The Heart Behind the Sound System

Interview with Audio Engineer Kasumi Miyamoto on Sony's CAS-1 compact audio system

From piano lessons as a young girl to an irrepressible fascination with her father’s sound system and audio equipment, Kasumi Miyamoto’s passion for sound has always been present in her life. It’s her belief that sound systems should do more than simply play music, but should also be capable of making you feel something real. 

Today, as one of the audio engineers at Sony, Miyamoto has managed to do just that in developing the CAS-1 compact audio system. This sound system was created to reproduce the artist’s unique sound and emotion as faithfully as possible.  

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job at Sony?

Miyamoto: When I began working for Sony, I knew I wanted to work in audio and design products targeted towards audiophiles. Luckily, l was assigned to the high-end audio design department I had hoped to join, and was put in charge of products like the STR-DA5800 ES AV Receiver and UAD-1 USB DAC Amplifier. It’s such a joy to create products that are capable of reproducing high-quality sound. I love knowing that music lovers around the world are able to appreciate sound in a whole new way with our products.  

Q: What was your role as one of the developers of the CAS-1 sound system?

Miyamoto: I was in charge of the electrical supply and the amplifier. It was my job to design and tune the CAS-1 compact audio system’s sound to the highest quality.

Q: What does a typical day at work look like?

Miyamoto: My daily workflow starts with the design of electrical circuits, verification of prototypes, collecting waveform data, and then I typically spend about three hours a day in the listening room, tuning as I listen to the sound system.

Q: What’s unique about this compact audio system’s listening experience?

Miyamoto: I think the CAS-1’s key strength is that it’s able to produce incredible sound quality even though it’s so small, and it’s completely unexpected! Nowadays, it’s very common for people to listen to music using headphones, but there aren’t a lot of people out there who have had the chance to seriously listen to high-quality speakers. The CAS-1 was made for people who want more out of their music listening experience. We’ve created a product that makes the listener feel as though a full concert stage has appeared before them.  

Q: What inspired the creation of the CAS-1 sound system?

There is a ton of audio equipment out there that allows users to easily enjoy music. However, if people want to upgrade to a slightly higher level experience, their options are typically limited to high-end audio equipment. There aren’t a lot of mid-range products available on the market. 

That’s why we felt the need to create the CAS-1 compact audio system. It’s unique because it’s not only easy to use, but also provides high-end sound quality – the kind of sound quality that delights everyday listeners and also impresses audiophiles. 

Q: Can you tell us more about the design process for the CAS-1 sound system? 

Miyamoto: When we first started conceptualizing the design, we thought about what kind of items our customers would naturally want to put on their desks – like books. We figured that the CAS-1 should be about the same size as a dictionary, so it could fit seamlessly alongside a set of books and other items you’d typically store on top of a desk.

In terms of materials, we used Scandinavian birch to emphasize the sound of real wood. Finally, we conducted four different tests on the sound system to make sure we achieved optimum sound quality. 

Q: What kind of music sounds best on the CAS-1? 

Miyamoto: I highly recommend listening to a live music recording. Live music captures a specific moment, feeling, energy and place. The role of the CAS-1 player is to reproduce that sound as faithfully as possible. It’s capable of portraying the artist’s raw emotion during the original performance.

Q: What’s the importance of High-Resolution Audio?

Miyamoto: Playback of High-Resolution Audio files is the CAS-1’s strong suit. High-Res Audio contains a large volume of data that allows you to hear things you couldn’t hear before. It truly makes you feel like you’re listening to a live music performance and helps you connect with your favorite songs on a completely different level. High-Resolution Audio’s high bit rate and high sampling rate is what makes the sound quality so precise. As the sound quality of digital music improves, more and more people will start to care about this trend.

Q: What are some things consumers should keep in mind before purchasing a sound system?

Miyamoto: People should choose their sound system by actually listening to the product before purchasing. Nowadays, it’s very easy to purchase things online, but I would encourage people to actually test out the sound system before making any decisions. You won’t be able to get the full experience just by reading about all the different features and specs in reviews online. 

If you’re checking out the CAS-1 compact audio system for the first time, don’t underestimate its sound quality based on its compact size. The CAS-1 can fit comfortably in any living area and amplify the room with premium sound quality. 

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