Sound + Image August - September 2015

SOUND + IMAGE magazine offers a comprehensive package focused on lifestyle home electronic entertainment. It provides easy-to-read information about audio and video equipment and how ordinary consumers can assemble extraordinary systems that look and sound fantastic.

Future Publishing Ltd
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8 Issues

in this issue

4 min
that lightbulb moment or how i texted america to turn on my table lamp...

Greetings! At this time of year we normally catch up with the latest in smart home technology, often focusing on entries and winners of the CEDIA awards for Australia and the wider region. But with those awards not announced until the Integrate show at the end of August, we thought we’d go our own route this issue and look at some of the ways you can D-I-Y elements of a smart home. This is a market taking off rapidly — we’ve all heard the catch-cry of the ‘internet of things’, which includes the trend for more and more household objects to be given network connections and IP addresses, allowing control from smart devices within the home, and often out of it as well. Though rarely included in this internet of things, audio…

1 min
b&w p5 wireless

Bowers &Wilkins has released a wireless version of its P5 headphone, making a Bluetooth connection from your device, using the aptX codec if you use an Android device which supports it. B&W aimed to match the audio quality of the P5 Series II and notably the P5 Wireless was tuned passively, using mechanical and acoustic techniques, with no additional equalisation from the electronics when in wireless mode. Design follows the wired model but puts three-button controls on the right headcup, allowing play/ pause, previous/next track and call answering (two microphones and Clear Voice Capture 2 technology). Battery life is quoted at 17 hours from a single charge, and a back-up cable allows normal use if charge runs low. RRP is $599.95. More info:…

1 min
sony multi-room boosts bluetooth

Sony has delivered the start of its own multiroom system — the app is called SongPal Link but the system itself is simply ‘Sony Multi-Room’. The ecosystem of products at launch is a good size, with three wireless speakers including one portable, plus one soundbar and one soundbase, and the SX7 micro hi-fi system. Usefully two Sony AV receivers are also compatible — the STR-DN860 and 1060 models. The multiroom abilities include DLNA streaming at high-resolution to 24-bit/192kHz (all except the portable), and all include Bluetooth streaming with NFC pairing. The Bluetooth implementation is interesting in using Sony’s own LDAC audio coding technology, which Sony claims enables Hi-Res Audio over Bluetooth, a bit-rate of 990kbps compared with maximum Bluetooth SBC rates of 328kbps. This must be achieved by stepping outside the…

1 min
focal sphear in yer ear

Focal has produced its first in-ear ’phone, the Sphear, aiming to combine high sound quality with comfort. The Mylar driver is the smallest Focal has ever produced, though on the large side for an in-ear at 10.8mm, able to produce an “extended response in the low end” which the company admits it has “slightly increased for mobile use in noisy environments… A loudspeaker has to have a frequency response curve which is as flat as possible. This is not the same for headphones which emit sound right into the ear canal.” Memory foam and silicone tips are provided, along with a carrycase and aircraft plug. RRP is $220.…

2 min
lg’s uhd oled

It is no secret we have been highly impressed with OLED screen technology, and we’re delighted LG has now launched two 4K OLED models in Australia, the fourth market globally after South Korea, the US and UK. Initial demand in those market so outstripped supply that Australia and other markets had been instructed to “hold off” until now. The 65-inch EG960T will retail at $9999, with the 55-inch at $5999 — our review of the smaller model begins on p30 of this issue. While initial availability will be limited to a number of stores (selected Harvey Norman outlets), LG tells us the rollout will expand into more stores as the year progresses. The secret to LG’s success in OLED is the ability of LG.Display to increase its panel yields so far above…

1 min
listening in colour: dali

As we were listening to the soundbars from hi-fi companies this issue (see p67), news of Dali’s Kubik One — a soundbar with a difference in offering three colours as standard (Black, Ice and Red) as well as six optional coloured grilles —Azur Blue, Lime Green (pictured), Orange, Purple, Misty Grey and ‘Petrol Green’. Needless to say Dali is also focusing on sound quality of the 98cm-long bar, which has two 13cm wood-fibre woofers and twin tweeters, while connectivity includes Bluetooth with aptX, USB-micro, analogue inputs on RCA and minijack, plus two optical inputs. There is a subwoofer output available if you want more in the low-end. Those coloured grilles are interchangeable and the bar itself can be shelf or wallmounted. The RRP if the Dali Kubik One is $1999.…