Archive by Hummingbird Media

New York City’s Masterdisk Counts on Antelope Audio Trinity/10M Combination for its Image Stability and Sonic Integrity

New York, January 30, 2012 — Masterdisk, one of New York City’s foremost mastering facilities, has installed several of Antelope Audio’s Isochrone Trinity Master Clock and 10M Rubidium Atomic Clock units in its mastering suites, to maintain stereo imaging and the overall sonic integrity of projects passing through its studios. Masterdisk is installing multiple Antelope Audio Zodiac D/A converters at listening stations throughout the facility for quality control purposes.

According to owner Scott Hull, Masterdisk’s mastering suites were constructed with very high quality acoustics and solid grounding, and were already well clocked —therefore they did not appear to be candidates for improvement. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” he says. Yet, the Antelope 10M — which incorporates a reference generator that is 100,000 times more accurate than the quartz oscillators in most equipment — and the Trinity, which offers 64-bit DSP and up to 384 kHz audio streaming, have had a noticeable impact on performance clocking the digital audio converters in the rooms.

“Image stability can’t be generated, and it has to be maintained through the process,” explains Hull. “You can undo certain effects or jitter but you can’t ‘reimage’ something; you can’t get that image back once you lose it.”

As he further elaborates, any component within the signal chain has the potential to degrade the accuracy of the soundstage. “A lot of processors and many, if not all, workstations give you something back that isn’t quite as stable, as rock-solid, as what you put in,” says Hull. However, driving every component in the system from a high quality master clock can reduce the likelihood of any degradation. “Workstations simply work better by being clocked with a more stable clock. Every step along the way where you can give yourself a tenth of a percent, it adds up to something pretty noticeable at the end. And there’s a marked and audible improvement in the final product when everything is Antelope powered,” he states.

Keeping True Quality Control at the Helm
Hull believes that true quality control at the mastering stage has become increasingly overlooked as budgets have become tighter and clients’ time and involvement have decreased. “We really have to know exactly what we’re sending out the door. We have to have at least two sets of ears on every product that we send out. So we’re putting Antelope Zodiac DACs into several listening stations in our facility just to facilitate quality control passes. Suffice it to say we consider that to be one of the best and most open and accurate DACs we can get. Coupled with the headphone amp, this gives us really good functionality for hearing exactly what’s going out the door at 192 kHz or 96k or 44.1.”

As Hull recalls, one of his mastering engineers initially heard about Antelope Audio’s clocks from his clients, and had a unit brought in to evaluate. He also notes that veteran mastering engineer Vlado Meller, who joined Masterdisk when Universal Mastering Studios closed in mid-2011, was a longtime Antelope Audio user. “Once we’d worked with it and got more of the boxes in more of the rooms we came to like what it did,” Hull reports. “The integrity and sonic experience was better overall, and everyone was happy.”

What matters, he continues, is the integrity of the system from beginning to end, and utilizing a high definition master clock can make a difference to the end result. “Sometimes it’s analog, sometimes it’s digital, sometimes it’s digital and analog. But they do like to play together better when they’re locked to a common master reference. When you’re working from a 96k file or a digital device at 96k, through an analog console and back out to a CD master at 44.1, the fact that everything is resolved to a common reference seems to work.” He comments, “I’m just trying to get to an end result that makes the client nod their head.”

“Mastering Your Favorite Records Since 1973”
Established in 1973, Masterdisk has handled projects by a who’s who of the music business over the years, including – to name just a few mastered by Hull – Bob Dylan, Sting, Lou Reed, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen, Panic at the Disco, plus many, many others. Hull recently mastered “25 Years”, a retrospective 4-disc box set from Sting, and Vlado Meller recently mastered new albums for Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction — including iTunes-optimized masters to go along with the vinyl and CD.

Sennheiser Opens its Technology and Innovation Center in San Francisco: “The Future Made Right Here”

San Francisco, January 26, 2012: For more than 60 years, Sennheiser has stood for the highest quality audio products across all areas of sound recording, transmission and reproduction. This month, the company announces the official opening of its San Francisco- based research lab: SFTC (Technology and Innovation California). The opening ceremony was attended by more then 100 guests from the audio community in the Bay Area. The new research facility — which relocated from Palo Alto in November 2011, is focused on improving the customer experience through digital signal processing (DSP) technologies and combining this with Sennheiser’s world-renowned expertise in electro-acoustics and wireless transmission.

