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, and 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 that 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 people today 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 have them," he said.
Kloss continued working on radios that he considered exceptional for the remainder of his life. He had many ideas for new radios and sound systems, and at the age of 73, Kloss was still helping to redefine home theater technology at Cambridge Soundworks in Newton, Massachusetts. He had 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 combined an AM/FM tuner, advanced electronic design, component-quality amplifiers, and a built-in powered subwoofer.
Kloss was inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame and also won an Emmy Award for his work. He passed away in 2002.