The start of holiday prep is a special time for the audio media. The inboxes the world over fill with press releases, much travel takes place and products start shooting out into the market faster than consumers can yell “Take My Money!” By the time this post hits the airwaves IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited in Berlin will just have wrapped and CEDIA (Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association) in San Diego will be well underway.
Local resident John Darko has some beeps and boops up on his site from IFA, and our sister-site PartTimeAudiophile will have at least one man in the field at CEDIA. With Rocky Mountain Audiofest so close on the horizon, IFA wasn’t really in the cards for Audio-Head this year. Requests for attendance to CEDIA was high, but actual press-worthy releases were a little light on the audiophile side. One notable release on its way just in time for the expo is a new line of custom install products from McIntosh, although pricing was unusually TBD for the project. The lineup consists of two distribution amplifiers, the 4-channel/250 watt MI254 and the 8-channel/120 watt MI128 as well as In-Wall/In Ceiling speakers. More details available in the press release below, release timing is set for Fall of 2018.
Much of the pre holiday product coverage will take place at the Denver-based Rocky Mountain Audiofest in the US. Audio-Head will be in attendance and providing full coverage of all the highlights, so stay tuned for more info on that front. While the vibe is still a little hectic with all the other shows in play, high resolution streaming company Qobuz is stepping to the forefront as the official streaming partner of RMAF and will time the US launch of their service with the show in the first week of October. Qobuz has been around internationally for some time, but finally joins the high-res game along with Tidal stateside next month. Choice is good, especially when it comes to new digital tech.
Qobuz will also be partnering with Paradigm/Anthem at CEDIA with a both a surround system and a 2 channel setup featuring the Paradigm Premier 800F loudspeakers, Anthem STR Pre/Power and brand new Defiance subs $400-$1500 (6 models, X10/12/15 & V8/10/12). MartinLogan will also have a new Dynamo 800X sub, all three series feature wireless controls, room correction and signal connection tech – PR release after the jump.
For those who want an ever deeper dive into surround options, the usually budget-sensitive Emotiva will start to ship a new flagship AV processor called the RMC-1 for a very interesting $5k price tag. Packed full with all the latest surround audio codex, 4k hoopla and 16 fully balanced channels (9.1.6). Expect the street date to hit on November 15th of this year.
Last but not least we have Sennheiser at IFA debuting a new AMBEO sound bar and some apple AirPod competition. The upcoming Momentum True Wireless will cost $299.95 and finally shed the dongle, stringy antenna and/or battery sleeve that so many wireless buds currently shackle themselves too. Granted, those neck supports can do some pretty nifty stuff, but if we ever want to get ourselves up to date with the tech featured in the movie Her, then we better get a move on. A 7mm dynamic driver is powered by an aptX-capable front end with battery time rated for 4 hours. As an added bonus the True Wireless also includes a “Transparent Hearing” feature which allows for ambient noise passthrough so users don’t have to remove the earpiece to hear conversation or situational audio.
That is about it for the old mailbox this month. Plenty more where that came from and plenty more to hear and see in the coming months… its almost showtime.
“SENNHEISER AT IFA 2018
MOMENTUM True Wireless and forthcoming AMBEO Soundbar set benchmarks in audio
Amstelveen/Berlin, August 30, 2018 – At IFA 2018, held in Berlin from August 31 to September 5, Sennheiser introduces the MOMENTUM True Wireless. These exquisitely crafted Bluetooth earphones bring the uncompromised audio performance and iconic style of the audio specialist’s MOMENTUM headphone range to a truly wireless form for the first time. The trade show also presents an opportunity to experience the forthcoming AMBEO Soundbar which is showcased in Europe for the first time. With the soundbar, Sennheiser has brought a 5.1.4 home entertainment experience into one single device, with sound performance that has to be heard to be believed.
“As an exceptional showcase for the very best in technology, IFA is the ideal place and time to share our most exciting innovations,” said Stephane Hareau, Global Head of Products – Consumer at Sennheiser. “Whether it is raising the bar for True Wireless headphones with the uncompromised audio quality of MOMENTUM, or discovering incredibly immersive AMBEO 3D sound, we invite visitors to IFA to hear the extraordinary.”
