Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Premium Audio Company Unveils Enhanced Features in Recent AVR Firmware Update

Premium Audio Company Unveils Enhanced Features in Recent AVR Firmware Update

Users can optimize the sound of Klipsch speakers, attain improved Bluetooth connectivity, and more precisely tune their room.


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 20, 2022 – Premium Audio Company (PAC), an innovative, premium audio solutions provider, has released a firmware update for many of its Onkyo, Integra and Pioneer audio video receivers (AVRs) that will improve the functionality, connectivity and the overall user experience. Firmware updates allow users to optimize the sound of Klipsch speakers, more precisely tune their room, and achieve improved Bluetooth® connectivity.


Klipsch Speaker Optimization Mode

Klipsch speakers are known to reproduce the power, detail and emotion of the live experience. Onkyo and Integra 2021 audio and video receivers (AVRs) include the precise crossover values for specific Klipsch Reference and now the newly released Reference Premiere speakers, eliminating any guesswork or sometimes arbitrary settings assigned by many automatic room calibration solutions. It's easy to set up in the AVR menu and the result is peak performance out of already amazing-sounding speakers.


AVRs with Klipsch Optimization Mode include:

  • Onkyo TX-RZ50, TX-NR7100, TX-NR6100, TX-NR5100 and TX-NR696
  • Integra DRX-5.4, DRX-3.4, DRX-2.4


More Precise Dirac Live® Room Correction

Dirac Live Room Correction applies state-of-the-art, patented algorithms and cloud-based AI to analyze and digitally reduce room impact and enhance speaker performance. Dirac Live delivers a larger sweet spot, accurate staging, clarity, voice intelligibility, and a deeper, tighter bass not otherwise possible.


The engineers at Onkyo have significantly improved the upper limit delay, which depicts a more accurate measurement of a surround sound system’s positions. The result is a precise and balanced soundstage.


AVRs with improved Dirac Live response times include:

  • Onkyo TX-RZ50, TX-NR7100
  • Integra DRX-5.4, DRX-3.4
  • Pioneer Elite VSX-LX505, VSX-LX305


Improved Bluetooth Connectivity

Bluetooth technology connects devices but can be adversely affected by range and construction materials. With the firmware update, Onkyo, Integra and Pioneer now have improved Bluetooth connectivity between the streaming device and the AVR, as well as increase the connections with mobile devices and headsets.


AVRs with improved Bluetooth connectivity include:

  • Onkyo TX-RZ50, TX-NR7100, TX-NR6100, TX-NR5100
  • Integra DRX-5.4, DRX-3.4, DRX-2.4
  • Pioneer Elite VSX-LX935, VSX-LX105


For more information on the brands and their products, please visit Onkyousa.comIntegrahometheater.com, and Pioneerhomeusa.com.


About Premium Audio Company

Established in 2020, Premium Audio Company is the most innovative, complete and premium audio solutions provider in consumer technology. We connect people to their passion for entertainment. Premium Audio Company includes some of the most legendary and revered brands — Klipsch, Jamo, Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer, Elite, Magnat, and Heco. Premium Audio Company, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of VOXX International Corporation (NASDAQ: VOXX).


About Onkyo

ONKYO is an organization consisting of people unsurpassed in the love of sound. We love our work, and that makes us perfectionists. We won’t settle for second best. We strive to complete what we have started. That’s the ONKYO spirit. For the past half century ONKYO components have been recognized as uncommonly musical among those who are truly fanatical about their music. Our aim for the next century is further refinement of our advanced music reproduction technology to create a new ONKYO that will become a more familiar name to people throughout the world.


About Integra

Integra has been synonymous with high fidelity since 1969, when the name identified industry-leading flagship amplifiers. Thirty years later in 1999, Integra launched as a standalone brand dedicated to emerging home installation markets with a range of solutions that dealers and installers could stake their reputations on. Because of our close relationship with these professionals, the Integra lineup continues to evolve organically with the needs of a rapidly changing marketplace while exceeding the high expectations of our customers.


