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Digital Audio Veteran Peter Eastty Joins Apple as Director of SoC Audio Processing

Audio expert Peter Eastty of Oxford Digital Limited has left the company he co-founded to work for Apple. According to his LinkedIn profile, Eastty joined Apple in September of this year as the Director of SoC (System on Chip) Audio Processing.

eastty-linkedin
Eastty's career in digital audio spans more than 40 years, including oversight of a pioneering digital audio team at Solid State Logic, a 13-year stint at Sony as a chief consultant engineer, and more than eight years as CTO at Oxford Digital. Most of his work has focused on digital audio and digital signal processing for audio equipment.
"I’ve worked in the application of digital and computer technology to audio since I graduated from college and I still find the problems fascinating as well as the answers."
Details on Eastty's role as Director of SoC Audio Processing are unknown, but he likely is using his DSP expertise to improve the audio quality of Apple's hardware. Earlier rumors suggested Apple was working to add support for 24-bit audio files in iOS 8 and create a new 24-bit capable version of its In-Ear headphones, but those reports have not yet panned out.

Eastty is not the only audio pioneer hired by Apple in recent years. Back in 2011, Apple hired THX pioneer Tomlinson Holman to help "provide technical direction for the company in audio" as he reports on his LinkedIn profile.

(Thanks, Manu!)


Top Rated Comments

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25 months ago
"...and create a new 24-bit capable version of its In-Ear headphones, but those reports have not yet panned out."

All headphones and speakers are analog. The digital conversion process needs to occur prior to amplification. So there's no such thing as 24bit capable headphones unless you're talking about digitally transmitting the data to the headphone via lightning or bluetooth. This is not a limitation of technology.... it is a limitation of human physiology unless you have a digital input implanted into your brain. So "digital" headphones convert the audio to analog and amplify the signal instead of your device. There's no gain for the end user to have the headphone convert the audio vs your iPhone unless you're headphone cable is 100ft long.

It doesn't matter, most people would not be able to tell the difference between 12, 16 or 24bit audio sources or 44.1k, 48k or 88.2 or 96k. This is not like the picture quality of SD, HD, 4k vs 8k

This is more like properly encoded H.264 vs H.265 vs AppleProRes with the same pixel count and framerate. You're not going to be able to tell the difference unless you've dropped a few hundred grand into a home theater setup and knew what to look for to see a difference. And even then there would no diminished entertainment quality between the various formats.

My point being that AAC 256kbps is not the weak link in your audio chain. It's your headphones or speakers. 192kbps lossy audio compression method far exceeds the reproduction quality of most headphones or speaker systems and 99.99% of people would never hear the difference unless switching between the same source at two different qualities in a properly designed recording studio.
Rating: 16 Votes
25 months ago
These kind of hirings make me happy... Apple's going back to their roots!
Rating: 11 Votes
25 months ago
That beard makes him looks like some sort of Sage.
Rating: 6 Votes
25 months ago
This guy is part of the elite high end pro field. Not someone I would expect to be focusing on how to make iPad speakers sound better. I would hope the pro market is in for some future surprises.
Rating: 5 Votes
25 months ago
Maybe Apple can finally have real "Normalization" and "distortion free" EQ settings. :)
Rating: 4 Votes
25 months ago
Hmm.. With him and Trent on the team, I have some really positive feelings about the future of Apple audio quality.
Rating: 4 Votes
25 months ago

DSD playback on the horizon?! (I hope.)


I hope not, there are no real benefits over PCM and a whole lot of headaches.
Rating: 4 Votes
25 months ago
I too am glad that Apple is re-focusing on audio for their products. Their sound quality hasn't been terrible, but there's definitely room for improvement.
Rating: 3 Votes
25 months ago

"...and create a new 24-bit capable version of its In-Ear headphones, but those reports have not yet panned out."

All headphones and speakers are analog. The digital conversion process needs to occur prior to amplification. So there's no such thing as 24bit capable headphones unless you're talking about digitally transmitting the data to the headphone via lightning or bluetooth. This is not a limitation of technology.... it is a limitation of human physiology unless you have a digital input implanted into your brain. So "digital" headphones convert the audio to analog and amplify the signal instead of your device. There's no gain for the end user to have the headphone convert the audio vs your iPhone unless you're headphone cable is 100ft long.

It doesn't matter, most people would not be able to tell the difference between 12, 16 or 24bit audio sources or 44.1k, 48k or 88.2 or 96k. This is not like the picture quality of SD, HD, 4k vs 8k

This is more like properly encoded H.264 vs H.265 vs AppleProRes with the same pixel count and framerate. You're not going to be able to tell the difference unless you've dropped a few hundred grand into a home theater setup and knew what to look for to see a difference. And even then there would no diminished entertainment quality between the various formats.

My point being that AAC 256kbps is not the weak link in your audio chain. It's your headphones or speakers. 192kbps lossy audio compression method far exceeds the reproduction quality of most headphones or speaker systems and 99.99% of people would never hear the difference unless switching between the same source at two different qualities in a properly designed recording studio.


I can only hear the difference on my high end system between 256 and 320 joint stereo mp3 in the most dissonant, multi-harmonic material in totally quiet conditions at not too high volume (that's not even the volume that material is supposed to be listened too :-) and I can't even tell you which one I like the best (I just know there is a minute difference).

AAC at 256kbs is better than 320kbs joint mp3 so I'm pretty sur I can't tell the difference for anything at that level in any listening conditions. Maybe some under 25 year old guy with bat ears, perfect speakers and perfect amplification in a quiet perfect room could, but that guy is 1 in 25 million probably.
Rating: 3 Votes
25 months ago
This kind of thing right here is the real Apple.

Sadly, these are the kinds of stories that get swept under the rug when people complain about how Apple are more concerned with how things look rather than how they function.
Rating: 3 Votes

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