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AV Research

Audioholics tech articles are well researched and chock full of great detail on how products and technologies operate. Our staff of electrical and acoustical engineers, combined with industry expert guest writers ensures you're getting a true AV education when researching all topics from HDTV, cables, room acoustics, loudspeakers, amplifiers and all things related to audio and video technologies.

Dirac’s New ‘Panorama Sound’ Technology Makes Mobile Audio More Immersive

Dirac’s New ‘Panorama Sound’ Technology Makes Mobile Audio More Immersive

Dirac Panorama Sound is a new mobile audio solution designed to improve the relatively unsatisfying experience of watching content and playing games on portable devices with small, closely-positioned speakers. Like the company’s state-of-the-art room correction software, Dirac’s mobile tech optimizes both impulse and frequency response to improve sound quality and create the impression of a wider soundstage. Does Dirac Panorama Sound have the edge over competing solutions from Dolby and DTS?

Dirac Panorama Sound is a new mobile audio solution designed to improve the unsatisfying audio experience of watching content and playing games on portable devices with small closely spaced speakers.

— July 09, 2018 00:00 in Audio Technologies

FAQ: Do Atmos Enabled Speakers Really Work?

FAQ: Do Atmos Enabled Speakers Really Work?

A frequent question we get asked is if Dolby Atmos add-on speaker modules work well enough to be a viable alternative to discrete ceiling mounted speakers. We discuss the trade-offs in using Atmos-enabled speakers to help you determine if they are right for you.

We frequently get asked if Dolby Atmos add-on speaker modules work well enough to be a viable alternative to discrete ceiling mounted speakers. We answer and discuss the trade-offs to let you decide.

— June 30, 2018 00:00 in Frequently Asked Questions

Dolby to Restrict Non-Native Upmixing on Atmos Based Products

Dolby to Restrict Non-Native Upmixing on Atmos Based Products

Variety is said to be the spice of life. Why only eat cherry Starbursts when you can sample orange, watermelon, lemon, etc? The same applies to multi-channel surround sound upmixers. But the folks at Dolby® apparently want you to eat ONLY one flavor. Their flavor. Dolby recently issued a mandate to ALL of their Atmos licensee partners to restrict usage of 3rd party upmixers with ANY Dolby signals including 5.1/7.1 DD, DD+, TrueHD and Atmos. What implications will this have in your system? Read on to find out and be sure to watch our related YouTube video discussion too.

Dolby recently issued a mandate to ALL of their Atmos licensee partners to restrict usage of 3rd party upmixers with ANY Dolby signals. What impacts will this have on your system? Read on to find out.

— May 30, 2018 17:00 in Audio Technologies

Is the THX Standard Website Comparing AV Electronics Fairly?

Is the THX Standard Website Comparing AV Electronics Fairly?

THX Standard Website was recently launched to "objectively" compare products for various categories, including HDTVs, Amplifiers, and Powered Speakers. On the surface, this seems like a great idea. But are their measurements accurate and is their scorecard truly objective? We take a closer look at their new website and procedure on evaluating amplifier products to get the answer. Is their new website the real deal or fake news? Read on to find out.

THX Standard Website was recently launched to "objectively" compare products for various categories, including HDTVs, Amplifiers, and Powered Speakers. Is this the real deal or fake news? Read on.

— May 07, 2018 07:00 in Audio Amplifiers

Epique CBT24 Loudspeaker Designer Note by Don Keele

Epique CBT24 Loudspeaker Designer Note by Don Keele

As an addendum to our review of the Dayton Audio CBT24 "Epique" loudspeakers, we have invited the CBT24 designer Don Keele to explain some of the unique aspects of the CBT design in more depth and the CBT24 in particular. Don Keele's accomplishments in loudspeaker design is a long list, as is the list of awards he has received in this endeavor which includes a Scientific and Technical Acadamy Award from the Acadamy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for work he did on constant-directivity horns. In this short piece, Don explains some of the features and science behind the CBT24 and what performance characteristics separates it from conventional loudspeaker design.

As an addendum to our review of the Dayton Audio CBT24 "Epique" loudspeakers, we have invited the CBT24 designer Don Keele to explain some of the unique aspects of the CBT design in more depth.

D. B. (Don) Keele, Jr. — April 27, 2018 00:00 in Loudspeaker Design

My Favorite Home Theater Receivers of ALL Time

My Favorite Home Theater Receivers of ALL Time

Lately I've been reminiscing about my favorite AV receivers I've either owned, reviewed or had personal experiences with throughout the years. This includes some of the super receivers back in the golden age long gone never to be seen again. From a technology standpoint, these products are now obsolete, but the fidelity they offered is still notable, and in some models, absolutely legendary. Warning, reading this article may create a sudden urge for you to pick up one of these models second hand and bypass the video section to enjoy a modern home theater with old school quality audio. Check out our recently added YouTube discussion.

