It’s not often you meet someone who can shake you to your very core and make you think about what you’re doing with your life. A few weeks ago, I met Rupert and Tristan Buesst: two school-kids who found a problem with the way they listened to music, and started work on a company and a product dedicated to fixing it.
Meet Sacred Sound Audio: a company dedicated to building a pair of headphones that will make music sound amazing no matter what the genre. You love classical? Great; Brahms will pop more than ever. What about EDM? Deadmau5 has never sounded better. Generic Top 40 hits? Rihanna and her ilk thank you for listening. This is the aim of the ∞ONE: to make music sound great no matter what for only $23.99.
It’s a lofty ambition, and sometimes to dream big, you have to be small.
The minds behind Sacred Sound and its new product, the ∞ONE haven’t even hit puberty yet, and already they have proof of concept product ready to ship to people ordering from not just all over the country, but all over the world.
I spoke to Rupert (pictured right), CEO of Sacred Sound, about his product. Rupert is 14-years old.
“Our mission is to create great headphones no matter what,” he tells me. I can’t believe what I’m hearing: passion, common sense and business acumen from a teenager.
So how did it all start, I ask, genuinely curious to hear how a company grew out of a primary school music class.
“Sacred Sound Audio is our headphone company that I own with my little brother, Tristan, who is 12 years old. The idea came about when I was at a music festival last year. I listende to some EDM while I was there, and it was great, but I then listened to classical and it was awful, can i make headphones that sound great no matter what you listen to? After designing different drivers we came up with the ∞ONE, which is our first product.”
Not only are Tristan and Rupert passionate about listening to music, they’re also passionate about playing music: Tristan plays the Cello and Rupert the Violin. Their musical talent allows them to hear the music in a different way and tune their product prototypes to get the best hardware possible.
But I’m still baffled. How can kids found a headphone company? Rupert knows exactly what I’m thinking.
“A lot of people have been a bit skeptical about all this and saying that we can’t do it, mainly our friends. But I think that we totally can! I really want to get this off the ground.
“I’m sick of spending money on headphones and earphones and audio products that sound bad. We’re going to give you flat cables that don’t tangle in your pocket, custom-designed drivers so that they sound incredible for all types of music, a metal earphone head so that there’s better protection and better acoustic technology and a gold plated jack,” he says in passionate defence of his product.
The secret, he tells me, is something Tristan and Rupert call “adaptive audio technology”.
“When you test drivers, we test them with a special EQ machine. You can see a graph of the frequencies. These drivers have a more equal distribution on that graph. The sound is more precise, which means that if you’re listening to classical music, it’ll sound crisp and balanced, and when you listen to some EDM, then there’s be a bit more bass so you can hear the bass line.
“We went through a fair few to get to the finished product. We first started with the initial driver that the factory made, and then said that we wanted to change it and improve a few things. Slowly we perfected it, and now we’re almost ready to ship.”
The company isn’t just run to help the two boys pay for their university education and beyond, however. Rupert founded the company to help others, too. That’s why 20 per cent of the profits from Sacred Sound Audio are donated to Médecins Sans Frontières, a humanitarian organisation dedicated to providing medical care to the developing world.
So do they want to be audio moguls when they grow up? Not on your life, says Rupert.
“I want to be a violinist now, and I have been playing for about five years and I love classical music, pop and dance,” Rupert tells me. “I love all genres and what I want to be from here is a violinist and an entrepreneur.”
“Tristan plays cello, and he loves it. He wants to be a politician and a cellist and he loves architecture,” he adds.
So, it’s about time to ask yourself: if these two pre-teens are building their own entrepreneurial empire with a desire to change the world, what are you doing with your life?