New NTi Audio XL2 Data Explorer PC Reporting Software

NTi Audio confirmed the release of Data Explorer, a new PC reporting software for precision-grade noise measurements. With a design inspired by users of the XL2 Acoustic Analyzer, the Data Explorer is an ideal sound level meter companion offering clear visualization, fast data analysis and professional reporting of environmental noise measurements.

NTIThe Data Explorer software visualizes the entire data set including spectrogram and provides very fast zoom and pan response, even for data sets with millions of data points, creating professional reports with a mouse click and customized reports with titles, comments and own logos. Audio files are time-aligned to the graph for instantaneous playback including proper levelling. The XL2 Data Explorer PC software also automatically adds relevant header data such as the measurement date, calibration information, instrument setup etc., to produce a tailored and professional-looking report. The installation of XL2 Data Explorer software on multiple PCs provides consultants with the freedom to distribute their measurement projects among team members and clients. The data import into the software is enabled by an option installed in the XL2 Sound Level Meter. The installation of the XL2 option requires firmware V2.72 or higher. Legacy data import recorded prior the option installation is supported.

http://www.nti-audio.com/en/products/xl2-sound-level-meter/analysis-software.aspx

Industry Watch: March 2014

Harman Prelaunches New Infinity Home Audio Speakers, Teams With Linkin Park

HARMAN International prelaunched its new Infinity One Bluetooth speaker at the 2014 CES International.

HARMAN International prelaunched its new Infinity One Bluetooth speaker at the 2014 CES International.

At the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), HARMAN International announced that the Grammy award-winning, multi-platinum alternative rock band Linkin Park will be Infinity brand’s new ambassadors. Suggesting a common history of pushing boundaries, challenging convention, and producing cutting-edge sound, the exclusive five-year partnership between Linkin Park and Infinity will go beyond advertising to include product design collaborations.

To mark the new relationship, Linkin Park helped unveil a CES preview of two all-new Infinity product lines—the Infinity Reference Loudspeakers Series and the Infinity One, the brand’s first portable wireless sound system. The Infinity One will feature wireless streaming and a built-in rechargeable battery with up to 10 h of playtime and offer consumers premium quality sound and the utmost in mobility (see Photo 1).

The Infinity Linkin Park gold-edition reference tower speakers were unveiled at the 2014 CES International.

The Infinity Linkin Park gold-edition reference tower speakers were unveiled at the 2014 CES International.

Linkin Park is working closely with new Infinity product portfolio’s design and engineering teams on development, voicing, and industrial design. For the launch of the new Infinity Reference Loudspeakers Series, the band collaborated with Infinity to create “gold-dipped” special edition floor-standing loudspeakers (see Photo 2).

The Infinity Reference Loudspeakers series features nine models with clean, contemporary looks, tapered side panels, and a black premium finish. The series will include two bookshelf models, two floor-standing models, two center-channel models, one surround model, and two powered subwoofer models. The series will utilize the latest HARMAN proprietary technologies to deliver amazing audio performance at accessible price points.

Although Infinity gradually morphed into a strictly car audio brand for the past several years, Infinity’s new Reference Series should re-establish its credibility in the living room. The home speakers all use a ceramic metal matrix diaphragm (CMMD) dome tweeter with a waveguide design borrowed from Revel’s great Performa3 series speakers. The three-way models also have a 3.25” flat-piston CMMD midrange driver, plus 6.5” woofers for the R263 tower ($1,099/pair) and 5.25” woofers for the R253 tower ($899/pair).

 


 

Klippel Presents Three-Day Lecture

Professor Wolfgang Klippel (Institute of Acoustics and Speech Communication, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden Germany) will present a three-day lecture (as a block seminar) from March 17–19, 2014 at the Dresden University of Technology.

On day one and day two, Klippel will lecture about audio systems—modeling, measurement, and control. On day three, attendees can choose from two different lectures—control theory or hands on training. For more information or to register, visit www.klippel.de.

 


 

Alma’s Hires New Association Manager

The Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing and Acoustics (ALMA) International recently hired Barry Vogel as ALMA manager (see Photo 3). He will succeed Carol Bousquet.

ALMA International selected Barry Vogel as its next manager.

ALMA International selected Barry Vogel as its next manager.

Vogel began his career in the consumer electronics industry in 1976 when he opened a CB radio and accessories store in Central Square, NY. Eventually transitioning into car audio, his store experienced strong growth for many years. He expanded his business from a 400-ft2 leased department in a larger store to a 2,000-ft2 free-standing building. He eventually bought a 6,500-ft2 building with eight installation bays and 3,000 ft2 of display space.

