High-Res Audio Celebrated at the 2014 International CES

Consumers and the ecosystem are ready for more high-resolution audio (HRA) options.

At the 2014 International CES, consumer electronics manufacturers, retailers, music labels, and artists came together to support, promote, and examine key issues surrounding HRA at the Hi-Res Audio Experience TechZone and panel sessions. The Hi-Res Audio Experience TechZone was anchored by hi-res digital download pioneer and leader HD Tracks and included booths from Acoustic Sounds Super HiRez, iTrax, Blue Coast Music, Mytek Digital, and Native DSD Music.

Over the course of the 2014 CES, the Hi-Res Audio Experience TechZone featured three panels: “Welcome to the Hi-Res Music World,” “Meet the Hi-Res Music Creators,” and “Hi-Res Audio for Every Lifestyle.” Producers, label executives, and audio device manufactures discussed what the mainstream HRA file type will be, how to evangelize consumers to seek out HRA, and what the music industry can do together to further HRA.

“A common theme we saw at the Hi-Res Audio Experience is that 2014 is going to be the year that we see a significant uptick in the popularity and success of HRA,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president for International CES and corporate business strategy. “We expect more HRA announcements over the next year and anticipate that the technology will have a strong presence again next year at the 2015 International CES.”

The panelists at each session held differing opinions about which file type is best for HRA, but agreed that eventually the market will decide what will rise to the top. Many of those who spoke also agreed that the experience of listening to HRA is an important part of communicating why the format is beneficial to the listener, and that the industry needs to work on changing the mindset of consumers.

“The Hi-Res Experience TechZone at this year’s CES was a resounding success,” said Marc Finer, technical director for DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. “Thanks to CEA’s support, we were able to bring together, for the first time, the industry’s leading players, including music companies, digital retailers, content creators and hardware manufacturers. All of these people came together to deliver a unified message, because they care about the quality of digital music.”

Adoption of HRA offers benefits for consumers, as well as new market opportunities for the CE and music industries. HRA offers the highest digital sound quality while retaining the benefits of digital audio, such as portability and personalization. HRA music files provide greater clarity and detail than MP3s and other compressed digital audio formats, resulting in a listening experience that more closely represents the original recording.

Music labels are expanding their HRA catalogs online with tens of thousands of HRA albums already available for download across all music genres. Every major music label has expressed support for HRA, including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, in addition to leading independent labels. HRA digital music stores are already online, with more being added each day.
CEA’s Home Audio Division and The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing recently relaunched QualitySoundMatters.com, a website dedicated to improving the digital music listening experience. The site offers rich content and targeted information for consumers and professionals alike, providing articles on products, technologies, record labels, recording artists, and music producers who are leading the way in the quality revolution and explaining how to find and enjoy quality music recordings.

For more information on the Hi-Res Audio Experience Tech Zone and the panelists, visit: CESWeb.org/Conference/Conference-Tracks/High-Resolution-Audio-Experience.

For more on HRA, visit: HiResAudioCentral.com

Antelope Audio Displays Zodiac Platinum DSD DAC and Rubicon Preamplifier

AntelopeAntelope Audio displayed its new Zodiac Platinum direct-stream digital (DSD) DAC and Rubicon A/D D/A Preamplifier at CES International 2014 in Las Vegas. The demonstrations explored Antelope’s upsampling innovations and the role that superior clocking plays in an audiophile digital listening environment.

The Zodiac Platinum brings the digital-audio listening experience to a new level with its unique 256x DSD upsampling mode, which enables users to upsample DSD64 and DSD128 files to DSD256—unleashing the true potential of DSD.

