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Recent Audio Technology Articles

2018 Bluetooth Audio Codec Comparison Guide Part1: SBC & aptX

2018 Bluetooth Audio Codec Comparison Guide Part1: SBC & aptX

One of the most important conclusions we took away from CES 2018, is that true wireless hi-fi has finally coming of age. Vendors have demonstrated new audio products using aptX HD and LDAC codecs, these are the high-resolution options we’ve been waiting for. Wireless audio over Bluetooth can be confusing, but it’s never sounded better than ever before. This article breaks down the different flavors of codecs and discusses how near CD quality audio is now possible over Bluetooth.

New Bluetooth audio products with aptX HD and LDAC codecs are the high-resolution options we’ve been waiting for. Wireless audio over Bluetooth has never sounded better.

— March 26, 2018 00:00 in Audio Technologies

Three Methods for Immersive 3D Audio

Three Methods for Immersive 3D Audio

Surround sound, immersive audio, and 3D sound are growing in popularity and importance as gaming, VR, movies, and music embrace multi-channel audio. With multiple strategically-placed amplified speakers, headphones with motion tracking and binaural content, and beamforming sound bars all at your disposal, all three can deliver enhanced listening, but vary tremendously in cost and convenience. We take a look at these three methods to help you decide which one is right for you.

Surround sound, immersive audio, and 3D sound are growing in popularity and importance as gaming, VR, movies, and music embrace multi-channel audio. We looked at 3 options. Which one is right for you?

Mark Waldrep — July 07, 2017 08:00 in Audio Technologies

AV Receiver Surround Sound Formats Comparison

AV Receiver Surround Sound Formats Comparison

Surround formats have evolved over the years and with all of the different ones available, it's often confusing to the neophytes on what the differences are. Ever look at a new AV receiver and notice the plethora of logos on the front panel? This YouTube video and supplementary editorial discusses those logos and provides a brief comparison of the major consumer surround formats and how they've changed over the years. If you're still rocking an 80's Prologic receiver, it may be time for an upgrade. We've come a long way baby.

This article and related YouTube video discusses all of the major surround formats for home theater throughout the years and what all of those logos mean on your new AV receivers.

— September 07, 2016 17:00 in Audio Technologies

Surround Sound for Stereo Music…Sacrilege??

Surround Sound for Stereo Music…Sacrilege??

Is it worth revisiting some of your favorite stereo recordings in surround sound? Purists would disagree and would never listen to stereo music in surround, we get that. But true surround sound processed from a stereo source can be quite nice. This article introduces you to the ins and outs of stereo music and how it progressed into the surround we have today. I don’t listen in surround the majority of the time, but there are times when it really works well. Tell us your preference in the related forum thread.

Is it worth revisiting some of your favorite stereo recordings in surround sound? This article introduces you to the ins and outs of stereo music and how it progressed into the surround we have today.

— August 19, 2016 00:00 in Audio Technologies

PRO Audio Technology / Trinnov 23-Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Demo Experience

PRO Audio Technology / Trinnov  23-Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Demo Experience

We were fortunate to be invited out to PRO Audio's headquarters in southern California for a 23-channel Atmos demo featuring Trinnov processing and 14,800 watts of power. What we saw and heard here was an immersive surround sound Atmos/DTS:X spectacle based on science; no gimmicky bouncy house speakers were used. Instead, PRO Audio employed ALL high efficient, discretely placed speakers that sounded superb for two-channel and full on multi-channel surround sound. If you have the funds for a high-quality sound system and you do not want to ask “What if?,” then look no further than PRO Audio Technology.

Whether it be a two-channel system or a full 23-CH Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Home Theater, the demo we heard hosted by PRO Audio with Trinnov processing proved you could have both with equal measure.

— May 30, 2016 11:00 in Audio Technologies

MP3 vs CD vs 24 bit High Resolution Audio Demo Results

MP3 vs CD vs 24 bit High Resolution Audio Demo Results

At AXPONA 2015 Legacy Audio provided an excellent opportunity for audiophiles to carefully compare several common playback resolution levels on a high quality system. The session was without agenda and provided a reality check for listeners. Music was provided by Sonos Luminus imported into JRiver and handled in PCM format for continuous playback. Did the participants hear a difference between MP3 and high resolution audio? Can you hear a difference? Read on to find out.

AXPONA 2015: Legacy Audio demoed various playback resolution levels from MP3 to 192kHz/24Bit of source material provided by Sonos Luminous on a high quality system. The results may surprise you.

— May 01, 2015 07:15 in Audio Technologies

DTS:X Surround Format Overview and First Listen

DTS:X Surround Format Overview and First Listen

DTS:X is a new object-based 3D audio format that claims to work with almost any speaker setup and configuration. We were on-site at the unveiling at DTS headquarters, and are here to share what we know. We discuss how DTS:X will work in the cinema, home theater and headphones. Is this the immersive, object-based audio format we've been waiting for? Will DTS:X revolutionize how we listen to headphones? Only time will tell.

DTS:X is a new object based audio format that claims to work with almost any speaker setup. We were at DTS for the unveiling to learn how it will work for cinema, home theater, and headphones.

— April 20, 2015 08:00 in Audio Technologies

DTS:X Promises Features Not Offered By Dolby Atmos

DTS:X Promises Features Not Offered By Dolby Atmos

Our very own Marshall Guthrie was invited out to the DTS press event to witness, firsthand, their new object-based audio system, DTS:X. Marshall’s initial impressions: there is real game-changing potential in DTS:X that includes the ability to put your speakers where you want them and still get good sound, open format tools for movie mixing professionals, and really amazing sound for headphone users too. Unlike Dolby Atmos, DTS:X is not tied to a prescribed speaker configuration or a specified number of channels. This opens a lot of flexibility and acceptance for our proposed Universal Speaker Layout for 3D Immersive Surround Formats.

