George de Sa

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Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) have just introduced their first ever Bluetooth headphone model – the P5 Wireless. The new P5 Wireless is said to offer all the same performance-level, materials and contruction of the B&W P5 Series 2 headphone – with the advantage of high-quality wireless streaming.

Using the same Bluetooth aptX technology as the B&W T7, the new P5 Wireless can reproduce music with the best possible sound that your device (e.g. smartphone, tablet or computer) can deliver.

The P5 Wireless is simple to connect and easy to use, allowing play/pause and skip, as well as call answer functions. There are also twin microphones to support both great telephone conversation, as well as music playback.

The rechargeable battery has a class-leading 17 hours of charge and with the supplied USB cable, charging is very easy. Also, in the box, is a cable as an alternative to wireless connection and a stylish padded carry case.

The new B&W P5 Wireless headphone has a MSRP of: $399.99 U.S. and is available online immediately, with retail locations expected to begin stocking by July 15, 2015. Learn more about this and other Bowers & Wilkins products at: http://www.bowers-wilkins.com.

Screen Innovations - SI Slate - Micro Seam
Screen Innovations (SI) has just developed a revolutionary new screen that sets a new benchmark for massive-sized affodability – their new Slate Micro Seam screen; available in sizes up to 390-inches 16:9 diagonal.

With Slate Micro Seam, SI can manufacture large-scale, ambient-light-rejecting screens for any commercial or retail environment imaginable, and challenge the industry to think beyond antiquated white and gray screens. It is achieved by utilizing a special radio frequency welding technique that creates an airtight seal and permanent bond between two materials. The seam is small enough to be invisible at distances of 20 feet and greater.

Screen Innovations’ Slate Micro Seam screens are available now. Look for more details on this product and other SI products at: http://www.screeninnovations.com

Onkyo RZ-900
Onkyo has just announced two new Dolby Atmos enabled and DTS:X ready A/V receivers: the TX-RZ900 and TX-RZ800 and a new feature-packed Network Stereo Receiver: the TX-8160.

TX-RZ900 & TX-RZ800 A/V Receivers
These two new receivers sit at the top of the Onkyo AVR mid-range lineup. Both are THX Select 2 Plus-certified. The RZ900 incorporates a hand-wound, high-current Toroidal transformer, while the TX-RZ800 utilizes a massive EI transformer to power three-stage inverted Darlington amplifier circuitry for high power delivery with extremely low distortion.

The TX-RZ900 also features parallel push-pull amp circuit topology on the front channels, boosting power and efficiency. Every electrical component is custom-designed to reference standards, from the extra-large capacitors to heavy-duty output transistors.

Both RZ products feature separate power amp and processing blocks, the latter featuring a Hi-Grade Asahi Kasei AK4458 384 kHz/32-bit DAC and Onkyo’s original VLSC technology. VLSC compares digital input and analog output signals and removes pulse-noise generated during D/A conversion, resulting in uncommonly clear and accurate sound.

Onkyo ensures that video performance is ready for the future of 4k Ultra HD entertainment with HDCP 2.2 compliance, the latest 4K/60 Hz- and 4:4:4 color-space-ready HDMI inputs and two 4K/60 Hz HDMI outputs for dual-zone video for streamed and broadcast Ultra HD content.

Users can enjoy the freedom of wireless audio with Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth audio, and ships with internet radio and subscription services built in, including Spotify Connect and Pandora. FLAC 192 kHz/24-bit and DSD 5.6 MHz Hi-Res Audio decoding is available via DLNA, and selection and control of network audio is centralized in an intuitive smartphone app.

For convenience, the rear panel includes dedicated speaker outputs for Height (which add overhead effects contained in object-based soundtracks set to 5.1.2) and Rear Surround (for 7.1 speaker setups). And for the first time, Powered Zone 2 distributes digital audio sources to speakers in another room.

Both receivers feature Zone 2 Pre/Line Outs, Zone 3 Line Outs, 7.2 Multichannel Pre Outs, phono input, and USB for digital audio.

The Onkyo TX-RZ900 has a MSRP of: $1,599 U.S. while the TX-RZ800 has a MSRP of: $1,299 U.S.

TX-8160 Network Stereo Receiver
The new TX-8160 is a network stereo receiver that provides 80W + 80 W of high-current power from its discrete wide-range amplifiers. Sharing the same amplification approach as the TX-RZ900 & TX-RZ800, the TX-8160 has a custom, high-output transformer, two customized 8,200 µF capacitors, and non-phase-shift amp circuit design for an exceptionally well-focused audio image.