As a research hub for Sennheiser, whose slogan is “The Future Made Right Here,” SFTC creates knowledge in selected areas of DSP and facilitates knowledge transfer to Sennheiser’s product teams around the world. Many of these ideas and technologies are then adopted and integrated into Sennheiser’s consumer, professional or installed sound divisions.

“The Sennheiser culture has always been rooted in innovation and exploring what may be possible in the future,” commented Daniel Sennheiser, president strategy and finance, Sennheiser. “Our new facility in San Francisco leverages an extensive ecosystem of talents that includes not only our own visionary thinkers and researchers, but world renowned academic institutions and corporations. In this environment, our engineers are free to experiment and play with technology and processes that may eventually find its way into various consumer, pro and installed sound applications.”

“Concept Tahoe”
After it finishes developing and testing a concept, Sennheiser may choose to introduce a prototype model to test its market value and gauge end-user interest.

For example, last year at the prolight+sound and NAMM trade shows, Sennheiser unveiled a project that was under development at its SFTC research laboratory: “Concept Tahoe.”

This wireless microphone prototype — which drew a lot of attention by trade show attendees — is not only able to function as a high quality, professional wireless microphone, but also as an effects and processing controller — providing an unprecedented level of creative options to DJs and performers. This functionality is facilitated by the transmission of control data to a receiver, which can control any number of effects or plug-ins in real time using the MIDI protocol. The microphone can also be transformed into a tambourine or a shaker at the press of a button. By using an accelerometer and a rotation sensor, it measures how quickly it is moving and at what angle in space it is currently located. This prototype was demonstrated during the SFTC opening event, and showcased by beatboxer entertainers Butterscotch and Eklips.

“By moving the location of the SFTC to the Bay Area, our team — and by extension the entire Sennheiser organization — is able to leverage our proximity to the technology industry’s leading innovators, product designers and thought leaders. These include other multi-national companies as well as a unique network of start-ups and highly regarded institutions such as UC Berkeley and Stanford University,” commented Veronique Larcher, director of research, North America, for Sennheiser. “At SFTC, our researchers have access to an enormous pool of talent and imagination; risk taking and the cross-fertilization of ideas is strongly encouraged.”

Sennheiser launched its SFTC in 2006 and since then, its research and development work have been manifested in Sennheiser’s groundbreaking products — including the IS-ADN conference system.

Sennheiser launches “no worries” RF wireless systems

Anaheim, Calif. – January 19, 2012 – Audio specialist Sennheiser is launching its brand new XS Wireless Series at the 2012 NAMM Show. Designed for users who want to easily go wireless, this entry-level series offers complete sets with sturdy units, simple operation and high quality sound. The transmitters have a battery life of up to 10 hours, while a switching bandwidth of up to 24 MHz allows for flexibility in the choice of frequencies. The series is comprised of two vocal sets, an instrument system and presentation sets with clip-on microphone or a headmic.

“With the XS Wireless Series, Sennheiser offers reliability and quality sound at an entry-level price,” explained Martin Fischer, Product Manager for Sennheiser’s wireless systems. “It offers good value for money and will benefit small event and conference venues, houses of worship as well as bands, vocalists and musicians.”

Wireless without fuss
The designers have focused on ease of use: the systems are operated via intuitive menus, they automatically search for free frequencies, and transmitters are synchronized with their receivers via a wireless link. “We wanted to make sure that users can fully concentrate on their performance, their speech, etc. without having to worry too much about the set-up and technology,” Fischer said.

Extras for bands…
XS Wireless includes two systems for vocalists and one instrument set for guitarists. Vocalists can choose between a handheld with a super-cardioid condenser capsule and one that includes a genuine dynamic e 835 capsule. “The XSW 35 system takes the assertive sound of the cardioid e 835 to new user groups,” Fischer added.

