Thursday, July 4, 2019

Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd and Blue Byrd IEM Review

You may have heard the term German Engineering used in a positive context. This is often used when talking about cars, like BMW and Mercedes. But there’s a couple German companies that make headphones and one of them is Beyerdynamic. They have a wide range of quality headphones. And their entry level IEM’s give good bang for the buck. Up for review is their Soul Byrd and Blue Byrd IEM’s.

The Soul Byrd is their entry level IEM with a MSRP of $89. It’s a basic wired model with not so basic sound. And it includes in-line controls. If you want wireless, they have you covered with their Blue Byrd model. Not only does stepping up to their Blue Byrd model give you wireless functionality, you also get their amazing MOSAYC sound customization software.
 
Features and specs:
Soul Byrd:
Operating principle: Closed
Transmission Type: Wired
Remote: Universal 3-button remote
Headphone frequency response: 10 - 25,000 Hz
Sound coupling to the ear: In-ear headphones
EAN: 4010118717802
Cable & Plug: 1.2 m cable (both-sided, fixed) with 3.5 mm plug (4-pole)
article No.: 717800
 

Blue Byrd:
Operating principle: Closed
Transmission Type: Wireless via Bluetooth®
Remote: Universal 3-button remote
weight headphones without cable: 6 g
battery runtime: Up to 6 hours
Headphone frequency response:  10 - 25,000 Hz
Supported Bluetooth profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP, SPP
Codecs: aptX™ LL, aptX™, AAC, SBC
Sound coupling to the ear: In-ear headphones
EAN: 4010118717659
article No.: 717657





Both the Soul Byrd and Blue Byrd came in a nice color printed box with photos and specs of the IEM. Opening the box revealed a well protected product. The hard zipper case was held in place with custom molded cardboard. Opening the case you see the IEM held in it’s place inside the case. On the other side of the case is a packet to held the additional sized ear tips, and the charging cord for the Blue Byrd model. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic with some metal. Quality of materials used as well as the fit and finish were better than expected for their price point.

You get a really good value with the Soul Byrd. But what really impressed me was the value you get with the Blue Byrd. Sure, they’re wireless. But the real jewel they came with is their MOSAYC. While it’s sound customization software, the term customization just doesn’t give it enough justice. The human ear has a wide hearing range, but it does differ a small bit from person to person. And as you get older, you lose some of that frequency range. The software does a hearing test per say, with test tones as a base map. And you can adjust the sound to your liking from there. Now let’s see how they sound.
 
When listening to both the Soul Byrd and Blue Byrd, they sounded pretty much the same out of the box.  In looking at the specs, they both had the same frequency response.  Looking at the earbuds, they looked to be the same size.  So……I figured they most both use the same drivers.  So instead of writing up the same sound for both, I am including their listening experience for both of them together as one.

Disturbed: Sound of Silence- Piano sounded natural, vocals had nice texture and timbre, guitar was crisp and clean, violin had nice smooth harmonics. Cymbals sounded only a tad thin. Tympani had good impact.  Earth, Wind and Fire: Let’s Groove- Cymbals were crisp and clean, claps were nice and dynamic. Trumpets were smooth with nice harmonics. Bass had nice low end extension, playing with a lot of output and only a tad muddy. Vocals were also smooth with very good harmonics.  Run DMC: It’s Tricky-Percussion was crisp and clean. Drums were dynamic and had good impact. Bass played pleasantly deep, cleaner than expected, and also hit really hard with a lot of authority.  Adele: Rolling in the Deep-  Guitar sounded really natural with the plucking of the strings. Kick drum had good low end extension with good authority. High hat was crisp and clean and only a tad thin sounding. Piano sounded more natural than expected. Vocals were smooth with good texture and timbre.

When all is said and done, you get a great bang for the buck with the Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd. They provide a great sound for the price. But for a little bit more of your hard earned cash, the Blue Byrd gives an even better bang for the buck, especially with the MOSAYC software. Based on their design, features, quality, and performance. They Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd and Blue Byrd have both earned our Value Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.beyerdynamic.com.