In 1993, Vogel became a founding member of Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association (MERA). He initially served as the Education chairman, later advancing to become President and Executive Director. Vogel is an active member of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). He is also involved with writing mobile electronics certified professionals (MECP) training and reference guides. In addition to his new duties as ALMA’s manager, Vogel maintains a consulting business that helps independent retailers remain growth oriented and relevant in today’s Internet world.

 


 

CE Revenues Reach Record High In 2014

Revenues for the consumer electronics (CE) industry are projected to grow 2.4% in 2014, reaching a new record high of $208 billion, according to “The US Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts,” the semi-annual industry report released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The forecast projects that new, emerging product categories will grow by 107% year-over-year in 2014.

These new technology categories, including 3-D printers, Bluetooth wireless speakers, convertible PCs, health and fitness devices, smart watches and Ultra-HD television displays, are cumulatively expected to contribute more than $6 billion to the overall CE industry in 2014. While these emerging product categories represent less than 3% of the entire CE industry, they drive 65% of the total industry revenue growth.

Sales of mobile-connected devices, specifically smartphones and tablets, will continue to contribute significant unit sales and revenue to the total CE bottom line in 2014. Although revenue growth has slowed, unit sales will continue to see steady increases.

Smartphones are expected to maintain their position as the industry’s sales leader in 2014, with unit shipments projected to reach 152 million, up from 138 million units sold in 2013. Additionally, smartphone revenues are expected to generate $41 billion in 2014, a 4.6% increase from $39 billion in 2013.

Unit sales of tablets are projected to reach 89.3 million this year, up from 77.4 million in 2013. Revenues for tablets will reach $27.3 billion this year, up by 3%.

Bright spots within the television category will help drive revenue growth this year, as larger screen sizes and innovative display features have consumers upgrading their video experience. Although total unit sales of displays are predicted to remain even with 2013 levels, total TV sets and display sales are projected to reach $21.3 billion in 2014, up 2% from 2013’s better than expected $21 billion revenue level.
LCD flat-panels continue to dominate the total number of sets sold each year. Both unit sales and revenues for LCDs are projected to increase slightly, with 39 million LCD TVs expected to ship to dealers in 2014, resulting in $19 billion in revenue.

Innovative features such as Ultra HD and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) within the display category are beginning to gain awareness. Unit shipments of ultra-HD displays are expected to surpass $1 billion for the first time this year, while OLED displays will reach $836 million.

Elsewhere in the industry, several other categories are expected to see positive growth in 2014. For the audio industry, soundbars, headphones, and Bluetooth wireless speakers remain the standout products. Soundbar shipments are projected to increase 22% to 3.5 million units and reach $676 million in revenue. Headphones are expected to sell 71 million units, earning $1.5 billion in revenue; while Bluetooth wireless speakers are expected to generate $430 million in total revenue in 2014, a 12% increase year-over-year.

For automotive electronics, the growth of new vehicle sales in 2014 will drive factory-installed systems to reach $11 billion in revenues, an increase of 20%.

For electronic gaming, the release of next-generation gaming consoles is projected to propel unit shipment growth, up 42% year-over-year, to reach revenues of $5.7 billion in 2014.

 


 

Bluetooth Speakers Dominate New Loudspeaker Product Releases

The consumer electronics (CE) market currently has a seemingly insatiable appetite for small Bluetooth-connected speakers, or at least that is the indication from several loudspeaker manufacturers. Several manufacturers released products within the last few months, including:

Boston Acoustics—Boston Acoustics launched its first Bluetooth speaker, the MC100Blue ($149 suggested). The MC100Blue is an AC-only single-chassis tabletop speaker that streams AptX over Bluetooth. It features NFC for tap-to-pair functionality, dual-ported 3.5” drivers, and BassTrac technology to maintain bass output at low listening levels.

The gloss-black speaker also features analog auxiliary input and headphone output. The 6” × 15.8” × 5.3” speaker is said to deliver a 70-Hz-to-20-kHz frequency response. The wall-mountable speaker comes with a remote and it is available from the company’s website (www.bostonacoustics.com).

The speaker joins the MC200Air ($199), which is also a tabletop speaker. The MC200Air includes Apple AirPlay to wirelessly stream music via home Wi-Fi networks from Apple’s mobile devices and iTunes-equipped computers. The speaker system also incorporates embedded Wi-Fi, DLNA networking with PCs and smartphones, and an Apple-certified iPod/iPhone/iPad USB port to change Apple devices and play music when it is connected.

