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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings All!!

As everyone has been interested in the Mosconi 6 to 8 and I have been busy with that side of Orca I neglected to mention a product that Focal is bringing out right now.

Its called the IBox and it is very cool piece of hardware! For years I have been bitching about how poor IPhones or IPads or I whatever sound because of compression and piss poor DAC's. Not anymore!!!!

Focal has brought to the table a unit that is called the IBox. It uses WIFi technology so you may be able to stream from your IPhone or IPad via WIFi to this unit all of your music stored on the respective devices! Now, here is the really cool part about this piece: It does it with over 100 KHZ of bandwidth and it has two 24bit/96Khz DAC's in it! So, if you download music to your IPhone or Ipad with Apple Lossless you are going to be able to hear your music at a higher resolution that can exceed CD quality!

This piece has an analog output and a digital output! All you need is some form of preamp or Aux input and you have access to the units capability! I used this at CES in the Focal booth and the Illusion booth and we did direct comparisons with a CD and a downloaded copy to an IPhone. Everyone agreed that the IPhone recording was better! Yes, I did cheat a little, I downloaded a High resoultion recording of Diana Krall's "Live in Paris' Album, but the matter that we could stream via WiFi my IPhone and get better than CD quailty sound gives me hope that we may have turned the corner in being able to get a way better sound out of our downloads!

If you have a digital input on any source unit of processor, ( Mosconi 6 to 8), then you can get a direct digital signal transfer and my understanding is this unit will Up-sample to 24/96 every recording!! Hallelujah!!! Now were getting somewhere close to what the high-end home folks are enjoying!!!

You do not have to download any type of app for this. Each unit has its own WiFi address and password. All you have to do is hook up power and ground and you are good to go! Your IPhone or IPad will see the unit once you initiate WiFi. You will see the address and once you click on that it will ask you for a password. Type that in and you are set to go. Hit play on your Music selection and that is all there is to it!!!

The unit is not inexpensive, its going to retail for $999.00. This level of technology and getting it in a small housing was not easy. Focal has a home version that I was told at CES retails for $3000.00. We in 12volt are getting a bargain. But considering what a lot of us are having to spend to get decent sounding systems, this could be the ultimate answer for a lot of us! We can make our IPads our head units. I intend to do so! Im going to replace the head unit in my Challenger with an IPad and use it instead! Pretty simple really! Once the 6 to 8 is installed, I will not need to run RCA's to the 6 to 8. All I need is to turn on the IPad and the IBox will send out the WiFi signal and the IPad will see it and thats that! One Toslink cable from the IBox to the 6 to 8 and we are done! No noise to worry about, maximum signal transfer and hundreds of songs to choose from with CD resolution or better!!


Sounds like the future to me!!!

If you have any questions on the IBox please let me know. Ill do my best to get the answers for you!


Nick Wingate Jr
National Training Coodinator
Focal America/Mosconi/Audio Systems/ Illusion Audio America
 

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Wow, that's very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Love the idea...wish the price was better.
 

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Focal has brought to the table a unit that is called the IBox. It uses WIFi technology so you may be able to stream from your IPhone or IPad via WIFi to this unit all of your music stored on the respective devices! Now, here is the really cool part about this piece: It does it with over 100 KHZ of bandwidth and it has two 24bit/96Khz DAC's in it! So, if you download music to your IPhone or Ipad with Apple Lossless you are going to be able to hear your music at a higher resolution that can exceed CD quality!

This piece has an analog output and a digital output! All you need is some form of preamp or Aux input and you have access to the units capability! I used this at CES in the Focal booth and the Illusion booth and we did direct comparisons with a CD and a downloaded copy to an IPhone. Everyone agreed that the IPhone recording was better! Yes, I did cheat a little, I downloaded a High resoultion recording of Diana Krall's "Live in Paris' Album, but the matter that we could stream via WiFi my IPhone and get better than CD quailty sound gives me hope that we may have turned the corner in being able to get a way better sound out of our downloads!

If you have a digital input on any source unit of processor, ( Mosconi 6 to 8), then you can get a direct digital signal transfer and my understanding is this unit will Up-sample to 24/96 every recording!! Hallelujah!!! Now were getting somewhere close to what the high-end home folks are enjoying!!!

You do not have to download any type of app for this. Each unit has its own WiFi address and password. All you have to do is hook up power and ground and you are good to go! Your IPhone or IPad will see the unit once you initiate WiFi. You will see the address and once you click on that it will ask you for a password. Type that in and you are set to go. Hit play on your Music selection and that is all there is to it!!!

The unit is not inexpensive, its going to retail for $999.00. This level of technology and getting it in a small housing was not easy. Focal has a home version that I was told at CES retails for $3000.00. We in 12volt are getting a bargain. But considering what a lot of us are having to spend to get decent sounding systems, this could be the ultimate answer for a lot of us! We can make our IPads our head units. I intend to do so! Im going to replace the head unit in my Challenger with an IPad and use it instead! Pretty simple really! Once the 6 to 8 is installed, I will not need to run RCA's to the 6 to 8. All I need is to turn on the IPad and the IBox will send out the WiFi signal and the IPad will see it and thats that! One Toslink cable from the IBox to the 6 to 8 and we are done! No noise to worry about, maximum signal transfer and hundreds of songs to choose from with CD resolution or better!!