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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Award-Winning beyerdynamic LAGOON ANC Available for Shipping

Award-Winning beyerdynamic LAGOON ANC Available for Shipping

Lagoon ANC combines MOSAYC sound personalization combined with cutting-edge active noise cancelation to create the ultimate travel headphone

 

Farmingdale, NY. – June 25, 2019 – beyerdynamic, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and conferencing products, is now shipping the LAGOON ANC, providing the highest sound quality available to consumers in any ANC headphone. LAGOON ANC, a circumaural headphone designed to provide outstanding wearing comfort and extended battery life, is available in two styles, Traveler and Explorer.

beyerdynamic’s LAGOON ANC revolutionizes wireless audio by utilizing a hybrid of active noise cancellation with MOSAYC to eliminate exterior sounds, creating a powerful headphone designed for those on-the-go. MOSAYC sound personalization creates a new, unparalleled listening experience with the ability to create an individualized hearing profile in the MIY app. LAGOON ANC boasts incredible, crisp sound quality that outperforms other ANC headphones through the integration of advanced technology. Featuring Bluetooth
® 4.2 transmission from Qualcomm® aptX, LAGOON ANC is compatible with Android and Apple devices through the MIY app.

“LAGOON ANC features best-in-class sound quality, incredible comfort, and an extended battery life to create the ultimate companion for travelers,” said
Alan Feckanin, Director Americas for beyerdynamic. “The combination of technologies included in the LAGOON ANC surpasses all other ANC models. The Lagoon ANC is another stellar addition to our lineup of high-quality audio devices our customers have come to expect from beyerdynamic.”

The LAGOON ANC’s Light Guide System (LGS) features colored lights on the inside of the headphones earcups to indicate the current status of the battery level, Bluetooth® connection, media playback and telephone. Utilizing a built-in sensor, LGS automatically detects when the headphone is removed to provide intuitive indicators. LAGOON ANC boasts up to 45 hours of battery run time without ANC, or 24.5 hours with ANC activated. For easy transport, the LAGOON ANC features rotatable earcups for a snug and secure fit inside the convenient hard case. The LAGOON ANC is available in two versions, Traveller (black/blue) and Explorer (grey/brown), and retails for $399.99. For more information on the LAGOON ANC, please visit
https://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/lagoon-anc-traveller.html.

To learn more about beyerdynamic, please visit
https://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/. Connect with beyerdynamic on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for news on the latest promotions.
About beyerdynamic

beyerdynamic is one of the world's leading manufacturers in the audio industry. Founded in Berlin in 1924, the company stands for numerous audio innovations and high-quality, hand-crafted products engineered and developed in Germany.

For more information, please visit https://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/.


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Sunday, June 23, 2019

HELM Audio™ Unveils Range of High-Performance Headphones and Amp Cable for Mobile to Wired Headphones

HELM Audio™ Unveils Range of High-Performance Headphones and Amp Cable for Mobile to Wired Headphones
 


HELM Audio today unveiled the world’s first in-line cable amplifier powered by THX AAA™ technology along with their groundbreaking HELM Studio Planar over-ear headphones, their latest wireless headphones & the HELM MQA Adapter at CANJAM SOCAL

 
HONG KONG, S.A.R. – JUNE 22, 2019 – Premier consumer electronics company, HELM Audio announced the debut of its new lineup of headphones, in-line amps and the next gen MQA adapter.  The new lineup will include the HELM Boost Cable, powered by THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier (THX AAA™) technology ($99.99), the HELM Studio Planar Headphones ($349.99), the HELM TW5 True Wireless headphones ($129.99), the HELM MQA Adapter ($99.99) and the HELM Triple Driver HD SportsBand Headphones ($129.99).  This latest release delivers on HELM’s mission to use cutting-edge craftsmanship to deliver products with transcendent clarity, connectivity, and comfort. The new lineup can be demoed at the CANJAM SOCAL show at the Irvine Marriott in Irvine, California June 22nd-23rd.  The HELM True Wireless headphones are now available on Amazon and HelmAudio.com and the rest of the new lineup will be available later this Summer.