Introducing MOMENTUM True Wireless
At IFA, Sennheiser introduces the first model in a new generation of its iconic MOMENTUM headphone family – the MOMENTUM True Wireless. These exquisitely crafted Bluetooth earphones offer characteristic MOMENTUM style and comfort, while redefining the audio benchmark for true wireless ear buds with superior stereo sound performance ensured by Sennheiser’s audiophile 7mm dynamic drivers.
Alongside the latest Bluetooth technology, AAC codec support as well as Qualcomm® aptXTM and aptXTM Low Latency compatibility, MOMENTUM True Wireless provides a more intelligent, personalized experience. On the move, the Transparent Hearing feature lets listeners hear ambient sounds for improved situational awareness, or for participating in conversations without removing the ear buds. Meanwhile, MOMENTUM True Wireless offers effortless interaction with the user’s digital eco system by enabling direct voice access to smart assistants such as Apple Siri or Google Assistant. Be entertained, communicate, and stay informed – all via a simple tap of the intuitive touch interface and natural voice commands.
The Bluetooth earphones have a 4-hour battery life that can be recharged via their compact case with integrated power bank for more than 12 hours of all-day enjoyment. Sennheiser’s MOMENTUM True Wireless will be available from mid-November at a price of $299.95 USD.
Experience the AMBEO Soundbar
IFA presents one of the very first opportunities for the public to listen to Sennheiser’s forthcoming AMBEO Soundbar. The latest product developed under Sennheiser’s AMBEO trademark for 3D immersive audio, the soundbar offers a remarkably spatial sonic experience with immersive 5.1.4 sound and deep bass that has to be heard to be believed. All this is delivered by a single all-in-one device and without the need for an additional subwoofer. The AMBEO Soundbar delivers an incredibly immersive home entertainment experience optimized for each individual room thanks to its room calibration feature.
Powered by 13 drivers and the latest virtualization technology which was jointly developed with Fraunhofer, the forthcoming AMBEO Soundbar will offer a new reference in HiFi sound quality. It will be compatible with 3D audio formats Dolby Atmos, MPEG-H and DTS:X while the soundbar’s Upmix Technology recreates stereo and 5.1 content as a thrillingly immersive 3D sound experience.”
“McIntosh To Debut New Line of Custom Install Products at 2018 CEDIA EXPO
Multi-Channel Distribution Amplifiers and Series of In-Wall & In-Ceiling Speakers
will be demonstrated in the McIntosh sound room #SR-13
Binghamton, NY – September 6, 2018–McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for over 65 years, will debut a new line of Custom Install products at the 2018 CEDIA EXPO. The new line of Distribution Amplifiers and In-Wall & In-Ceiling Speakers will be demonstrated throughout the show in the McIntosh sound room #SR-13.
“We are excited to return to the custom install category with these new amplifiers and speakers,” says Charlie Randall, McIntosh President and CEO, referencing the company’s previous multi-room offerings. “Many of our traditional home audio products have been used for distributed audio applications by talented CI installers. We are happy to once again offer products specifically designed for custom installation.” Dan Wakefield, McIntosh Vice-President of North American Sales, adds “The performance of McIntosh home audio products is legendary and goes back nearly 70 years. We’re thrilled to bring that level of performance back to the CI channel.”
The new distribution amplifiers consist of the MI254 and MI128 Power Amplifiers. The MI254 is a 4-channel amplifier outputting 250 Watts per channel, while the 8-channel MI128 outputs 120 Watts per channel. Each employ highly sophisticated closed loop digital switching amplifiers that are paired with extremely robust power supplies to produce performance levels that are rarely achieved in distributed audio. Both have the same installer-friendly physical dimensions and are 2U rack mountable (mounting ears are removable for non-rack installations). As highly efficient Class D amplifiers, they do not require noisy cooling fans to maintain nominal operating temperature. In addition to distributed audio use, the MI254 is well suited for home theaters to drive surround sound speakers and could be integrated into virtually any existing home theater system.
