Politics

Demystifying good sound

3 Mins read

SOUND IS SOMETHING very subjective. What to you might hear and feel like scratching your fingernails on a chalkboard may be another man’s nirvana. Right?

Well, yes and no, according to Audiofrog President Andy Wehmeyer. While the perception of sound is relative, he insisted, “There’s a baseline that needs to be correct.” And that, he continued in an exclusive interview with “Velocity,” should be the case whether you’re in a concert, your bedroom, or stuck in traffic behind the wheel. And that’s what the brand is about.

Audiofrog is a Los Angeles, California-headquartered premium audio marque that’s a brainchild of Singaporean Marcus Yeo (who sits as director) and Mr. Wehmeyer, an American who “discovered his passion in audio engineering when he built his first set of home audio speakers in his grandfather’s garage in 1982.” Between the two are more than seven decades of experience in the car audio industry — from product development, installation, to sales.

Established in 2011, Audiofrog’s product line is now available in the Philippines through Waido Marketing and Distribution, Inc. “It’s a high-fi audio brand with a professional line, car audio, and even studio setup lines,” shared Audiofrog Car Audio Philippines Brand Manager Kat Tiu, who wants to emphasize that while the brand is premium — delivering “much clearer and friendlier sound you would want to hear,” its products remain very flexible.

The Audiofrog mantra is simple as it is ambitious: “to provide the best in-class performance across all its product lines, focused largely on delivering superior sound engineering and modern in-house designs.” In a release, the company added that it “puts importance in offering innovative solutions for installation and tuning implementations. This creates a holistic environment for both R&D and business development.”

Even as Audiofrog promises an elevated listening experience through its line, Mr. Wehmeyer said that it’s not the only thing they consider important. “We make great products, but sometimes making great products isn’t enough. I think that compared to (other brands) in this price class, our products sound better, and in some cases are much easier to install,” he maintained.

There’s obvious value in making the experience easy to understand, as not everyone who seeks sound excellence has the interest or inclination to do a deep dive on the technicalities. Having said that, Mr. Wehmeyer is someone capable — and patient — to explain salient points and principles, if you ask him.

“We answer questions not just from professional techs but also for enthusiastic do-it-yourselfers. Audio is sometimes presented as being very mysterious, and I don’t believe in this at all. Of course, I have lots of respect for exclusive brands, but we’ve chosen a path that’s not exclusive,” the executive underscored. He said that Audiofrog has committed to helping people use their products well. It’s not uncommon to see Mr. Wehmeyer spending “a lot of time” on Facebook, answering tech questions, he admitted.

The work he puts in is about demystifying the science and art of audio — ultimately helping people be successful in the quest for excellence. “Audio is not easy; it’s a technical discipline,” he averred. “Too often, at really high prices, anytime you find a great product or great service, it’s a result of somebody knowing what they were doing. This is not magic.”

And while marketing is important, so is sifting through the marketing fluff. “There’s a lot of (things going on) especially with high-end audio, which is presented as mystical,” Mr. Wehmeyer instisted. “Materials work or don’t work; there’s nothing esoteric about them. Mostly, what makes great audio systems great are the people who make the products knowing how to make the products; people who install the products knowing how to install the products; and whoever’s optimizing the whole system knows what to do.”

Audiofrog’s sales network spans the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In Asia, its official corporate office is currently based in Singapore. For more information on Audiofrog’s products, check out the Facebook page (Audiofrog Car Audio Philippines).

“Our products aren’t cheap, but we’ve really set out to make great sound in your car as accessible as we can to anybody who has a passion for great music they drives or, here in Manila, while they sit in traffic,” concluded Andy Wehmeyer.

That sounds about right.