 
HELM’s latest release, the HELM True Wireless 5 in-ear headphones build on the success of the critically acclaimed sound, bass, comfort and sound isolation delivered by the first generation of HELM True Wireless headphones. Loaded with updated technology and features including Bluetooth 5, the Qualcomm® aptX™ Bluetooth codec featuring decreased latency, auto-pairing and auto-charging, and offering 6 to 8 hours of play time that can be extended further to 30 hours with its portable charging case. Class-leading Bluetooth connectivity provides an impressive range of 60 feet, dual stereo mics deliver clear full stereo music and phone calls. Easy access smart buttons allow you to completely control your music, volume, easily control phone calls, and access your favorite voice assistant. The unique look of the diamond pattern shell is durable and scratch resistant, its anti-slip silicone padding provides a secure fit for any activity and voice notifications keep you in control. These features place the HELM TW5 at the front of the pack of any true wireless competitors, and at a value that rivals any of the other premium true wireless brands.
HELM Audio is also debuting the HELM Boost Cable, a first of its kind new portable amplifier cable with a proprietary bass boost that connects between the underpowered audio output in mobile phones giving your favorite power-hungry wired headphones a boost! The HELM Boost Cable is integrated into a dual-ended 3.5mm solution that is lightweight fitting into the palm of your hand. The Plug and Play high-end silver conductor boost cable delivers +12 dB of zero distortion volume gain, improved stereo imaging, clarity (true linear amplification), and a user-controlled +6 dB bass boost delivering low-end sound you might not have thought possible from your headphones. The dual-ended 3.5mm boost cable ensures compatibility with almost every mobile device on the market with a headphone jack. Powered by the THX AAA™ technology, the Boost Cable, which has been conditionally approved as a THX® Certified product, delivers studio quality analog (not digital) amplification from your favorite mobile device to any wired headphones and is an ideal accompaniment to the HELM Studio Planar Headphones.
"Pending final testing, HELM Audio's new Boost Cable will represent the world’s first THX Certified in-line amplifier that brings our premium THX AAA experience to consumers,” said Peter Vasay, Senior Vice President and GM, Home, THX Ltd. "HELM Audio shares our passion for innovation that will continue to deliver premium quality audio experiences on the go at an amazing value," he added."
 
The HELM Triple Driver HD SportsBand wireless headphones feature 3 drivers for precise reproduction of your favorite music, 25 hours of battery life, aptX™ HD Bluetooth codec, and magnetic earpieces for easy storage around users’ necks when not in use. Also being shown at CANJAM is the HELM MQA Adapter. This new micro DAC adapter features a frequency response of -0.007dB (0-40kHz) and allows for full MQA conversion providing 16, 24, and 32-bit playback at up to 384kHz MQA sample rate, making the perfect solution for lossless end-to-end high-res music transmission for Android, Windows and iOS.
 
“Our latest releases bring us closer to delivering on our goals of bringing superior sound, innovation and value to our customers,” says HELM Audio’s CEO, Eric Johnson.  “In a sea of over-priced and overseas sourced off-the-shelf headphones, HELM’s goal is to take the time to design, engineer, tune and position our products so that everyone can enjoy superior studio-quality sound without breaking the bank, he added. 
 
Meet the team and demo HELM Audio’s new products at CANJAM SoCal, June 22nd-23rd at the Irvine Marriott located at 18000 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92612.  To learn more about HELM Audio’s new products visit Helmaudio.com or join our Facebook community at Facebook.com/helmaudioltd. HELM Audio’s flagship over ear headphones, the HELM Studio Planar Headphones, use custom designed drivers that are rectangular (most are round) with silver coiling, the highest conductive metal - an industry first. The drivers measure 66mm (most are 50mm) and the rectangular design flexes more evenly than both round planar and dynamic drivers minimizing distortion and delayed resonance while increasing accuracy and phase coherence.
About HELM Helm doesn’t cut corners, only costs, democratizing superior audio for all music lovers. Our team is based on deep friendships from across the globe bringing together real experience in audio, CE manufacturing, and building leading brands in the headphone space. Years in the making, the HELM adventure begins with our shared ideals for creating revolutionary products for the love of great sound and value.
 
About THX Ltd.:
Founded by legendary filmmaker George Lucas in 1983, THX Ltd. and its partners provide premium entertainment experiences in the cinema, in the home and on the go. Over the past thirty-five years, THX has expanded its certification categories beyond studios and cinemas to consumer electronics, content, automotive systems and live entertainment. Today, THX continues to redefine entertainment, providing exciting new technologies and assurance of experiences which provide consumers with superior audio and visual fidelity and ensure an artist’s vision is truthfully delivered to audiences worldwide. For more information visit THX.com, find us on Facebook, Instagram, and follow us on Twitter.
THX is a registered trademark of THX Ltd. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.



