectivity and expanded music streaming capabilities. For example the range will offer Google Cast and Spotify Connect. The new Google Cast platform allows you to control music directly from music streaming apps like Deezer, Rdio, Pandora and Google Play Music. To cater to growing consumer demand for multiroom audio, a complete home sound system can be set up and controlled throughout multiple rooms with the Sony app SongPal.   “Imagine stepping into your home and being greeted by your favourite music being streamed seamlessly throughout every room. With a touch of a button, you can access a world of music options and control all the connected speakers within in your home,” said Abel Makhraz, head of video, sound & tablet, Sony Australia & New Zealand.   For inside or outside the home Sony has announced a range of portable wireless speakers. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours with Bluetooth and NFC to stream music from your smartphone or tablet.

New at SpeakerCraft

For speakers, we're in the largest design refresh in the brand's history.

Why do I Need a Subwoofer? Part Three

How Subwoofers Work

Dolby Atmos is Here for Your Home Theater! Should You Care?

By incorporating ceiling channels, or "voice of God" speakers as some like to call them, you can fill that large void in your soundscape.

Why do I Need a Subwoofer? Part Two

With a little patience and attentive listening, you can make your bass performance rival the most expensive systems.

Why do I Need a Subwoofer?

This is the first of a series of articles all about subwoofers from our friends at Aperion Audio

Live-Wall Invisible Speakers

Not seeing grilles definitely works for interior designers and homeowners who are tired of sacrificing appearance for the sake of sound. It's easy to visualize the impact on minimalist, modern design themes with a premium on open space.

Building an M80 Floorstanding Speaker: A Look at What's Inside

Most people only ever see the outside of their loudspeakers, and that's probably a good thing! But if you've ever wondered what goes into building a loudspeaker, then this video will walk you through the inner workings of an M80 Floorstanding Speaker. Axiom Engineer Andrew Welker explains the parts inside and Axiom's innovations in the loudspeaker building process.

Review - IAV LightSpeakers - Wireless Multi Room Audio System

Since HomeToys.com began over 15 years ago we have always had a passion for products we feel are innovative, creative and are helping move this AV industry forward. When I saw the press release for the launch of the IAV LightSpeaker come across my email a few months back I was intrigued. Basically this is a self-contained wireless speaker and lighting system where each speaker fits into your standard 5" & 6" pot lights with standard Edison sockets, no speaker wiring needed.

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