Streaming Audio Gets Better with Free Lossless Audio Codec

The quality of digital audio has waxed and waned since storage migrated from physical media to files stored on devices or in the cloud. Up until now, large technology companies such as Apple have been the ones making audio developments, such as taking MP3 mainstream with the iTunes Music Store in 2003. Increases in bandwidth have helped improve the quality of streaming audio. Consumers have pushed for better audio, and now some music services have adopted FLAC, a Free Lossless Audio Codec that is changing the game. Continue reading Streaming Audio Gets Better with Free Lossless Audio Codec

CES: Qobuz High-Res Music Service to Launch in U.S. in 2018

In mid-2018, Qobuz, a European online music streaming and downloading service, will be available in the U.S. The company, which claims it is “the highest resolution music streaming service in the world,” offers 40-million music tracks, among them one million high-resolution tracks. The service is compatible with Mac, iOS, Android and Windows operating systems. Qobuz also produces original editorial content including album reviews, bios, introductions to discographies and exclusive photos, art and videos. The company will showcase its service at CES in Las Vegas next week. Continue reading CES: Qobuz High-Res Music Service to Launch in U.S. in 2018

Sony, Harman Kardon and JBL Debut New Smart Speakers

At the Berlin trade show IFA this year, manufacturers showed smart speakers that incorporate voice assistants from Amazon and Google. Sony debuted its LF-S50G, one of the first third-party products, including Google Assistant and offering 360-degree sound and a digital clock, due out in December for $200. Another rival is the $250 Harman Kardon Allure, which offers Amazon’s Alexa and features ambient lighting that keeps the music’s beat. In addition, JBL’s new LINK series features three wireless speakers with Google Assistant and Chromecast support. Continue reading Sony, Harman Kardon and JBL Debut New Smart Speakers

Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Dolby Labs is bringing its Atmos surround sound tech to the living room through Blu-ray and streaming services. Dolby Atmos, the cinema sound system introduced in 2012, will be available via Blu-ray without the need for players to upgrade hardware. Partners will offer receivers, speakers and other devices to help deliver the Atmos experience to the home, while existing BD players that conform to the Blu-ray spec will support Atmos content on a Blu-ray Disc, according to the company. Continue reading Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Onkyo Launches THX-Certified 3D Blu-ray Player

  • Onkyo has announced a $599 Blu-ray player with THX certification and 3D capability (available in August).
  • The DLNA 1.5 certified player also handles WMA, MP3 and DivX HD files.
  • The BD-SP809 offers streaming service access through Netflix, VUDU, Blockbuster On Demand and Film Fresh.
  • Network connection is via the Ethernet port since there is no indication of Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • The player offers 1080p upscaling and features two outputs for simultaneously connecting a 3D TV and a 1080p projector.
  • Onkyo may face stiff competition from other 3D Blu-ray players that have Wi-Fi connectivity and expanded access to streaming services such as Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, Crackle and Pandora.