In addition to the Zodiac Platinum, Antelope Audio showed its CES 2013 Innovations Award-winning Rubicon Atomic A/D D/A preamplifier—a DSD128, 24-bit, 384-kHz converter, phono stage preamplifier, and headphone amplifier with an integrated atomic clock. During the presentations at CES, the Zodiac Platinum and the Rubicon were connected to a pair of ATC SM100-AMT studio reference loudspeakers and there were A/B listening comparisons between analog source material and digital recordings using Antelope Audio playback systems.

www.antelopeaudio.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AntelopeAudio

SSL Live Console Ships to Customers and Sales Partners

Solid State Logic (SSL) has been a dominant console designer and manufacturer for music, broadcast, and post production for more than 35 years. However, SSL had never produced a product specifically designed for live audio production, until now. SSL’s reputation and business was built on visionary operational design and benchmark-quality standards in audio reproduction and manufacturing so expectations were high.

SSLLiveFrankfurt The early response to the SSL Live from front of house (FOH) and monitor engineers has been extremely positive. The more operators who see it, the more the excitement surrounding the console grows. The console’s operational flexibility, sonic performance, and the sensation of “finger painting with audio” via the gestural touchscreen are among the highlights. The on-board effects and channel processing toolkit and the SSL Blacklight system, which simplifies running audio and control between console and stageboxes, delivers a surprising amount of power at a compelling price.

The first three consoles shipped to UK-based Britannia Row, a global tour production company, for use on Peter Gabriel’s European “Back to Front” tour. Another two shipped to SGroup in France. Console manufacturing production for 2013 has been sold out since July. Details of the new commercial partner network for SSL Live are available on the SSL website.

SSL’s CEO Antony David said, “The on-schedule completion of the new Live console is an important milestone for SSL. This has been one of the biggest developments we have undertaken for some time and marks the first application of our new Tempest digital platform. We have been very encouraged by the response from mix engineers, rental companies and our channel partners since we presented the console in April this year. Demand has substantially outstripped our initial production plans, but we will return to reasonable lead times by early 2014.”

SSL-UK-HQ-Staff-CelebrationSince April, SSL has expanded its Live product team with key hires that include Jason Kelly as Live Consoles Product Manager based in the UK office and Jay Easley as Vice President of Live Consoles to lead SSL’s live sector sales operation in North America. Certified training courses have also commenced, with a focus on commercial partners and initial purchasers. A training program for the wider operator community is scheduled to begin in January 2014.

The SSL Live will be exhibited at ISE in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) in February 2014 and at Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt (Germany) in March 2014. In June 2014, the company will also exhibit at InfoComm (Las Vegas, NV).

Solid State Logic
www.solidstatelogic.com

High-Resolution Audio at the 2014 International CES

CES2014LasVegasAudioWebThe Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announces an increased focus on next-generation high-resolution audio (HRA) technology in response to growing market demand. To address the topic, CEA has planned a new TechZone, the Hi-Res Audio Experience, and several conferences at the upcoming 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Produced by CEA, the Hi-Res Audio Experience will showcase the latest high-resolution audio content coming to market and the latest technologies that will give consumers the highest quality listening experience. The 2014 International CES, will showcase the latest high-resolution audio content coming to market and the latest technologies that will give consumers the highest quality listening experience. The show will take place January 7-10, 2014, in Las Vegas, NV.

“Market trends indicate that consumers are poised to embrace high-resolution audio, creating tremendous new opportunities for CE manufacturers and the music industry,” says Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA. “With recent HRA announcements from a number of music labels, digital retailers and CE companies, we’ve created this new TechZone to help drive category growth and give our attendees the opportunity to explore the game-changing quality of high-resolution audio. Visitors also will meet leading creatives from across the industry.”

Located in The Venetian’s Bellini Ballroom, the Hi-Res Audio Experience is anchored by HD Tracks, a high-resolution digital download pioneer and industry leader .The TechZone also features companies including Acoustic Sounds’ Super HiRez Store, Blue Coast Music, Mytek Digital, and Native DSD.

A variety of high-resolution audio products also will be demonstrated or on display and several manufacturers will have products on display in their rooms in the Venetian Tower and at their booths across the CES show floor.

