Updated: Dec 10, 2019
so what is the little audio company?
the little audio company is a genuinely independent retailer for select audio and video brands, covering domestic hi-fi, home theatre, multi-room audio, personal audio, music streaming and digital storage. And hopefully there'll be some linked and diverse offshoots to come...
why 'the little audio company'?
The original name for the little audio company was more suitable for our 'end goal' further down the line. 'the little audio company' seemed far more suitable for now though, and had a nice ring to it. The original name can be easily incorporated later on in conjunction with the current one. "Dave's HiFi" isn't particularly catchy, or original...
Whilst we specialise in systems of all shapes and sizes, we fully appreciate that everyone’s listening space is different. There's always compromises that have to be made, which is one reason why there is no single solution to suit everyone, and five star products aren't always the right choice. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a dedicated listening room, so as well as sounding great, the majority of systems have to visually blend in with existing living spaces, or in some cases, disappear altogether.
the little audio company was started up with less than the cost of a family car, and has gained support from some great brands over its so far, short trading period. Brands that understand our approach and sympathise with what we are trying to achieve. It is brands like these that we will continue to attract, and some will allow our customers to hear things they'd normally have to visit a hi-fi show to hear.
Before I'd even thought of a company name, I'd already chosen the font. It was used on Boards Of Canada's debut album, Music Has The Right To Children, and comes across as quite modern in a retro sort of way. Choosing something too futuristic looking tends to date, and something too old fashioned looks, well, old fashioned. For the logo, and a few other things I do, I avoided capital letters. Capital letters can make a company name look messy and self important. All capitals are too 'in your face', and feel like a cry for attention. All lower case is far more understated and easy on the eye.
The Little Audio Company
the little audio company
Since then I've realise that many of the films from one of my favourite film directors - David Fincher (Se7en, Zodiac, Fight Club, The Game etc) - generally don't use capitals in their credits. It's such a noticeable thing once it has been brought to your attention. Looks far better in my opinion.
why was the little audio company started?
Music has been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember. I've always loved the hardware aspect too, and the technology behind it all. I was lucky enough to grow up in the 80s, an era of some fantastic looking audio products (depressingly now known as "vintage"!), and remember drawing my intended Technics stack system (in quite some detail) using the squared paper in the back of my maths book at school. My growing up with hi-fi and music is detailed in the accompanying blog:
Having looked back at my thoroughly enjoyable 28 years in this industry, and having worked at some diverse hi-fi and home theatre retailers, I wanted to do something a little different, as well as do things differently. The only way I could do that was to do it for myself.
what is the little audio company all about?
A visit to many hi-fi stores is akin to visiting virtually any indoor shopping centre in the UK - you'll see the same brand stores time and time again. The surroundings may be a little different (although, less so these days), but don't let that detract you from what's really important - what they have to offer you. Very few seem to want to step out of their comfort zone and offer you something different, something that could actually work better in your listening space.
the little audio company aims to do just that. Included in these carefully selected alternative options are brands that in some cases have never even had representation in Birmingham before, and are exclusive to the little audio company in the immediate and/or surrounding
areas of Birmingham. These overlooked brands have been chosen because they offer something different, or genuinely offer solutions for the everyday problems experienced in the average listening room.
We're here to offer you genuine solutions, rather than just 'hot products'. We want to make sure you get the right product for your needs, first time. Facelessly selling products online is a box shifting exercise - offering solutions is a bespoke service that is unique to each individual, as needs and preferences are different for everyone - as I've always said, there is no single solution out there to suit everyone.
With the plethora of hi-fi manufacturers out there, it's impossible to listen to everything, so the little audio company narrows down that initial brand choice to remove the hard work for many potential buyers. As well as important factors such as sound quality and reliability, we choose products that genuinely have something different to offer many listeners, and stand out among a 'sea of mediocrity'.
We aim to offer as much of a "non retail", relaxing experience as possible. We're trying to avoid sterile shop fittings and the usual showroom look too. Long term, the full experience will be realised, and if we are able to do everything we eventually intend to do, it'll be pretty cool, but we're afraid it'll take a little time to work towards - the little audio company maybe a small independent, but it has big intentions...
You may notice a larger number of loudspeaker brands/ranges than electronic brands on our website and in our showroom, and that's for good reason. Electronics do what they do regardless. Speakers do what they do, but with the added effect of the room they're in. That's not to say the electronics aren't important though - a speaker can only reproduce the signal relayed by the system - but the end result is hugely influenced by how the loudspeaker interacts with your room.
For those who don't have the luxury of a dedicated living room and the ability to place the speaker where it is needed for the very best results, loudspeaker placement for the majority of people is limited. For this reason, the little audio company has sought to, and continues to seek out, speaker manufacturers who at least try to address this all too common issue.
There's another important factor for offering a good range of loudspeakers too. Curtains are disappearing in favour of blinds. Carpets are disappearing in favour of laminated or wooden flooring. Living spaces are becoming more sparse, creating reflective surfaces that complicate the intended sound reproduction of any audio system - the last thing most people want to do is start cluttering their living space with large room treatments, making it look more like a recording studio in order to help their hifi sound better. Choosing the right system, particularly with regards to speakers, removes much of the effect that reflective rooms can have, and some of our loudspeaker ranges have been chosen specifically for this purpose - as well as the fact they sound great, of course!
Whether you're after a 'one box for one job' type stack system, or a neat and compact "all-in-one" solution, most music lovers want something flexible and simple to use. Whether it's a one box system or a streaming multi-room system, everything we have to offer is simple to set up, and use simple, reliable control apps. At the little audio company, price has nothing to do with size - it's attached to quality, performance, reliability. Paying more doesn't necessarily get you something bigger - but it can certainly get you something better. You no longer have to compromise on quality if you want something compact.
the little audio company
Choosing your next hi-fi or home theatre system should be a simple, painless process. We like to keep things simple for ourselves too, which is why the little audio company will never have a huge e-commerce website - we want to concentrate on what we do best - a personal, bespoke service - much like buying a suit online or having one tailor made for you (without the price tag!). Complications are time consuming and stressful, and detract from the main goal. Our online presence will predominantly be social media and forums.
Most (not all) of the products we have access to will be on the website, along with prices, and while at some point we may offer a very small, select number of products for sale via the website in the future - a 'necessary evil' I suppose - not everything will be. Allowing anyone to buy anything willy nilly via the website isn't looking after the customers who choose to buy from us, in our opinion. Auditioning is the only way to choose the right system for your needs. Would you buy a car without a test drive? Would you buy a house based on some non representative photographs?
the little audio company has 29 years of experience within the hi-fi industry, and along with many products and brands not available elsewhere within the immediate and/or surrounding areas, it has a lot to offer the fellow residents of Birmingham and surrounding areas, as well as on a national scale.