SAMSUNG is the world’s top smartphone seller, the world’s leading TV maker, and it makes more LCD panels than any other firm.
by David Compa
But the technology giant is yet to make itself heard in audio. Audiophiles are typically tied to high-end brands translating valves and cones into crisp modern speakers, while more modest music lovers are being wooed by simple streaming audio, cutting-edge design, or noise-cancellation technology. FIVE SPEAKERS: The best audio gadgets reviewed SOUNDS RIGHT: Five ways to tune out the world Samsung admits audio is an area it has often overlooked, hidden beneath ever-growing TV screens and rarely prioritised in smartphones. To improve its sound and truly compete, the South Korean firm has invested in a stand-alone audio research facility. Audio facility ... Samsung's US Audio Lab is located in a business park in Santa Clarita, California.Source:Supplied Samsung’s US Audio Lab is hidden at the back of a nondescript business park in Santa Clarita, an hour outside Los Angeles. It’s surrounded by barren hills, high-voltage power lines and, tellingly, film and television studios. Its first employee began work almost two years ago, and staff numbers have now swelled to 15, counting engineers, researchers, and technicians with three PhDs and five Masters degrees between them. Many have professional audio backgrounds, some play in bands, and all played a part in choosing posters that line the Lab’s walls, ensuring everyone from Radiohead and the Foo Fighters to Blondie and David Bowie are represented. The team is headed by Allan Devantier, a veteran audio engineer from Harman Kardon and Infinity, and a man who admits Samsung’s sound turnaround will not be instantaneous. “We’re coming from a disadvantage right now and we can only change that with time,” he says. Devantier began building the Lab’s team in October 2013, and had secured its location by January last year. Testing facility ... Samsung tests a speaker inside the anechoic chamber in its US Audio Lab.Source:Supplied It wasn’t established enough to provide input on Samsung’s first multi-room speaker last year, the M7, but has since weighed in on its two subsequent models, and issued an update to Samsung's built-in TV speakers. But the first product on which the Lab takes “a leadership role,” the upright,