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Friday, June 21, 2019

Marantz Introduces Two New 4K UHD AV Receivers

Marantz Introduces Two New 4K UHD AV Receivers

 


 

The Latest SR-Series Full-Sized A/V Receivers Offer the Most Musical Sound for Any Source Including Home Theater, Vinyl and Digital Streaming  

 

VISTA, Calif. (June 20, 2019 @ 9AM EST) Marantz®, the number one Hi-Fi brand in the world[1] and manufacturer of the most musical-sounding audio components, today announced the SR5014 and SR6014 4K Ultra HD AV receivers. Extensively tuned by world-renowned sound acousticians at state-of-the-art facilities, the latest high-powered Marantz SR-Series receivers deliver audiophile-quality sound alongside the latest array of technologies for easy integration into any home entertainment environment. Designed with custom integrators in mind, the new SR Series AVRs boast the latest remote monitoring and management capabilities via Domotz Pro, ihiji Invision and OvrC, as well as RS232C and IP control capabilities. New to the 2019 models, both receivers support the ability to assign different music sources to the same HDMI input. This level of flexibility enables users to watch the game while switching between music playback and commentators more easily than ever.

 

“The new Marantz SR-Series AV receivers define high performance for home entertainment enthusiasts, combining Marantz’s classic sound with the most advanced entertainment technologies to ensure nearly all available content is supported to the highest degree possible,” said Emmanuel Millot, global brand director at Marantz. “From outstanding 9-channel amplification and IMAX Enhanced upgrades in the SR6014, to the clarity of 4K Ultra HD and the addition of Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization to both models, the Marantz SR-Series AV receivers are the ultimate home entertainment solutions for the most demanding audiophile and video enthusiasts.”
High-Performance Amplification & Advanced Decoding Capabilities
Prioritizing rich, powerful audio, the SR6014 features high-current discrete power amplifiers on all channels to deliver 110 watts of power per channel (8 Ohm, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channel driven). Marantz’s proprietary Hyper Dynamic Amplification Module (HDAM) circuitry provides optimal fidelity and maximum dynamic range of high-resolution files for stellar sound quality. With low impedance driver capability, the SR6014 offers operational stability with a wide range of speakers providing the clarity and balance users have come to expect from Marantz.

 

For home theater applications, the SR6014 supports an array of multi-dimensional audio formats, including IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and DTS Virtual:X. Both the SR6014 and SR5014 add Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology[2] to give users an object-based listening experience without the need for dedicated height or surround speakers. Listeners can configure up to seven channels for a 7.1 setting while the technology adds virtualized height effects.

 

Latest HDMI Technology


 

Both the SR6014 and SR5014 support eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), which allows lossless and object-based audio transmission like Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Atmos from TV apps using a single HDMI cable, the SR6014 gives users the power to easily enjoy better and more immersive surround experiences from their TV audio. The addition of Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) ensures Xbox One users have a more responsive and immersive gaming experience when connected with select TV models that also support ALLM.


Intuitive Voice Control

Leveraging HEOS Built-in, the new SR series receivers work with leading voice agents—Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri and high-end smart home automation assistant, Josh.ai. Using a compatible smart voice speaker or phone, users can leverage their voice to stream music directly to the SR-series. With additional HEOS Built-in components, like HEOS-capable speakers or other Marantz electronics with HEOS Built-in, listeners can play all their music in one room or many. Other voice commands include the ability to switch between connected components, adjust volume, pause, mute, play a previous or next track, and more[3].
Audyssey MultEQ XT32 Room Calibration

Listeners can optimize their listening experience with Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room calibration, providing seamless setup for any room. With the supplied measurement microphone, MultEQ XT32 analyzes each speaker's output (including subwoofers) at up to eight measurement locations and generates precision digital filters to optimize each channel for the correct frequency and time domain response. Audyssey Dynamic Volume also smooths out disruptive jumps in volume (such as TV commercials), letting listeners enjoy lower output levels while still enjoying clear dialogue and overall performance.

 

The Audyssey Dynamic EQ provides full-range clarity at any listening level, and Audyssey Low Frequency Containment uses advanced psychoacoustic algorithms to deliver more full-range balance, including deep bass, without disturbing neighbors or people in other rooms of the home. Audyssey Sub EQ HT provides individual DSP tailoring of each subwoofer in a dual subwoofer setup for deeper bass with improved definition. Plus, the Audyssey MultEQ Editor app, users can view and adjust settings for detailed tuning.

 

Hi-Res Support & Integrated Phono Input for Exceptional Playback

For listening applications, legendary Marantz sound quality can be experienced via users’ favorite music, games, movies, and more. The SR series can also decode up to 24-bit/192-kHz ALAC, FLAC and WAV lossless files as well as DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz tracks, empowering users to experience content exactly as the creators intended.

