Audio Quality is Focus of Hong Kong Show Tech Summit
The sound quality of smartphones and tablets – devices that were the inspiration for the lion’s share of the thousands of accessories and other peripheral products exhibited at the Autumn Edition of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair this week, was a major topic in a special Electronic Industry Summit held during the show. Overviews of the latest acoustic technologies and product designs were offered in presentations by university academics, market research executives and engineers who are employed in working on sound issues for well-known market brands.
Yang-Hann Kim, professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, spoke about the “sweet spot” and possible ways in which sound can be actively manipulated through mobile device interfaces to optimize and customize it.
Mark Dodd, head of group research for British speaker brands KEF and Celestion parent GP Acoustics, presented a detailed case study history on loudspeaker design development.
Randolph C.K. Leung, associate professor for the department of mechanical engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, spoke on achieving a workable balance between acoustic quality and product cost/marketability.
Alex Or, senior manager of field marketing for Dolby China, gave an overview of Dolby’s history in sound research and of the implementation of its technologies in real-world applications. He presented research results that support the company’s contention that sound matters to consumers – both in smart TVs and in smartphones and tablets.
Or’s presentation included U.S. consumer research results garnered after respondents were exposed to Dolby Digital Plus demonstrations in smart devices. Nearly 20 percent ranked better-quality audio above camera performance/megapixel count as a factor driving their choice of a smartphone. As to the value of better audio quality – what it’s worth to them as a premium when considering brand and other key competing features at the time of purchase, U.S. respondents cited between $20 and $50 as an acceptable premium range for smartphones, and between $30 and $35 for tablets.