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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With all the excitement over the Creative X-Fi Sonic Carrier priced at $5800, I couldn't resist posting about an unusual immersive device with a projected price of $599.

This device uses Beanforming technology developed at UC San Diego, and promises an unusual level of immersive sound that is truly affordable. (And no, I don't work for them). This is the first product based on this technology, and I can imagine other devices down the road.

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/‘3d-audio-soundbar’-nails-crowdfunding-goal-days


 

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This device uses Beanforming technology developed at UC San Diego, and promises an unusual level of immersive sound that is truly affordable. (And no, I don't work for them). This is the first product based on this technology, and I can imagine other devices down the road.

This does look intriguing. I see it doesn't yet support DTS:X or Dolby Atmos yet but I believe those could be just FW updates. (I read there were some licensing issues to work out first)
Does support 4k & HDR which is a positive.

Thanks for bring this to the attention of this Forum.
 

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I don't think this devices uses anything different than many other sound bars. It is altering the phase of drivers to create constructive and destructive interference to move the sound around the room. Yamaha with its "beam" drivers has been doing this for many years. Many of their sound bars had a 'my beam' button on the remote where it would direct the beams at one listener and the person sitting next to them the sound was greatly reduced. This worked great for people that were hard of hearing and could have the sound loud enough for them and not be blaring to the others in the room. This is going to have the same problems that other sound bars have using only small drivers and that is it will lack midrange and upper bass. No getting around the physics of how speakers move air.

That being said there are some positive things about this sound bar. Its app looks great and very customizable! I think that is more the game changer than the beam forming technology. It is going after the gaming/ VR market and being very near field it might not have as much problem with midrange and upper bass if the listening distance is very close. I often comment on using only small drivers in small speakers and sound bars and their limitations. The reality is almost any speaker driver play a 20hz, 100hz or 250hz sound. the question is how loud it can play? You can have an ear bud give great bass in your ear but place that ear bud on the table 2 feet from you and it now sounds like a tinny piece of junk. So while this ear bud can play 20hz it can't move enough air to give that same effect unless it is very near your ear.

This sound bar uses 1.3" drivers and it is going to have to use a high crossover to the sub making part of the vocal range come out of the sub if it is going to be used in a living room set up with listeners 10 feet away. If the listeners are very close and volume not that loud it could use a lower crossover. Maybe its app could even adjust the crossover based off the distance of the listener and volume level. For gamers this could be a very good product and not wearing headphones would be a big plus IMHO. I think a revolutionary technology jump would be if someone developed a small driver like these that could play 100hz at 95db or greater a dozen feet away. That would be revolutionary and change the speaker, sound bar world. At the moment this product does not seem revolutionary to me and just an evolutionary step of using phase shifting and DSP to create a sound field.
 

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Yamaha with its "beam" drivers has been doing this for many years. Many of their sound bars had a 'my beam' button on the remote where it would direct the beams at one listener and the person sitting next to them the sound was greatly reduced.
I really appreciate your insight Ellebob. I am in the process of researching soundbars for a future purchase. Of course I want it to have everything, DTS:X, Atmos, 4K & HDR.
I am really intrigued with Yamaha and am hopefully waiting on an upgrade to the YSP-5600. Now I understand it probably won't be the perfect setup, but am willing to live with that.

Do you think that an upgrade to the YSP-5600 could make it one of the better options for a Home Theatre via soundbar (In my case Family room)?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Actually the "My Beam" functions and capabilities of the Yarra 3DX are quite different than the My Beam function in the Yamaha Sound Projectors.

First of all, the Yamaha uses projected beams, reflected off of walls (blended with direct sound) to achieve its My Beam effect. Yamaha's My Beam function is meant for a single person seated in a room, and simply directs all of the sound projectors output, and its surround and height effects, to that person, rather than out into a broad soundstage heard throughout the room.

The Yarra 3DX uses no reflected beams, is not so dependent on room acoustics, and achieves its effects completely through psychoacoustic Digital Signal Processing. Moreover, it can provide discrete audio channels to three listeners, with the possibility of each of these listeners hearing a different audio track altogether!

This is not simply like DSP used before in other devices, but something much more advanced.
 

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It is exactly like the others, its DSP could be more sophisticated but it is still an array of speakers that use phase and level adjustments to steer sound. Wikipedia can probably explain beam forming better than me, but it is nothing new. The underlying physics which have been used in radar and sonar waves since the 70s (maybe earlier) has always been applicable to sound waves but now DSP is powerful and cheap enough to do this on the fly by examining the incoming signal and apply the correct amount of levels, delay and at various frequencies to steer the sound. Even some passive sound bars do this within their crossover network although nowhere near as sophisticated and can't change things dynamically, Golden Ear and Deftech come to mind. Yamaha is doing the same thing and in something like their YSP-2700 they are using 16, 1.125" drivers and adjusting delays to steer the sound. None of those drivers face outward, you do this with an array and delays just like this one. Even many basic sound bars use adjusting of phase to create a larger sound field. I know the My Beam is not the same thing but used it to illustrate one application on how you can steer sound with this technology because that My Beam works if you are off to the side, which is pretty cool.Here is Yamaha's marketing of their version of this technology. Click the YSP tab if the link doesn't take you there.
https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio_visual/sound_bar/ysp-4300/ysp_technology.html#product-tabs

I said it would perform better in the near field because 1.3" drivers are not capable of playing 125hz with enough volume at normal listening positions to crossover to a sub. The crossover will have to be higher causing localization of the sub and some parts of the vocal range to come out of the sub. If the sub is very close to the sound bar you might not notice this. In the near field if one is not trying to play very loud it MIGHT be able to reach 125hz at an audible volume to crossover to the sub. Even by its own plots you are looking at a ~200hz crossover to the sub.