“For the past 25 years, my brother and I have dedicated our lives and our company to pushing the envelope in sound quality and we apply this same passion to music downloads,” said David Chesky, co-founder and CEO of HD Tracks. “Now we are pleased to join with a number of other artists, music stores, and electronic companies at CES to take high-fidelity music reproduction to a new level that was never before even imaginable.”

In addition to cutting edge exhibits, the Hi-Res Audio Experience will feature its own conference track at the 2014 International CES:

  • Welcome to the Hi-Res Music World, 1:00–2:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 7, 2014: Top executives from major and independent labels, along with their digital retail partners, will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with licensing and distributing high-resolution music.
  • Meet the Hi-Res Music Creators, 3:00–4:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 7, 2014: Explore several topics including the key advantages to working in high-resolution formats, the availability of recording tools, and the importance of metadata to enhance the overall listening experience.
  • Hi-Res Audio for Every Lifestyle, 1:00–2:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 8, 2014: Examine the variety of high-resolution devices that are available today and the challenges related to marketing and promoting them.

CEA research shows consumers are ready to embrace high-resolution audio. The research indicates the appeal of high-quality audio electronics extends beyond enthusiasts and that the appeal of high-resolution audio extends far beyond higher quality audio devices. CEA found 4:10 (39%) of consumers with a moderate interest in audio indicate they are willing to pay more for high-quality audio electronics devices and that nearly 6:10 (60%) of consumers with a moderate interest in audio are willing to pay more for higher-quality digital music. Nine in 10 consumers say sound quality is the most important component of a quality audio experience.

Companies interested in exhibiting in the new Hi-Res Audio Experience should contact Kristen Nafziger at knafziger@ce.org or 703-907-7648. For more information, visit CESweb.org.

Q&A: Daniel Weiss – Audio Engineer Focuses on the “Masters”

Daniel Weiss founded Weiss Engineering in 1985. The company designs and manufactures digital audio equipment for mastering studios.

Daniel Weiss founded Weiss Engineering in 1985. The company designs and manufactures digital audio equipment for mastering studios.

SHANNON BECKER: Tell us a little about your background and where you live.

DANIEL WEISS: I live in Uster, a small city close to Zurich in Switzerland. In the 1970s and 1980s, I played music in a band, first as a violin player and later as the bass guitarist, which seemed preferable to the other band members. I also built various synthesizers, amplifiers, and speakers. I did a four-year apprenticeship as an electronics technician and during that time two friends and I formed a company called “White Amplifiers.” We built amplifiers and speakers for musicians in our spare time. After the apprenticeship, I studied electronics engineering and eventually graduated with a BSEE.

SHANNON: In 1979, you joined Studer-Revox as an electronics engineer working in the digital audio lab. Can you share details regarding your work on the sampling frequency converter design?

DANIEL: In 1979, Willi Studer decided to enter the digital audio era and established the “PCM laboratory” with almost all the lab members being newly recruited engineers and technicians. We were kind of an isolated group as the other labs were slightly suspicious of digital audio technology. We also had a hard time (at least it seemed to me) defining digital audio products that would make sense in a mainly analog world.

There were several digital audio recorders around at the beginning of the 1980s (e.g., Sony, 3M, Soundstream, JVC, Mitsubishi, etc.). There wasn’t much standardization back then so the sampling rates and interface formats greatly varied. Thus, it made sense to create a universal sampling rate converter with custom wired interfaces. This became the SFC16, and I did most of the hardware design. It was a 6HU/19” unit with digital filters built in so-called distributed arithmetic. It is a very clever architecture that avoids the need for DSP or multiplier chips. For most of the units sold—I think 30 of them were manufactured—I also did custom interfaces.

One of the largest setups of a 102 Series system was used at Sony Music in New York in the form of the IBIS digital mixing console.

One of the largest setups of a 102 Series system was used at Sony Music in New York in the form of the IBIS digital mixing console.

SHANNON: What other types of audio products did you design? Can you share some of the challenges involved with the design(s)?

