This year to date has being an exciting one in the field of audio. With some all out new technology coming forward, there's also been some more of our old favorites with a new twist.
We are currently entering a phase where traditional products are being forced to make way for a new wave of technology in many areas. So what in fact are some of these new and exciting products I speak of? - Well, one of my favorites is an all new headphone technology allowing for a dedicated 5.1 speaker system to be located inside a pair of headphones.
I've also being pleased to see a powerful audiophile card from ASUS known as the Essence STX. This card offers the average consumer 'true' audiophile performance on a budget.
Also well worthy of mention is a turntable from AKAI with a difference, allowing users to digitally backup/restore their vinyl collections with one self contained unit.
- More channels than sense
Continuing this year, we have also seen a trend to offer as many channels of surround sound as possible, which in theory is not a terrible thing. However, it has led to bit of 'surround madness'. The result of this has been a dilution in quality products in many areas such as surround speaker systems.
Blu-ray, high data capacity/rate discs (if they ever get used to full capacity) will be able to actually bring in the next generation of native 7.1/8.1 channel soundtracks in movies and even concerts, as it is the next big leap forward like DVD was in the mid nineties.
However, it's going to be some time yet before these formats actually replace 5.1 as the format of choice for the average user based on a balance between price/performance. Space is almost certainly a concern also when it comes to finding a home for as many as nine different speakers.