Lately I've been reminiscing about my favorite AV receivers reviewed throughout the years including the super receivers from the golden age long gone. See which models left an everlasting impression.

— April 25, 2018 00:00 in Audio Amplifiers

Has the FTC Failed Consumer Audio Regarding Amplifier Power Claims?

Has the FTC Failed Consumer Audio Regarding Amplifier Power Claims?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) purpose is to investigate and prevent deceptive trade practices. In 1974, the FTC instituted its Amplifier Rule to combat the unrealistic power claims made by many hi-fi amplifier manufacturers. However, we've noticed a trend of grossly inflated power ratings lately with many Atmos AV receivers and Class D amplifiers. Has the FTC become too complacent with validating and enforcing amplifier power claims since their efforts to rule on multi-channel power amplifiers ceased over a decade ago? And, are manufacturers taking advantage of this? Read on to find out.

With the latest trend of inflated power ratings in many Atmos AV receivers and Class D amplifiers, has the FTC become too complacent to validate and enforce their ruling on power claims?

— April 02, 2018 00:00 in Audio Amplifiers

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

Dirac Live Room Correction Offers Sophisticated Calibration and Set Up

Dirac Live Room Correction Offers Sophisticated Calibration and Set Up

Among room correction EQ programs, Dirac Live has garnered a reputation for being one of the most effective solutions for removing the room from interfering with the sound. It accomplishes this by correcting problems with the time-arrival in sound as well as the frequency response. Other room correction equalizers ignore the time domain, but a complete solution isn't possible without addressing the time domain since latent arrivals from acoustic reflections are apart of what colors the frequency response in the first place. Let's take a brief look at how it accomplishes this, and some of the other neat features that comprise the Dirac Live package.

The Dirac Live package comes in 2CH ($450) & 8CH ($750) versions and is considered by many to be one of the most cutting edge room correction systems. The latest version promises a simplier interface.

— February 13, 2018 00:00 in Room Acoustics

Sound Reproduction: Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms

Sound Reproduction: Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms

What are the characteristics that determine the sound quality of an audio system? This is a question that for too long has been shrouded in mysticism as if there were some ephemeral magic that touched some systems and not others. But, the truth is this question can be approached objectively, and indeed that is what Dr. Floyd Toole has been doing with over a lifetime of scientific research. The results of his research is presented in a clear, concise third edition of his book 'Sound Reproduction,' which makes for an enlightening read for neophyte audio enthusiasts and long-time audiophiles alike.

What are the characteristics that determine the sound quality of an audio system? Dr. Floyd Tool reveals the answers in: Sound Reproduction The Acoustic and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and rooms.

— December 11, 2017 13:00 in Room Acoustics

A Historical Perspective of the Loudspeaker Impedance Specification

A Historical Perspective of the Loudspeaker Impedance Specification

Audio specifications run the gamut from merely “nice to know” to “genuinely useful.” A speaker’s impedance rating should be one of those genuinely useful specs, but you can’t always trust them. What does it really mean when a company rates their speaker as 8 ohms, or 4 ohms? Read on to get an "insider's look" at loudspeaker impedance spec rating and the marketing behind it that you won't read anywhere else.

Audio specifications run the gamut from merely “nice to know” to “genuinely useful.” A speaker’s impedance rating should be one of those genuinely useful specs, but you can’t always trust them.

— December 07, 2017 00:00 in Loudspeaker Design

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

Study Shows No Correlation Between Price and Sound Quality in Headphones

Study Shows No Correlation Between Price and Sound Quality in Headphones

In a recent study of the frequency responses of over 280 headphones, it was found that price had no correlation to frequency response. Why is this a big deal? Earlier research found that frequency response was by far the greatest factor in headphone sound quality. So if price does not correspond to sound quality in headphones, what is really gained by spending hundreds or sometimes even thousands of dollars one a set, beyond build quality, comfort and features? Read on to find out more about the research that prompts these questions.

In a recent study of the frequency responses of over 280 headphones, it was found that price had no correlation to frequency response (a primary indicator of sound quality). So why spend more money?

— July 05, 2017 00:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Home Theater Tips: When to Upgrade?

Home Theater Tips: When to Upgrade?

We are constantly getting bombarded with emails from our readers asking about what and when to upgrade components of their home theater systems. This is especially true when one of their favorite manufacturers comes out with a replacement model to a component they own claiming to be "new" and "improved". But do these new models really offer better performance, or would you be better served tweaking your speaker placement, room acoustics and set up before plunging more money into the next "miraculous" generation product? Read on and be sure to watch our related Youtube Video on this topic BEFORE upgrading your home theater components.

We are constantly getting bombarded with emails from our readers regarding upgrading components of their home theater systems. But is upgrading equipment the best route or should focus be elsewhere?

— June 12, 2017 16:00 in Frequently Asked Questions