Sound + Image December 2016 - January 2017

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

1 min
heos now multibrand multiroom

‘HEOS by Denon’ has become ‘HEOS by Denon and Marantz’, as the two brands from the D&M stable begin including the HEOS wireless multiroom platform in products beyond the existing ecosystem. The first Marantz products with HEOS inside are two new flagship models, the nine-channel $4190 SR7011 AV receiver and the 11-channel $3970 AV7703 AV pre-amp processor. HEOS branding on Marantz products is relatively subtle, while Denon models wear it proudly — above is the 11-channel $4699 AVR-X6300H, while the $2999 AVR-X4300H also includes HEOS. Aside from gaining the app control and streaming abilities of HEOS, these receivers will all be able to pass all their inputs via HEOS to any other HEOS products in the home, and of course with AV receivers, that’s a whole lot of inputs! The HEOS app has…

2 min
qualcomm® aptx™ hd

The aptX codec, developed by CSR but now owned by Qualcomm, has become widely used in Bluetooth speakers as it delivers a higher-quality Bluetooth experience than either AAC or the default SBC codec. Although careless manufacturers and even journalists often describe it as “CD quality”, it is not a lossless codec, so is more accurately described as “near CD quality”. There has long been an ‘aptX Lossless’ codec available, but only for use via Wi-Fi connections, not at the lower bit-rates of Bluetooth. More recently an ‘aptX HD’ codec has appeared, and Qualcomm’s website describes this as “High Definition Bluetooth wireless audio”. It “preserves sound data through the audio transmission, resulting in a ‘better-than-CD’ listening experience... you can enjoy listening to your music at the highest audible quality when using a wireless…

1 min
linn’s new katalyst enters klimax

Linn has announced a fourth generation of DAC architecture, claiming “greater precision than ever”. Maintaining the company’s love of the letter K it has been labelled ‘Katalyst’, and aims to better control the conversion process with independent isolated power supplies tailored for each process, including an isolated supply for the new master clock. A Linn-designed data optimisation stage aims to minimise errors right at the start of the process by preparing the digital signal for conversion with greater accuracy, while at the other end a new ultra-low distortion analogue output driver reduces susceptibility to noise and degradation at the output. Linn puts particular emphasis on a new high-stability input Reference Level voltage which forms the basis of the output, thereby generating the signal amplitude without micro-variations. The new Katalyst DAC architecture…

2 min
naim’s ‘new uniti’

Not one but four new Uniti players have been announced by Naim Audio, revamping and reimagining the company’s all-in-one hi-fi concept, to which you just need to add speakers. Under the group name of ‘New Uniti’, three of the four new models incorporate a large top control knob similar to that on the company’s Mu-so wireless speakers, together with a new streaming platform which can sync with up to six other Naim systems on your network, including Mu-so models. A new and improved Naim app for iOS and Android allows full control from a smart device, while a fourth-gen 40-bit SHARC DSP processor promises snappy control of your music. Networking via Wi-Fi operates on both 2.4 and 5GHz bands, with the antennas cleverly integrated behind slots in the heatsinks on either side…

2 min
samsung buys harman brands

Samsung can’t be hurting too badly from its Galaxy Note problems — the company has announced it is acquiring Harman International for $8bn in cash. The November 14 joint release from Samsung and Harman sees Samsung gain all Harman’s brands, including JBL, Harman Kardon, Mark Levinson, AKG, Lexicon, Infinity, and Revel. But it seems to be the automotive market which has prompted the move, Samsung highlighting “connected car technologies, including [Harman’s] top positions in infotainment, cyber security, over-the-air updates and telematics”, as well as Samsung’s complementary expertise in connectivity technologies including 5G, UX/UI, display technology and security solutions. Harman recently boasted that “1 in 4 cars today are equipped with HARMAN technology that makes driving more comfortable, safe and personalized... HARMAN connected car and audio systems also power 8 of the…

2 min
benq w11000 uses ti’s ‘4k uhd’ projection

BenQ Australia used The Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show in Melbourne to debut “the world’s first DLP 4K UHD home cinema projector”, the W11000. The projector takes a UHD input and uses Texas Instruments’ new DLP solution for 4K projection, also achieving prestigious THX HD Display Certification. Its optical engine is specifically designed for 4K image quality, with a super-high resolution 14-element lens array structured into six groups with a metal barrel and cell framework, and using the highest-grade glass, aiming for greater light penetration. The W11000 uses a 6× speed RGBRGB colour wheel, and has a price of $7999 — significantly less than 4K projector offerings to date. Note, however, that Texas Instruments DLP solution uses an 0.6-inch DMD (Digital Micromirror Device) of 2716 × 1528 resolution, rather than…