I am not criticizing this sound bar but it is going to have some limitations just like other sound bars that use small drivers. Maybe its DSP processing is better but that doesn't change that it can only move so much air and go so low with those drivers.
 

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Ps. I understand that this is trying to focus the beams at the listeners' ears and not throughout the room. Due to its limited number of drivers it will only be able to accomplish this for a limited number of listeners. This makes this sound bar ideal for the gamer market and the limited number of listeners might get a better effect than some of the other bars which are trying for a larger audience.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Of course DSP is not new as it simply refers to Digital Signal Processing to achieve psychoacoustic effects. DSP is merely a generally descriptive term, but it is in its specific application, and the technology behind it, that the differences lie. A simple primitive telescope bears a relation to a modern day optica telescope, but technology has radically transformed the modern telescope's capabilities.

In the case of the Yarra 3DX, each driver has its own DSP chip, and in addition to this and other hardware features it's all about the algorithms imployed in Yarra's DSP implementation. As far as I know, no other DSP implementation has had the ability to steer three discrete channels to three people. The Yamaha My Beam does not do that. And to achieve this purely using DSP, and no physical steering is pretty amazing. Also, I find some of the listener's reaction to the device pretty compelling, and wish I had known about the LA Audio Show demo as I am in LA.

Regarding driver size, I agree that larger is better, which is why I speculated about other designs further down the road that could apply this technology to more capable hardware.

By the way, before Yamaha introduced their bean steering sound projector, it was commercialized by Duran Audio with their DDC (Digital Directivity Control). There were earlier examples of beam steering, (It was first demonstrated by an English audio engineer) but without DSP there were serious limitations to the technology.
 

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I agree that they are implementing DSP in a different way than Yamaha and others but the beam forming is nothing new. I studied beam forming in college and that was in the late 70s early 80s and got to visit some of the PAVE PAWS sites for radar. I don't know if the Yamaha sound bars have the processing power to do a similar implementation and I am not sure if they want to even if the processing is capable. Using HTRF data is a different approach and look forward to hearing it. I think the limited listeners is a problem for most living/ family room TV set ups but I think it has real promise for the gaming market.

I wish a lot of these sound bars would at least put in a couple of 3" or 4" drivers to cover that 100-200hz frequency range without a higher crossover to the sub. The problem with doing that is the sound bar has to get physically larger and loses its aesthetic appeal. I know since where I work carries the Yamaha 5600 and other larger sound bars, none of the larger bars are great sellers and while cost is part of the issue, size is definitely the issue for many. I guess I just cringe every time a new technology comes out but it gets crippled by trying to make it as small as possible:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I agree with you that someone should make a soundbar with at least a three inch driver (four would be great) for upper bass. The Creative is basically using 2.75 inch, and the Nakamichi 2.5. The YAS 207 is apparently showing some funky bass localization effects due to its use of minidrivers.

For me, the size of a soundbar is less critical than the cost of it, particularly when it starts competing price-wise with good separates. But WAF is a real phenomenon, as I know an ex-pianist who loves music but whose wife wants no unsightly speakers in their large house. They can afford whatever they want, but he has no speakers to listen to music!
 

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From their KS page: "The wired YARRA 3DX subwoofer has a 5.25" driver and 30 Watt amplifier that outputs deep bass from 50 - 100 Hz." I think it's possible to produce 100-200 Hz at a high enough volume from 6-8 feet away by focusing the narrow sound waves directly into up to three head spaces, at the cost of poorer sound for everyone else not targeted by the software.

Sent from my mobile using Tapatalk
 

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I really appreciate your insight Ellebob. I am in the process of researching soundbars for a future purchase. Of course I want it to have everything, DTS:X, Atmos, 4K & HDR.
https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/sennheiser-first-soundbar-ambeo-3d-surround-dolby-atmos/
That should do the trick for you.

I want to keep this alive, I bought in to the kickstarter, can't wait to get it. Since it will be for my bedroom, it doesn't have to be "killer", just good. I'm sure it'll be better than the Vizio sound bar and sub I had in my last bedroom (I moved and left it behind). And I liked the price. I'm anxious to get it.
 

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I seen that and I liked they used 4" drivers and with 4" drivers it will be better than most sound bars. I was wondering what the price will be. If they can keep it near a grand I think they will have a winner. Sennheiser/ Neumann are a well respected audio company in the pro world.
 

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I seen that and I liked they used 4" drivers and with 4" drivers it will be better than most sound bars. I was wondering what the price will be. If they can keep it near a grand I think they will have a winner. Sennheiser/ Neumann are a well respected audio company in the pro world.
Yeah 4" drivers are great! Someone posted that it will be around $2k? :(
 

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If you go back to initial articles on the Yarra I believe it was forecasted to be available for much less than that.
I paid $354 total cost for the Yarra sound bar and sub, and at price it would be very hard for it to not be acceptable for my bedroom, and that's why I jumped in.

But I think the original poster was saying the Senheiser should be a hit at $1k.
 

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Has anyone experience the demo of this soundbar? I'm skeptical of how well this works but I did back it. Most products came out from Kickstarters are mostly missed, either couldn't deliver the product or the performance promised were lacking in general.
 

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Has anyone experience the demo of this soundbar? I'm skeptical of how well this works but I did back it. Most products came out from Kickstarters are mostly missed, either couldn't deliver the product or the performance promised were lacking in general.
There are numerous unbiased reviews and reaction videos on YouTube.
 
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