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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Audio

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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Alexa Arrives on Ultimate Ears Speakers

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Two more speakers get integration with the Amazon voice-controlled assistant-- the Ultimate Ears Boom 2 and Megaboom speakers, at least when paired with the Android version of the companion app.

Ultimate Ears AlexaTo summon Alexa, users simply need to press the Bluetooth button and issue a voice command with anything Alexa is capable of doing. However, it does involve some limitations. First off, as mentioned earlier it is only available on the Android app, specifically through the exclusive "Just Tap and Ask" feature.

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Meridian Adds 251 Powered Zone Controller

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The Meridian Audio 200 Series gets an addition-- the 251, a compact powered zone controller with two channels of on-board amplification ideal for high-resolution audio, including Master Quality Authenticated (MQA).

Meridian 251The 251 can act as an integrated amplifier, delivering two 100W channels for two passive loudspeakers or a soundbar for media room projects. It can be deployed to run a 2.1 system with a separate subwoofer, using the unit's pair of analog outputs, or as a hub for distributed audio applications from a single zone to whole-house distribution using the digital and analog inputs.

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Bryston Launches BP-173 Preamp

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Bryston announces the BP-173 (Cubed Series)-- a preamplifier featuring an expanded input/output configuration and Bryston's super-linear low noise input buffer.

Bryston B173Co-developed by Bryston and the late engineer Dr. Ioan Alexandru Salomie, the input buffer significantly reduces noise and distortion, at least according to the company. The BP-173 also has improved RF and audio frequence noise filtering to prevent unwanted anomalies on the power line from interfering with the audio signal.

As for the expanded input/output options, the BP-173 offers x2 pairs of XLR outputs and x2 pairs of RCA outputs, allowing the connection of a wide variety of equipment in numerous system configurations. An RCA tape loop lets users connect a line-level processor or recording device, and one of the XLR output pairs has either variable (default) or fixed output, allowing the connection of a Bryston BHA-1 or other balanced input headphone amplifier.

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Klipsch Expands Dolby Atmos Lineup

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Klipsch debuts the Reference Dolby Atmos-enabled home theatre speakers-- the only two-way, horn-loaded Atmos-enabled speakers on the market, at least according to the company.

Klipch Atmos speakerAlso included is proprietary Tractrix horn technology, allowing the speakers to meet directivity and sensitivy specifications required for Atmos speakers.

The Atmos-enabled Reference line consists of two models-- the R-26FA and R-14SA. The R-26FA is an all-in-one tower speaker with an integrated height channel able to reflect sound off ceilings to deliver the overhead Atmos experience.

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