Harman Kardon—HARMAN International launched its first Harman Kardon brand AC-only Bluetooth speaker system. It joins two Harman Kardon-brand AC/DC Bluetooth speakers unveiled in September 2013.
The new Nova Wireless speaker system ($299) consists of two left-right two-way speakers with transparent spherical enclosures. The system doubles as a speaker system for TVs, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, and so forth via its analog and optical digital inputs. The Bluetooth pair features NFC, 2 × 20-W amplification, biamplification, a 1.25” tweeter, a 2.5” midrange/woofer, and a passive radiator to extend bass response.

The system delivers a 70-Hz-to-20-kHz frequency response and uses HARMAN DSP to improve imaging and sound-stage depth. The brand’s AC/DC Bluetooth speakers include the flat, square Esquire with NFC ($249). Its targeted to business travelers and doubles as a phone-conference speaker with an omnidirectional microphone. The brand’s other AC/DC Bluetooth speaker, the Onyx ($499), is a spherical tabletop speaker that also incorporates Bluetooth, AirPlay, Wi-Fi, DLNA, and NFC.

Infinity—The Infinity One wireless speaker is part of the relaunch of the Infinity brand name, which also includes nine new home theater and stereo speakers. The Infinity One looks and feels like a Bluetooth speaker designed by the military industrial complex! Its aluminum body contains four 45-mm drivers plus a passive radiator at each end to reinforce the bass. The speaker’s internal rechargeable battery is rated at 10 A and provides 10 h of run time. The Inifinity One will be available in June, along with some “luxury type” accessories.

Kicker—Kicker, a division of Stillwater Designs and Audio is shipping its latest tabletop Bluetooth speaker as part of its 2014 plan to add more Bluetooth speakers in broader price range.

The Amphitheater Bluetooth BT2 ($299) joins three other tabletop audio products, including the Amphitheater BT ($249) with Bluetooth and a 30-pin connector made for iPod/iPhone/iPad docking speakers.

The other two models lack Bluetooth. They are the Amphitheater ($249) and the iK501 ($149), which both feature a 30-pin connector made for iPod/iPhone/iPad docking speakers.

The 2014 additions will include more Bluetooth-only speakers as well as Apple-docking speakers equipped with Bluetooth. All Amphitheaters are 50-W models with 5” woofers, 0.75” tweeters, and a square 6” × 6” passive radiator to deliver a 24-Hz-to-20-kHz frequency response and ±3 dB. They also feature DSP to optimize sound performance. The Amphitheaters come with USB ports to charge external devices and an auxiliary input jack to connect non-Bluetooth devices.

With a free KickStart app for Android and iOS devices, users can adjust the speakers’ responses via the app’s eight-band equalization, bass and treble sliders, and wide or tight imaging. The app also offers the option to load and save sound presets for specific music genres or for different music sources.

Klipsch Group—Klipsch Group is expanding its Klipsch Music Center speaker selection with its lowest-priced model to date, the Klipsch Music Center Gig ($199). The new model, which arrived in stores in November 2013, is a Bluetooth-only portable AC/DC model that joins two other AC/DC Bluetooth-only models in the series: the Klipsch Music Center KMC1 ($299) and the Klipsch Music Center KMC3 ($399). Bluetooth is also a feature of the AC-only Klipsch Music Center Stadium ($1,999), a triamplified stereo speaker with Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Apple AirPlay, DLNA, USB compatibility with Apple mobile devices, and optical digital input.

The Klipsch Gig is the smallest of the speakers. It measures 3.6” × 7” × 2.1” and weighs 1.4 lb. The system features dual 1” full-range drivers, dual 2” passive radiators, DSP-based equalization, AptX audio decoding, NFC for tap-to-pair functionality, 3.5-mm auxiliary in, hands-free speakerphone capability, and international power adapters for AC operation.

Its built-in, rechargeable lithium-ion battery delivers 12-h playback time with default volume and 4-h playback time at maximum volume.

Performance specifications include a 77-Hz-to-20-kHz frequency response with “usable” bass down to 64 Hz, 96 dB SPL at 0.5 m, and 2× 5-WRMS amplification with 20-W total peak power. The speaker features a silicone chassis in black or white and a perforated metal grille.