DANIEL: My colleagues at the PCM lab pursued various other projects, such as A/D and D/A design, analog reconstruction filter design (I also was involved), research in de-noising, and a preview unit for the delay required in vinyl cutting. This resulted in a A/D and D/A 6HU box, with enough memory to do the delay. It was not a simple task back then.

As Studer was mainly a tape recorder company, the design of a digital tape recorder was inevitable. The first model was an eight-channel unit using the newly established Digital Audio Stationary Head (DASH) format, which enabled you to interchange tapes with ones recorded on other DASH recorders. I did the audio processing unit for that eight-channel recorder, which was required for interpolation in case the data read from the tape could not be reconstructed via the error correction scheme employed.

Those were interesting times at Studer, as we were pioneers in the pulse code modulation (PCM) audio field. We did many side projects, such as a digital sine generator for measuring purposes (Audio Precision did not exist back then) or a study on TIM measurements with a new approach or a PWM-based analog track on the digital tape and so forth.

SHANNON: In 1985 you founded your own company, Weiss Engineering (www.weiss.ch). Initially, your company focused solely on designing and manufacturing digital audio equipment for mastering studios. How and why did you select that specific market niche?

DANIEL: One day in 1984, when I still was at Studer, a customer came to our lab and asked for an interface between a Sony F1 portable digital audio recorder and a Sony 1610 digital audio recorder. The F1 did not have any digital I/O, so it had to be a custom made interface box. Studer does not do such custom work, so I made that interface for the customer in my spare time. The customer was Ben Bernfeld, a recording and mastering engineer from Harmonia Mundi Acustica in Germany. He knew exactly what was required in terms of equipment for CD mastering (or pre-mastering to be exact). So we decided to build a modular digital audio system to interface and process digital audio. I did the design and manufacturing while he organized the sales. CD pre-mastering was popular in the US mainly, so we concentrated on that market.

SHANNON: Tell us about Weiss’s first product. Is it still being sold today?

The potential of a Weiss Engineering Mastering Studio “Mastering Mansion Madrid” uses  Weiss Gambit Series equipment, which are the white faceplate units on the left.

The potential of a Weiss Engineering Mastering Studio “Mastering Mansion Madrid” uses Weiss Gambit Series equipment, which are the white faceplate units on the left.

DANIEL: The first system became the Harmonia Mundi Acustica BW-102 unit, starting with modules for F1, 1610 interfacing, a digital high-pass filter for DC offset elimination, a digital de-emphasis and a digital level control module.

Over the years, dozens of modules were added. We even did digital mixing consoles based on the BW-102. The largest one was a 32-channel console with four auxiliary buses. Another one was a 24-channel configuration with GML fader automation used by Sony Classical in New York. Those consoles were a bit awkward in terms of hardware requirements, because the BW-102 initially was designed for two-channel applications. Later, we also upgraded most of the modules to handle 96 kHz. Quite a few customers still use the BW-102, we even occasionally sell modules. Technically it is still up-to-date with 96/24 capability and 32-bit floating point processing.

After the BW-102, we started the Gambit Series with 19” units (e.g., analog to digital, digital to analog, parametric equalizer, dynamics processor, de-noiser/de-clicker, sampling rate converter, and more).

SHANNON: In 2000, Weiss entered the high-end consumer audio market with a new product line. What was the impetus behind that decision?

DANIEL: We thought that our DAC1 DAC could find a market within the high-end community. So we built the Medea DAC, based on the DAC1, to test the waters. The Medea became a huge success and it did not take long for customers to ask for more. So we built the Jason CD transport to complement the Medea. Other high-end products followed, up to the latest one, the MAN301 network player.

SHANNON: With the two separate aspects of your company—professional equipment for mastering studios and high-end consumer products—you are in the unique position of controlling, in part, the “production” of the masters and their reproductions. Do you think there is a direct correlation between the two “worlds?”