… and speakers
For installed sound applications and presentations, users can choose between systems with a handheld transmitter or a bodypack transmitter with either a head-worn mic or an unobtrusive clip-on microphone. Mute buttons on the handheld and the bodypack ensure that speakers are in control of the transmission.

Ruggedness and flexibility
To withstand the rigors of daily use, the true-diversity receiver is housed in a sturdy metal case. In the transmitters, one set of batteries will last for up to 10 hours—not only good for energetic stage shows, but also for long events and conferences. The systems feature freely tunable frequencies within a switching bandwidth of 24 MHz (13 MHz for the E frequency range). This allows up to 12 wireless links to be operated simultaneously, ensuring trouble-free operation even at somewhat larger events.

Visit Sennheiser at NAMM, Hall A, Booth # 6579.

House Research Institute to Offer Free Hearing Screenings and Hi-Fi Earplugs at NAMM in Efforts to Curb Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Los Angeles – January 16, 2012 — The House Research Institute (HRI) [NAMM booth 1292, Hall E] announced that as part of its Sound Partners® program it is continuing its annual tradition of providing free hearing screenings to all attendees of the 2012 NAMM Winter Show on January 19 – 22 at the Anaheim Convention Center. By visiting the HRI booth, NAMM attendees can receive valuable information on noise induced hearing loss as well as Hi-Fi earplugs, which will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

During last year’s NAMM convention, the House Research Institute provided its free hearing screening services to more than 800 attendees. To accommodate screenings for those working on the show floor, the HRI booth will open early at 9:30 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Before making any other stops, NAMM attendees should come down to Hall E and make an appointment to have their hearing evaluated,” commented Marilee Potthoff, director of Community Education & Outreach at HRI. “Noise induced hearing loss is a major health problem in the sound industry, and can be completely avoided. We encourage those attending NAMM to do the right thing for their own hearing health by signing up for a screening.”

Anyone attending or exhibiting at NAMM is welcome to stop by the booth and inquire about a free hearing screening — appointments will be arranged on a first come, first served basis. In addition to providing free hearing screenings throughout the duration of the exhibition, HRI will also have plenty of informational handouts and literature on hearing protection and noise induced hearing loss.

Following are details on the hearing screenings:

Date/Time:
January 19, 20, 21 and 22, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Sunday, until 5:00)
Location:
NAMM Convention, back of Hall E, Booth 1292

Licensed audiologists from the House Ear Institute and House Clinic will briefly counsel participants on their hearing screening results. All results are retained in a confidential patient database at HRI; people who have had screenings in prior years will easily be able to compare results to track any changes over time. For more information, visit http://www.houseresearch.org/.

House Research Institute Outlines Five Ways Musicians Can Protect Their Hearing in 2012

Los Angeles – January 11, 2012 — As the 2012 NAMM Winter Show approaches, musicians from all over the world are eagerly anticipating the most recent music gear developments and exciting equipment innovations. House Research Institute (HRI) [NAMM booth 1292, Hall E] will be on hand providing hearing screenings throughout the duration of the show, while offering advice on how to protect what is unequivocally musicians’ most valuable asset: their hearing.

House Research Institute – a leading non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with hearing loss and related disorders – has outlined five simple ways musicians and music fans can preserve their hearing during 2012 and beyond:

1) Know thyself: have your hearing tested

Often, hearing loss issues are initially detected by family and friends rather than the person experiencing it. “When a person frequently has trouble understanding conversations in places where there is significant background noise, such as at parties, crowded restaurants and clubs, it might be a good time for a hearing test and an ear examination,” observes John W. House, MD, president of House Research Institute and physician at the House Clinic. Find out where you stand so you can understand and address the personal risks you may face — hearing exams take just minutes. Noise induced hearing loss begins in the higher frequencies and does not affect speech frequencies until it is advanced. Therefore, a screening audiogram is advised for those who are exposed to loud noise.

2) Know thy surroundings: avoid potentially dangerous environments

By ensuring you are in a safe listening environment, you mitigate the risk of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). “If you have to raise your voice to be heard, you are likely in an environment with sound levels exceeding 85 dBA,” says Marilee Potthoff, director of community outreach and education at House Research Institute. Musicians and engineers depend on good hearing for their careers, but also are at high risk for hearing damage from prolonged sound exposure on the job. If you’re in the sound industry, it’s important for your hearing health to carefully monitor your sound environments that reach above 85 dBA both on and off the job, and know how much to limit your exposure. When relaxing with your personal stereo or player, we recommend keeping the volume setting at no louder than 60 percent of max. potential.