About Pioneer Elite

Pioneer is obsessed with accuracy that spans generations. Out of that obsession are born three key philosophies: direct energy design, ideal acoustic environment, and master sound tuning. The Elite line started in 1986 in North America to elevate pioneer “reference series” line dealers and provide them with better programs and incentives.



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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Origin Acoustics Expands Partnership with Bang & Olufsen

Origin Acoustics named the U.S. Brand Manager for Bang & Olufsen in the Custom Channel. Selected Origin Integrators will have access to full portfolio of products. 

CEDIA 2022 (September 13, 2022) – Once again Origin Acoustics is breaking new ground for custom integrators with the announcement of an expanded partnership with Bang & Olufsen. Since 2016, Origin Acoustics (OA) has been collaborating with Bang & Olufsen on the co-design and manufacturing of certain architectural loudspeakers, now Origin has been named to U.S. Brand Manager for Bang & Olufsen’s full portfolio in the custom channel. The new relationship will allow selected Origin Acoustics integrators to have access to Bang & Olufsen’s BeoPlay headphones, BeoVision televisions, BeoSound speakers and soundbars, and BeoAmp amplifiers for their luxury clients. 
At the CEDIA Expo 2022 in Dallas the two brands will share further details of the partnership and how this combination of Origin’s network and go-to-market strategy along with Bang & Olufsen’s product portfolio will be available to new and existing channel dealers and ultimately for end consumers. 
Bang & Olufsen has been in business for 97 years and features 700 retail stores worldwide. The company has made inroads in the custom electronics channel over the years, but it has gained more recent momentum following the 2016 successful collaboration with Origin Acoustics, on the creation of co-branded products (Celestial in-ceiling speakers and Palatial in-wall speakers) that both companies sell as part of Origin Acoustics’ Design Centric Technology program.
This newly expanded partnership shows Origin’s commitment and focus on growing the custom installation market by creating and offering design-centric products that will resonate with interior designers, architects and ultimately consumers. The company has made several other strategic design-centric moves recently, namely establishing an OEM relationship with Crestron on loudspeakers, setting up a strategic resale agreement with hidden-speaker manufacturer Amina, acquiring high-end outdoor speaker maker Ambisonic, and teaming with Artnovion on importing their acoustical treatment products into the US, to name few. They alluded that several more partnerships will be announced in the coming weeks.
This expansion of the Bang & Olufsen partnership is another step in that effort as it brings together two curated brand partners who understand the importance of blending performance and design for today’s consumers. With Bang & Olufsen’s years of technical innovation and boundary-pushing aesthetics, this partnership will allow both brands to execute a future-forward strategy in the custom installation channel and provide unique opportunities to Origin’s network and industry relationships. As the U.S. Brand Manager for the Custom Channel, Origin Acoustics will be responsible for bringing the Bang & Olufsen full line of products to a wider audience in the North America market.
Origin Acoustics CEO Nick Berry, Bang & Olufsen Americas president Rich Costanzo, and OA chief marketing and strategy officer Gordon Isaac all spoke exclusively with CE Pro about the new partnerships. 
“Bang & Olufsen is the only company in the world that has driven this value proposition for many decades,” says Berry. “They lead the conversation on how design and technology intersect, and we look forward to expanding the brand throughout the U.S."
Costanzo notes, “As Bang & Olufsen continues to scale our business in North America’s custom installation market, our mutual history, shared goals, and Origin Acoustics’ incredible reputation made our partnership an exciting prospect. We see great potential in bringing Bang & Olufsen’s expertise in luxury technology and Origin Acoustics’ loyal community of channel dealers to a $10-billion industry.
