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System Integration for the Connected Home

Audio

Control4 Intros Triad Multi-Room Audio Line

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Control4 announces an extensive line of Triad-branded high-resolution audio products-- including the Triad AMS-24 and AMS-8 Audio Matrix Switches, Triad 8-Zone Power Amplifier, and Triad One Streaming Amplifier.

Control4 Triead “Our new Triad multi-room audio products are designed to deliver high-resolution audio in every corner of the home, from the source to the listener’s ears,” Control4 says.  “Beautiful sound, elegant design, and high-performance are the core tenets inspiring the development of the new Triad multi-room audio lineup. Coupled with Triad’s comprehensive range of build-to-order premium speakers for home theaters, family rooms, whole-home or multi-room audio, and outdoor environments, the Triad product family is a very strong go-to high-fidelity audio solution for our worldwide dealers and end-customers.”

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The Smart Assistants of IFA 2017

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Voice-controlled smart assistants were everywhere at IFA 2017, as multiple companies took a stab at putting such capabilities, be it through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Microsoft Cortana, in a piece of hardware.

Alexa Cortana Surprisingly, while the show took place two assistant makers announced a partnership-- one allowing Alexa and Cortana to play nice with each other. Thus, Cortana users will be able to summon Alexa to shop on Amazon, while Alexa users get access to Cortana features such as calendar management and location-based reminders.

But back to the actual product offerings. On the Alexa side, Logiech UE Boom and Libratone Zipp wireless speakers get the Amazon assistant via update, as will the Bragi Dash earbuds. DTS also had a number of Alexa-enabled products, including the Phorus PS10 wireless speaker, Onkyo Smart Speaker P3 and Pioneer Elite Smart Speaker F4.

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Wisdom Audio Adds 2nd Gen System Controllers

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Wisdom Audio unveils the SC-2 and SC-3 system controllers at CEDIA 2017-- second-generation controllers designed to help solve acoustic problems through calibration tools able to solve audio distortions.

Wisdom SC-3The SC-2 is a 2RU system controller offering 8-channel in to 16-channel out, while the SC-3 is a 3RU platform providing 16-channel in to 32-channel out. Both units operate at 24-bit 96kHz, and provide the necessary digital active crossover and digital EQ profiles for all Wisdom Audio loudspeaker. Another feature is Dirac Live, a platform the company says is optimised for sound enhancement technology.

The two controllers are designed to perfect sound in any listening room by removing resonances and acoustic problems in sound reproduction, creating a natural, realistic and transparent sound with tighter bass. They also reduce early reflections and room coloration without need for room treatments.

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FCC Filing Reveals Sonos Smart Speaker

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The grapevine has previously suggested Sonos is working on a voice-controlled speaker, and now we have proof in the shape of a filing with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Sonos speakerFirst discovered by Zatz Not Funny, the filing describes "product model S13," a "high-performance all-in-one wireless smart speaker" featuring "integrated voice control functionality with far field microphones." It also "will support multiple voice platforms and music services, allowing customers to effortlessly control their music on Sonos."

As such, one can imagine a wireless Sonos speaker with support for a wide range of smart assistants, including the obvious likes of Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. The FCC filing also includes an image of a new UI replete with a prominent microphone icon. This might either be a simple button or a touchable surface, like the one found in the Play:5.

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T+A Intros Cala Receiver Range

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High-end German audio maker T+A announces a designer receiver range-- Cala, with the Cala SR and Cala CDR (with CD) offering streaming services and playback from UPnP network music servers.

Cala receiverThe receivers currently support Tidal, Deezer and qobuz, as well as FM, FM-HD and DAB+ radio. A USB port is included, and handled file formats include MP3, AAC, OGG-Vorbis, FLAC, WAV, AIFF and ALAC. Connectivity comes through x2 coax digital inputs (with support for up to 192kHz) and x1 optical (96kHz), together with analogue stereo and Bluetooth.

The Cala SR streaming receiver has 2 x 55W output into 4 Ohms, while the CDR model has 2 x 100W output. Control comes through included F100 IR remote or companion T+A Control mobile device app.

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Rapid Growth for DAB Radios

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According to GfK, H1 2017 sees "rapid" growth in DAB+ receiver sales across Europe, in good part driven by the Norwegian switchover from FM to DAB+, as well as the development of digital radio markets across the continent.

DAB radioThe research covers Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. It shows sales ae up by 30% Y-o-Y for H2 2017, reaching 1.1 million audio home systems, tuners, receivers, clock radios, portable radios, radio recorders and aftermarket car radios.

As mentioned earlier, Norway was a key sales drivers-- the country sees H1 2017 sales grow by 192% Y-o-Y. Digital Radio Norway says overall sales total 4.1m, and 78% of Norwegian households own one or more DAB+ sets.

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Control4 Presents Triad Designer In-Ceiling Speakers

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Control4 aims at Origin Acoustics with the launch of Triad Designer-- a series of high-performance in-ceiling speakers engineered to hide neatly in a ceiling while projecting full, rich sound.

Triad DesignerThe speakers features an unobtrusive 4-inch flush-mounted grill, while retaining simple serviceability. With both full range and subwoofer models, the Triad Designer speakers reproduce a wider range of sound than traditional invisible speakers, and employ the Triad Ultra-Broad Dispersion (UBD) tweeter.

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