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Acoustic Adventurers(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 02,2006)

Wai Ming Hong

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High-quality speakers of all shapes and sizes are a specialty of Wai Ming Hong
Business has certainly boomed for Wai Ming Hong since it radically changed direction after its establishment in 1989 as a trading company specialising in foodstuffs.

Today it acts as the international marketing arm for Shenzhen Deheyuan Electronics Co Ltd - one of the leading audio equipment manufacturers on the Chinese mainland with a state-of-the-art factory in which the Hong Kong-based company has a 50% stake.

"We started in the speaker business in 1992 with speaker drivers, and began making multimedia speakers in 1997," explains marketing manager Evan Wong. "That is our main area of business, and we offer speaker systems for computers and home theatre systems."

The 17-year-old company got into the business just at the right time, as computer users have become much more demanding of the speaker systems they attach to the PCs and laptops that have metamorphosed into home entertainment centres.

At the same time conventional stereo hi-fi has given way to home theatre systems with multi-channel surround sound, built to make the most of DVDs.

Committed to manufacturing high-quality, up-to-date products using its proven expertise, Wai Ming Hong has been able to ride both waves.

"Home theatre is growing very fast and multimedia speakers are a significant growth area for us," Wong confirms, noting that demand for 5.1 surround sound systems is huge. "Conversely, people are also buying USB speakers to save space and for convenience."

Both types of speakers are manufactured at Shenzhen Deheyuan Electronics Co Ltd's ISO 9002-certified mainland factory, which occupies a total production area of 100,000 square metres and employs more than 1,000 workers.

They produce an estimated 300,000-350,000 sets of speakers a month that have been developed by some 30 R&D engineers tasked with keeping pace with new developments in speaker technology.

"We are always working to improve the quality of the product," Wong insists. "Every two or three months new ICs become available, and the technology moves forward."

Although Wai Ming Hong has its own brands for the mainland market - Welfi for its upmarket products and XYT for more basic computer speakers - most of the company's international sales are OEM or ODM arrangements.

With a range of products that includes raw speakers, subwoofer speakers, audio speakers, hi-fi speakers, home theatre speakers and speaker cabinets, Wai Ming Hong's FOB unit prices range from about US$4 for a pair of basic two channel speakers to US$95 for the top-of-the-line D-890 5.1 system.

Minimum orders, Wong explains, vary according to unit costs. "We ask for orders of at least 3,000 units for cheaper speakers, 1,000-piece orders for units above US$10 and minimum orders of 500 units for 5.1 home theatre systems," he says, adding that systems priced above US$90 are available in minimum quantities of 120 items. "We can deliver within 25 days of order confirmation and receipt of the deposit."

One new area for the company is USB speakers - an increasingly popular option among owners of newer computers with multiple USB ports. "The speakers are very small to save desk space, and they offer simulated 5.1 sound thanks to an IC that is made in Taiwan," Wong explains.

The company's strategy will continue to be based on continuously refining and upgrading its products, as well as diversifying into related areas.

"We are now making amplifiers, which we began designing and building in 2005," Wong notes. "They are very high-quality units, designed to match our speakers."

By way of example, Wong points to Wai Ming Hong's Amp-001, a stereo vacuum tube amplifier with an upmarket retro look and an output of 22 watts per channel.

"We'll continue to develop products based on small size, advanced technology speakers of a high acoustic standard," states Wong. "We're very much committed to quality production."

 

WRITTEN BY ROBERT PIERCE

Wai Ming Hong

Flat O, 9/F, Phase 3,
Camelpaint Bldg,
60 Hoi Yuen Rd, Kwun Tong,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2304-0108
Fax: 852-2793-3652
Email:
evanwong@welfi.com.hk
Web: www.welfi.com.hk