Panasonic—Panasonic expanded its portable Bluetooth speaker selection with the SC-NA10 ($199) and the SC-NA30 ($299). The compact speakers offer 20 h of playback time on their rechargeable batteries.
The two stereo models join the brand’s other Bluetooth-only speakers, including the portable AC/DC SC-NT10D ($99), the AC-only SC-NP10 with a tablet stand ($199), and the AC-only SC-NE1 ($199). Both models feature NFC for tap-to-pair functionality, 3.5-mm auxiliary in, and XBS master sound processing, which is said to improve clarity and accuracy. The SC-NA30 features two front 2” full-range drivers and two passive bass radiators. The SC-NA10 features two 1.6” front speakers and one passive bass radiator.

Yamaha—Yamaha expanded its portable Bluetooth speaker lineup with the NX-P100 ($199). The NX-P100 is a moisture-proof model that features NFC pairing and streams the AAC and AptX codecs.
It joins the brand’s PDX-B11 ($179), which lacks NFC and AptX streaming. The metal-body NX-P100 has a rectangular shape. Other features include a hands-free speakerphone capability, an internal rechargeable battery with 8 h of playback time, and a USB port for charging mobile devices. It is available in black and white.

New Westone Signature W50/60 Earphones Introduced at the CES 2014

Westone Signature W50/60 Earphones

Westone Signature W50/60 Earphones

Westone, a manufacturer of high-performance audio and in-ear monitoring technology, has announced its new signature series W50 and W60 model earphones. Combining the latest in design with elite performance drivers and crossovers, the Signature W-Series is intended to continue the award-winning success of the Westone lineup while providing state-of-the art audio performance combined with superior design for improved comfort and fit. The W60, the brand’s first to offer six drivers, was awarded Digital Trends’s “Best Of CES 2014″ Award in the earphone category, rising above five other nominees.

The Signature W-Series features Westone’s proprietary balanced armature drivers and advanced crossover designs. The W60 includes six balanced armature drivers—dual driver for the tweeters, midranges, and bass—and multistage crossover designs (three-way), generating a powerful yet balanced sound that offers great detail and high-energy output. The W60 will be available in the first quarter of 2014 and will retail at $999.

The W50 model features five individual drivers in each earphone with the same three-way crossover. It will be available in the first quarter of 2014 with a suggested retail price of $749.99.

The W-Series is supplied with two replaceable cables—the EPIC cable for easy replacement or custom cable selection, as well as an Apple MFi cable with three-button controls and an integrated microphone. An Android control cable is available as an accessory. The new connector is compatible with all the new Westone cables including the ADV reflective cable and the new UM Pro cable. The EPIC replaceable cable is constructed of high-flex, ultra-low resistance tensile wire, reinforced with a special aramid fiber, and braided for durability, acoustic transparency, and isolation from mechanical cable noise. The new audiophile connector makes this cable solution conveniently user-removable, upgradeable, and replaceable.

The W-Series features interchangeable anodized aluminum faceplates (red, blue, and charcoal included), a straight EPIC replaceable cable, a replaceable MFi cable and MIC, an Executive Monitor Vault, a weather-resistant travel case, and five sizes of patented STAR and True-Fit Tips. With Westone True-Fit technology, the company combines 50-plus years experience with in-ear applications that have produced a low-profile, lightweight, universal earpiece that delivers maximum comfort and in-ear coupling for dynamic music listening.

“The W-Series is the latest in high performance earphones, designed and engineered for music lovers and audiophiles,” said John F. Lowrey, Vice President, Audio Group at Westone. “The W-Series represents superior sound performance, fit, and features that showcase the detail and clarity of the music.”

http://www.westoneaudio.com

Mackie Adds The MRmk3 Series

MackieMRmk3SeriesThe new MRmk3 Series Studio Monitors were among the highlights when Mackie recently refreshed the line. The MRmk3 Series includes three affordable, professional monitors with optimized electronics and custom-matched amplifiers/drivers, complemented by a powerful subwoofer (MR10Smk3). Featuring custom-tuned ports and rugged all-wood MDF cabinets packed with acoustic absorption material, the new Mackie MRmk3 full-range monitors include the 5.25” MR5mk3, the 6.5” MR6mk3, and the 8” MR8mk3.

The Mackie MRmk3 are active monitors specifically designed to reveal the full frequency range in music recording and mixing, optimized with a minimum-diffraction waveguide system and different sized polypropylene woofers together with a 1” silk dome tweeter and Class-A/B amplifiers rated from 50 to 120 WRMS.

All the units feature high- and low-frequency level adjustments with 100-Hz and 3.25-kHz shelving in the rear panels, featuring XLR, TRS, and RCA input connectors.