3) Use it or lose it: make the right choices in hearing protection

Educate yourself on what kind of hearing protection is truly effective. “Select hearing protection devices that provide the appropriate amount of sound reduction. Hearing protection with an NRR (noise reduction rating) of around 25 to 35 dB offers better protection for loud music environments than devices with lower NRRs. Using devices with a much lower NRR may result in significant damage to the inner ear when exposed to high level [loud] sounds,” says Andrew Vermiglio, AuD, HRI research audiologist and California State University Northridge audiology professor. Some custom ear plugs — which are available through licensed audiology clinics, including the House Clinic — offer a flatter attenuation across the frequency range and may make listening to loud music more enjoyable than standard, over-the-counter earplugs, such as foam or pre-molded plugs. Standard earplugs tend to “colorize” what you hear by filtering the high frequencies more than the low frequencies.

4) Keep it clean: Ears need good hygiene, too
Earwax may not be the most popular discussion topic in the world, but it is certainly worth knowing about. Knowing how to safely remove wax and dirt build up will help you keep your hearing on the right track in 2012 and beyond. “Never insert foreign objects into your ear canal, including cotton swabs — instead, use a warm washcloth to gently clean the outer area of your ears or an over the counter ear wax removal solution,” says Dr. House. Other ear cleaning methods known as ear candling or coning are dangerous, not effective, and can easily damage your ear canal.

5) Make a date: Have your ears checked on a regular basis
Have your hearing checked annually. If you notice a change in the state of your hearing, seek immediate medical attention. “Annual hearing exams may help to identify potential hearing loss issues while there is still time to rectify them,” says Dr. Vermiglio. Also, symptoms such as hearing loss, ringing in the ears, dizziness or loss of balance, may be related to a serious medical condition.

So whether you are a musician, or just enjoy listening to music with friends, follow these basic steps and put your hearing first in 2012 — because once you lose it, you may never be able to get it back. For more information, visit the House Research Institute website at http://www.houseresearch.org.

Legendary Sound. Urban Style. The new HD 25 Amperior from Sennheiser

Las Vegas, January 10, 2011 – Not prepared to make compromises? For all those who don’t want to decide between perfect sound and cool design, Sennheiser is now taking their star headphones from the club scene onto the streets. Based on the legendary HD 25 DJ headphones, the audio specialist is launching the HD 25 Amperior in an exciting aluminium finish. And to make sure that the headphones are ready for use at any time, they have been optimised for connection to an iPad, iPhone and iPod*, and are equipped with a microphone for easy telephoning. The unique combination offers the best of both worlds in terms of sound and design.

“The Sennheiser HD 25 is already a legend on the DJ scene. It has been one of the most popular monitoring headphones for over 20 years, and has become an essential piece of equipment in the world’s most famous clubs,” said Maurice Quarré, Director Product Lifecycle Management Sennheiser Consumer Electronics. The success story is now being continued. “The HD 25 Amperior lets even the most demanding music fans experience club sound wherever they go. And the luxurious aluminium finish proves that professional sound and elegant design can absolutely go together,” Maurice Quarré continued.

Inspired by DJs
The rugged headphones can cope with an extremely high sound pressure level and offer professional-level sound. Powerful neodymium magnets provide natural, lifelike sound reproduction with a frequency response of 16 to 22,000 Hertz. The closed design reliably keeps out background noise, while the adjustable headband and low weight ensure a comfortable fit. The ear cups can be rotated for the classic DJ monitoring style: one-sided listening.