DTS:X Immersive Surround Format offers a real game-changing potential for flexible speaker placement, open format tools for movie mixing professionals, and really amazing headphone processing.

— April 10, 2015 16:05 in Audio Technologies

History of Surround Sound Processing: The Battle for Dolby Pro Logic II

History of Surround Sound Processing: The Battle for Dolby Pro Logic II

Before there was Dolby Atmos, or even discrete 5.1 surround sound, there was matrixed surround processing based off a discrete two-channel feed. Ever wonder how Dolby Pro Logic II came about and how it leapfrogged the original Pro Logic decoding? Industry vet Paul Scarpelli recounts a historical perspective on 6-Axis surround originally developed by Jim Fosgate and how it battled Harman's very own Logic 7 format to be the next generation defacto surround decoder. Read about the silent format war and the battle to win Dolby over for Pro Logic II.

This is a historical perspective on 6-Axis surround originally developed by Jim Fosgate and how it battled Harman's very own Logic 7 format to become Dolby Pro Logic II. The Silent format war.

— March 03, 2015 07:00 in Audio Technologies

3D Immersive Surround Formats and Loudspeaker Layouts

3D Immersive Surround Formats and Loudspeaker Layouts

With Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D and DTS:X upon us, why has there been no universally accepted speaker layout proposed to accommodate all three competing Immersive Surround formats? The “classic 11.2” configuration originally introduced by Yamaha's flagship RX-Z11 AV Receiver back in 2007 mentioned in the article was NOT proposed, which surprises, because one can imagine this configuration to get closer to the “ideal” configuration for all three formats and certainly with MUCH better results than bouncing sound off the ceiling via Dolby-Enabled speakers. For those willing and able to go beyond 7.1. we propose a universal 11.2 speaker layout to ease compatibility and ensure constantly good performance for ALL formats and all seated locations in your home theater.

With Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D and DTS:X upon us, why has there been no universally accepted speaker layout proposed to accommodate all three competing Immersive Surround formats? We have the solution!

Tony Verkuijl — January 28, 2015 07:00 in Audio Technologies

HD Tracks & Hi-Resolution Audio: Why We Support it — and So Should You!

HD Tracks & Hi-Resolution Audio: Why We Support it — and So Should You!

You could be forgiven for believing we’re entering an age where streaming music services are taking over. Today, hyper-compressed online music distribution services like Spotify, Pandora and Rdio are being rewarded by ever-increasing listenerships and are fast becoming the norm. It’s just as David Bowie famously predicted back in 2002: “Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity...” For a dedicated few there’s an opposing trend that includes building your own library of high resolution digital audio from sources like HD Tracks.

There's an audiophile trend toward good sound building your own library of high resolution digital audio from sources like HD Tracks. SACD, hi-res audio, binaural+ hifi fidelity; the sky is the limit.

— January 25, 2015 07:30 in Audio Technologies

DTS Announces DTS:X Immersive Surround Sound Format

DTS Announces DTS:X Immersive Surround Sound Format

DTS has announced its next-generation, object-based codec technology called DTS:X. DTS:X, which will be launched in March 2015, is the successor to the company's DTS-HD Master Audio, which is found in an overwhelming number of Blu-ray discs. DTS:X will be supported by nearly 90% of home AV receivers. Will this new immersive surround technology be a game changer for home theater or just a copy of the competition which has suffered a rough start so far due to lack of software and gimmicky upfiring speakers? Read on to find out as we dig in deeper than the typical press releases being published at CES right now. Check out our recently added Youtube Video discussion.

DTS has announced its next-generation, object-based codec technology called DTS:X. 90% of AV manufacturers are already on board to support DTS' new immersive surround codec technology.

— January 07, 2015 08:00 in Audio Technologies

Meridian Audio MQA: High Resolution Streaming Of the Future?

Meridian Audio MQA: High Resolution Streaming Of the Future?

What if you could get high-bitrate, better than CD quality, HD Audio in a digital file size barely larger than a standard 16bit/44.1KHz FLAC, even when streaming or downloading? Meridian Audio, Ltd., the folks that brought us Meridian Lossless Packing, aka Packed PCM, are back with their new Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) that promises smaller HD audio files with playback as close to studio-quality as possible.

Meridian Quality Authenticated promises HD Audio in a file size no larger than CD-quality. MQA plays just like a standard lossless file, with HD quality on MQA enabled software and hardware.

— December 19, 2014 06:00 in Audio Technologies

Auro-3D® Immersive Sound Interview with Wilfried Van Baelen

Auro-3D® Immersive Sound Interview with Wilfried Van Baelen

While the release of Dolby Atmos has dominated the headlines as of late, we thought it would be a good idea to learn more about some of the competing next generation audio surround formats, namely Auro-3D. The folks at Auro Technologies have developed a channel oriented solution to 3D surround sound which represents a substantial leap over 2-dimensional 5.1 / 7.1 systems. We were able to score an interview with Auro's founder, Wilfried Van Baelen, and dig into the details of how Auro-3D works. Learn all about this exciting new three dimensional surround sound audio format.

Auro-3D Surround Sound: We talk with Auro Technology's founder Wilfried Van Baelen to go over the details of his groundbreaking Auro-3D "immersive sound" format and how it differs from Dolby Atmos.

— September 16, 2014 09:00 in Audio Technologies