Show Preview: The World of Audio - the High Performance, the New Players, and the Essentials at CEDIA EXPO 2014

By Olivia Sellke, CEDIA. According to the 2013 CEDIA Size and Scope of the Electronics Systems Market Report, audio installs were up 9% on the previous year. How is your audio business looking? Have you started offering wireless? Are high-end products your main category? Do you need to learn more of the basics for your audio installations? Whatever the case, CEDIA has you covered. [caption id="attachment_5630" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Whatever your audio needs, CEDIA has it covered.[/caption] High Performance Experience Rooms Audio has long been a topic of interest for this industry. High-end audio and high-performance audio can be credited with helping residential custom installation take off, and audio installs still account for a good portion of custom installation business today. Lots of people in the industry geek out over the high-performance audio category - can't say we blame them! It is amazing to listen to a demo that makes you feel as if you're in the movie, and it's amazing to know that with the right equipment and expertise, you could re-create that experience for a client. Although you may think CEDIA EXPO is not the place for high-performance demos, you would be wrong. The true experience of the latest audio product releases can be found at CEDIA EXPO in the High Performance Experience Rooms. Away from the noise of the show floor, these dedicated rooms will allow you to truly experience the latest audio equipment hitting the market. This will give you a better chance to judge the sound quality and speak one-on-one with the exhibit staff about their products. So when you're planning your CEDIA EXPO show trip, make sure to leave some time to visit these rooms. [caption id="attachment_5632" align="aligncenter" width="600"] CEDIA EXPO provides attendees an opportunity to see and experience the latest in audio products and audio training[/caption] The New Players When it comes to the newer-players in the audio game - wireless is still met with many questions and sometimes hesitations. Is it making a comeback? Is it just a fad? What can be expected from the performance? The truth is.. (straight from our interview with Jim Venable, President of WiSA) wireless speaker technology has evolved over the years and moved to higher frequencies. This allows for the transmission of uncompressed HD audio that will deliver near-cinema quality 24-bit, 96kHz samples with no interference. This is a big difference from what was available in the past. [caption id="attachment_5628" align="aligncenter" width="424"] Examples of award-winning WiSA (Wireless Speaker & Audio) certified products.[/caption] Wireless speakers open up a potentially large market that has shunned surround sound audio because of the need for installing the speakers' wires. With wireless speakers, this is eliminated. As more home technology professionals work on retrofit projects, wireless speakers will also pose a great opportunity for the upsell of installation and calibration. Also, since wireless speakers are easier to set up, the home technology professional will be able to handle more installs in a short period of time, with no-call backs due to poor audio quality of wireless speakers. Are we piquing your interest about wireless speakers? Well, you can get up to speed with some of our archived webinars on the topic: Emerging Trends: Wireless Audio: Threat or Opportunity, Emerging Trends: Wireless Audio Solutions: Tech Specs and Best Practices, and Emerging Trends: Delivering Excellence with Wireless Audio/Video Sources. Start your research on wireless audio now, so by the time CEDIA EXPO comes around, you'll be ready to discuss the finer points with some of the top wireless audio manufacturers. The Essentials When it comes to Audio and Acoustics, few names garner as much respect as Dr Floyd Toole. Dr Toole is an industry mainstay and has even been recognised as a CEDIA Fellow and a CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner. Dr Toole is a pioneer in the field of acoustics research with more than 40 years of experience in the industry. He launched his career when the industry was in its infancy and moved on to become a renowned authority on the measurement and understanding of sound quality. Dr Toole's research has focused on small-room acoustics and evaluating the relationship between technical measurements of audio equipment and listeners' perceptions. His findings have been applied to loudspeaker design and manufacturing and have influenced his work as a CEDIA Training subject matter expert and course developer. [caption id="attachment_5631" align="aligncenter" width="200"] CEDIA Fellow and a CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Dr Floyd Toole.[/caption] If you are new to the industry or looking to up your audio game, there is no better source to learn from than Dr Toole. He will be presenting his three-part 'Home Theater Audio & Acoustics' course at CEDIA EXPO. This comprehensive series guides participants through predicting audio performance, surround sound system design, and other best practices for speaker and subwoofer selection and placement. This course is an excellent opportunity to learn from an industry legend. Olivia Sellke is the Communications Manager for CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association). CEDIA is the leading global authority in the US$14 billion home technology industry. Built upon a strong volunteer foundation, CEDIA provides access to industry-leading education, certification, research, and consumer awareness, and has an annual expo that attracts visitors from around the world. CEDIA EXPO 2014 will be held at the Colorado Convention Center September 10-13, show floor open from September 11-13. Registration for CEDIA EXPO is now open at the website below. Readers of HiddenWires can enjoy complimentary tradeshow floor access with the guest pass code: HW14.

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