Mackie
www.mackie.com

KRK Systems Launches New Rokit Generation 3 Monitors

KRK Systems, now part of the Gibson Pro Audio division, claims it is the leader in the worldwide home studio market when it comes to powered monitors. KRK Systems is certainly one of the world’s most respected studio reference monitor manufacturers. So, when the company decided to refresh its popular Rokits, now in its third generation, there must have been a good reason.

KRKg3-familyWithout dramatic changes, the new Rokit G3 family shows a cleaner more refined look and finishing, with “radiused” edges that help reduce distortion from diffraction. The monitors now offer a new 1” soft dome tweeter and new glass-Aramid composite woofers. The changes expand the Rokit’s frequency response up to 35 kHz, with better vocal clarity and extended bass response from 35 Hz. The proprietary bi-amped, Class-A/B amplifier provides SPL up to 109 dB and the waveguide design helps achieve the detailed imaging, while the front-firing bass port reduces boundary coupling to enable flexible room positioning. One of the key changes is in the back of the monitors, where high-frequency adjustments can be found to tailor the system to the user’s personal taste. The low-frequency adjustments compensate for room acoustics.

KRK Sytems, Inc.
www.krksys.com

LSR 3 Series: Affordable Studio Monitors From Jbl Professional

The 3 Series studio monitors leverage the new technology developed for JBL’s flagship M2 Master Reference Monitor.

The 3 Series studio monitors leverage the new technology developed for JBL’s flagship M2 Master Reference Monitor.

JBL Professional introduced a new professional studio monitoring range at an affordable price. The 3 Series studio monitors leverage the new technology developed for JBL’s flagship M2 Master Reference Monitor, which was launched earlier this year. This is also the first studio monitor line to incorporate JBL’s patent-pending Image Control Waveguide, with a distinctive appearance and rugged build.

The JBL 3 Series features two models: the LSR305, 5” powered studio monitor and the LSR308, 8” powered studio monitor. The LSR305 responds from 43 Hz to 24 kHz and a 108-dB peak sound pressure level (SPL). The LSR308 features a 37-Hz-to-24-kHz response and a 112-dB peak SPL.

Surrounding the high-frequency tweeter and located directly above the woofer, the new Image Control Waveguide precisely controls the sound emanating from the monitor in the vertical and horizontal planes. With a complex contour employing tiny, meticulously engineered ridges, the waveguide optimizes the loudspeakers’ phase relationship, and the blend of directed and reflecting sound arriving at the listening position. In addition, the waveguide enables 3 Series models to deliver neutral sound across a large working space.

The 3 Series’s long-throw woofer and damped woven composite tweeter are designed to reproduce the powerful transients and microdynamics of any mix. JBL’s patented Slip Stream low-frequency port design works with the woofer to produce deep bass response at all playback levels. The port’s double-flared shape is precisely engineered for greater low-frequency extension and reduced turbulence. Efficient Class D amplifiers provide enough power to the drivers to deliver the output and dynamic headroom needed for the most demanding production styles.

Each 3 Series model incorporates a range of features to integrate the loudspeakers into a variety of environments including multiple inputs, a detented volume control, and an input sensitivity switch for compatibility with professional and consumer equipment.

The loudspeakers cost $199.99 and $325 for the LSR305 and LSR308, respectively.

JBL Professional
www.jblpro.com/3series

Lipinski Sound Announces Move to Self-Powered and Upgradable Loudspeakers

LipinskiL707AMonitorsWebCelebrating its 10th anniversary, Lipinski Sound is going to be at the 135th AES Convention in New York, NY, unveiling a new self-powered and upgradable loudspeaker system. The revised L-707A series of monitors is the latest development in a line of loudspeakers starting with the legendary L-707.

Lipinski’s modular speaker system will be shown with its newly developed L-700A Dual Power Amplifier and L-700B Power Amplifier. So each section of this modular speaker system will be powered by its own individual Class-A amplifier (meaning that Lipinski’s well-regarded Signature speaker system will now be driven by four amplifiers per channel). This is Lipinski’s newest Class AAB, all-discrete, dual-power amplifier based on the low-feedback patented circuitry Lipinski Square OpAmps. This is unique, in that at no point does the audio signal pass through an integrated circuit, condenser, coil, or transformer.

The low-order, low-feedback, Class-A electronic crossover, high/low gently calibrated 60−160 Hz EQ allows for the most common floor/ceiling resonance cancellation. Also on display will be the smaller, more affordable but equally stunning Self-Powered True Reference monitor L-70, based on the same principles as its larger relative.

