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It’s All Happening at the Zu: New Omen Def Speaker Unveiled

At first glance, it's clear that Zu is not your average speaker company. Company literature is chock full of text, like "Omen Def defines state-of-the-art without all the pussyfootin' of hi-fi, just hook 'em up and let the music and party happen... Omen Def are without rival, if the price fits get 'em."

"Our objective for Omen Def is simple, create and build a loudspeaker that can go toe-to-toe with the best loudspeakers in the world, is happy with the vast majority of amps, looks spectacular, and at a price that most working music heads can afford (without having to sell their car)", says Chuck Williams, Vice President of Marketing and Sales.

The Omen Def, like all Zu products, is built around the critical human voice range (55Hz, through and all the possible harmonics, to approximately 10kHz). To this end, Zu is using their 4th generation (standard motor) 10" paper coned full-range driver. The Omen Def's dual 10" full-range drivers include high frequency diffusion "phase plug" in the face of the pole piece extension, giving Omen Def a more linear management of high frequencies and broader dispersion from the directly-coupled-to-voicecoil inner cone.

One of the technologies utilized in Zu speakers is ZuRG Acoustic Loading - a cabinet / driver / room acoustic impedance architecture. The technology was developed from motorcycle / automotive engine systems for improving power output through pulse and pressure management with wider power band.

Sounds by Design

August 5, 2010 By Dennis Burger 28 comments
Sounds by Design Blackmore work in progress

I see a lot of new speaker designs in the course of a month as I peruse through press releases looking for new products to feature in the front section of Home Entertainment.

But it's been a long time since a loudspeaker really caught my eye and demanded my attention the way Sounds by Design's Blackmore and Elise do.

Optoma Unveils Industry’s First iPod Sound Dock With Built-In Projector

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Neo-i Gives Plug ‘n' Play Audio Video Compatibility to Portable Media Players & Other Source Components

Optoma, the world's best-selling brand of DLP projectors and leader in Pico projection technology, has introduced the Neo-i, the first all-in-one iPod® sound dock with built-in Pico projector, giving digital media device users plug ‘n' play compatibility in one transportable, tabletop device. Complete with built-in a 16-watt stereo speaker system and additional inputs to accommodate just about any source component, the Neo-i provides users with a simple, unique audio/video solution.

"The Neo-i offers a unique solution to a marketplace that is increasingly dependent on portable devices for both audio and video content," said Jon Grodem, Optoma's senior director of sales & marketing. "This gives them a simple, all-in-one solution for sharing that content." 

Wisdom Audio Introduces Next Level Planar Magnetic Speaker Line

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Target: World's Finest Music Rooms, Home Theaters, Professional Screening Rooms, Post-Production Facilities
 Wisdom Audio has just announced their state-of-the-art modular line source loudspeaker systems, the Wisdom Series LS4 and LS3. Built for the upper echelon, reference realm, they are designed for extremely high efficiency, wide dynamic range and ultimate sound quality. States Mark Glazier, Wisdom Audio President.  "We applied the cumulative planar magnetic transducer design experience of our team to create the Wisdom Series LS4 and LS3, resulting in a totally fresh concept, the most advanced speaker we ever made and, we believe, the best performing domestic speaker system available. They completely shatter all preconceptions about speaker performance and placement."

Golf Simulators Share Space With Home Theaters

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Now that the cold, blustery season is upon us and with springtime a long way off, golfers around the country will be aching to swing their clubs. The newest generation of Golf Simulators offers a total immersion experience, including HD video and realistic computer graphics of the world's great courses. No matter how bad the weather is outside your home, in the Simulator, it's always sunny and clear at Pebble Beach, Princeville, Pinehurst, St. Andrews, Torrey Pines and dozens of others. And no one will be rushing you to "play through" except your friends or family who want their turn.


Sharing Home Theater Space
With clever AV design, simulators can share the space now occupied by a dedicated Home Theater in basements and bonus rooms. Both systems require a projector and a screen. There are a few caveats, however. Consider flush-mounting the theater speakers in the ceiling using angled baffle or pivoting tweeter speakers, to keep them out of the way of flying golf balls. Although the Simulator screen is sufficient for certain gaming activities, like Wii, we don't suggest any serious Home Theater aficionado will be satisfied by viewing a screen that's been plunked a thousand times by Callaways or Titleists. So use a separate screen for movies, please. Likewise, a dedicated theater projector will provide the high performance to which we've become accustomed.

Panasonic Announces Award-Winning 2011 Plasma Line

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Plasma Sales Show Growth, Pointing To Bright Future

 Well, we don't want to say we told you so but... On Ocotber 2, 2010 we posted a story entitiled "Plasma: The Myths Are Still Alive". It addressed mistaken beliefs about plasma flat panel performance. And now, we find out the following:


Driving the resurgence of Plasma HDTVs, industry technology leader Panasonic Corporation of North America announced pricing and availability for its award winning 2011 Viera Plasma line-up. This announcement coincides with Display Search's recent analysis and conclusion that 2010 was a great year for Plasma TV panels, with shipments growing on a Year/Year basis every quarter since Q4 '09.  NPD also produced data showing a growth in Plasma sales.

Control4 Products Honored with Three Innovations 2011 Awards

Control4®, known for its affordable IP-based home control systems, today announced that it has been named an International CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree for three of its products: OS 2.0, 7" InfinityEdgeTM Touch Screen, and Intelligent Home Energy Management (in conjunction with Eragy). Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a panel of independent industrial designers, engineers and members of the media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products.

Onkyo Proves Everything Old is New Again

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Onkyo, the 60-year old audio manufacturer, has announced a new range of elite hi-fi separate components with a style reminiscent of the company's classic stereo models of the 1980s. All three models, the P-3000R pre-amplifier, M-5000R power amplifier, and C-7000R CD player, incorporate Onkyo's new Dynamic Intermodulation Distortion Reduction Circuitry (DIDRC) to counteract unwanted high-frequency interference.Despite being beyond the normal range of human hearing, frequencies above 100 kHz are susceptible to clock pulses and other forms of distortion from digital devices., Such distortion in the super-high frequency range can generate "beat interference," which in turn affects the character or atmosphere of the original sound.

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