Partner spotlight: Kent Poon

Kent Poon of Square Wave Group, our distributor throughout Asia, took some time to answer a few questions from sales director Bryn Richards, and tells us about his life in the audio industry. 

You have been in the audio business for a quarter of a century, how did you get started?

I started as a recording and mastering engineer. I had my education at McGill in Canada and was one of the youngest AES members. I still enjoy recording, mixing and mastering a lot, you can enjoy some of my recordings here for free on a smart phone. Music actually goes back much further, I have been performing on stage since I was 6 years old, playing flute.

What was the first album you bought yourself?

I’m sorry, I cannot remember. Ricky Lee Jones “Pop Pop” was certainly an important album for me, that brought my attention towards the “audiophile” world.

And for live music, what is your favourite concert hall?

There are many good ones in our territories, if I need to pick one, it will be The Hong Kong Cultural Centre, simply because it is located 60 seconds away from our Hong Kong office. We grew up with them.

Tell us about a few of Square Wave Groups’ milestones.

In January 2010 I started a joint venture company with Daniel Weiss. Our company, called “Asia Weiss”, acted as the Weiss Engineering Asia regional office, with its head quarter in Hong Kong. Because Weiss did not offer a full range of audio products, we started Square Wave as an independent sister company for multi-brand distribution and retail sales. The name Square Wave refers to our dedication toward digital media development. 

In the beginning our business was mostly regional distribution and webshop retail. Later we added our own shop and demo room in Hong Kong. This has led to a great confidence in our sales team, not just because their turnover, but also because of their communication with and support of our customers. In 2016 we decided to start our own Taiwan branch “Square Wave Taipei”, and then in 2019, just before the pandemic, we founded “Square Wave Shanghai”.

What have been the greatest challenges of the previous years?

The internet driven style of ‘virtual living’ is the new norm for most people. People are focused on internet content and have a short attention span, while in contrast music listening requires time and space in the mind. Also, streaming media took over from physical media, meaning that many musicians and creators cannot control their content throughout the full sales channel anymore. This has proven to be challenging at times. 

So what are your plans for the near future?

The Square Wave Group covers a broad spectrum of businesses besides audio distribution and retail. For example, we are involved in research in immersive recording and playback, record production, advanced audio streaming app development, and we even have a partnership with the world-famous audio event Montreux Jazz Festival for its China extension, which will take place in October in Hangzhou, China. A lot is happening.

Once we get through this pandemic, what are you looking forward to most?

That I can travel again! I used to travel two or three times per month.

And as a last question: what is your favourite Grimm Audio product?

The LS1be & SB1. It is a stunning piece of audio engineering.

Visit the Square Wave Ltd website >