Isaac adds, “This is another step in Origin’s strategic effort to help elevate the industry and unite design-centric brands in business relationships that exploit our greatest skillsets of engineering, manufacturing, and go-to-market programs. The products in our previous partnership with Bang & Olufsen are flourishing, so that success set in motion this latest agreement.”
Expanding the Existing Relationship
Despite the existing cobranded relationship, the companies have different specialties, with Bang & Olufsen specializing in powered products or speakers with amplifier power built in, while Origin is focused on the custom installation market with its architectural speaker and innovative engineering systems that enable quick and easy installation. 
But at the same time, Costanzo says the two companies have like-minded philosophies in terms of how they treat their partners. 
“We are comfortable with the relationship with Origin Acoustics, which stretches back to the 1980s with their previous company. Both companies are technically competent, produce innovative products and have the same cultural values of customer empathy and support for their channel partners. Both companies are top-class organizations. It’s exciting to announce that Origin dealers will now have the full complement of the B&O portfolio to sell. This is a long-term commitment between the two companies,” says Costanzo.  
Berry says it will be valuable for an Origin integrator to be able to walk into a luxury client’s home and have the ability to offer the full lineup of Bang & Olufsen goods.
“Not every Origin dealer will be signed up. We don’t want to dilute the market,” says Berry, adding that dealers will be vetted, first by Origin and then by Bang & Olufsen, for this opportunity to be labeled as Bang & Olufsen Custom Technology Integrators (CTI).  Berry says the selected integrators will be those that focus their businesses around serving high net-worth individuals and offer a certain level of service. Those integrators will also receive additional training and marketing support.
Moreover, the selection criteria will also be cognizant to not bring on too many new dealers that are geographically close to existing Bang & Olufsen Monobrand retail stores in the U.S. where the market does not warrant it. After that initial round of selections, Berry says OA will be looking for potential soft spots in the market, if any, to fill in any gaps.
“We want to walk before we run, so we are bringing the brand on carefully,” says Berry.
According to Isaac, Origin Acoustics has established a dedicated brand manager and team for the relationship, led by Origin’s President Marc Fisher, and that Bang & Olufsen also has a team member based at Origin’s headquarters in Las Vegas. He notes that Origin has created a Bang & Olufsen Experience Center in its Las Vegas showroom to showcase Bang & Olufsen products.
The two brands will continue to collaborate on new product development opportunities and additional verticals within the U.S. market. The strength of this partnership brings a unique and powerful solution to designers, developers, and consumers who desire both performance and beauty from the technology going into their homes and businesses.
About Origin Acoustics – www.originacoustics.com   The Origin team has been responsible for inventions and innovations that have changed the face of the home entertainment industry. Inventions like the first in-wall speaker and the first aimable in-ceiling speaker are just the tip of the iceberg. Pushing the limits of technology and materials, this team has dominated the market for three decades and supplied loudspeakers to literally millions of homes around the world.
Today they have joined forces under the Origin banner to deliver the most advanced and impressive array of architectural loudspeakers ever available. With over 100 years of combined experience in the industry, they are dedicated to enhancing the lives of every person who chooses to install Origin loudspeakers in their home.
About Bang & Olufsen – www.bang-olufsen.com  Bang & Olufsen is a global luxury lifestyle brand founded in 1925 in Struer, Denmark, by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen whose devotion and vision remain the foundation for the company.  The rich heritage built around the relentless determination to create products that push the boundaries of audio technology continues to place the company at the forefront of audio innovation. Today, every Bang & Olufsen product is still characterized by the unique combination of beautiful sound, timeless design, and unrivaled craftsmanship. 

