At the beginning of May digiZoid introduced the Zo personal subwoofer
, which claimed to enhance a listener's sonic experience by offering increasing degrees of bass contouring to any audio fed through it. Over the past week I've had the chance to take the Zo for a spin. Has it lived up to the claims of its manufacturer? Read on for a full review.
Most of us are now familiar with 5.1 surround sound systems that allow us to enjoy (almost) cinematic audio experiences in our living rooms when watching movies or playing games. The Psyko 5.1 gaming headset aims to offer a similar experience by using air tubes to direct sounds to the ears from five speakers fitted in the bridge and subwoofers within each ear cup.
The vast majority of multi-channel sound (stereo, 5.1, 6.1, etc) is produced post-production, making it difficult to squeeze professional-grade discrete 5.1 audio quality into modest production budgets … until now. The Holophone PortaMic 5.1 and PortaMic Pro surround microphones both sit atop your video camera and offer a cost-effective means of recording surround sound directly to a camera or indeed, any stereo recording device. At US$600 and US$1000 respectively, the microphones permanently offer professional discrete surround recording from a single point source for a once-only price off, with no additional mixing required. Bargain!
The world of home theater seems ever changing. New formats, new innovations and cheaper prices have made an altogether bigger audio-visual experience more accessible for everyone. Two channel systems have been common place in our lounge rooms for decades now, but you might need a few more tricks in your arsenal to get the best out of the latest multi-speaker systems. Tim LeFevre investigates.
The Fraunhofer stand at the IFA consumer electronics
trade show in Berlin will achieve a world first by broadcasting a radio station in DAB Surround and MP3 Surround Internet radio. ROCK ANTENNE will be transmitted in the MPEG Surround standard, which compresses the six channels of a surround music track to the extent that they require no more memory than a compressed stereo signal.
Bringing a new spin to the term "functional furniture", Sony's BRAVIA™ Theatre TV stand (RHT-G500) integrates a 3.1-channel virtual surround sound system, three HDMI inputs, audio inputs for TV, DVD and Blu-ray Disc™, plus support for Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi... and it can all be controlled from a single remote. The sound system consists of center, left and right speakers plus a subwoofer and uses "S-Force PRO Front Surround", a technology that promises realistic surround sound without the need for rear speakers and therefore no wires to upset the system's clean lines.
September 11, 2007 Billed as the next generation of automotive radio technology, DAB Surround was presented by the BMW Group in collaboration with the Fraunhofer IIS and Deutschlandradio at the IFA in Berlin. Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) offers CD quality sound and enables several radio programmes along with additional data to be broadcast on a single frequency, meaning cars can be fed with real-time information including traffic reports and local hazard warnings.
August 30, 2007 UPDATED HI-RES IMAGES Projecting brilliantly sharp images as a single picture onto curved surfaces has previously been a very elaborate and expensive process. Now a new software system automatically calibrates the projectors needed so that the images are superimposed with pixel-precise accuracy. The technology promises so many applications from enhancing the planitarium experience to creating compelling immersive viewer experiences in trade show booths, show stages, multiplexes, theme parks, product presentations and advanced simulators. Download the brochure here
October 5, 2006 Best known for its development of the MP3, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS
is set to make another significant contribution to audio later today when it begins previewing a new technology to create 5.1 surround sound from existing stereo content at the Audio Engineering Society Convention
in San Francisco. Fraunhofer IIS will demonstrate the high audio quality and high degree of creative control offered by the new SX Pro processing, which will be available for integration in software, consumer electronics, and professional hardware by the end of 2006.
May 19, 2006 We’re bullish about the prospects for MPEG Surround and see it as inevitable it will be adopted by the mass market. MP3 Surround enables high-quality surround sound at bit rates comparable to those currently used to encode stereo MP3 material. It is backwards compatible to stereo MP3; a legacy MP3 device plays back MP3 Surround as high quality stereo. Most importantly, it comprises a full set of tools enabling the representation, reproduction and rendering of multi-channel audio for a broad spectrum of applications, from digital broadcasting, to mobile entertainment, to Internet music distribution. It brings true surround sound to any media system at next to no overhead in transportation and storage, and preserves consumers' investment as existing home stereo equipment can stay in use. The Fraunhoffer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS
invented the MP3 and is working with Agere Systems
, Coding Technologies
, to demonstrate the full potential of the new Surround Sound system at AES (Audio Engineering Society) Pro Audio Expo which begins in Paris tomorrow. Wanna try for yourself? Go here
to download a free evaluation version of the Fraunhofer IIS MP3 Surround player.