Automotive Audio and Cutting-Edge Audio Technologies in audioXpress June 2020

May 8 2020, 05:10

audioXpress June 2020 is now available and explores the fascinating world of automotive audio technology. In our very first Market Update on Automotive Audio Solutions, we discuss the automotive OEM landscape and relevant audio-related trends and opportunities. The feature article discusses the evolution of auto sound and OEM system design, exploring the latest speakers and solutions for car audio and infotainment dashboards, automotive connectivity options for in-vehicle systems, support for voice assistants, acoustic correction, and signal processing. And specifically for signal processing, the article dives deeper with solutions for noise-cancellation, loudness management, and the creation of focus zones inside the car. We also share technologies and solutions announced recently and radical audio innovations reaching the 2021 car models.

This edition also features two important contributed articles from two experts from companies leading in technologies for automotive sound. Elia Shenberger (CEVA) writes about Our Future Car and how to push the boundaries of the audio experience with less noise, personalized sound zones, and control.

In "Redefining Surround Sound in Cars," Birgit Bartel-Kurz (Senior Engineer at Fraunhofer IIS, Audio and Media Technologies Division) discusses how to offer very special experiences inside the car with enhanced sound systems that are now able to reproduce sound in a more immersive way than ever. The article details the algorithms that make it possible and how to overcome the challenges of audio playback for all the passengers.

Next up, this edition features a very exciting review of the Sennheiser AMBEO Immersive Soundbar by Oliver A. Masciarotte. The Sennheiser AMBEO soundbar is a sophisticated multi-speaker integrated home cinema sound system, created in collaboration with Fraunhofer IIS to be one of the world’s best soundbars. It is a single all-in-one device that is able to generate a convincing immersive soundfield from home entertainment sources that are able to render object-based audio formats such as Dolby Atmos or MPEG-H, from movies, games, music, or TV content. And this is because the large size soundbar offers 13 high-end drivers, a frequency response down to 30 Hz, and even ships with a measurement microphone for room calibration. Masciarotte was lucky enough to have it in his living room and feel its power.

Another fascinating read comes from Erica Yorga (Nureva) in another technology story detailing a Real-Time Calibration Method for Acoustic Echo Cancellation. Nureva is a Canadian company with a number of important patents in microphone and signal processing applied for conference calls—and which most probably will also be of great value in other audio applications. As another valuable tool within Nureva's patented Microphone Mist technology framework, the company developed a unique and innovative approach to calibrate the acoustic echo canceller in a manner that other systems are unable to achieve.

And from cutting-edge signal processing to the latest in audio electronics, Michael Steffes explains how, along with the considerable convenience and performance advantages of using the newer Fully Differential Amplifiers (FDAs) to interface measurement microphones to 24-bit audio ADCs comes some added risk of impaired low-frequency spot noise with those solutions. The article explores where that comes from, and paths to mitigation.

In Hollow-State Electronics, Richard Honeycutt provides fascinating insight into the history and origins of Compactrons, paving the way to some "off-label" applications with this unique group of tubes, which he hopes will provide new options for experimentation in hollow-state audio.

And continuing the "Powering Your Circuits" article series, Ed Simon addresses mains noise filtering. After discussing battery power, transitioning to AC power supplies, and some forms of DC power regulation, this article dives further into diodes, which is a viable method for power supplies.

And there's so much more in this edition. For those audio enthusiasts looking for a good read showcasing some wonderful examples of design and craftsmanship, Mark Driedger suggests taking a look at Gideon Schwartz’s new large-format book: Hi-Fi: The History of High-End Audio Design.

In his Sound Control column, Richard Honeycutt continues to share valuable knowledge about Restaurant Noise. Following his July 2017 Sound Control article, which concentrated on loud "background" music and speech, he now details how the noise from a restaurant's HVAC system made conversation all but impossible, and what can be done to solve the problem.

The June 2020 edition of audioXpress is now available online, and on its way to those who subscribe to the print edition. To read it now, you will need to subscribe to audioXpress.

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