The company’s innovative and progressive audio products are sold worldwide in Bang & Olufsen monobrand stores, online, and in multibrand stores. The company employs over 1,000 people and operates in more than 70 markets. Bang & Olufsen’s shares are listed on NAS DAQ Copenhagen A/S

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Monday, September 12, 2022

MetraAV® Unveils New Products at 2022 CEDIA Expo


Holly Hill, Fla. – September 12, 2022 – MetraAV®  is heading to the 2022 CEDIA Expo, September 29th through October 1st, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas to showcase new products at booth #10009. Attendees will have the opportunity to get an up close look at new products, talk with sales representatives, and meet the product developers who designed these new solutions. The main attraction of the display will be the all-new Big Dog Power line of power distribution products. MetraAV will also showcase a treasure trove of HDMI® solutions including new high-performance VELOX Passive Premium HDMI® Cables, Ethereal MHX HDMI® High Speed cables with Ethernet, extenders, switches, splitters, repair tools, and more! In addition, new Spyclops surveillance cameras and products from other MetraAV brands will be on display for AV enthusiasts to get a firsthand look at.


MetraAV's Big Dog Power smart power distribution products combine all the features integrators need into one device to deliver surge protection, remote control, smart home integration, rack temperature management, and more. Individually-controllable outlets have power metering, self-healing, and automatic reboot capabilities for smarter and easier remote management of connected devices. These smart outlet PDUs feature surge mileage meters that show when surges have occurred and the percentage of remaining protection. Their removable surge protection modules can be replaced without sacrificing the entire PDU, making these solutions unique and cost-effective. They work with the free Big Dog Power app, which has a user-friendly design that makes management easy. A variety of sizes are available to suit the needs of any size system, and all of these options will be on display at CEDIA.


The booth will also include a display featuring an eight meter VELOX Passive Premium HDMI® Cable, from the EHV series. This award-winning line of cables supports 48Gbps up to 100 meters and is the longest of several HDMI cables designed by MetraAV that support 8K resolutions. All color subsampling is supported, including 4:4:4, 4:2:2, and 4:2:0, deep color, and Dynamic HDR, allowing the full-range 8K specs and even 10K to be supported. Cutting-edge built-in technology also ensures compatibility between the source and display.




MetraAV will also be sponsoring and participating in "Brews and Beer Pong Happy Hour" on September 29th at 2 PM, in the D-Tools booth, #22046. In addition, the MetraAV booth will give away various promotional items throughout the event from its popular brands, including Big Dog Power. MetraAV invites customers to book a private meeting at the show with the sales team to learn more about the exciting new products being featured at the show.


About MetraAV

MetraAV is a pioneer in HDMI® cable technology and is a division of Metra Electronics®, the world leader for aftermarket automotive accessories for 75+ years. Headquartered in Florida, MetraAV’s brands include Big Dog Power, Ethereal Home Theater®, Velox®, Helios®, Spyclops Surveillance Systems® and Install Bay®. A strong commitment to research and development has resulted in a history of providing first-to-market technology for HDMI cables and electronics with numerous industry awards for innovation. Formerly known as Metra Home Theater Group, you can connect with MetraAV on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and subscribe to their videos on YouTube to watch weekly Tech Tips. For ordering information and pricing, visit MetraHomeTheater.com or call 386-255-0234.

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Monday, September 5, 2022

Kenwood KAC-M5024BT Compact Bluetooth 4 Channel Digital Amplifier

It doesn’t matter where I am, I like to bring my tunes with me. While home audio and car audio has been around for decades and decades, a fairly new category is Motorsport. Boats, ATV’s, Golf Carts, and Motorcycles, these are all part of the Motorsport category. And innovations continue in this category, as it continues to grow and advance. An example of this is Kenwood with their KAC-M5024BT.  It’s a 4-channel amplifier designed for Motorsport with Bluetooth, and MSRP of $349.


Features and specs:

IP67/IP66 Certified Waterproof & Dustproof

RMS 50W x4 (4Ω)

RMS 75W x4 (2Ω)

7 Selectable EQ Presets

Wired Remote Control Included

Built-in Bluetooth with aptX

RCA Line Output Terminals for System Expansion

 (W)7-13/16” x (H)1-15/16” x (D)4-1/8”


The Kenwood KAC-M5024BT came in a great looking color printed box, with photos and specs of the amplifier. Opening the box revealed a well-protected amplifier held in place by custom molded Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was mostly metal, with some plastic and rubber. Quality of materials used, and fit and finish, was very good. Also included was the wired remote and manual.


I love the design of the Kenwood KAC-M5024BT. But I’ll admit, initially I didn’t. I’m old school. I’m used to having a source unit, and the source unit feeding the signal to the amplifier. When you are dealing with the weather or electronic components in an outdoor environment; the more components, the more that could go wrong, the more cost, etc. It makes sense to have an amplifier like the Kenwood KAC-M5024BT.