More products based on Lipinski Sound’s proprietary Class-A op-amps will be exhibited at the AES conference. They include the L629 Compressor—inspired by vintage Fairchild principles and ballistics but with dramatically reduced noise and distortion—and the high-quality L600 Power Supply, a high-current replacement power supply designed as an upgrade for the API 500VPR (capable of powering up to three API 500VPR frames).
Lipinski Sound will be at booth #2562.

www.lipinskisound.com

NTi XL2-TA Receives Type Approval

The XL2-TA Sound Level Meter has received Class 1 approval.

The XL2-TA Sound Level Meter has received Class 1 approval.

The XL2-TA sound level meter has received Class 1 type-approval from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany. The XL2-TA in combination with the M2230 measurement microphone, is officially listed as a type-approved Class 1 sound level meter. The XL2-TA is suitable for environmental noise, occupational health, and sound insulation applications where the measurements require certification.

Receipt of the type-approval certificate confirms the XL2-TA (in combination with the M2230 measurement microphone and the ASD cable) offers full compliance with the Class 1 sound level meter requirements in accordance with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards 61672 and 61260 and meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) S1.4 Type 1 performance. The XL2-TA offers certified spectral measurements in octave and third-octave resolution, which further comply with Class 0 filter specifications.

The M2230 measurement microphone connected to the XL2-TA via the ASD cable configuration enables the user to monitor the level readings on the instrument display while Class 1 measurements are taken. The NTi Audio Precision Calibrator completes the portable measurement kit offered in the compact system case.

Customers may upgrade their XL2 analyzers to a type-approved XL2-TA by adding a retrofit kit. Contact your local NTi Audio partner for the upgrade. For more information about the XL2 Analyzer and obtaining the type-approval 0ption, visit www.nti-audio.com/XL2.

Industry Watch: September

Dr. Amar Bose (1929–2013)

Amar Bose, founder of Bose, passed away on July 12, 2013. (Photo courtesy of Bose Corp.)

Amar Bose, founder of Bose, passed away on July 12, 2013. (Photo courtesy of Bose Corp.)

Amar Gopal Bose (Amar Gopal Boshu) died recently at his home in Wayland, MA.

He was born November 2, 1929, and became the chairman and founder of Bose Corp. (see Photo 1). An American electrical engineer of Bengali descent, he was listed on the 2007 Forbes 400 list with a $1.8 billion net worth. The child of an Indian Bengali father and an American mother, Bose was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. His father, Noni Gopal Bose, was an Indian freedom revolutionary from Bengal who, having been imprisoned for his political activities, fled Kolkata (Calcutta) in the 1920s to avoid further prosecution by the British colonial police.

Amar Bose first displayed his entrepreneurial skills and interest in electronics at age 13, when, during the World War II years, he enlisted school friends as co-workers in a small home business, repairing model trains and home radios to supplement his family’s income. Bose graduated from Abington Senior High School and entered Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), graduating with a BS in Electrical Engineering in the early 1950s.

Bose spent a year in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in the research labs at NV Philips Electronics and a year in Delhi, India, as a Fulbright student. In India, he met his wife, Prema, from whom he later divorced. He completed his PhD in electrical engineering from MIT, and wrote a highly mathematical thesis on nonlinear systems. Following graduation, Bose took a position at MIT as an assistant professor. He focused his research on acoustics, which led him to invent a stereo loudspeaker that would reproduce, in a domestic setting, the dominantly reflected soundfield that characterizes the listening space of the audience in a concert hall.

Bose was awarded significant patents in two fields, which, to this day, remain important to the Bose Corp. These patents were in the area of loudspeaker design and nonlinear, two-state modulated, Class D power processing.

During his early years as a MIT professor, Bose bought a high-end stereo speaker system at a RadioShack in 1956. He was reportedly underwhelmed by its performance. This would eventually pave the way for his extensive speaker technology research, which concentrated on key weaknesses in the high-end speaker systems available during his time and focused on psychoacoustics, which would become a hallmark of the company’s audio products. Bose Corp. was founded in 1964 with initial capital from several investors, including his MIT thesis adviser and professor, Dr. Y. W. Lee, who invested his life savings in the effort.

