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Syng Cell Alpha - 7.1 sound with three speakers ?

Hugo

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Hi there!

I stumbled upon a company called Syng and I didn't see it mentioned here. As I saw that some of you are interested in "innovation" in audio, I thought I would write a quick post about it.
So Syng was fouded in 2018 by Christopher Stringer, a former Apple industrial designer holding over 1400 patents (see Wiki) and Afrooz Family, a former Senior Audio Engineer at Apple that worked on the HomePod.
They just currently finished the presale of their first product called "Cell Alpha":

CellAlpha.png


The specs on the presale page are as follow:

-Two woofers in opposing configuration
-Three-element, two-way beamforming array
-Three microphones for automatic room equalization
-Automatic multi-Cell geometry calculation
-Multiroom audio
-Multi-Cell playback in a room via SyFi

They claim that you could get 7.1 sound with three speakers only thanks to their "triphonic" sound system. The patent also include pictures of an app that would make use of AR to scan the room and adapt the sound in consequence (they are using Genelec as a testing speaker in the patent image :)).

patent.jpg


Price is $1499 and some websites are reporting they could license their technology to other manufacturers.

You can find a more detailed article on Protocol (https://www.protocol.com/syng-cell-speakers-spatial-audio).

The quite detailed patent looks interesting, and you can see multiple pictures of the app and the speaker itself: https://patents.google.com/patent/U...entor=christopher+stringer&assignee=Syng,+Inc.

This looks promising to me and I like to see more advances in the line of the homepod regarding spatial sound / "smart" speakers.
What do you think about it?




App.png
 

pozz

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beamforming array
This is the key. There are a few products like this out there. I've haven't had the chance to listen to any yet.

The Yarra 3DX comes to mind: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yarra3dx/yarra-3dx-the-most-advanced-3d-audio-system-in-the

It's interesting that you can simulate multiple sound sources by using multiple drivers with deliberately narrow directivity and bouncing the beams off your walls. I wonder how they interact with room reflections, since those are integral to the design. Certainly any envelopment will have to come from the source material rather than the room. The array would only work for a select frequency range as well. Haven't seen mention on anything like that for bass.
 

andreasmaaan

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This is the key. There are a few products like this out there. I've haven't had the chance to listen to any yet.

The Yarra 3DX comes to mind: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yarra3dx/yarra-3dx-the-most-advanced-3d-audio-system-in-the

It's interesting that you can simulate multiple sound sources by using multiple drivers with deliberately narrow directivity and bouncing the beams off your walls. I wonder how they interact with room reflections, since those are integral to the design. Certainly any envelopment will have to come from the source material rather than the room. The array would only work for a select frequency range as well. Haven't seen mention on anything like that for bass.

@pozz do I understand correctly that, while the 3DX provides two (or more?) channels of audio with crosstalk cancellation, this Syng unit seems to work by producing two narrow beams of sound designed to arrive at the listener after reflecting off room surfaces, with three units giving a total of 6 effective surround channels?

Sorry, I know the information is out there somewhere, I just can't seem to penetrate the marketing material deeply enough to get a specific technical picture of the functioning.
 

pozz

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the 3DX provides two (or more?) channels of audio with crosstalk cancellation
They're a bit fuzzy on detail but that's the idea. The 3DX plays binaural audio as well as Dolby 5.1/7.1, but not super successfully on the latter according to user reports. It has pretty restrictive settings (1, 2 or 3 people) and nearfield and farfield modes, where the beams are aimed more widely in the nearfield to produce the surround effect. So it's still using room reflections, but with a binaural frame of reference.
 

thewas

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It's interesting that you can simulate multiple sound sources by using multiple drivers with deliberately narrow directivity and bouncing the beams off your walls.
The advanced Yamaha YSP sound bars (called sound projectors) do that even with DSP beam steering of many tiny drivers since now 17(!) years, I have one of the newer models and its a quite a decent compromise when you dont want to plaster your living room with loudspeakers:
https://usa.yamaha.com/products/contents/audio_visual/ysp10th/chapter04/index.html
 

andreasmaaan

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thewas

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Didn't realise you had one of these! Tell us more... :)
Well, imho it works quite well if you have relatively symmetric and not too far side walls as well don't sit too close on the rear wall. I had listened an earlier model in an audio show approximately 10 years ago and was really impressed, unfortunately my old living room was open to the left side so it wasn't an option but got (a used) one with my new place this year. It has fully automatic microphone based beam angle and EQ setup or you can do everything manually or any combination of both. At the manual beam angle setup its quite impressive to hear the virtual sound sources move depending on the wall reflections. It has also a subwoofer output which I combine with a cheap 10" sub for nice movie rumble.