Sounds like the future to me!!!

If you have any questions on the IBox please let me know. Ill do my best to get the answers for you!


Nick Wingate Jr
National Training Coodinator
Focal America/Mosconi/Audio Systems/ Illusion Audio America
How did you upload Dianna Krall's high resolution album onto an iDevice? My understanding is that nothing over 48kHz is supported.

Also, do you know if you loose 3G functionality on apps that default to wifi once connected to wifi network (ie maps, weather, MOG, Pandora, etc), when the iphone interfaces with the iBox? Or is it a smart wifi connection that only trigger wifi for the iPod app?

And is this like AirPlay where you have to switch over to it every time you come within range? Or does it do it all auto and is as you say as simple as pressing play?
 

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jtaudioacc
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How did you upload Dianna Krall's high resolution album onto an iDevice? My understanding is that nothing over 48kHz is supported.

Also, do you know if you loose 3G functionality on apps that default to wifi once connected to wifi network (ie maps, weather, MOG, Pandora, etc), when the iphone interfaces with the iBox? Or is it a smart wifi connection that only trigger wifi for the iPod app?

And is this like AirPlay where you have to switch over to it every time you come within range? Or does it do it all auto and is as you say as simple as pressing play?

These are some of the questions I had once I did some research after seeing/hearing the box in action. I know a normal iphone will not allow high resolution files to be transferred to the device.

I asked the iStreamer guy why they didn't have one and he claimed it's impossible. lol. I also asked, well, how about just a digital out, and to that he said, it wouldn't work...jitter.

So, someone please correct whatever is missing or miss information. I think this will be an awesome device for those looking for SQ and and iPad install!
 

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How did you upload Dianna Krall's high resolution album onto an iDevice? My understanding is that nothing over 48kHz is supported.

Also, do you know if you loose 3G functionality on apps that default to wifi once connected to wifi network (ie maps, weather, MOG, Pandora, etc), when the iphone interfaces with the iBox? Or is it a smart wifi connection that only trigger wifi for the iPod app?

And is this like AirPlay where you have to switch over to it every time you come within range? Or does it do it all auto and is as you say as simple as pressing play?
Same questions here.

Nick, since this unit is released now, do you have a link to the product page with specs and/or a PDF you can post?

And I have hard time shelling out money on these types of products when they cost more than the iDevice itself.

Slightly OT & FYI: The iPad 3 hardware has been finalized since the week before Christmas. Expect it to be in our hands very soon. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Greetings!!!

There are programs out there that will allow you to download a high res file directly to your computer and then allow you to store it on your Idevice. These files are better than 16/44Khz. There are programs available which will actually allow you to take the direct DSD signal off of a SACD and store it directly to a hard drive. Then, once you have this, there are now servers available which will allow you to store those files on their hard drive and via a digital output go to one of the new DAC's that have the Sabre DAC with 32bit/384Khz resolution which will allow you to hear what amounts to a true analog wave formation instead of a digital jitter induced signal.

I actually used one of these at the 2010 RMAF in Denver Colorado when we debuted the Raven Ebb speakers. This was a truly enlightening experience! Way beyond CD quality sound, more like Vinyl sound with SACD extreme resolution! That began my trek to find higher resolution files that could be downloaded to my computer/server and my IPhone.

Once you have the program, you will be able to play the files back via the program! Now, as to how the download on my phone came about is this. There are SACD's that have dual layers on them. One is SACD one is red book CD. Well I tried to burn the SACD side to my computer and was successful. When I downloaded one track to my IPhone, it worked! Now, I actually thought I was listening to the standard red book CD track in lossless, but when i played that track through the IBox, it was so much better than the standard red book CD, I decided to do a side by side comparison or back to back if you will. IBOX version through my IPhone was substantially better than CD! So, given that was the case I tried another musical selection just to confirm my suspicions. I have a copy of Dire Straits " Brothers in Arms" from the JVC XRCDII catalog. The best standard recording you can get. I listened to 'Money for Nothing' on the CD and through my phone on the IBOX. Yep, there was a difference, the CD had slightly better depth and three dimensionality, but not by much. My conclusion was that the file that i had on my iPhone of Diana Krall had to be the higher resolution form. It was so much better than the standard CD that it was the only conclusion that I could come up with.

As soon as my IBOX gets to me, I am going to place it in my home system and see just how much better my system sounds through my IPhone. I do not expect it to sound like 32/384 resolution nor do I expect it to sound better than my server. However, given my experience so far with the unit and given the digital output that is on the unit and that it is supposed to upsample everything over the digital output to 24/96, I intend to confirm this. My suspicions is that this unit is up-sampling everything whether it is using the analog outputs or the digital outputs. Ill let everyone know as soon as I get mine in.