The receiver’s AKM AK4452 384 kHz/32-bit DAC is capable of decoding 192 kHz/24-bit FLAC files and DSD 5.6 MHz transmitted via onboard Wi-Fi with easy remote app control.

Users can stream any network audio from mobile, PC, and NAS, or enjoy streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora. AirPlay and Bluetooth audio are also included, while a handy BGM Pre-Set stores four FM/AM or internet radio stations for instant access.

Four digital inputs, seven analog inputs, USB, and phono input allow you to connect everything from TV displays and CD players to turntables and cassette decks. Gold-plated audio terminals, banana-plug-ready speaker posts, and substantial independent knobs for bass, treble, and balance give this product the solidity and feel of a classic ’70s Hi-Fi amp, but with every modern convenience included.

The receiver also features Zone 2 Pre Outs to distribute audio to another room with a dedicated DAC allowing digital sources to be enjoyed in both zones, with remote app control from anywhere within wireless range.

The TX-8160 will be available at a MSRP of $499 U.S.

All these products are expected to be available shortly. Look for more information to become available at: http://www.onkyo.com/

Aerostar FI-50 1.

Akiko Audio has just introduced a new flagship power cable model – the Aerostar FI 50.

The new FI 50 incorporates improvements in the quality of the conductors’ silver plating along with enhancements to the ‘filament’ system used to isolate and suspend the conductors primarily within air – about 90%. Air comes only second to a vaccum as a dielectric.

The most visible and largest improvement in the Aerostar FI 50 power cable is its connectors. This latest cable uses Furutech’s famous FI-50 connectors, which minimize interference from micro vibrations.

Akiko Audio Aerostar 2

The Akiko Audio Powercord Aerostar FI-50 has been built for those demanding the highest level of performance. Akiko Audio stands by this flagship power cable product with a 14-day money back guarantee.

The new Akiko Audio Aerostart FI-50 power cable is currently available for $ 1398 U.S. Look for more information or to purchase at: http://www.akikoaudio.com

Pioneer Elite 91
Pioneer has just introduced a its new SC-91 Elite SC receiver. The new SC-91 features Dolby Atmos and MCACC Pro, while leveraging Class D3 amplification for simultaneous high-power output on all channels.

The SC-91 supports 4K/60p/4:4:4 video signal transmission with HDCP 2.2 copyright protection technology making it compatible with upcoming 4K UltraHD sources, which are on their way. Wireless capabilities abount with dedicated smartphone apps Start-up Navi and iControlAV5, providing easy and intuitive control of one’s entertainment system.

Seven channels of Elite Class D3 amplification at 130 Watts-per-channel for a total of 660 Watts on hand for simulatneous multi-channel simultaneous drive.

MCACC Pro takes Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration (MCACC) a step further. In addition to automatically compensating for speaker size, level and distance to the listening position as standard MCACC does, MCACC Pro analyzes and corrects the phase and group delay characteristics that are caused by the filtering systems in the speakers. This adjustment is also performed between different channels, in order to provide a smooth flow.

Additional features include independent correction for dual subwoofers, and speaker position adjustments in 1-millimeter increments. For all channels, MCACC Pro corrects phase differences in the original audio, as well as the sounds emitted from the speakers.

Performing fully-automatic corrections to source-derived lags in the bass (LFE elements) on a real-time basis, Auto Phase Control Plus helps reproduce the natural linkage of sound between channels with rich and sharp low-pitched sounds and clear mid- and high-range sounds.

The SC-91 incorporates Dolby Atmos for a most imersive experience and Dolby Surround up-mixer brings an enhanced sense of immersion to your existing content.

DAC function is via a ESS Technology, SABRE ES9006S Premier Audio DAC. A new power supply transformer reduces magnetic flux noises while a new insulator suppresses external vibrations. The DAC supports 192 kHz 24-bit 2ch WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, and 96 kHz 24-bit Multi-channel WAV, FLAC. Compressed formats, such as MP3, WMA, and AAC are also supported. Stream these files from your home network, tablet, or even the front USB port. Serious listeners will appreciate 2.8 MHz DSD direct playback via network or SACD disc playback via HDMI.

All 2015 Elite models offer built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology and the SC-91 is also equipped with dual antennas that provide Dual Band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) for a much greater network range and connection stability. The SC-91 supports Wireless Direct and even in an environment without wireless LAN, it can be operated to perform wireless playback using the free iControlAV5 control app.