Tonally I like the new Sennheiser AMBEO soundbar which has less drivers even more (had listened to it at a Neumann monitor workshop one year ago) but its too expensive for me.
 

pozz

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thewas

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While were on the topic, anyone have any experience with the Sennheiser Ambeo? https://en-us.sennheiser.com/ambeo-soundbar (Very expensive at $2.5k)
As I wrote above I found it quite impressive for the few number of drivers it uses at a Neumann demo (also am not sure if it uses beamsteering) but I also find it too expensive for me to buy.
 

pozz

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As I wrote above I found it quite impressive for the few number of drivers it uses at a Neumann demo (also am not sure if it uses beamsteering) but I also find it too expensive for me to buy.
I was looking at it for a while as well but decided to get the KH80s for the living room instead. Less unknowns. No way to demo it either.
 

andreasmaaan

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Well, imho it works quite well if you have relatively symmetric and not too far side walls as well don't sit too close on the rear wall. I had listened an earlier model in an audio show approximately 10 years ago and was really impressed, unfortunately my old living room was open to the left side so it wasn't an option but got (a used) one with my new place this year. It has fully automatic microphone based beam angle and EQ setup or you can do everything manually or any combination of both. At the manual beam angle setup its quite impressive to hear the virtual sound sources move depending on the wall reflections. It has also a subwoofer output which I combine with a cheap 10" sub for nice movie rumble.

Tonally I like the new Sennheiser AMBEO soundbar which has less drivers even more (had listened to it at a Neumann monitor workshop one year ago) but its too expensive for me.

Nice, thanks :)

I recall reading that the Yamaha uses a test signal to determine the locations of room boundaries and then adjusts the delay of each beam so that the arrival times are correct at the listening position. Is that true? Is it effective?
 

pozz

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make use of AR to scan the room
Actually this is really interesting. I was wondering how the system would adapt to different layouts.
 

thewas

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Nice, thanks :)

I recall reading that the Yamaha uses a test signal to determine the location of room boundaries and then adjusts the delay of each beam so that the arrival times are correct at the listening position. Is that true? Is it effective?
Thank you. :)
Yes, during automatic beam setup it sends chirps and continuously adapts the beam steering angles and then also measures and corrects the delays and the frequency responses with kind of pink noise.
 

Sprint

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While were on the topic, anyone have any experience with the Sennheiser Ambeo? https://en-us.sennheiser.com/ambeo-soundbar (Very expensive at $2.5k)

No idea if it also works on beamforming principles or not.

Yes, I tried Ambeo in my living room. Very impressive and it was fun. However I had three issues.

1. One side of my room a bit more open with wall at 4,5 meters and the other side around less than 2 meters. The left right balance was bit off especially the height channels. The left audio sounded to be far off compared to right.

2. I could not hear surround back or surrounds channels. I did a Dolby test and it was very feeble and did not really improve even after volume adjustments. May be I am sitting 50 cm - 90 cm from the back wall.

3. I mainly brought of Atmos effects. The Atmos was very weak as well.

Other than that the overall sound was pretty impressive...typical Neumann. If I had a symmetrical room or a smaller room, it could have worked. But compared to any other sound bars I have heard like Sonos, Bose, JBL my pick will definitely Ambeo.

At the end, decided for Genelec set up. What should I say to my existing set up. Eventhough it is 5.2, Genelec sounds far much better with proper surround localisation. Here are my pics of the living room.

 

ElNino

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Syng finally came out of stealth mode this morning, and details of the product are now available: https://syngspace.com

Contrary to what had been rumoured earlier, these can work in a stereo configuration, and it comes with USB-C ports, but the eARC input will be an optional add-on, not included.

I think this is an exciting product. I spent some time doing a comparison of my Revel M105s and a pair of the original HomePods (basically the Syng predecessor) with the most recent firmware last month in a friend's open-floorplan living room/kitchen, and it was quite interesting. The automatic room EQ below Schroeder worked very well, and the quasi-omni-style radiation pattern did have its pluses, particularly in that room configuration.
 

napilopez

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They'd pinged me about this and I reached out to give the system a try. Definitely curious to see how they perform, although I'm not sure how well I'd be able to evaluate them from a measurements standpoint.
 

tusing

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Any idea how this compares to Dirac Live?

I'm building a new home theater. It's down to this or a KEF LS50 Meta setup with some SVS subs equalized with Dirac Live for me.
 
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