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NAMM 2019: Former Harman president launches new company LEA Professional

The company’s first move is a series of professional grade two-channel and four-channel amplifiers for small to medium scale installations

Former Harman president Blake Augsburger, along with a number of other ex Harman executives, has launched a new audio startup in the form of LEA Professional at the 2019 NAMM show.

The company will introduce a series of innovative amplifiers in the coming months.

“LEA Professional is inspired by many conversations with members of the professional audio and integrator communities,” explained Blake Ausburger, founder and chief executive officer, LEA. “We listened closely and looked carefully at amplifier performance, networking, UX and built a range of products and a new company that respects the way things get done today but offers a bold new approach, capitalising on new technologies from outside the AV domain.”

Based in Northern Indiana, a traditional hub of amplifier and AV innovation, LEA is a startup that exemplifies experience and expertise in its team; it’s engineering, sales and marketing, and executive sectors feature established leaders in product innovation and business transformation and growth.

Augsburger elaborated: “We have a startup mentality in that we’re lean, agile and ambitious but we do not suffer from the challenges that afflict many startups because we’ve all worked together and with our dealers and distributors for a considerable time. We have a clear mission and we have strong unique technology.”

The company’s first move is a series of professional grade two-channel and four-channel amplifiers for small to medium scale installations. Featuring DSP, wired or Wi-Fi connectivity, webpage configuration, and control, the LEA Connect Series will represent the first IoT enabled professional-grade amplifiers and will provide end users with sonic performance, ease of use and reliability. The LEA Connect Series is easily and cost-effectively installed and maintained, with the capacity to support monthly recurring revenue (MRR) business models.

Also part of the team is Jeremy Bules, vice president of engineering and operations and Scott Robbins, vice president of sales and marketing. Like Augsburger, Bules and Robbins each have more than twenty years’ experience in professional audio.

Bules commented: “We’re approaching connectivity and control with a fresh perspective and no legacy commitments. This enables LEA to cost-efficiently capitalise upon proven IoT innovations from global brands like Intel, Cisco, and Microsoft while also bringing our unique amplifier technology to the equation.”

Robbins added: “We are all passionate about the audio industry, so it’s very exciting to be part of LEA, where we can create something from the ground up that is truly inspirational. Not only will our products be technically advanced but we will also focus heavily on the dealer experience. At LEA we are not confused about who the customer is; our customer is the dealer and integrator. Our products and support structure will be designed to make the dealer and integrator successful. Ease of doing business, timely and efficient pre and post-sales support, customer-inspired product features, and advanced technology are the foundational elements upon which our company is built.”

LEA provides a six-year warranty with advanced replacement, allowing the assurance that professionals require from a new brand but also underscoring the LEA team’s confidence in the product. A “one-click” digital commerce portal for order management is in development and will soon be featured on the site.

Augsburger noted that LEA is empowered to innovate on pricing as well as technology and the dealer platform: “We want to be known for having the very best performing, best connected and best-looking amplifiers in the market but we’re also determined to win on price. We can do that because our capabilities are of a twenty-year-old company but our overhead is that of a startup.”