Monday, June 28, 2010

Science in the Service of Art

Last week, I've was given my own front page forum over at WhatsbestForum called "Science in the Service of Art", where I can write about any topic I wish. My first posting is called "Audio Science in the Service of Art".

I will probably post the same articles I write over there, on this blog as well. But for now, I recommend you go over there, read my article, and then leave your comments about what we need to do in order to improve the quality and consistency of recorded and reproduced music.

Harman is committed to a scientific approach towards the design and testing of audio products in the consumer, professional, and automotive audio spaces. Last week, Harman Kardon began a PR campaign called the "Science of Sound" where "Science in the Service of Art" is a major theme. You can read about this on the Harman Kardon web sites (click on the "about" link at the top of the page). Enjoy!


  1. Sean:

    Thanks for the great blog. I clicked on the "Science of Sound" link and it looks like there are some great Harman Kardon products (MS-100 and MAS-100) that aren't available in the United States.

    Is there any chance either of these will be available in the U.S. anytime soon?


  2. Hi William,
    Thanks for the nice words. There may be plans to introduce those products in the USA, but I can't say for sure. Keep checking back on the website.

  3. Sean:

    This was a great article!

    I was wondering if you could help explain something though. If you can get a flat frequency response curve from a pair of low price Harmon speakers (such as the Infinity P362), then what are you paying for in more expensive speakers (like maybe the C336)?

    If they measure the same, is the extra money just for looks?

  4. What you should get for more money is lower distortion, higher maximum sound pressure output, more extended bass/treble, more overall refined sound -- and great looks/

    You also should get better service, and quality control. For example, every Revel speaker is tested and adjusted to within tight tolerances.

  5. Sean:

    Thank you for your response. I am curious though -- how would the "more overall refined sound" be measured?

    Maybe it's just an overall impression you get from more extension.

    I am very interested in taking this area out of subjective opinions (which are very common) and into something measured and observed.

  6. Zanon,

    By more refined sound I mean the speaker objectively gets closer to the defined target metrics: flat, smooth frequency response, wide bandwidth lower distortion,etc,etc

  7. Sean,

    the picture of your listening room on top of this post shows that the subject is listening to one speaker. If I am not wrong, I read that in most(?) of your experiments you are using a mono setup for speaker evaluation. What is the reason for choosing mono over stereo? Are you not loosing some sound aspects, such as "imaging", when using this setup?

    PS: you might have answered this before, but the search function of this blog is very limited, I just could not find it.