Network and initial settings can be easily configured using any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad via the newly developed Start-up Navi app. Users can install the dedicated control app iControlAV5 on the setup screen for intuitive and easy operation of the SC-91. They are also compatible with Android devices.

Using AirPlay, the SC-91 lets you enjoy effortless streaming music from iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. In addition, the SC-91 is Windows(r) 8.1 Certified, and also supports DLNA(r) 1.5 media streaming and HTC Connect(r).

The SC-91 offers both RS-232c interface and full IP control providing compatibility with the most popular home automation systems.

Internet Radio via the SC-91 gives you a world of entertainment options and with vTuner Pandora and Spotify, complete with on-screen album art and music information is accessible. Spotify Connect is a premium subscription feature that lets you play and control Spotify with your smart devices.

Pioneer’s SC-91 Elite SC Receiver is now available for a MSRP of $1,100. For more information about Pioneer Home Entertainment’s entire line, please visit: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com

NR545-front-trans (Custom)

Onkyo has just announced the introduction of three new A/V receivers; a home theater system and a Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 channel speaker set. The new line provides easy set-up and integration with possibilities with legacy systems. Details of these new products are as follows:

TX-NR545 / USA MSRP $599 / CAD MSRP: $749/ Available Now
A network receiver that supports Dolby Atmos; the 7.2-channel TX-NR545 features a 115 W/Ch high-current amplification system. Featuring Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth technology, and users can stream direct to the receiver using Spotify Connect, Pandora and others, or stream audio stored on mobile handset and online music services using the free Onkyo Remote 3 control app.
The TX-NR545 is a 4K Ultra HD video capable receiver that has HDMI and HDCP 2.2 compatibility with one output that can pass 4K/60 Hz video complete with 4:4:4 color space and 21:9 cinema aspect ratio from source devices to display. A premium 384 kHz/32-bit hi-grade AKM DAC unlocks the full potential of all your audio, including multidimensional Dolby Atmos(r), DTS-HD Master Audio(tm), and Hi-Res audio formats. It’s also very easy to use as a Quick Setup function lets you adjust settings without interrupting playback.
The TX-NR545 also features a USB port supporting multiple audio formats via flash-memory and the updated AccuEQ room acoustic correction easily calibrates and equalizes the speaker system to the room.

TX-SR444 / USA MSRP: $499 / CAD MSRP: $629/ Available Now
The 7.1-channel TX-SR444 delivers 115 W per channel through a discrete high-current amplification system. It is currently the most inexpensive Onkyo receiver to support Dolby Atmos and has been completely redesigned to simplify connection and operation for first-time users while still featuring HDMI and HDCP 2.2 compliance for 4k Ultra HD entertainment.
Legacy inputs for connection of older devices and HDMI up-conversion make connections easy. The receiver has a rear-panel Streaming Box port that supplies power to media streaming sticks, adding apps for on-demand media.

HT-S5800 / USA MSRP: $799 / CAD MSRP: $939 / Available end of June
The HT-S5800 5.1.2-Channel Dolby Atmos Home Theater Package features a 115W/Ch A/V receiver that connects all your media players and sends video to the TV via a single HDMI cable. Media sticks can be plugged directly into the Streaming Box port for immediate playback. The system comes with a precision wall-mountable Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 speaker system. AccuEQ optimizes the sound to suit the unique shape of your room. The speaker set and A/V receiver ship with a gloss-finished powered 120 W subwoofer and all the necessary cables in a single carton.

SKS-HT594 / USA MSRP: $599 / CDN MSRP: $799 / Available end of June
The SKS-HT594 5.1.2-channel speaker system is ideally suited to any Dolby Atmos-ready A/V receiver. The six-piece speaker package reproduces everything from multidimensional Dolby Atmos(r) soundtracks to MP3s streamed from your phone with utmost precision. Each two-way front speaker houses a 12 cm driver and 2.5 cm balanced-dome tweeter, and incorporates an up-firing 8 cm woofer separately powered by the receiver’s height channel. These woofers bounce discretely mixed sound objects from the ceiling, and allow elements within the soundtrack to pass seamlessly from speaker to speaker above and around the audience. Joining two compact, wall-mountable surround-sound speakers and the dual-drive 2-Way center speaker is a powerful 10-inch subwoofer delivering up to 120 W of wall-shaking bass.

