From The Editor's Desk
Now more than ever, our activities as magazine publishers only make sense when combined with daily news and article updates on our website — audioxpress.com — plus our email newsletter The Audio Voice, which continues to gain a growing audience every week. Given the difficult circumstances of a global pandemic that have caused our digital activities to grow exponentially, our website is visited by more than 10,000 unique visitors every day, while our newsletter now reaches nearly 20,000 mailboxes and probably twice as many readers who follow us through our social media channels. In fact, in many regions of the globe, that's how many readers follow and know about audioXpress (and its sister publication, Voice Coil).
So here's my appeal for those of you who are not necessarily consumers of online / digital publications much less social media (and I am not going to be the one to endorse one over another…), please visit audioXpress.com, access our massive article archive, and sign up there to receive our newsletter The Audio Voice.
A word of warning, The Audio Voice content topics reflect all the application areas addressed in the magazine, and change every week, and there are frequent guest editorials by top experts in the audio industry. So, if you see a particular article one week discussing voice recognition or tube amplifiers and you don't feel that's relevant for you, bear with us, because you don't want to miss the next one!
This also serves to highlight that, when we send a new edition of our magazine to the printers every month, we basically wrote another (larger) one every week on a whole different range of topics. This current October 2020 issue, was just a small part of all our work throughout the month of July and August, normally the quietest time of the year for the audio industry.
And because we cover multiple industries and we focus on innovation and industry news, we have managed to keep or even increase the pace of news stories, even during the slowest season of the year for product announcements.
Of course, things are different this year. As a quick survey of industry contacts confirms, R&D activity has accelerated, and marketing is refocusing on a steady promotional calendar. Many new products are being announced by manufacturers at a steady pace — even if they are not, in some cases, necessarily entering production, which has been suffering delays in different regions of the globe.
The month of August saw no shortage of new product reveals. In fact, it was extremely refreshing to learn about Sony unveiling its newest WH-1000XM4 next-generation adaptive noise canceling headphones, almost a month before the IFA show in Berlin, where traditionally that unveiling would take place. And from a different product segment, in home audio, it was just as inspiring to receive a succession of product announcements from NAD Electronics, directly appealing to all the people staying at home, who might want to upgrade their entertainment solutions to high-quality integrated systems that offer all the latest cutting-edge technologies — from hi-res wireless audio to the whole home to AirPlay 2, and even Dirac Live Room Correction.
All things you can read about first-hand on our website.
In the residential installation space, the topic featured in this month's Market Update, things are also evolving. Even as the CEDIA 2020 show was forced to go virtual this year, there's a lot to discuss, as the entire industry is quickly adapting to serve an expanded range of needs for homeowners, including their new workspaces, where connectivity and acoustics are critical. And audio technology companies in the CEDIA space, which typically sell whole home audio and entertainment products, such as home theater, are no longer focusing on the most “installer-friendly” solutions, but on reinforcing the emotional connection with the end user. Last year, the challenges for the home technology integration association were already pointing in this direction. A global virus in 2020 made those changes an imperative.
That's why, before you dive into this month's Market Update article, I think you will find it useful to read my CEDIA 2019 report available online here.