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Balancing Tech and Design

Featuring Sony’s chief art director of audio products

The benefits of listening to music can be amplified with premier sound quality, which is why Sony’s chief art director of audio products, Tomoaki Takuma, believes that High-Resolution Audio should be part of every music lover’s lifestyle. As the chief art director, it’s his job to ensure that the design and audio engineer teams collaborate efficiently to create products that balance technology and design so that consumers can enjoy the best music experience possible.

Here’s a closer look at how Takuma designs High-Resolution Audio equipment to satisfy any music lover’s cravings.

The Big Picture

Takuma first became part of the Sony team in 2001 and eventually joined the audio department in 2010. Now, as the chief art director for the audio department, he oversees the tech production and design of Sony headphones, earphones and other audio products.

Takuma is responsible for finding the inspiration behind every Sony product. He familiarizes himself with each product’s specific target audience and immerses himself in their lifestyle, figuring out what kinds of music they’re listening to most.

“The product manager and audio engineers focus their attention on the product itself,” Takuma said. “But the designer is in charge of the big picture and thinking about how consumers will use Sony audio products in their day-to-day routines.”

Balancing Technology and Design

Focusing too much on the technology can sometimes prevent products from being user-friendly. That’s why Takuma designs products that are simple for anyone to use.

Takuma’s philosophy is that “High-Resolution Audio is supposed to make you feel good. Listeners should be completely immersed in the experience of listening to their favorite songs in superior sound quality.”

And from a design perspective, Takuma is all about the minutiae. The small details make a world of difference. Although the consumer might not always notice them, it’s the details that bring color and texture to music.

The Future of Music Listening

Sony makes it a priority to create audio technology and products that look just as good as they sound. For example, when Takuma first started designing Sony’s h.ear on headphones, he did his research to make sure they would look as stylish and current as possible. Takuma went to EDM concerts and immersed himself directly into the music scene to get a sense of the colors and details he would incorporate into his design.

Thanks to Takuma, each of Sony’s audio products are user-friendly from a technology standpoint without sacrificing the aesthetics.

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