SIGNALS

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Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 19, 2017  |  4 comments
I know, I know. You read Sound & Vision to learn about audio and video topics. It’s a welcome refuge from the political furor that has engulfed every other facet of our lives. But, of course, ultimately, nothing is immune from politics. So, let me ruin your day by telling you about the latest political hot potato: hearing aids. You heard me right. Hearing aids.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 05, 2017  |  0 comments
With relatively unrestricted size, weight, and budget, and given enough time to tinker, it's not that hard to build a good-sounding loudspeaker. But when size, weight and budget are tremendously restricted, good sound becomes incredibly difficult to achieve, if not impossible. Now, Dolby is taking on that challenge.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 31, 2017  |  1 comments
The message on the Fraunhofer website was concise: “On April 23, 2017, Technicolor’s MP3 licensing program for certain MP3- related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated. We thank all of our licensees for their great support in making MP3 the de facto audio codec in the world during the past two decades.” And just like that, it was over.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 22, 2017  |  1 comments
The smart speaker market is big and getting bigger. That's because voice control is a killer app whose time has come. Amazon currently owns the market, with Google a distant second. Apple will soon launch, with much fanfare, its HomePod. But what about Samsung? Well, rumors are starting to swirl.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 15, 2017  |  2 comments
It’s a paradox, that’s what it is. Technology, by nature, charges forward. Its unstated goal is to obsolete itself as fast as possible. If you’re into technology, the only real place to be is on the cutting edge. You must be an early adopter, own the latest and greatest, and camp overnight at the Apple Store. The paradox is that if you are one of those people, you might be envied, or even admired. But you are not cool.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 08, 2017  |  8 comments
I crossed my fingers. I carried a rabbit's foot. I went out in the backyard and found a four-leaf clover. I started eating Lucky Charms for breakfast. I rearranged the furniture in my home theater according to feng shui (good for luck, not so good for sound). I did everything I could. But now I see that I have failed. People like the Amazon Echo Dot. They like it a lot.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 25, 2017  |  0 comments
I've owned my fair share of jalopies. Cranky starters, wheezing engines, recalcitrant gearboxes, vague steering, indifferent brakes — I've had it all. And let's not forget everyone's favorite — plastic interior trim pieces that create an unholy symphony of buzzy vibrations. But now, German automobile parts supplier Continental thinks that's a good thing.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 18, 2017  |  9 comments
I like German cars, and I cannot lie. Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz. What wonderful machines they are. Give me more than adequate horsepower, a six- or seven-speed manual transmission, a soulful exhaust note, and I am in heaven. On my most recent car shopping expedition, I fell in love with a car, then I pressed a button and immediately fell out of love.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 11, 2017  |  0 comments
I must admit, the news took me by surprise. I know that vinyl is officially a thing, and a growing thing at that. But I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that Sony was getting back into the LP business.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 27, 2017  |  2 comments
I have issues with Bluetooth. I see it as a force of nature, a veritable tsunami, against all that good sound quality stands for. That is because that oh-so-convenient wireless link limits functionality and degrades audio fidelity. Now, with the advent of the 5.0 spec, Bluetooth is poised to expand its dominance. But, the spec also has a glimmer of hope for us audiophiles.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 13, 2017  |  0 comments
You can call me old fashioned. You can call me a Luddite. You can even call me Ishmael. But I like to read books. Paper books, thank you very much. Based on that, my homies at Barnes & Noble apparently think that I like to listen to vinyl too.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  May 23, 2017  |  7 comments
In recent years, market trends have not been kind to Sony. The company has struggled to adapt to changing technologies and consumer tastes. Once a powerhouse, it slipped in stature and lost billions. But now, in its most recent corporate announcements, there may be a glimmer of hope.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  May 17, 2017  |  5 comments
It’s official. 3D TV, once heralded as The Future, is now officially only to be referred to in the past tense. Please adjust your vocabulary accordingly. This news is not surprising. In fact, you are probably only surprised in that you assumed 3D’s demise had occurred years ago. When’s the last time you watched a 3D Blu-ray? Well, there you go.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  May 09, 2017  |  1 comments
Saturn's rings are pretty cool. They are clearly visible with even a modest telescope. Going where no spacecraft has ever gone before, the Cassini spacecraft is diving through the rings and into the gap between the rings and the planet's surface. Enterprising scientists at JPL have created a file that lets you hear the "sound" of particles impacting the spacecraft as it passes through the rings and into the gap.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Apr 25, 2017  |  3 comments
You probably saw the news reports last week. A lawsuit has been filed against Bose, alleging its Connect app, such as used with a Bose headphone, collects information on the listening habits of the user, without adequately informing the user of the full extent of the practice. The story was widely reported. The rebuttal by Bose was not so widely reported.

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