The Pioneers of Sound
Harman Kardon employs real scientists, who have dedicated their careers to researching sound. And just because they are scientists, it doesn’t mean they are passionless. It is passion for sound that drives them to take such painstaking steps to design systems the way they do. They love the art of music, and use science to preserve it.
It takes scientists to make exceptional products, just like it takes artists to make exceptional music. Meet some of the scientists who have pioneered Harman Kardon’s approach to sound;
Dr. Floyd E. Toole, Acoustic Consultant
Floyd E. Toole studied electrical engineering at the University of New Brunswick and at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, where he received a Ph.D. In 1965 he joined the National Research Council of Canada, where he reached the position of Senior Research Officer in the Acoustics and Signal Processing Group. In 1991, he joined Harman International Industries, Inc. as Corporate Vice President Acoustical Engineering. In this position he worked with all Harman International companies, and directed the Harman Research and Development Group, a central resource for technology development and subjective measurements. Early in 2007 Dr. Toole retired.
Dr. Toole’s research has focused on the acoustics and psychoacoustics of sound reproduction in small rooms. Most notably, he established methods for subjective and objective evaluations which have been used to clarify the relationships between technical measurements of audio equipment and listeners’ perceptions. For papers on these subjects he has received two AES Publications Awards and the AES Silver Medal. A book, “Sound Reproduction”, for Focal Press (2008) is his most recent project. He is a Fellow and Past President of the Audio Engineering Society and a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. He is currently active in teaching and course development in CEDIA and in 2008 he was awarded the CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Sean E. Olive - Director of Acoustic Research
Sean Olive is Director of Acoustic Research for Harman International where he has worked since 1993. He currently directs the Corporate Acoustic Research Group that focuses on the perception, measurement and improvement of sound quality in Harman home, professional and automotive audio products. An important role of the Corporate R&D Group is to conduct competitive benchmarking on new Harman audio products to ensure their sound quality is best-in-class, using scientific-based, controlled listening test methods.
Prior to 1993, Sean was a research scientist at the National Research Council of Canada where he worked with Dr. Floyd Toole on research related to the perception and measurement of loudspeakers, listening rooms, and microphones. Sean received a Bachelors degree in Music from the University of Toronto, and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Sound Recording from McGill University in Montreal. His Ph.D. research was on room acoustic adaptation and the acoustical interactions between loudspeakers and rooms. Sean has taught various audio courses at CEDIA, McGill and UCLA on topics that include sound recording, room acoustics, and the perception and evaluation of reproduced sound. Dr. Olive has written over 30 research papers on the perception and measurement of audio for which he was awarded the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Fellowship Award in 1996, and two Publication Awards (1990 and 1995). He is the current Vice President for the AES Western USA-Canada region, and writes a blog on audio called "Audio Musings" at www.seanolive.blogspot.com.