TX-SR343 / USA MSRP: $399 / CDN MSRP: $429 / Available Now
Recognizing that some consumers may find setting up and using their first A/V receiver a bit intimidating, the company took a fresh approach in designing its base model 5.1-channel A/V receiver, the TX-SR343. To that end, the rear panel has been completely revamped with input and output terminals clearly labeled and illustrated for easy setup. Because the receiver up-converts analog video, all media players (including VCRs and legacy gaming consoles) can plug directly into the receiver, with all video routed to the display via a single HDMI cable – eliminating unsightly, dusty cables running to a wall or stand-mounted flat-panel display.
Users can also add full wireless audio and video streaming capabilities (such as the Google Chromecast) via a dedicated rear-panel USB port supplying 5V power to the device. Adding to this capability is built-in Bluetooth with DSP Music Optimizer to enhance lower-quality compressed audio streamed from smartphone applications or PC.
As well offering DTS-HD Master Audio(tm) and Dolby(r) TrueHD decoding with 100 W/Ch of discrete high-current amplification, the TX-SR343 comes with all the features expected of a modern A/V component, including 4 in & 1 out 4K Ultra HD / HDMI / HDCP 2.2; a high-quality TI Burr-Brown DAC, multiple DSP listening modes, Virtual Surround mode for 2.1-channel setups, and ample connections for media players.

For more information on Onkyo’s complete line of products, please visit:http://www.onkyousa.com and http://www.onkyo.ca in Canada.

ELAC Debut TM Series

Internationally renowned speaker designer Andrew Jones joins ELAC to create the ELAC Debut series of loudspeakers, which will be just the start of additional product lines to be headed by Mr. Jones. Andrew Jones’ 35-year career includes a most recent role as Chief Speaker Engineer at Pioneer Electronics, Technical Audio Devices (TAD), as well as previously at KEF and Infinity.

Designed in ELAC’s new Southern California design facility, the new ELAC Debut series redefines affordable speakers with eight models, including bookshelf, floorstanding, center-channel and Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, complemented by three powered subwoofers.

Andrew Jones is quoted as saying: “My design objective was to achieve the most accurate sound possible in speakers that deliver performance far exceeding their cost…I’ve employed materials and design specifications not found in speakers in this price range. From cone materials to driver geometry to subwoofer amplification, we built serious value into the Debut series,”.

ELAC is able to deliver high on value with the new Debut series by custom making the key components, with no off-the-shelf parts – with every ELAC speaker being designed from a blank sheet.

The new ELAC Debut passive speaker lineup includes a 5.25-inch B5 Bookshelf Speaker ($229 U.S./pair), a 6.5-inch B6 Bookshelf Speaker ($279 U.S./pair), a 5.25-inch F5 Floorstanding Speaker ($279 U.S./each), the 5.25-inch C5 Center Speaker ($179 U.S./each), and the 4-inch A4 Dolby Atmos Add-On Speaker ($229 U.S./pair). In addition, there is a powered subwoofer collection that includes a 10-inch 200-watt S10 Subwoofer ($249 U.S./each), a 10-inch 400-watt S10EQ Subwoofer ($499 U.S./each), and finally a 12-inch 1,000-watt S12EQ Subwoofer ($699 U.S./each).

An exact release date for the Debut Series has not been announced. Look for more information at: http://www.elac.com

Jadis I-50 Integrated Amp

Bluebird Music, the North American distributor for Jadis, just announced that the new KT150-based Jadis Integrated I-50 is now shipping. The new Jadis I-50 has its U.S. debut a few days ago at The Show, Newport Beach on May 28.

The Jadis I-50 is a 50 watt, pure class-A, integrated amplifier with autobias and a remote control. This is a ground up design that takes advantage of the new KT150 tubes which are purported to deliver improved microphony and heat dissipation characteristics, as well as providing more power and better detail and bass control.

The I-50 has been created to provide a smooth flowing midrange, big rich tight bass with outstanding control and sweet natural highs with excellent resolution. The tube complement is comprised of: 4 x KT150, 3 x ECC82 and 2 x ECC83. The I-50 has four line inputs and one USB input (48/16bit), and it will drive speakers from 1 – 16 ohms. It weighs 70 lbs.

The new Jadis I-50 integrated tube amplifier is currently available and shipping to authorized dealers with a MSRP of: $10,345 U.S. / $12,420 CAD. Look for more information at: http://www.jadis-electronics.com

Metaxas

Metaxas returns with their Solitaire and Soliloquy Mono-block amplifiers, almost 30 years after their original introduction. The Solitaire offers 150 Watts (RMS), while the Soliloquy provides a lower output of 100 Watts (RMS), whle providing higher precision in the discrete transistor voltage regulation of both input and high-current output stages.