The Weiss 102 Series consists of digital audio processing modules suited for CD mastering, mixing, and digital audio signal processing. You can configure a system according to your requirements.

The Weiss 102 Series consists of digital audio processing modules suited for CD mastering, mixing, and digital audio signal processing. You can configure a system according to your requirements.

DANIEL: Correlation maybe in that both mastering engineers and audiophiles are interested in getting topnotch sonic quality and ergonomics. We can use our design philosophy—with the utmost transparency—with both markets. But in the end, we simply supply tools. The mastering engineer needs to know how to use them properly.

SHANNON: To what do you attribute your company’s continuing success?

DANIEL: At first, it was the fact that we built the right product at the right time (i.e., when the CD took off there was a huge demand for decent audio processing in the digital domain). In the consumer market, I think our customers like our “no bull” approach. I don’t hold back with my opinions about $1,000 mains cords, gold-plated fuses, small wood blocks for acoustics treatment, or CD demagnetizing, and so forth. I wrote some white papers firmly based on the laws of physics on various audio topics in an attempt to fight the snake oil with facts. This is something I like about the pro audio people, they are down-to-earth guys.

SHANNON: Tell us about your favorite high-end consumer product? What makes it different from other products on the market today?

DANIEL: One of my favorites is the MAN301 network player—from our product line, of course. It is an incredibly versatile unit for CD playback and ripping, and metadata tagging/artwork. It uses the Gracenote database and this is hardly seen on any other high-end network player. It also includes file playback (including DSD), DAC, preamplifier functions, and so forth. I use one at home and enjoy it every day. We continue to develop additional software for the MAN301 (e.g., for room equalization, creative equalization, vinyl simulation, and so on).

I also like to listen to as many different speakers as possible to explore the various philosophies and designs. I think the speaker/room system has, by far, the greatest potential for improvement of the whole audio chain. Audiophiles should acknowledge that and stop messing around with mains cords. The industry still has a long way to go when it comes to speaker/room optimization.

SHANNON: Could you share your opinion on mastering for digital file distribution and, in particular, the mastering for iTunes initiative?

DANIEL: If it is mastering for an uncompressed format, then the procedure should not be different from a standard CD mastering—except maybe if the format is at a higher sampling rate and/or word length than for a CD.

Mastering for iTunes is different, as it means mastering for a lossy format (for the time being at least). But I think the best thing about that initiative is Apple imposes specific criteria on the technical quality of the supplied music, in particular that the music must not be clipped. There are also a number of recommendations available at http://images.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/docs/mastered_for_itunes.pdf.

The Weiss-designed MAN301 network player’s front boasts a sleek design. It is a versatile unit that uses the Gracenote database.

The Weiss-designed MAN301 network player’s front boasts a sleek design. It is a versatile unit that uses the Gracenote database.

SHANNON: Where do you see the audio market headed in the next five years? Do you think we will eventually evolve to “high-end” streaming audio services rather than downloading files?

DANIEL: There always will be both variants. Many people like to “own” the music so they can play it anytime and anywhere. And, I think the emotional relationship to the music is different if you’ve got it “on file” and not just via a stream.

Streaming services are great to check out new music. They should have a “buy” button on their websites though. Streaming during travel can get expensive and/or can be annoying when the stream gets disrupted in the tunnel or because of too many people try to get streams on a train, for instance.

Also it seems that for artists streaming services are far from lucrative. That could be changed maybe if they would simplify the buying process right from the streaming site.

In any case, the majority of high-end playback systems will use computer-based playback devices because it is so much more convenient and easily enables people to discover new music from streaming services or even in their own libraries.

Member Profile: Bruce Heran

Bruce Heran

Bruce Heran

Member Name: Bruce Heran

Location: Sierra Vista, AZ

Education: Bruce has a BS in Biology and he has taken some master’s levels courses.

Member Status: He has been reading audioXpress for a number of years.

