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Renkus-Heinz Founder Harro Heinz Reflects on the Pro Audio Industry at 90

Harro Heinz, co-founder of Renkus-Heinz, celebrated a major milestone on Dec. 14: his 90th birthday—an event that sits synchronously within the 40th year of the company that bears his name.

Harro Heinz, Renkus-Heinz founder

Harro Heinz, Renkus-Heinz co-founder. (Image credit: Renkus-Heinz)

Heinz founded the cutting-edge speaker company with Algis Renkus in 1979. A few years later, Heinz bought his partner out of the business and, according to the company, went on to build a visionary organization that changed the way we experience sound. 

Important to note: the celebration is not a retirement. Heinz still holds office hours as the chairman of the company. He is joined at work by three generations of the Heinz family and is involved in all aspects of the business: from engineering to manufacturing. 

Heinz was joined at his 90th birthday celebration last weekend by family, work family, friends, and Dr. Wolfgang Ahnert—the scientist and engineer who helped bring digitally steerable solutions to the pro audio world through years of research and product development with Renkus-Heinz. Heinz credits Ahnert’s work with making audio solutions more predictive and powerful, and with assisting many of Renkus-Heinz’ developments over the years.

Heinz said he continues to consider the future of pro audio daily, and he shared a bit of his vision for the future even as he looks back at 40 years of Renkus-Heinz:

  • Artificial Intelligence is coming to professional audio sooner than we expect. “We will very soon see a speaker that can be installed in a room and immediately configure itself to provide optimal sound,” Heinz said. “The technology to digitally steer sound will soon be considered the standard because of how effectively it can be placed in a space.”
     
  • The focus will increasingly turn to the audience. “When we look at the industry today, we still see a lot of focus on the performers or the product,” Heinz said. “That’s important, of course, as you have to have great content. But more important is that we look at the audience we serve, understand what they want, and deliver impressive experiences to them. Positioning sound with precision—and putting it on the audience—positions businesses for success.”
     
  • The future of professional AV belongs to the inventors. “We see commoditization continue in the audio world,” Heinz said. “What will set successful companies apart, whether they be manufacturers or integrators, will be the level of intelligence they can put behind their products and solutions. The future of AV belongs to those willing to experiment.”