Designed for the street
The star of the club scene is now hitting the streets in its attractive new outfit. With its luxurious aluminium finish in silver or blue, it will become just as much a part of your life style as your music or your favourite shirt. The DJ headphones are equipped with a 3.5 millimetre stereo jack plug and the nominal impedance has been reduced to allow optimum connection to portable players. For those who want to control Apple products such as an iPad, iPhone or iPod directly, an additional cable with an integrated smart remote is included. This can be used not only to regulate the volume and select tracks but also to take phone calls and activate the voice control feature. “The HD 25 Amperior offers everything you need for a unique sound experience when you’re out and about. It’s the perfect combination of sound, style and functionality – without compromises,” Maurice Quarré explained.

The new HD 25 Amperior will be available in shops beginning in March at a price of $349.95.

Technical Data:

Transducer principle Dynamic, closed
Ear coupling Supra-aural
Frequency response: 16 – 22,000 Hz
Impedance: 18 ohms
Max. sound pressure level: 120 dB (1kHz)
Total harmonic distortion (THD): <0.3% (1kHz / 100dB)
Weight (without cable): 190 g
Cable length: 1.2 m headphone cable and 0.9 m additional detachable cable with integrated remote control

Excitement for your ears – Sennheiser unveils its HD 700 high-end headphones

Las Vegas, January 10, 2012 – Sennheiser’s high-end world has plenty of excitement to offer. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the audio specialist is unveiling a set of new premium headphones, the HD 700. These fully open dynamic stereo headphones combine high-end sound with an innovative headphone design.

“The HD 700 features a perfect combination of outstanding acoustic properties and sophisticated product design,” said Maurice Quarré, Director Product Lifecycle Management Sennheiser Consumer Electronics. “Its styling and material selection have been thought through down to the finest detail in order to fully exploit the sound potential of the acoustic unit.”

The ear cups are designed in such a way that the sound waves are directed to the ears at a slight angle. This results in an impressively natural listening experience. The ear cups themselves have a completely open design. This not only ensures a highly transparent sound but also clearly displays the “heart” of these exciting headphones: the 40 mm Duofol transducer. Its powerful neodymium magnet systems guarantee detailed, lifelike audio reproduction from 10 to 42,000 Hz.

Small details for a great sound
“To ensure that the acoustic properties of the headphones are not impaired by any partial vibrations, the transducer is mounted in a high-precision gauze made of stainless steel, as is the case in the HD 800 reference headphones,” explained Axel Grell, Senior Acoustic Engineer at Sennheiser. A new patent-pending feature is the special shape of the gauze, which continues the curved lines of the diaphragm. The resulting curvature reduces the volume of air beneath the diaphragm, thus guaranteeing even more precise control of the diaphragm motion and significantly lowering total harmonic distortion.

The endeavour to fully exploit the sound potential of the premium headphones led to a further small but effective innovation: a ventilated magnet system. The idea is actually quite simple. “The up and down motion of the diaphragm produces an air flow in the magnet system housing that causes the diaphragm to wobble slightly,” explained Axel Grell. “By positioning precisely defined holes in the housing directly under the magnets, we can cause the air to flow in a specific direction. This minimises the wobbling motion of the diaphragm.” And the result is impressive: with total harmonic distortion of less than 0.03 percent (at 1 kHz and 105 dB sound pressure level), the HD 700 offers brilliant trebles, precise bass reproduction and a crystal-clear sound. Dips in the bass level are effectively suppressed by the patent-pending multilayer design of the headband.

Designed to meet the highest demands
A sleek shape and the black-and-silver finish give the high-end headphones not only a luxuriously elegant but also a high-tech appearance. The ear cushions made of high-quality microfibre fabric guarantee excellent wearing comfort. “The HD 700 fulfils all the wishes of the most demanding music lovers, both in its visual appearance and its outstanding sound quality,” said Maurice Quarré. “Its warm, balanced and detailed sound turns classical music, jazz, rock or soul into a fascinating listening experience. High-end fans are bound to be delighted by these exciting new premium headphones.”

The new HD 700 will be available in shops from March and carries a street price of $999.95.