Occupation: Bruce co-owns and is vice president of design for Oddwatt Audio. The company specializes in high-quality audio kits (mostly valve designs). Prior to that, he was a project manager for a government defense contractor.

Audio Interests: Bruce is a fan of anything analog. He enjoys designing high-end valve equipment and listening to music on vinyl.

Most Recent Purchase: Because he is willing to design and build almost anything, Bruce never knows what he might buy. However, his most recent purchase was an Audio Technica AT-33PTG/II phonographic cartridge.

Bruce Heran's workshop

Bruce Heran’s workshop

Current Audio Projects: Bruce is working on a digital remote control integrated valve preamplifier with a valve phono stage. It also has a solid-state phono preamplifier and an economy integrated valve stereo amplifier.

Dream System: Bruce’s dream system contains Martin Logan Montis speakers (he currently owns the Vistas); a pair of Martin Logan Grotto or Depth subwoofers; KT120 mono block power amplifiers of his own design (he already has them); a remote-control preamplifier of his own design with phono stage (he already has this, too); an OPPO BDP105 Blu-ray player (to replace his OPPO 83SE); a Sota Millennium Turntable (to replace the Sota Moonbeam he currently owns); and several phonograph cartridges.

Tascam’s High-End Master Recorder and ADDA Converter

Tascamda-3000_p_frIt is good to see new product launches from the TEAC group’s pro audio brand after its recent acquisition by Gibson, especially this upgrade to the legendary DV-RA1000HD recorder. The new Tascam DA-3000 offers the same famous Burr-Brown (now Texas Instruments) ADCs but it comes with a high-quality op-amp (NE5532), optimum condensers, and high-specification resistors for low-noise, high-accuracy, and high-heat capacity in a sleeker, more modern design. This new high-definition master recorder/ADDA converter is designed to fit in any professional or home recording studio, for recording, mastering, broadcasting, replacing a DAT machine, or for audiophiles who want to upgrade their files. This recorder supports high sampling rates up to 192 kHz pulse code modulation (PCM) and 5.6 MHz direct-stream digital (DSD), with the option of recording to SDHC and compact flash with support for USB memory playback.

Tascamda-3000_w_boThe high-precision TCXO fan-less design ensures pristine audio quality. The dual-monaural DACs help eliminate any interference. A balanced XLR I/O, unbalanced RCA I/O along with digital audio I/F AES-EBU, S/PDIF for PCM, and SDIF-3/DSD-raw for DSD is located in the rear of the unit. The DA-3000 warrants a clock frequency accuracy of 1 ppm by TCXO and uses a crystal direct system for low jitter.

The dual-monaural DAC is configured with Texas Instruments (TI) ICs (PCM1795) for each channel and uses TI’s PCM4202 on the A/D conversion, adding an E-I core power transformer with separated coils for digital and analog circuits.

TEAC Corp.
www.tascam.com

Lawo Introduces RAVENNA-Based Commentary Solution for Standard IP Networks

Lawo LCU_SetupWebLawo’s cost-efficient and flexible Commentary Unit (LCU) was developed in close cooperation with Host Broadcast Services (HBS), a Swiss company specializing in producing multilateral video and audio feeds for TV and radio from world-class international sports events. The fully digital system is based on RAVENNA, a real-time audio-over-IP networking technology that enables the use of standard IP networks to interconnect venues and devices, which provides savings in cabling while increasing the system’s flexibility.

“Good commentary plays a key role in the success of global events. The Lawo Commentary solution was developed in the very best interest of the Rights Holding Broadcasters of these events”, says Jörg Sander, CTO at HBS.

The LCU is designed to be easy-to-use for commentators, freeing them to focus on their tasks rather than managing the technology. It provides an intuitive user interface for up to three commentators per LCU. Lawo quality mic pre-amps and uncompressed real-time audio-over-IP (24 bit/48 kHz) ensure audio quality. All activity is indicated in a backlit LCD, indicating each control’s label and current setting. The unit also features three coordination lines, again with individual volume and pan settings. A Help key completes the user interface, giving commentators fast access to a support engineer. For emergency operation, the device provides an analog Mix Out and an analog input to feed the phones’ monitor mix. The Aux In can also be used to feed external sources (e.g., audio recorders) locally to the LCU.