On the front panel, both feature multi-color LED indicators to display the status of each channel. The MI254 also includes two blue McIntosh Watt Meters that display the summed power output of channels 1 + 2 and channels 3 + 4. On the back, the MI254 uses our standard 5-way speaker binding posts while the MI128 uses 2-pole Phoenix style push-in speaker terminals. The MI128 also includes back panel volume controls for volume balancing, along with 2 digital audio inputs (either coax or optical), and channel summing circuits for easy mono signal distribution.
The MI254 and MI128 share many common features, including: elements of classic McIntosh industrial design and engineering principles as evidenced by the inclusion of signal overload technology that prevents overdriving the speakers; BUS input & outputs to easily distribute a stereo signal to multiple outputs and/or multiple amplifiers; individual channel inputs; 12 Volt triggering capabilities; and eco-friendly on/off signal sensing that automatically turns the unit off if no input signal has been detected for a set amount of time.
In-Wall & In-Ceiling Speakers
In addition to the amplifiers, a new line of In-Wall & In-Ceiling Speakers will be debuted at CEDIA. The in-wall speakers are fully enclosed to provide air sealing plus a controlled air chamber to minimize distortion and response irregularities. They all feature newly designed shallow woofers that fit in standard 2×4 wall construction. The woofers utilize a long throw, high power design with molded carbon reinforced cones with molded elastomeric surrounds for high linearity. The 2” midranges and ¾” tweeters are the same drivers used in our highly regarded XR50 and XR100 home audio speakers.
Each in-wall speaker will come with all required hardware and mounting mechanisms for post construction installations; new construction brackets will be available. A rough in kit will also be offered for the in-ceiling model. All grilles magnetically attach, are paintable and will leave little to no visible edge of the mounting flange so the speakers can virtually disappear into their surroundings. Each speaker is designed to handle up to 250 Watts of power.
Pricing and Availability
Each of our newly announced Custom Install products will be available beginning Fall 2018 with pricing and exact ship dates forthcoming.
Founded in 1949, McIntosh Laboratory is known for offering distinguished quality audio products, superior customer service and the ultimate experience in music and film. All McIntosh products are handcrafted at the Binghamton, NY factory by over 150 employees with a passion for music and the McIntosh heritage. McIntosh continues to define the ultimate home entertainment experience for discriminating consumers around the world, with the iconic “McIntosh Blue” Watt Meters globally recognized as a symbol of quality audio. Since its inception, McIntosh has been powering some of the most important moments in music history and pop culture. From President Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration speech to Woodstock to the famous Grateful Dead “Wall of Sound,” McIntosh has not only witnessed history, it has shaped it. With McIntosh, customers have the ability to create their own premium audio experience – and truly live their music. Visit www.mcintoshlabs.comto learn more.”
“Paradigm’s New Defiance™ Subwoofers Offer Powerful Bass, App Control, Anthem Room Correction, and Much More
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada – August 20, 2018 – Paradigm Electronics Inc., global leader in speaker design and manufacturing, is proud to announce their new Defiance subwoofers. Featuring six subwoofers in two series (X Series and V Series), Defiance subwoofers deliver pure power, unleashed by clean, efficient amplification.
Defiance X Series
Everything is maximized with the new Defiance X10 / X12 / X15 subwoofers. Output is massive, thanks to heavy-duty, internally-braced cabinets, and Active Ridge Technology®woofer surrounds for maximum driver-excursion. Massive SPL levels are achieved with precision control, intense detail, and vanishingly low distortion, for cinema-quality bass. Crafted in Canada, Defiance X is the biggest subwoofer made on this continent.
Defiance V Series
For intense bass performance with no gimmicks, Defiance V8 / V10 / V12 subwoofers are an amazing value. Smaller footprints pack tons of technology into a compact powerhouse of low frequency impact. Pound for ground-shaking pound, Defiance V delivers the best bass at an unbeatable value.
“When bass is properly reproduced, it is the foundation in music and movie soundtracks,” said Keith Dowd, Director of US Sales, Paradigm. “It’s easy to design a subwoofer that makes a lot of noise, but a subwoofer with vanishingly low distortion that sounds as good as a high performance speaker can only come from a company that knows how to design and build high performance speakers.”
All Defiance subwoofers (except the V8) feature app control, Anthem Room Correction (ARC®), and optional wireless connectivity.
