It’s natural to believe that big companies move the needle forward when it comes to innovations and invention. It’s often quite the contrary, however.
Large companies frequently succumb to “decision by committee.” It’s usually the small companies working madly in their lab or even just an individual at the dining room table that truly energizes innovation. Take for example IDEO, a small design firm that helped change the world but that many haven’t heard of. They produce creative product design, notably the mouse for Apple nearly forty years ago. Probably their most important project was the “clamshell” design for a company called GRiD Systems and their Compass 1101 laptop computer. This simple idea, borrowed from nature, contributed to portable computing and, more recently, telephony with regards to flip phones. Faema, another relatively unknown company, changed the coffee brewing industry with their 1961 invention of the heat exchanger. This breakthrough revolutionized cafés throughout the world by creating espresso machine boiler systems that allowed anyone to operate the machines quickly and easily. Of course, there are many more.
In much the same way, Audio Physic fits perfectly in the world of unrecognized innovators. Since 1985 they’ve remained a small company led by brilliant engineers that pioneer new concepts and approaches in loudspeaker design. This team reimagines how the workings of a loudspeaker are designed and implemented, often using unique materials. They’ve re-thought audio driver mechanics by eliminating internal suspension in favor of an outer ring and membrane and created a spiderless design. In doing so, the driver’s mass and resistance are reduced, resulting in greater accuracy and faster transient response. New approaches to enclosure reinforcement using silicon carbide foam diffusors have massively increased stiffness while barely impacting cabinet volume. Their decades long history includes scores of other advancements.