The LCU is complemented by the Lawo Commentary Control Software, which replaces the commentary control units usually associated with two-part commentary systems, providing an integrated user interface to operate a complete commentary installation. The software is optimized for touchscreen operation, offering easy and efficient support for up to 20 commentators per screen. It shows the real-time status of all connected devices and manages all LCUs within the network, as well as the system’s DALLIS frame, which is Lawo’s modular I/O system for interfacing the commentary installation to the outside world. The software also enables a support engineer to listen to any signal of any LCU. Its remote-control facilities mean that most help requests can be resolved with a mouse click. To learn more, visit www.lawo.de.

January Products: HiWave Wireless Speaker, Power Amp Kit, Wolfson DAC

HiWave develops new wireless speaker platform

HiWave offers a Bluetooth wireless speaker demonstrator that runs for 100 hours at normal levels from a single charge cycle.

HiWave Technologies, a provider of innovative audio amplifier ICs, full-frequency range speaker drivers, and next-generation haptic-touch devices, has developed a new product called Endfire. Endfire is an efficient wireless stereo speaker reference platform that delivers 100 hours of high-quality audio playback at typical listening levels.

Endfire uses Bluetooth to pair with tablet PCs, smartphones, and laptops and outputs 30-W audio from its two full-frequency range, wide-dispersion HiBM36S12-8 BMR speakers. These are combined with HiWave’s DyadBA3 module, which supports both AVRCP and A2DP Bluetooth audio profiles and uses the HiAS2002 stereo amplifier. The system is powered by three 2,200-mAh Li-ion batteries and charged via a micro-USB connection.

The reference platform consumes less than 300 mW during typical playback and its onboard HiWave HiAS2002 (Audium) amplifier can switch voltage rails to reproduce peaks without any detectable artefacts. The system automatically enters standby when not in use and waking. Device pairing and battery check are controlled via Endfire’s volume control dial.

The HiAS2002 amplifier IC and BMR speaker drivers are available from HiWave. Visit www.hiwave.com for more information.

 

Akitika’s complete stereo power amplifier kit

Akitika’s GT-101 contains everything you need to build a stereo power amplifier.

Akitika’s GT-101 is a complete stereo power amplifier kit that supplies everything but the solder. It produces greater than 50-W RMS per channel into 8 Ω with low distortion and low noise. The kit includes a toroidal power transformer, film, COG capacitors, metal film resistors, heavy-duty extruded aluminum heatsinks, isolated input jacks, double sided FR-4 PC boards, five-way speaker binding posts, and a fully regulated power supply. It’s contained in a black custom chassis. The component quality is characteristic of high-end equipment, at a cost of a little more than $300. Akitika’s GT-101 stereo power amplifier sounds better because you build it. Visit www.akitika.com for more information.

Caption: Akitika’s GT-101 contains everything you need to build a stereo power amplifier.

 

Wolfson’s newest DAC delivers great sound

Wolfson Microelectronics has introduced its latest stereo digital-to-analog converter (DAC), the WM8533, which provides audio performance in a small package for a wide range of consumer electronic applications.

The WM8533 delivers 106-dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and features an integral charge pump, a software control interface, and offers 2 Vrms line driver outputs where a 3.3-V power supply rail is used. The WM8533 is suitable for a wide range of consumer digital audio applications including set top boxes, digital televisions, DVD players, and games consoles.

The WM8533 also features ground-referenced outputs and a DC servo to eliminate the need for line driving coupling capacitors and effectively eliminate pops and clicks at power on. The device also supports all common audio sampling rates between 8 and 192 kHz. For more information, visit www.wolfsonmicro.com.