Voice Coil September 2022 offers an article about solutions for Smart Speakers and Voice Processing by Mike Klasco, and an updated directory of Magnet Vendors and Distributors for 2022. James Croft reviews a recent patent awarded to Tymphany for a new Coaxial Loudspeaker design, and Vance Dickason characterizes two very original drivers in Test Bench. The HF1460 compression driver from Faital Pro and the Tang band the W4-2356 4″ full-range woofer with an off-centered voice coil.
The September 2022 issue of Voice Coil is now available online and in print. Opening this issue Mike Klasco (Menlo Scientific) brings us another update of his “Cheat Sheet for Smart Speaker and Voice Command Processing” report, which effectively covers fascinating new electronics and software processing solutions that enable speaker designers to add advanced voice recognition and processing features.
Speaker design is now increasingly linked to signal processing and amplifiers as major aspects of integrated product designs. Due to that integration, voice recognition, streaming on wired interfaces, wireless Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi modules are all becoming standard add-ons on soundbars, portable speakers, and even high-end home audio speaker series. And now, those DSP modules are gaining the power to do things such as artificial intelligence (AI), and run algorithms that are even able to detect background sounds and users’ emotions. This report discusses solutions by Deepgram, Native Voice, Syntiant, Fluent.ai, Linkplay, and Libre Wireless.
As scheduled for this time of the year, Voice Coil September features an updated directory of Magnet Vendors and Distributors for 2022, dutifully compiled by Mike Klasco and Nora Wong. This directory follows up on the previous magnet vendor and distributor directory for the Americas, which was discussed in the August issue to advance important recent developments within the US industry. In this month’s directory all the vendors that are popular with the speaker industry are now listed, regardless of their location. For organizational purposes, those are listed simply by subtopics, including magnet vendors, key material vendors, and tools. Once again a valuable resource for the loudspeaker industry.
And we move straight to the increasingly popular Acoustic Patents column by James Croft, this month reviewing a Coaxial Loudspeaker (Patent US11388508) granted recently (July 2022) to inventors George Albert Bullimore, Gavin Jones, and Stuart Martin Hancock, all highly recognized names working on behalf of Tymphany Acoustic Technology, Ltd. (Taiwan). The patent abstract describes a coaxial loudspeaker with a standard woofer, a waveguide for a tweeter located at a front end toward the outside of the cone, and a cavity that includes a resonator formed in the cone and an orifice plate adjacent to the resonator. James Croft reviews the extensive prior art in this field of coaxial speakers, and shows in detail where the new patent becomes an effective device.
Next up, Vance Dickason offers another detailed characterization in Test Bench, starting with the new HF1460 compression driver from Faital Pro, oriented toward pro audio applications. This 1.4″ exit neodymium motor compression driver from the Italian OEM pro sound manufacturer expands its current catalog in the format, with 11 models (two ferrite and nine neodymium motors). In terms of features, the Faital Pro HF1460 is designed for use with 1.4” throat horns, and features a carbon fiber diaphragm driven by a 3.4″ diameter voice coil wound with aluminum wire on Kapton former, driven by a neodymium ring magnet. The key in this driver is the use of a carbon fiber diaphragm, which Faital Pro has been researching for some time, even before the first TeXtreme products were available in the market.
Vance Dickason was positively impressed with the properties of this driver, akin to comparable Beryllium units, and states that the Faital Pro HF1460 is “a very important entry into the world of high-end compression drivers.” The horn supplied for use with the HF1460 was the LTH142, an injection-molded, elliptical tractrix flare horn, with a 60° x 50° coverage pattern and an 800Hz cut-off frequency, making it a good match for the HF1460 compression driver.
The second driver in this month’s Test Bench is even more intriguing and comes from Tang Band Speaker (TB Speaker), with the reference W4-2356. This is a new driver in the popular 2″ to 4″ diameter full-range category but is significantly more innovative. The TB Speaker W4-2356 driver is built on a proprietary and patented injection-molded polymer four-spoke frame that allows the voice coil not to be centered in the 4″ injection-molded polypropylene cone, but offset by about half inch. The aim for this original off-axis design, according to TB Speaker, is to solve “the difficult diffraction problems” and make cabinet design easier. In reality, as Vance Dickason explains upfront, this design aims to defeat concentric cone modes, a well-known source of coloration in round voice coil transducers. Otherwise, the TB Speaker W4-2356 full range driver combines an injection-molded poly cone suspended by a Santoprene surround and a cloth spider, with a three-sided aluminum phase plug, underhung neodymium ring magnet motor structure, and 1″ (25.4mm) diameter voice coil.
The remainder of this Voice Coil issue offers an opportunity for Vance Dickason to share news items that have caught his attention in Industry Watch. Mandatory reference to 50th anniversary of PSB Speakers and the launch of the unique Passif 50 Anniversary Edition speakers, an evocative redesign of the original Passive II speakers developed by Paul Barton. Vance also mentions the return of Eleven Engineering, which recently saw its SKAA wireless audio technology selected by Cerwin-Vega for its new range of studio monitors. SKAA has been evolving and is now a much more mature wireless audio solution for consumer and professional audio applications, with the unique ability to enable multiple speakers to be connected to a single, low-latency source transmitter.
As always, mandatory reading for speaker professionals. This edition of Voice Coil is available for download and already in the mail to print subscribers. Subscribers can go to – www.gotomyvcoil.com – to download this issue.
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