Technical Data:
Transducer principle: dynamic, open
Ear coupling: circumaural
Frequency response: 10 – 42,000 Hz
Nominal impedance: 150 ohms
Sound pressure level (SPL): 105 dB (1 kHz, 1 V)
Total harmonic distortion (THD): < 0.03 % (1 kHz, 1 V)
Jack plug:
straight ¼”(6.3 mm) stereo
Weight without cable: approx. 273 g
Cable length: 3 m

KLOS Radio Personality Uncle Joe Benson Helps House Research Institute Get the Word out on Healthy Hearing to NAMM Attendees

Los Angeles – January 9, 2012 — As part of its 2012 NAMM Winter Show activities, the House Research Institute (HRI) [NAMM booth 1292, Hall E] will host special guest Uncle Joe Benson of Los Angeles’ KLOS radio on Saturday, January 21st from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center. The popular radio announcer and entertainer will be on hand to greet booth attendees while discussing the importance of maintaining healthy hearing and hearing loss protection.

Since 1980, Uncle Joe’s voice has been heard by millions of listeners across Southern California, and his “Off The Record” music/interview program is syndicated on over 90 stations nationwide. As a radio personality on KLOS, his broadcasts reach nearly three million people across southern California.

KLOS has been serving the greater Los Angeles area for over 40 years, and has also made a positive impact through its continued community outreach efforts. The station still owns the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest blood drive in the country and was presented the Crystal Award for its exemplary community service.

“Healthy hearing is a topic that deserves much broader attention — especially within the music community,” commented Uncle Joe. “This year at NAMM, we are happy to help put the spotlight on the topic of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) to educate folks not only on how fragile our hearing is, but also on the measures we can take to protect it and preserve it.”

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is usually painless, progressive, permanent, and completely preventable. It happens when a person is exposed for too long of a time to sound pressure levels of 85 decibels or more, resulting in damage to the sensorineural (“hair”) cells of the inner ear. It can be the result of exposing your ears to a sudden, intense impulse noise like an explosion or gunfire or extended or repeated exposure to loud machinery and recreational activities, such as loud music and video.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 36 million American adults report some degree of hearing loss; an estimated 26 million of them between the ages of 20 and 69 have a high-frequency hearing loss caused by too much exposure to loud sound.

Antelope Audio to Demonstrate its Zodiac Line of High End Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) at T.H.E. Show Home Entertainment Convention in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, January 9th, 2012 — Antelope Audio will demonstrate its audiophile-grade digital to analog converters (DACs) at T.H.E. Show in Las Vegas between Tuesday, January 10th and Friday, January 6th at The Flamingo Hotel, room 4044.

Antelope Audio’s high-end Zodiac D/A converters (DACs) are based on the company’s proprietary clocking and conversion technologies developed for world’s top mastering professionals and sound engineers in the music, film and television industries. Antelope brings to audiophiles’ home environment the highest audio quality available only at the leading and most technically demanding sound studios around the globe.

During T.H.E. Show, music lovers will have the opportunity to experience the pristine sound quality of all three models – Zodiac, Zodiac+ and Zodiac Gold. All of them utilize Antelope’s famous Oven Controlled Clock and Acoustically Focused Clocking as well as the custom USB chip, which allows audio streaming of up to 384 kHz.

Morten Lindberg the founder of Lindberg Lyd and the music label 2L, and several times Grammy Award nominee says “The Zodiac Gold is now our preferred DAC for proof listening of our 352.8kHz/24bit stereo master files.”

“The best way to experience Antelope Audio is to listen to our products first hand,” explained Marcel James, director of sales for Antelope Audio. “At T.H.E. Show, we will be reaching a very focused contingent of discerning audiophiles, who are keen to take the home listening experience to the next level. With our unique clocking and conversion technology, they can achieve that goal.”

Zodiac DACs: Unprecedented detail and clarity

The Antelope Audio Zodiacs help audiophile consumers and home listeners experience a new level of detail, sound clarity and warmth. Featuring a plug and play interface that connects seamlessly to a Mac, PC or just about any other digital media source, the Zodiacs deliver up to 384 kHz resolution audio, dramatically improving the listening experience on both loudspeakers and headphones. Antelope’s proprietary clocking technology, which is shielded from other electronic components to maintain a consistent temperature, is at the core of the Antelope sound and results in astounding accuracy, dynamics and stereo placement of the audio.

