When you put on headphones or listen to loudspeakers today, you are likely tapping into the same underlying technology that was invented in the late 19th century to convert electrical energy into sound.

That's not to say that audio technology isn't slimmer and sleeker, but there hasn't been nearly as much innovation as in video. That's at least the view of GraphAudio, a four-year old startup whose product is based on Nobel Prize-winning technology, which it hopes will bring about the next frontier in audio.

"We want to bring an audiophile experience to the mass market," said chief executive Ramesh Ramchandani, "and become the 'Intel Inside' of audio."

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Over the past five years, West Hollywood-based Wondery transformed from Hernan Lopez's hunch about the future of audio to the sixth largest podcast publisher in the U.S., boasting over 8 million monthly listeners and 30 hit shows.

A former 21st Century Fox executive, Lopez started the podcast studio with the belief that in-depth, narrative audio stories were poised to bloom much like serialized television dramas had when he was in TV; he wanted to make "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" versions of podcasts.

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In the middle of 2005, Apple added a little-noticed feature to its iTunes Music Store – podcasts. A decade and a half later, the form is mainstream, with 144 million Americans having listened to at least one, ranging from The Joe Rogan Experience to Serial. But little about the technology or podcasting platforms has changed in the intervening years.

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