The Pro Audio division of NewBay Media’s AV/Pro Audio Group announced its Best of Show Award winners today following the 2015 NAMM Show. The Pro Audio division is comprised of trusted NewBay Media titles Mix, Pro Sound News (PSN) and Pro Audio Review (PAR).
NewBay Media’s Best of Show Awards are gleaned from submitted nominations and subsequent evaluation by a panel of engineers, industry experts and NewBay Media staff members.
The nine winners are as follows:
Auro Technologies Auro 3D Creative Tool Suite
Auro-3D, an immersive 3D audio format, is designed along three layers of sound—surround, heigh and overhead ceiling—building on the single horizontal layer used in the 5.1 sound format. Auro-3D creates a spacial sound field by adding a height layer around the audience on top of the traditional 2D surround sound system.
This technology consists of the engine and its Creative Tool Suite, a set of plug-ins that can be used to create native immersive 3D audio content, fully compatible with all existing audio, video and multimedia production processes.
Blue Mo-Fi Headphones
Blue Microphones’ visually striking Mo-Fi is the first active pair of headphones whose active circuit was created with the specific purpose of efficiently powering the headphones. Considering the progressively smaller sizes of modern portable playback devices, modern headphone amplifiers are often underpowered; as such, a high-quality amplifier is included in Mo-Fi,chargeable via USB via included AC charger, computer or other USB power-providing source.
PSN and PAR Senior Contributor Russ Long recently reviewed the Mo-Fi. “Mo-Fi sounds great and wears comfortably. They offer smooth, natural performance at any volume level. As such, they are a pleasure to listen to, even over long periods of time. They have the ability to reproduce music at exceedingly loud volume levels without distorting and are reasonably priced. They also provide exceptional isolation, which makes them a great recording musician’s headphone.”
Carvin S600 Stagemate Portable P.A. System
The handy S600 Stagemate, a lightweight one-piece line array-style portable powered P.A. system, features vertically-arranged drivers positioned at various angles to deliver a wide-range 110 degree acoustic dispersion and a built-in mixer with four XLR inputs and comprehensive I/O—ideal for singer/songwriter, DJ/KJ, and other applications where flexibility is a must. Other features include an internal rechargeable 12V battery for truly remote location use and a nice selection of built-in digital effects. It’s built sturdily with steel grille and encased in tour-grade wooden cabinetry.
Electro-Voice EKX Series Portable Loudspeakers
Freshly unveiled at NAMM 2015, the EKX Series of portable PA is positioned above E-V’s PAR review- and sales-proven ZLX Series, an affordable yet overbuilt, great sounding powered speaker design—built-wise, “one of the best balances of polypropylene, steel and rubber I’ve seen in portable PA,” reported Pro Audio Group Reviews Editor Strother Bullins in its full review. EKX is also more affordable than E-V’s premium ETX Series, whose “build, component and cabinetry materials, DSP functionality and field-proven performance” set it as an product category leader, offers Bullins.
As such, the EKX Series, soon to be reviewed in PSN, promises to provide a balance of ETX “pro-grade” performance and ZLX affordability.
Gator Cases Frameworks Mic Accessory Tray
The Frameworks Series of stands and music performance accessories are designed as “products that you don’t have to worry about,” offers Gator Cases. Their latest, the Mic Accessory Tray, offers musicians a handy spot to place keys, smartphone, picks, a beverage and more. Pro Audio Group Reviews Editor Strother Bullins has recently reviewed Gator Cases’ superb Frameworks microphone stand, finding it intuitive and straightforward in use; the new accessory tray nicely completes the package for those well organized musicians out there.
Gibson Les Paul Reference Monitors
With its unmistakable front panel woodwork, Gibson’s Les Paul Reference Monitor Series is comprised by three models, all featuring carbon-coated titanium tweeters, non-woven carbon woofers and Class D amplification power; the LP4 and 6 each sport a 1-inch dome tweeter and a 4- or 6-inch midrange woofer, while the LP8 has an 8-inch woofer. The monitors include high, mid and low EQ knobs, balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs, and wood veneer fronts that recall the long-running Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.
JBL Professional SRX800 Series SRX835P 3-Way Self-Powered System
A three-way bass reflex loudspeaker system, the SRX835P is a powerful (2000 W peak power) “pro-grade” built portable PA speaker featuring truly full-range sound (33 Hz to 21 kHz) with a 137dB maximum SPL output. The SRX835P features proprietary Crown amplification, Crown Front-End DriveCore Technology, user-configurable DSP, V5 Tunings (compatible with Vertec and VTX touring systems), and HiQnet Network control options via iOS and Android applications.
Mackie DL32R Wireless Digital Mixer
The buzzed-about DL32R—Mackie’s new 32 channel wireless digital mixer with comprehensive I/O via remote iPad control—"covers the broadest range of audio tasks in the simplest way of any single product I’ve reviewed," reports Bullins. “Considering its feature set and Mackie’s presence and power in the industry, the DL32R is poised to be the next big thing in all-inclusive audio capture, control, mixing and live recording production at $1,999 street. Add iPad, mics, cables and powered loudspeakers plus a CPU-based DAW or remote USB drive; that’s all for a complete and super-capable live sound reinforcement + multichannel recording system.”
Marshall Electronics Mini Mixer+
The MM-4000 Mini Mixer+ portable Audio Mixer is designed for use with smartphones, tablets, DSLRs and more. It allows recording with four electret microphones simultaneously, via analog or digital input to the user’s device of choice. Features include headphone jack for direct audio monitoring; USB for power and I/O; line level out; adjustable line level output; 2 AA, USB bus or USB battery pack power; and more.
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