The Zodiacs are also particularly attractive to audio consumers who use headphones, being designed for precise monitoring with a wide range of headphone impedance. Ultra linear, dual stage headphone amplifiers, which are controlled by a dedicated volume knob, deliver smooth sound at both high and low levels.

To learn more about T.H.E. Show or to register, please visit http://www.theshowlasvegas.com.

High-end sound without cables: Sennheiser presents RS 220 digital wireless headphones

Old Lyme, Conn., January 9, 2012 – High-end audio fans attach great importance to loss-free transmission of the sound signal between the source and the ears. In the past, wireless audio transmission has come up against its limits. Now however, audio specialist Sennheiser is opening up a new class of wireless listening with the new RS 220 wireless headphones. The digital wireless headphones have a full, detailed sound while offering total freedom of movement.

Headphone development is driven by the challenge of reproducing sound that is as lifelike and direct as possible. Up until now, cabled headphones had a far better audio quality than wireless headphones. But now, the RS 220 from Sennheiser is setting new standards. “With these digital wireless headphones, we have succeeded for the first time in combining wireless music enjoyment with high-end quality,” said Maurice Quarré, Director Product Lifecycle Management at Sennheiser Consumer Electronics, describing the new RS 220.

Superior wireless listening pleasure
Many years of experience in the field of wireless transmission and audio technology have gone into the development of the new digital headphones. Dynamic transducers with powerful neodymium magnets ensure clear, lifelike audio reproduction with a frequency response of 19 to 21,000 hertz. The maximum sound pressure level of the open, circumaural headphones is 106 decibels. In the RS 220, the transmitter sends the audio signals to the headphones without compression via a stable 2.4 GHz connection using the so-called Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technique. “This is a frequency spreading process in which the output signal is spread to a width of 22 MHz by means of a specified bit sequence. If interference occurs at one point within this frequency range, the output signal experiences no interference as the data is transmitted with redundancy, in other words several times. As a result, only a minimal and inaudible part of the whole information is affected and the overall sound quality is not influenced,” explained Axel Grell, Senior Acoustical Engineer at Sennheiser. The headphones have a range of up to 100 metres without the need for the transmitter and receiver to be in the same room. A further advantage of the transmission process is the low latency and thus minimum delay of the audio signal.

Choice of several connection possibilities

The sound quality of a set of headphones is decisively dependent, among other things, on the connection between the audio source and the headphones. As the data between the transmitter and receiver is transmitted wirelessly in the RS 220, the feeding of the data from the audio source to the transmitter is particularly important. For this reason, the headphone system has an analogue, a coaxial digital and an optical digital input. Discerning users can decide themselves on the type and quality of the audio signal being fed in. Sensor buttons on the transmitter or directly on the headphones enable users to switch back and forth between the sources.

Lifelike sound experience
An important means of creating a musical effect is the transition between quiet and loud passages, as can be heard for example in Ravel’s Bolero. Conventional digital data transmission sometimes reduces this dynamic range, as an optimum signal volume for the entire data package is often assigned to the information when the analogue signal is converted into a digital data package. To preserve the original dynamics of a piece of music, the RS 220 completely dispenses with the automatic level control function. The data of the digital sources is transmitted unchanged, and the user can manually adjust the reference volume for the analogue inputs. As a result, the system comes very close to the audiophile ideal: a lifelike sound experience.

Maximum comfort
Operating the RS 220 is extremely easy. An on/off switch, controls for selecting the audio source and tracks, as well as a volume control are directly integrated into the headphones. There is also a control to individually adjust the volume balance between right and left. Setting up the wireless headphones for the first time is equally easy. Simply connect the transmitter to the audio or video device using the chosen connector, put on the headphones and switch on. The headphones come with rechargeable batteries that guarantee up to eight hours of listening enjoyment and which can be conveniently recharged while still in the headphones. As an added feature, the transmitter can also be used to supply a second optional set of headphones – for shared listening pleasure. The RS 220 will be available in late January and carries a street price of $599.95.

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The Radio magazine The Wire provides information from manufacturers and associations about industry news, products, technology and business announcements. The information shown here is posted by companies and their representatives and are not edited or previewed by the Radio magazine staff. The content providers are solely responsible for the content of their posts. If you would like your company's news and information to appear here, contact us.

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