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A few years ago, Daniel Leeds was searching for prominent musicians to collaborate with him on a new speaker. Born to a family of audio and music lovers, he, his brother and his father were looking to find ideal complements to their own wireless device but they didn’t have any outside voices. But Daniel had a few ideas, chief among them: R&B singer Miguel. After Daniel got in touch with Miguel, the singer was swiftly on board. The resulting product, the MODFI-7 — released by the now fully formed Modern Fidelity — aims to take old-school high-fidelity sound and make it wireless.
Gary Leeds, co-founder and CEO, has 40 years’ audio experience, and music was always playing in the house when his children were young. Given his connections and passion for quality sound, the best systems were always available. However, there was just one problem: The wires were everywhere. So, an idea was born. Four years ago, Leeds, alongside his sons Benjamin and Daniel, started tinkering with a new kind of home speaker that could bring together the quality that Gary had experienced in his working life, while avoiding the tangled mess of wires that dominated their home. All three Leeds family members had different talents to bring to the table. Gary knew analog audio inside and out; Daniel had a background in strategic marketing and design; and Benjamin’s coding chops rounded out a trio that could design a new innovative and appealing model.
“We wanted to bring this great sound that Gary’s been making his whole life to more people and make it much more affordable,” Benjamin tells The Hollywood Reporter.
And once they had a clear vision, Miguel, along with some of their other favorite artists, came into the fold. For Miguel, the immediate appeal was in the sound quality of the product. Buoyed by a careful combination of materials and technology, the speaker replicates — or even improves on — the studio quality Miguel enjoys every time he records something. “Sound in general is an integral part of my daily life, and I really wanted to work with a company that makes stylish products without compromising unprecedented sound quality,” Miguel said.
Modern Fidelity meticulously worked to create that sound. Using a sustainable model to minimize plastic, they tapped into materials such as wood, aluminum and steel to house a co-axial compression driver, brought in from a European manufacturer.
“As I consider sustainability more and more in my choices, this company really spoke to me. They have engineered an incredible product that I know people will enjoy,” Miguel said.
The result is a speaker that can light up a room with deep bass and a wide range of sounds. With wireless connectivity as well as Bluetooth, it meets all of the modern requirements for a machine while also looking sleek and retro. The MODFi-7 is currently available in three colors and costs $995. And with further models planned for the future, the Leeds family, Miguel and the rest of Modern Fidelity think the speaker will be the start of something special.
“What we really wanted to do was make a modern technology home speaker that has the sound and the richness and the vibrancy of that high-fidelity experience for a new generation,” Gary Leeds said.
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