Subwoofer App Control: Simplify setup & tuning with the free Paradigm Subwoofer Control App. The iOS and Android app controls volume, low-pass filter, phase, room gain, and much more from the comfort of your listening chair. It features three preset listening modes, and lets you remotely turn Anthem Room Correction on and off.
Anthem Room Correction (ARC): Shape the bass to fit your listening space! ARC Technology is controlled via the free Paradigm iOs and Android smartphone app. ARC measures your space, compares it to lab standard responses, and instantly removes performance-robbing anomalies. The result is easy to hear: realistically blended, accurately rendered deep bass. ARC gets great customer reviews because it delivers professional results at the touch of a button. To provide even more accurate measurements, Defiance X subwoofers include an external ARC microphone compatible with ARC Mobile (for iOS and Android) and ARC-2 for PC.
Wireless Module (Optional): All Defiance subwoofers (except the V8) can benefit from the Defiance Wireless Transmitter System. The transmitter and receiver modules connect easily and allow users greater placement options for the subwoofer.
Defiance X subwoofers elevate woofer engineering via proprietary Active Ridge Technology (ART) Surrounds. The farther the driver can freely move, the deeper the bass it can generate. Patented ART driver design “overmolds” durable driver surrounds to allow the farthest possible throw without distortion or destruction. Greater excursion results in a measured 3dB gain in output, with a 50% reduction in audible distortion compared to drivers held back by standard surrounds.
Defiance is comprised of 6 subwoofer models:
Defiance X15– $1499/each (US retail)
Crafted in Canada, X15 features a 15-inch flush-mounted driver with patented ART™ Surround and 900W (1800W dynamic peak) class-D amplifier in a down-firing ported enclosure. App control and Anthem Room Correction built-in. Inputs include RCA (Left, Right, and LFE), XLR (LFE), Speaker Level (Left and Right), and optional wireless (Left and Right/LFE). ARC microphone included.
Defiance X12– $1299/each (US retail)$
Crafted in Canada, X12 features a 12-inch flush-mounted driver with patented ART™ Surround and 650W (1300W dynamic peak) class-D amplifier in a down-firing ported enclosure. App control and Anthem Room Correction built-in. Inputs include RCA (Left, Right, and LFE), Speaker Level (Left and Right), and optional wireless (Left and Right/LFE). ARC microphone included.
Defiance X10– $999/each (US retail)
Crafted in Canada, X10 features a 10-inch flush-mounted driver with patented ART™ Surround and 300W (600W dynamic peak) class-D amplifier in a down-firing ported enclosure. App control and Anthem Room Correction built-in. Inputs include RCA (Left, Right, and LFE), Speaker Level (Left and Right), and optional wireless (Left and Right/LFE). ARC microphone included.
Defiance V12– $649/each (US retail)
V12 features a 12-inch flush-mounted driver and 120W (250W dynamic peak) class-D amplifier in a down-firing ported enclosure. App control and Anthem Room Correction built-in. Inputs include RCA (Left and Right/LFE), Speaker Level (Left and Right), and optional wireless (Left and Right/LFE).
Defiance V10– $549/each (US retail)
V10 features a 10-inch flush-mounted driver and 120W (250W dynamic peak) class-D amplifier in a down-firing ported enclosure. App control and Anthem Room Correction built-in. Inputs include RCA (Left and Right/LFE), Speaker Level (Left and Right), and optional wireless (Left and Right/LFE).
Defiance V8– $399/each (US retail)
V8 features an 8-inch flush-mounted driver and 75W (150W dynamic peak) class-D amplifier in a down-firing ported enclosure. Inputs include RCA (Left and Right/LFE) and Speaker Level (Left and Right).
All Defiance subwoofers are available in a Satin Black finish.
Defiance subwoofers are now shipping.
For further information about Defiance subwoofers, visit:
Since 1982, innovative design, advanced materials, in-house manufacturing and state-of-the-art engineering have made Paradigm an international leader in speaker design. With more than 400 industry awards for audio excellence and numerous rave reviews from around the world, Paradigm is committed to staying at the leading edge of speaker technology, consistently achieving the ultimate in sound for music and home theater. For more information, please visit:m paradigm.com“