After getting over my old school design preferences, I fell in love with the Kenwood KAC-M5024BT. The design is brilliant! It’s a solidly built, durable amp. You can see that they used a rubber seal around the control terminal, and silicon around the connection terminal to seal moisture out. There’s even an internal drain tunnel to help drain out any moisture like condensation that managed to get in. The wired remote would be easy to mount. And then there’s the built-in Bluetooth. The only potential downside for some…. no DVD/CD transport, since there is no receiver. It doesn’t even have RCA inputs, so using a receiver with it actually isn’t an option. It does however have a pair of RCA outputs for expansion, like adding a subwoofer.


The Kenwood KAC-M5024BT use of Bluetooth is quite ingenious. It simplifies things for use in many different types of vehicles, like boats, golf carts, even motorcycles and jet ski’s. If you have a motorized vehicle, and space for a couple speakers, all you need is a little more space for this amp. All of your music is streamed through the amp. Motorsport products are designed for the elements, to be dust and water resistant. But Kenwood took things a few steps further. The Kenwood KAC-M5024BT can actually be submerged! You read right. It can be submerged.  So if your intention is to use it in a watercraft, no worries!


If you’re like me, and want to take your music with you everywhere you go, and you have a Boat or ATV, all you need is this amp, and at least a pair of speakers. Although as a four-channel amp, you could have 2 pairs of speakers. And if you like extra bass like me, use the RCA outputs to add a sub. Very simple and minimal design. Now let’s see how it works, and sounds.


The amp was really easy to set up. The control panel has the controls for internal crossover, 2 or 4 channel use, and fader. Once you have the controls the way you want them, using the wired remote was also really easy. There are two blue LED’s, one on each side of the round knob. Once you power on the amp, they blink to show you are in pairing mode. Pairing my LG V40 smartphone was extremely simple. Once paired, it was time to listen to my tunes. The built-in EQ’s helped to get the sound curve I was looking for.


Other than the EQ curve settings, there was not much to the remote. There are buttons for pause/play, track forward/fast forward, and track back/rewind. There is also pre-out level control, dimmer control, and LED’s to show which EQ curve you are on. It was extremely simple to use.


I was impressed with how simple it was to use the Kenwood KAC-M5024BT. The sound was also equally impressive. Going through my favorite playlist, not only did the Kenwood KAC-M5024BT provide good power, it was more transparent than I was expecting, without coloring or altering the sound of the song. Highs, such as with cymbals, were crisp and clean. Mids, such as with vocals, were smooth with good texture of the timbre. Bass had very good punch, with nice authority and low-end extension without sounding thin.


Motorsport vehicles get loud. So if you want to bring your tunes with you on the go, an amp is almost a necessity to get the volume that you need to enjoy your music. Otherwise not only will they sound thin without an amp, they may be harder to hear over the engine noise and noise from your environment, such as the water up against the boat. You can’t go wrong with the Kenwood KAC-M5024BT. Not only is it very well made, it also is very simple to use, and sounds great! Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Kenwood KAC-M5024BT has earned our Editor’s Choice Award! Kudos to Kenwood on such an excellent amp! For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.kenwood.com.

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Thursday, September 1, 2022

ASUS Launches the Zenfone 9

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Sunday, August 21, 2022

Kenwood eXcelon DPX795BH Dual Din Sized CD Receiver with Bluetooth & HD Radio Review

When I’m driving in my truck, music is not an option. I have to have my tunes. Car receivers have gotten pretty fancy, with their HD displays. But for some, those HD displays may not be in your budget. Or, maybe, it just isn’t your cup of tea. Whatever your reason, Kenwood still has a receiver for you. Up for review is their Kenwood eXcelon DPX795BH. It’s a more basic receiver, but still has excellent features.  MSRP is a budget friendly $259.