New dual-printed circuit board construction separates signal from power by putting the small-signal circuitry on an upper board and high-current power delivery “wave-guide” on a lower circuit board. Custom designed driver and power transistors made to Metaxas specification are all individually computer batch selected, matched and load tested.

These latest amplifier iterations of the Solitaire and Soliloquy provide greater depth, transparency and realism than before.

The casework of these mono-block amplifiers is nothing less gorgeous – sensual, organic and striking – the casework is all machied from aluminum with all parts, including the circuit, topology, layout and casework deigned by Kostas Metaxas.

The Solitaire/Soliloquy amplifiers will be joined by a new Ikarus integrated amplifier, Tribute preamplifier & professional mixer and a Prince portable and Emperor electrostatic monitor loudspeakers.

Price and availability of the Metaxas Solitaire and Soliloquy Mono-block amplifiers are yet to be announced. Look for more information at: http://www.metaxas.com/

Denon Heos 1
Denon Electronics just recently announced their new HEOS 1 and HEOS 1 Go Pack products for their wireless multi-room sound system line. The portable HEOS 1 wireless speaker is the first product offered in the line and is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. The HEOS 1 Go Pack extends the usability and features of the HEOS 1.

The new HEOS 1 (MSRP $199 U.S.) is designed with audiophile grade synchronization to deliver great stereo imaging without echo and incorporates state-of-the-art audio DSP optimization. HEOS 1 is embedded with MaxxAudio by Waves – a suite of state-of-the-art sound technologies customized to provide top-of-the-line sound quality for an optimized listening experience. With the easy to use free HEOS app, setup is simple and fast for indoors or outdoors. The HEOS 1 has been designed with small spaces in mind but with the Go Pack, HEOS 1 expands into a speaker that takes multi-room listening outdoors – pool, patio or park.

The HEOS 1 Go Pack (MSRP $99 U.S.) is an accessory pack consisting of a rechargeable battery, a Splashguard, and a Bluetooth-USB adapter, providing up to 6 hours of playback and resistant to humidiy. With the addition of the Splashguard it becomes IPX4 splashproof for added protection at outdoor events that may occur in the rain or poolside. The Go Pack’s Bluetooth-USB adapter allows the user to stream Bluetooth audio directly to one HEOS 1 speaker or when Wi-Fi is available, the Bluetooth audio can be shared with other HEOS devices.

HEOS brings Denon-quality audio to any—or all—rooms in the home by easily connecting to an existing Wi-Fi network via the HEOS app, available for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire. The system delivers users’ favorite music from the world’s leading music services like Spotify, SiriusXM, Pandora, Rhapsody, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, as well as smart devices, PCs, Macs or NAS drives on any home network.

HEOS 1 Key Features:
» Best-in-Class Sound
» Humidity Resistant
» Play any source from any smart device via the HEOS app: streaming cloud music services, directly from phone and tablet, USB, network storage, aux in
» Dual-band Wi-Fi
» USB input directly to speaker
» Bi-Amped 2-way system with custom active EQ and crossover
» Custom woofer and high dispersion tweeter powered by a 2-channel Class D amplifier
» Easy setup
» Intuitive industrial design for portability
» Audiophile grade synchronization
» Great stereo imaging – use 2 HEOS 1 speakers as a stereo pair
» MaxxAudio® by Waves technology
» Easy-to-use app with three tabs- one-touch access to most-used features
» Optional HEOS 1 Go Pack available
» Available in black and white

HEOS 1 GO PACK – Key Features
» Optional accessory pack for use with HEOS 1 wireless speaker
» Bluetooth – play any audio from your phone or tablet when Wi-Fi is not available
» Rechargeable battery – 6 hrs of playback from the custom base-fitted battery
» Splashguard upgrades HEOS 1 from steam-resistant to full IPX4 protection
» 4 LED battery indicator
» Available in black and white

Besides the HEOS 1 and HEOS 1 Go Pack, the Denon HEOS series includes three other wireless multi-zone music players: HEOS 3 ($299 U.S.), HEOS 5 ($399 U.S.), and HEOS 7 ($599 U.S.). The HEOS Amp ($499 U.S.) and HEOS Link ($349 U.S.) allow you to integrate legacy systems into the HEOS eco-system. Also part of the series is a Wi-Fi range extender HEOS Extend ($99 U.S.).

The Denon HEOS series will expand with new products in the near future. Look for more information at: http://usa.denon.com/ca/heos.