Applying similar psychoacoustic principles to headphone technology, Bose created the Tri-Port Earcup Drivers. Today, Bose Corp. is a multifaceted entity with more than 12,000 employees worldwide that produces products for home, car, and professional audio, and conducts basic research in acoustics, automotive systems, and other fields. As a privately held company, Bose Corp. does not publish its financial numbers; however a few hundred shareholders receive audited annual financial statements. In addition to running his company, Bose remained a professor at MIT until 2000.

Bose President Bob Maresca remembered the man behind the name, saying in a statement that the company is “deeply saddened” by his passing.

“It is impossible to put into words what Dr. Bose meant to each of us, and to [the company],” Maresca said. “He was more than our chairman. He was our teacher—always encouraging us, always believing that we could do great things, and that anything was possible.”

Dr. Bose is pictured with his mentors Dr. Y. W. Lee, far left, and Professor Norbert Wiener, right, at MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics in 1955. (Photo courtesy of Bose Corp.)

Dr. Bose is pictured with his mentors Dr. Y. W. Lee, far left, and Professor Norbert Wiener, right, at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics in 1955. (Photo courtesy of Bose Corp.)

Bose carried that mantra into his work as an MIT teacher, joining the faculty in 1956 and spending more than 45 years as an educator. He retired in 2001. According to MIT President L. Rafael Reif, “Amar Bose was an exceptional human being and an extraordinarily gifted leader. He made quality mentoring and a joyful pursuit of excellence, ideas, and possibilities the hallmark of his career in teaching, research, and business. I learned from him and was inspired by him, every single time I met with him.”

During his tenure at MIT, Bose started a research program in physical acoustics and psychoacoustics and received the Baker Teaching Award in 1963–1964, among other honors (see Photo 2). In 2011, Bose gave the school the majority of his company’s stock in the form of nonvoting shares, ensuring that all dividends would be used for the school’s education and research mission.

His son, Vanu Bose, is the founder and CEO of Vanu, a firm whose software-based radio technology provides a wireless infrastructure that enables individual base stations to simultaneously operate GSM, CDMA, and iDEN. Amar Bose’s daughter, Maiya, is a chiropractor.


 

Timothy Dorwart (1955–2013)

Timothy Dorwat, CEO of Community Professional Loudspeakers, passed away on July 15, 2013.

Timothy Dorwat, CEO of Community Professional Loudspeakers, passed away on July 15, 2013.

Timothy Dorwart, formerly of Whitehall, PA, passed away on July 15, 2013, after a valiant 10-year battle with cancer (see Photo 3). He was 58. An industry leader and a mentor to many, Dorwart was known as a warm and gentle man who loved his family and his friends. He had more than 30 years of sales, manufacturing, and management experience in the pro audio and music industries.

Dorwart had an impressive career. He spent 20 years as the Director of the Bose Professional Services Division, followed by four years as a Vice President for DMX Music. From 2007 to 2010, he led the Stanton Group through a successful turnaround as its CEO. He guided the acquisition of the Stanton Group to Gibson Guitar, forming its new Pro Audio Division. Dorwart served as the General Manager of the Gibson Guitar Pro Audio Division, until he accepted the position as CEO of Community Professional Loudspeakers in February 2013.


 

Pure Audio Ships New Jongo Products

Pure Audio, the Internet-radio and docking-speaker company, has shipped the first products in its Jongo wireless multi-room audio lineup. The Jongo series consists of two tabletop Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speakers, a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi adapter that connects to existing stereo systems, and a Pure Connect iOS and Android app.

The app uses Wi-Fi to act as a Jongo-system controller, simultaneously streams songs stored on a mobile device to multiple speakers, and concurrently streams Internet radio stations and music services to multiple speakers. The app accesses more than 20,000 radio stations, about 200,000 free on-demand programs and podcasts, and the Pure Music subscription-streaming service.

Two different songs can be simultaneously streamed to different speakers if two mobile devices are used at the same time. With Bluetooth, users can stream music stored on a mobile device and any app’s audio to one speaker at a time.

The Pure Connect app also enables users to direct PC-stored music to Jongo speakers. Only one song at a time can be streamed. The $199 Jongo S3 portable, rechargeable wireless speaker and the $129 A2 multiroom hi-fi adapter are available from several retailers, including Amazon, Target, OfficeMax, and Pure.