Features and specs:


Music Mix

Up to 5 Bluetooth® devices can be paired to the receiver at the same time. You can enjoy audio streaming just by switching the devices with your friends or family.


Dual Phone Connection

While you are connected through Bluetooth, with a touch of a button you can switch between two phones.


Remote App

A smartphone application can control most basic functions of the receiver over the Bluetooth connection of the paired phone (iPhone or Android).


Graphic EQ / Digital Time Alignment

13-Band equalizer and DTA gives optimal tuning enhancements for listeners.


Drive EQ

Boosts specific frequencies in the audio signal to overcome the negative impact of road noise.



Multiple USB ports provide additional inputs for music sources or smartphone battery charging.


Variable Color Illumination

Bright variable color LEDs can be adjusted to match any

color dash lighting.

200mm ESCUTCHEON Included

A 200mm escutcheon is included to help make the fit seamless in many of the latest model Japanese and other select cars.


420 Segment 3 Line Text Display

Amazon Alexa Ready

Built-in HD Radio Tuner

Dual USB

13Band EQ & Digital Time Alignment

Variable Color Illumination

200mm Escutcheon Panel Included

3 Preouts 5.0V


The Kenwood eXcelon DPX795BH came in a great looking color printed box with photos and specs of the receiver. Opening the box revealed a well-protected deck, held in place by custom Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was mostly metal, with plastic on the face. Quality of materials used, as well as fit and finish, was very good. Also included was the wiring harness, wired microphone, as well as keys and manual.


I like the design of the receiver. The 3-line display is easy to read. The buttons are large and well laid out, with a rotary knob front and center. There’s also a front USB and auxiliary ports. And while it has a button for Alexa, Alexa is voice activated as well! Switching between two connected cell phones is also easy. Your family can also enjoy their own music as well, as you can connect up to 5 Bluetooth devices at the same time. I also can’t forget it being SiriusXM ready.


While the Kenwood eXcelon DPX795BH has all of the functionality to enjoy your music from several different sources, it also has the features you need to make your music sound it’s best. It’s internal MOSFETS provide 50 watts to your speakers, and its built-in crossovers make sure your speakers get the right frequencies that they can handle. There’s even a 13 band EQ, Drive EQ, and time alignment. And if you want more power to your speakers, there’s RCA outputs for front, rear and subs with a full 5-volt output. Now let’s see how it sounds.


The Demo mode is fun, with the LED’s changing colors to give you an idea of how it can look.  The owner’s manual is well written and easy to follow.  The 3-line text display is also sufficient to follow what you are doing, and provide instructions for set-up. Just a heads up…the large rotary knob in the middle that rotates, also acts as a button.  Pairing my LG V40 smartphone for Bluetooth Audio was very simple.  My HD tunes from my Amazon Music service sounded great!  And the internal amps thanks to their MOSFETS provided good power.  Highs were crips and clean, mids were warm and smooth, and bass had nice depth with good punch. The internal tuner for HD Radio also worked sufficiently well.  And if you like to use Alexa, you are in for a treat.  The included microphone works great for hands free calls.  But it also helps to control your tunes. Thanks to the available app, you can use Alexa to control volume, go back and forth thru tracks, and even ask questions and have it read you the news.


The Kenwood eXcelon DPX795BH was a bit of fresh air.  While the 3-line text display design was an obvious cost cutter, you still get all of the modern functionality.  Features such as HD Radio, Bluetooth Audio,  and Alexa, are all found onboard.  The front Aux input and dual front and rear USB inputs also gives usability with multiple devices. And all of this functionality comes at a bargain price point that does not break the bank.


The Kenwood eXcelon DPX795BH provides a huge amount of functionality, at a bargain price point. It has all the features needed for your music to sound good. With the Music Mix feature, your family and friends’ music will sound just as good. And thanks to its eXcelon build quality, it will last you for years. It’s bang for the buck is huge. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Kenwood eXcelon DPX795BH has earned our Value Award. It you’re in the market for a budget double-din receiver, it should be on your short list. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.kenwood.com.

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