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Interview: AUDAC on 35 years and counting as a family-owned business

L-R: Tom and Patrick Van de Sande

Over the 35 years the company has been operating, what are some of the big changes in audio you’ve seen?
An enormous emphasis has been placed on user experience in the broadest sense of the word. Where the installation and use of professional audio installations used to be a bit of a hassle, these processes have now all been streamlined. At AUDAC we’ve always strongly believed in providing the best possible user experience. That is why for example over three years ago we decided to throw out all our different product apps and start from scratch with one single app. With AUDAC Touch you now have a total system control at the tips of your fingers. 

Over that period, has it become easier or harder for family-owned businesses in this industry?
Our tremendous growth in recent years has certainly brought with it a number of challenges that we have had to overcome in order to continue to function as a family business. But I am proud to say that this strong growth has never changed our business culture.

If we were to grow into a multinational, this could come at the cost of the user experience that our customer now perceive, and that is precisely one of the fundamental elements on which we focus at. The human relationship between us and our customer will always be preserved.

By sticking to these principles, we are able to work out ideas that other companies would dismiss as not profitable enough. This has created a culture of innovation within our brand and leaves plenty of room for everyone to let their creativity take its course within our team.

What are the dominant audio trends we are currently in the midst of?
In a design perspective we notice a clear transition from the old-fashioned lowered ceilings to the more modern open ceiling structures. That is one of the reasons why we pay great attention to the aesthetic aspect of all our speakers. That’s what you notice for example in our ATEO design wall speakers. It features a stunningly designed and elegant looking ABS housing That blends perfectly into its environment. Thanks to the CleverMount innovation we developed it also enables you to angle the loudspeaker in both  vertical and horizontal direction from the front side so that a perfect angle is achieved.

The same philosophy has been applied to the complementary NOBA bass cabinet. Instead of an unwieldy square design, the NOBA is characterised by an innovative and unique design. With its curved shape slick look of the NOBA8A allows it to be placed against a wall, on the ceiling or even underneath furniture.

Tell me about a recent project the company completed that highlights the founding principles of PVS.
A very intriguing project we did recently was Lava centre in Iceland. Lava centre is the largest volcano and earthquake exhibition centre in Europe. Together with our Icelandic partner Feris we’ve carried out the complete audio installation for the museum. The whole experience is designed to be interactive so visitors can feel exactly what a volcanic eruption is like. Naturally, the audio system had to be the perfect addition to immerse the visitor completely. 

So together with our partner we’ve carried out different tests and setups to create an ideal setup of different types of speakers and bass cabinets that are now equipped throughout all the different zones in the museum. 

Since the grand opening, the museum has already won dozens of design, experience and architectural awards.

Going forward, what areas of innovation are you looking to prioritise?
There are two main pillars on which we will continue to focus: simplicity and controllability. By offering complete solutions in which each component is perfectly tailored to the other components, choosing the right installation is really child’s play. To demonstrate this, we have launched the Audio configurator on our website. Here you can easily enter the wishes and characteristics of the room and then the configurator will determine which set of solutions are the perfect fit for your project.

We will also launch the 2.0. version of the AUDAC Touch app shortly. In the renewed app we have focused on the integration of third party apps and devices. This way you can not only control your AUDAC installation but also other smart devices such as your projector, lights or curtains making the AUDAC touch app a total solution.

In what ways are you taking action on issues with energy efficiency/environmental concerns?
Already in the design process of our hardware we put a strong focus on sustainability. For examples our amplifiers have such a long life cycle and are often never switched off. So we put great attention to power consumption. That is why all AUDAC amplifiers use Class D technology and switching mode power supply’s with smart standby modes to reduce power wastage. As a result a substantial amount of our products are Energy star labelled.

In terms of packaging, we have already taken enormous steps forward over the past year to ensure that the amount of plastic in our packaging is minimised. For example, we are now investing in easier to recycle cardboard to pack our products safely.