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, on how the unit interfaces to a IPad or I phone is like this. Once your IPad or IPhone sees the WiFi broadcast it will ask for a password. Once you have entered your password, your unit and phone will auto synk each and everytime they get within 150 feet of each other. All you have to do is enable the music on your I Device and your music is streaming.

Now, if your phone rings, the music is paused and the phone switches so you may answer it. The phone conversation will not pass through to the WiFI side. If you are bluetooth enabled it will switchover automatically.

If you are using WiFi for music streaming it will take up all of the bandwidth and it is the only thing you may use. You may not do anything else at the same time. As I have not experienced this, I dont know for a fact that this will work, but given that my phone was receiving a 3G signal the entire time I was using the unit with my phone, I would conclude that any 3G functions or apps are going to continue to work.

Nick
 

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jtaudioacc
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Nick,

I'd like to know what programs you are using that allow you to transfer the music to your idevice and play in itunes. Unless, correct me if I am wrong, I thought I heard you say at CES you were using the normal audio player on the iphone in the Focal, and ipad in the Mosconi/Illusion Audio room(s).

I do have "flac player", but the interface with itunes and my playlists won't be the same.

I do already have about 130gb of 96/24, just need to know how to play it with itunes on my idevices.

Thanks!
JT








Ok, on how the unit interfaces to a IPad or I phone is like this. Once your IPad or IPhone sees the WiFi broadcast it will ask for a password. Once you have entered your password, your unit and phone will auto synk each and everytime they get within 150 feet of each other. All you have to do is enable the music on your I Device and your music is streaming.

Now, if your phone rings, the music is paused and the phone switches so you may answer it. The phone conversation will not pass through to the WiFI side. If you are bluetooth enabled it will switchover automatically.

If you are using WiFi for music streaming it will take up all of the bandwidth and it is the only thing you may use. You may not do anything else at the same time. As I have not experienced this, I dont know for a fact that this will work, but given that my phone was receiving a 3G signal the entire time I was using the unit with my phone, I would conclude that any 3G functions or apps are going to continue to work.

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What I did on my IPhone was download a high res SACD copy of the song onto my IPhone. I thought it was the red book copy, but upon hearing it, I was doubtful that I was listening to a standard red book recording. I still don't. What gets me about this is that when the IBox interfaces with my phone the recordings sound better!!! Whether its red book or not.

The recording fo the Diana Krall I played at CES is a high res recording. I am convinced that it is not a standard red book recording that was downloaded to my IPhone. My belief is that the IBox is bringing our just how good that recording is and that our IPhones or IPads are capable of a whole lot more than we have been led to believe. THe IBox seems to prove this. As I stated above, as soon as I get my unit in house, I will be testing it over my computer to see just how good a playback medium it can be.

As of today, I can say with absolute certainty that with it in your system, it makes playback of any recording on your IPhone/IPad sound amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Following the request for the best program to have for high res downloads there are a number of them available but I personally think that AMARRA is the Mercedes/Benz of programs. Upgradeable and easy to use. Will support 32/384 and will automatically convert Flac to AIFF. It is not inexpensive. 495.00 US gets you started and you can go from there.
 

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jtaudioacc
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Here's something specific I'd like to know. How, or what program, did you use so that the iphone's native music player can see and play a 24bit96khz file?

If you try to transfer using iTunes, it automatically cancels it and says the iphone cannot play this type of file.

I'm sure I can use "flac player" and transfer the files over data, but the native player will not play these files. so, it makes navigating your music not as smooth as the iphone, ipad, etc. would normally do.

if anyone has that answer, please enlighten me. :)

thanks!

JT
 

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Hey Nick,

You mention in your OP that the iBox contains two 24bit/96Khz DACs. Can you tell us what two DAC chips Focal is using?

Have a Web Link to the product page?


Here's what a Google search for "iBox" came up with:

Thodio iBox - iPod/iPhone exquisite wood Boom Box
thodio » exclusive audio » products

W2IHY iBox - Ham/Amateur Radio audio interface
W2IHY iBox

Will there be any Trademark/Copyright issues using the "iBox" name due to these devices already existing in the marketplace?

I'd like to try an iBox. Can I order an iBox from you or Orca now?

It's best to contact me via email: bbfoto AT hotmail DOT com
 

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JT, its impossible to get high res with the native player. so you're investment into listening at those sample rates has just gone up :)

I like the unit Nick. Definitely on the right track. I too, will be going to an Ipad2 in my truck for music and a whole lot more (netflix, vudu, internet, slingbox)
 

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JT, its impossible to get high res with the native player. so you're investment into listening at those sample rates has just gone up :)

I like the unit Nick. Definitely on the right track. I too, will be going to an Ipad2 in my truck for music and a whole lot more (netflix, vudu, internet, slingbox)
Hey Jim, can you explain HOW to load and play Hi-Res files on the iPod/iPhone/iPad with the native player???

And when I refer to "Hi-Res", I'm referring to 24-bit files, with a minimum of 88.2kHz to 192kHz.

Also, you might want to wait for the iPad 3. A little bird told me it's coming very soon. ;)
 
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