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TWO WELL-KNOWN and established brands in car audio have gotten a country reboot of sorts. JBL and Infinity Car Audio were recently relaunched in the Philippines under a new and exclusive distribution partner.
Waido Marketing and Distribution, Inc. now oversees the two brands under the Harman parent company. Harman is noted for premium audio and infotainment solutions for customers “around the home, in the car and on the go.”
Amedia event was held ahead of the Manila International Auto Show, where Waido exhibited two vehicles set up and tuned by EMMA (European Mobile Media Association) Philippines custom installers. EMMA, founded in 2000, is a “fast-growing community” of mobile media enthusiasts, “top-class mobile media specialists,” and entrepreneurs. Today, it remains a “fast-growing” community with a foothold in more than 40 countries. It holds and judges car sounds competitions.
With the reintroduction of the JBL and Infinity Car Audio brands, Waido hopes to appeal to “a new generation of Philippine motorists and to rekindle the excitement and curiosity of upgrading one’s in-car listening experience.” The distributor also explained how the two marques are distinct from each other — even if both are under the ambit of Harman.
“JBL Car Audio embodies the personality of a live concert that is akin to the likes of band music, which is aligned with its generational tagline, ‘Loud & Clear,’ The signature characteristic that can be expected of a JBL system is the experience of a sound stage, leaning toward performance and bass,” said Waido in a release. “Infinity Car Audio, on the other hand, puts emphasis on bringing out finer musical details and characteristics, particularly preferred by listeners of jazz and instrumentals, the blues, or vocal tracks.”
Among those present during the media launch was Harman International Asia Pacific Manager for Product Planning and Strategy (for car audio) Shaun Wong. The Singapore-based executive kicked off a tour of various APAC markets with a stint in the Philippines.
Speaking exclusively to “Velocity,” Mr. Wong shared, “I see good opportunity for Harman during this time. I see growth in this segment through after-market customers — particularly the speaker business.”
But why should car owners upgrade from their stock audio system? “When you upgrade, of course you expect something better than your existing system,” he continued. “People will definitely see the improvement in sound quality. Car installers and the after-market people are upgrading their own skills all the time to keep up with contemporary audio equipment coming from the factories. These are pretty decent and promise good sound quality, but there is greater demand for higher spec and better technology to support the market demand.”
At the end of the day, it’s about tailoring to a customer’s audio preferences — and that truth applies to customers of all kinds, from the mass market to more expensive tastes. Even luxury cars with their premium speakers and setup can prove inadequate or not to the liking of their owners. “OEMs will not tailor to your preference, of course. So, the after-market is about customizing your sound experience,” Mr. Wong underscored.
Waido carries various JBL product tiers from JBL Club, JBL Club SQ, to the top-of-the-line JBL Stadium. The more premium Infinity brand banners the Kappa Perfect for high-fidelity sound quality with power handling, high SPL capability, and detailed response. Next come the Kappa and the mid-range Reference series.
Mr. Wong concluded, “We continue to position ourselves in terms of innovation, and we continue to grow our business categories. As long as there are cars on the road, there will be people who listen to music.”
For more information about the JBL and Inifinity Car Audio lines, visit or follow official Facebook pages (JBLCarPH, InfinityCarPH) or Instagram accounts (@jblcarph, @infinitycaraudioph). — Kap Maceda Aguila