Inventor of the Week Archive
for a different Invention or Inventor
Acoustic Loudspeaker, Home Theatre
In the consumer electronics
industry, inventor Henry Kloss has achieved legendary status. While working
at Acoustic Research in 1952, Kloss and engineer Edgar Villchur created the
first acoustic suspension loudspeaker, the AR-1. This bookshelf-sized speaker
could deliver deep bass sounds. It was the first speaker of its kind; many say
it changed the industry forever.
In the early 1960s, Kloss was working at KLH
when he built the first high selectivity FM radio, the Model 8, and the first
successful audio product to use transistors, the Model 11 portable phonograph.
Kloss founded his own company, Advent,
in 1967. There he employed a straightforward approach to designing loudspeakers.
He believed using premium quality materials and innovative design would produce
a superior loudspeaker. This simple philosophy worked, making the Advent loudspeaker
the reference standard of its day.
Later at Advent, Kloss became a home theater pioneer with a successful line
of two-piece projection systems. He also introduced the Model 200, the very
first cassette tape deck to employ Dolby B noise reduction. The technology helped
to transform the compact audiocassette from a dictation to a music medium. According
to Kloss, the quality of many radio receivers has declined because today people
don't think in terms of buying something that will last them 20 years.
"It's the times. Things are so cheap that I'll buy it and if I like it then
'OK.' If I don't like it, I can always get another one. There's no consideration
given to a purchase that would be satisfactory for use over a long period of
time. People are not asking for good radios. There's no demand for such because
people don't know you can them," he said.
Kloss is still working on radios that he considers exceptional. He has many
ideas for new radios and soundsystems. At age 73, Kloss is still helping to
redefine home theater technology at Cambridge
Soundworks in Newton, Massachusetts. He has created a line of surround sound
speakers, powered subwoofers and subcompact three-channel multimedia sound systems
for the company, including the Model 88 radio, which combines an AM/FM tuner,
advanced electronic design, component-quality amplifiers and a built-in powered
For his work, Kloss has been inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame. He has also
won an Emmy Award.