Ben Jarrett

I have two main areas of professional expertise and passion that seem to intertwine – high-end audio and experience/interaction design. I am most interested in creating deep value design that brings people into conscious process and state of sustained delight and immersion.  This approach requires holistic design that seeks to understand stakeholders unspoken needs as well as underlying environmental and ergonomic issues.  I also strongly believe in creating systems and products that are magically positioned in a physical reality, rather than mere digital immersion.


Whilst conversant with most of the design methodologies associated with industrial and UX, I am consistently finding new and innovative ways to test and illuminate original approaches and objects when standard practices seem to lead back to an overly familiar space.


I have a strong grasp of software manipulation and am experienced with the Adobe suite, Solidworks and other design programs.  I also have good experience with audio software such as LEAP, CLIO and CARA and the specific knowledge of why I am using each program.  A nascent interest in coding has lead me to spend as yet fruitless hours with MaxMSP, Unity 3D, Wiring, Processing and Quartz Composer.


Lastly, I have been involved with high-end audio equipment for many years and have built numerous amplifiers and loudspeakers as a hobby that spiraled into an expensive obsession.  As a business and passion it combines many differing facets that continues to fascinate me.


Ben Jarrett


12 September 2012


Older Profile:

My name is Ben Jarrett and I am in my final year studying Industrial Design at Unitec in Auckland, New Zealand.  This website tracks the conception and design of my major project – a small, yet ultra high fidelity soundsystem primarily aimed at apartment dwellers.  I have strong interests in many of the areas that surround this project – electronics and loudspeaker design, cognitive psychology, user interface, sustainability and business strategy.


First and foremost I am a music lover – I grew up surrounded by a large record collection, and my father edited a music magazine called Hotlicks here in Auckland, New Zealand.  Dad had incredibly eclectic tastes – partly why he helped set up the magazine – so I was exposed to a very diverse range of musicians: the Congos/King Sunny Ade/Roxy Music/Neu/Eric Satie might constitute a musical transition in the Lancia as we went on a road trip.  It rubbed off, and I like almost every genre, given the right artist....I mention this as it music that is prime importance to me, not the carrier;  I am happy listening to a maxed out MP3 from an iPhone speaker if it’s the right track and time...

In saying this, I have been an avid audiophile for many years, picking up the bug when I was 17 years old.  I remember going around to my friend’s house, he had the great fortune to be given a stereo for his birthday – Tannoy speakers and Denon components – I was amazed at all the details I could hear compared to the old junk we had then at home!  Since that point I have had a fascination with the electronic reproduction of music.

As a designer it is a unique design problem: it combines electrical and mechanical engineering in a four dimensional matrix.  A system must be able to fit within varied and unknown domestic situations, both acoustically and visually, as well as adapt to a range of music, volumes, and indeed listening styles.  It is a super puzzle that gives me great pleasure in devising solutions.

This current project is on one hand less extreme than many I have completed in the past.  But the tight brief calls for really clever design – primarily manufacturability, but also great sound in a small package – something to challenge Bang & Olufsen in design awareness, but with a truly high end sound!

Audiogeek:  Over the years I have run many different systems from deep triode (2A3 SET), high powered KT88 beam tetrodes, Gainclones and Class D amps, many of which I have built myself.  Speakers have ranged from Focal, Jordan, Cabasse and Lowther based homemade units.  Oracle, Linn, Denon turntables usually using van der Hul and Denon cartridges, have been my source.  Quad ESL57s are my reference for loudspeaker righteousness, and I currently run a Garrard 301/SME/Denon DL103R as my frontend.    If money was no object I would buy a pair of mint Goodmans Axiom 80s, a full ALE system (I’ll build the horns!), Western Electric 310As for additional reference and still keep my Quads!

10th March 2010








Leave a comment