“Best Bluetooth Speaker”
the concert to you”
BALMUDA The Speaker: The Story
Gen Terao, CEO and Chief Designer, BALMUDA
No way I’m making a speaker
Before I founded BALMUDA, I was a musician. Those days were rebellious and bittersweet. The feeling of strumming a first chord, creating a new sound with my band, or hearing my voice reign throughout a venue moved me to my core. I felt this way because I played the music myself, I never received the same feeling from a recorded sound source. That's why I originally decided not to make any audio equipment.
Science and technology of the highest order
In my personal opinion, there is no more advanced science and technology than music. How on earth was it ever created? It is a wonderful technology that combines the scientific and artistic power of humans to this point. It's logical and yet human. It's precise and yet familiar. For example, what else can warm or inspire someone's heart in three minutes? And in the most critical case, something that could change someone's life in three minutes.
A few inventions
What changed my mind about making an audio device was a concept model created by one of our designer. It was shaped like a boombox with the space between the speakers, being hollowed out to look like a live stage. The lighting changed to match the song and, to my surprise, during the chorus, a little mirror ball started spinning. It was an amazing experience! However, the lights weren't lit by analyzing the song, they were programmed specifically for this one song. That's when we started to develop an AI capable of doing so. Unfortunately, it couldn't recognize the chorus from the bridge. Just when I was about to give up, another designer came in with a new idea. The brightness of the LEDs were simply following the energy of the sound. Very simple but brilliant. Our speaker was born from the relentless creativity and imaginations of our designers.
Design and light
The biggest feature of BALMUDA The Speaker is, of course, its light. The goal was to create a sense of realism, as if you were watching a live stage. Through trial and error, I tried to express the complexity of music, instead of just lighting up according to the sound. It's a trade secret what kind of ingenuity we did, but I think it turned out to be a very musical light.
I personally wanted to give it the feel of vintage music equipment that I've been familiar with since my musical days. I brought old pieces of equipment into the office and analyzed the features with the designers. Because it is a modern device (wireless capabilities) I wanted to add some heart by referencing good old things.
No lyric, no life
They say speakers are all about sound, but is that really true? Normal speakers are designed to have as flat a frequency response as possible, plus, in many cases, a slight make-up of the bass and treble in order to give the impression that it sounds good. The core of modern music is the vocals, and our goal in creating the sound of BALMUDA The Speaker was to make the singer's voice sound moving.
The large 77mm diameter speaker unit faces upwards and the vocalist's focus on the sound created a magic effect that allowed us to hear the contours of the rest of the instruments clearly.
A crystal night
I've decided on a song to listen to at the end of my life. It's my favorite song in this world. It's "Every Breath You Take" by The Police. I first encountered this classic song in the summer when I was 17 years old. I had dropped out of high school and was about to go on a trip to Europe by myself. Knowing that I was equally excited and fearful for the complete freedom that lay ahead, my classmates gathered at my house a few nights before I was set to leave.
That night, a friend gave me a CD called "Synchronicity" by The Police and told me to list to the seventh track only. As soon as the intro sounded, I gasped. It was playing from nothing but a boombox, but the vast world of the song opened up in front of me. It was a clarifying and bittersweet moment. A little after listening to the song, I stepped out and will never forget the sky that night. Music is a such a powerful tool.
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