Sony engineers love sound. They work tirelessly on every product, from the MDR-1A/B Hi-Res Stereo Headphones to the SS-AR1 loudspeakers to make sure music lovers experience the best sound quality, with Sony’s high quality Hi-Fi speakers.
Each piece of Sony’s high quality audio equipment is uniquely built from the internal components to the exterior material. This level of craftsmanship is especially evident in the Sony SS-AR1 loudspeaker series. To help you understand the passion and dedication that are required to create these Hi-Fi speakers, we spoke to Sony acoustic manager, Yoshiyuki Kaku. In the following discussion, Kaku shares his passion for high-quality sound and specifically the creation of the SS-NA5ES Bookshelf Speakers.
Q: What is your main goal when designing Sony Hi-Fi speakers?
Kaku: Sony’s concept behind Hi-Fi speakers is delivering “satisfying sound.” I love music and often go to music concerts, so to me, “satisfying sound” is that feeling you get when you’re sitting in the concert hall. It’s that instant sense of the unique atmosphere when you enter the hall, the excitement of the performers, and that moment of silence right after the performance is finished. That’s the experience we want to reproduce for music enthusiasts.
Q: How do you achieve that “satisfying sound” when designing Sony speakers?
Kaku: When I’m involved in developing a stereo speaker like the SS-NA5ES, I don’t listen to specific frequency ranges. Instead I listen to the music as a whole and spend a lot of time in tuning. It’s easy to make a product that only pursues advanced physical properties and technologies. Simply adding the latest technology to a speaker or expanding the number of kilohertz in the high frequency range is not enough to provide a unique high-quality listening experience. Sony focuses on the overall feel and sound quality of the music. The result is a product development style where I can draw on my own “sound memory” and create a Hi-Fi speaker that can faithfully reproduce the sounds of live music, giving audiophiles and music enthusiasts the familiar feeling of listening to an original music performance.
Q: What is your favorite part of the Sony SS-NA5ES Hi-Fi speakers?
Kaku: That would have to be the I-Array™ tweeter system. The coolest thing about this innovative system is that it achieves the wide dispersion and ambiance of original music recordings without adding any unnatural tones to the sound. The result is astonishingly smooth highs with increased resolution, broader soundstage and a delicate but precise sound image.
Q: Now that you’ve shared a little bit about the inside components of the SS-NA5ES Hi-Fi speakers, what about the external design?
Kaku: We took a variety of approaches when it came to the enclosures of the speakers, but our focus was really on the quality of the materials we used. We decided to use the Scandinavian birch, which is the same high-quality wood that we use for our AR series. Therefore, we decided to work with the same Japanese wood craftsmen, located in Japan, who also worked on the AR series. When we produce these Hi-Fi speakers, we pay close attention to the details, everything from the timberwork to the amount of adhesive we use.
Q: Sounds like a lot of thought went into the design and materials. With such attention to detail in the Sony’s Hi-Fi speakers design process now, what direction do you think it will take in the future?
Kaku: I believe that we have met Sony’s goal of creating “satisfying sound” through our Hi-Fi speakers. Nevertheless, our quest to achieve perfect sound quality is something we will continue to pursue. We want all of our sound speakers to faithfully reproduce the musician’s original sense of creation. Ultimately, we want our products to help listeners feel closer to their favorite music artists.
Learn more about Sony Hi-Res products from our CEO Kazuo Hirai
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Find out even more about the craftsmanship of the SS-NA5ES speakers.
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