The Pure Connect app for iOS devices is available with an Android version to be released later this year. The company also plans availability of the 100-W AC-only tabletop T6 speaker. The A2, J3, and T6 incorporate built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g with WEP and WPA/WPA2 support; Ethernet port; and decoding of WMA, AAC, MP3, MP2, and FLAC audio files. The AC/DC J3 features a 3.5” neodymium upward-firing mid/bass driver and four 0.75” high-frequency drivers in 360° with a total 10-W RMS output. Its rechargeable battery pack delivers at least 10 h of listening per charge. The J3 and T6 come with color grille options. The A2 adapter incorporates 24-bit internal DAC and optical, coaxial, and dual (RCA) phono analog audio outputs.


 

Bowers & Wilkins Introduces the CM10

Bowers & Wilkins is replacing the flagship speaker in its CM series, bringing technologies used in its reference 800 series to the CM series for the first time. The CM10 replaces the CM9 and became available in August at a suggested price of $4,000 per pair.

The new CM10 is shown with a painted black-gloss finish. (Photo courtesy of Bowers & Wilkins)

The new CM10 is shown with a painted black-gloss finish. (Photo courtesy of Bowers & Wilkins)

The CM10 will be available in a painted black-gloss finish or in two real-wood veneers, rosewood or wenge. With the new technologies and other improvements, the CM10 plays louder than its predecessor, delivers more extended bass and delivers better imaging with lower distortion.

Technologies incorporated from the 800 series include a tweeter placed on the top of the speaker cabinet, which provides better imaging and dispersion and creates a more natural, spacious sound. The tweeter’s aluminum dome is strengthened using a second aluminum layer to stiffen the whole structure and prevent the voice coil from going “out of round” at higher frequencies. As a result, the double dome pushes the first break-up frequency up from the standard dome’s 30 to 38 kHz. This makes the tweeter “more piston-like” in the audible frequencies below 20 kHz and delivers greater clarity and control even at high volume levels. Putting the tweeter on top of the cabinet also helped open space for three bass drivers instead of two without increasing cabinet height. The result is increased sensitivity, deeper bass, lower distortion, and higher maximum output, the company said.

For the first time in a CM series speaker, the midrange driver, a Kevlar FST driver, is decoupled from the rest of the cabinet to reduce cabinet coloration. Moving the midrange closer to the top of the cabinet also improves dispersion and increases the sense of airiness.


 

Circuit City for Sale

Circuit City, the stores still empty with the Circuit City logo showing, is up for sale once again. Current owner Systemax has put the trademark and domain names of Circuit City and fellow former consumer electronics (CE) chain CompUSA up for sale after consolidating those businesses under its TigerDirect brand last year. The company acquired Circuit City’s intellectual property in a 2009 bankruptcy auction and purchased the CompUSA brand and 16 of its stores in 2008, as former Systemax retail executive Gilbert Fiorentino sought to fill a CE market vacuum.

Fiorentino later resigned and returned millions to Systemax amid charges of kickbacks and theft. He reached a separate settlement with the SEC last year. Last month, his brother, Carl Fiorentino, was indicted and now faces jail time for taking millions in bribes from Systemax suppliers. According to Hilco Streambank, which is handling the sale, the Circuit City and CompUSA websites drew “tens of millions” of annual visits under Systemax, while its co-branded chain of CompUSA and TigerDirect stores grew to 43 locations at its peak.


VOXX Sees Gain Despite Slower Sales

VOXX International turned a net profit and higher operating income, but sales were slightly off in its fiscal first quarter, which ended May 31. Its net income was $2.1 million in the quarter compared with a prior year’s net loss of $4.7 million. Operating income for the quarter was $3.4 million, an 11.6% gain over the year-ago period performance of $3.1 million. Net sales were $193 million, a decrease of $1 million, or 0.5%, compared with net sales of $194 million reported in the comparable year-ago period, VOXX reported.

Automotive sales for the quarter were $104.9 million, an increase of 4.5% over $100.4 million reported in the comparable period last year.

Premium audio sales for the fiscal 2014 first quarter were $40.2 million, an increase of approximately 1.7% as compared with $39.5 million reported in the comparable period last year. Voxx had growth in its domestic operations, primarily driven by higher sales of new soundbar products and premium wireless speakers. This growth was partially offset by lower international sales, predominantly in Europe.

Consumer accessories sales were $47.6 million for the quarter, a decrease of approximately 11.8% as compared with $54 million reported in last year’s comparable period. This decline was related to lower international sales, mostly in Europe. The declines were partially offset by increased sales in domestic operations, driven primarily by higher sales of wireless speakers and personal sound amplifier products, VOXX said. As a percentage of sales for the fiscal first quarter, automotive represented 54.3%, premium audio represented 20.8%, and consumer accessories had a 24.7% share.