 

Vinyl lovers can easily connect their turntable to the SR series’ phono input and enjoy the purity of classic sound of their entire LP record collection. Both models feature an advanced phono stage with HDAM, which outperforms inferior op-amp solutions, delivering the clarity and detail discerning listeners expect from Marantz.

 

Advanced Custom Installation Support

Marantz AV receivers offer extended support for custom integration. Both the SR-Series receivers feature OvrC Smart Remote Management support alongside ihiji Invision and Domotz Pro.  Web User Interface is also supported providing access to the AV receivers’ setup menu remotely or from a computer on the same network. These programs empower integrators to monitor the status of connected products and troubleshoot remotely from a separate location or on-the-go.
New for the 2019 AVR models, the SR series feature HDMI Multiple Input Assign, which allows users to listen to multiple audio sources while maintaining the same video content on-screen. All Zone Stereo Mode—a.k.a. Party Mode— is now storable on “Smart Select,” so both Main Zone and Zone 2 will initiate music playback in sync by simply pressing the “Smart Select” button on the remote, app or third-party controllers.  

 

The new series also feature HDMI Auto Input Rename, which automatically renames HDMI inputs to the source devices, including “PS4” and “Apple TV,” reducing wasted time naming inputs.

 

SR6014 and SR5014 Features:


New 2019 Models
SR5014
SR6014
Price
$999
$1,499
Amplification
7.2 CH at 100W per channel
9.2 CH at 110W per channel
4K Ultra HDMI
8 inputs / 2 outputs (main/sub)
8 inputs / 3 outputs (main/sub/zone)
IMAX Enhanced Technology
No
ü   
Processing and Pre-Amplification Outputs
7.2 Channels
11.2 Channels
New Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology (via future firmware update)
ü   
ü   
eARC and ALLM for enhanced picture and audio
ü   
ü   
Audyssey Room EQ Technologies
MultEQ XT, Dynamic EQ and Volume
MultEQ XT32, Sub EQ HT, Dynamic EQ and Volume, LFC
The Audyssey MultEQ Editor app compatibility
ü   
ü   
Integrated Phono Input with HDAM
ü   
ü   
Advanced Custom installation support including RS-232C/IP control, Control 4 SDDP, Web UI, Works with Domotz Pro, OvrC and ihiji Invision for remote room monitoring and management, Remote In/Out, and Flasher Input
 
ü   
ü   
Marantz AVR Remote iOS and Android App
ü   
ü   
Dual Subwoofer Outputs
ü  (Parallel)
ü  (Independent)
 

The Marantz SR6014 and SR5014 will be available July 15, 2019 at all authorized Marantz retailers. To learn more about the Marantz SR series, visit www.marantz.com/us.
About Marantz:
The company can trace its roots back to the dawn of the first mono LP, when Saul Bernard Marantz, a native of New York, was unhappy with the equipment available to play his cherished record collection on. So he had to build his own! Saul officially founded the Marantz Company in 1953. Then, as now, the company’s cornerstones were quality and innovation. For over 60 years, Marantz has been developing unique technologies and bringing landmark hi-fi and home entertainment products to market through its tireless and extensive R&D programs. Such commitment to audio and video excellence ensures each Marantz design delivers class-leading performance. Marantz is a part of Sound United LLC. Additional information is available at www.us.marantz.com.

 

About Sound United

Sound United is a division of DEI Holdings with an award-winning portfolio of audio brands that deliver industry-leading home theatre and personal audio listening experiences for a wide-range of consumers. Each brand provides an expansive array of audio products that includes high-end and custom installation audio, to mid-tier markets that cover loudspeakers, sound bars, AV receivers, wireless multi-room music systems, Bluetooth® speakers, amplifiers, turntables and headphones.

 

Dedicated to artfully reproducing audio for listeners and enthusiasts around the world, Sound United is comprised of Denon®, Marantz®, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Classé, Polk BOOM, HEOS®, Classé®, and Boston Acoustics®. Each brand offers a unique approach to bringing home theatre and music to life. Whether it’s through the legendary heritage of Denon, the classic sound of Polk Audio, the premium performance of Definitive Technology, the highly-sought-after amplification of Marantz, the action-inspired form factors of Polk BOOM, the wireless home audio solutions of HEOS, or the accessible performance of Boston Acoustics, Sound United is your sound — so listen.

 

To learn more about Sound United and its brands, visit www.soundunited.com.


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