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Supply Chain and Sourcing
Audio Manufacturing Options Outside China
The Philippines

June 29, 2022
9:00 AM Pacific (12:00 PM Eastern)


The Audio Product Education Institute (APEI), an initiative of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), presents another valuable session to assess the manufacturing alternatives outside of China. This time, APEI’s Supply Chain and Sourcing education pillar is promoting a webinar focused on one of the biggest audio manufacturing secrets in Asia – and for decades, the secret recipe for many of the leading brands from Japan, the US and Europe – the Philippines.
The Philippines is located in the western Pacific Ocean, just south of Taiwan. The most westernized country in Asia, it was part of the Spanish Empire for more than 300 years. The US recognized the Philippines as an independent state and established diplomatic relations with it in 1946. Except for the 1942–1945 Japanese occupation during World War II, the Philippines had been under US administration since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898. English is the country’s professional and business language. The Philippines offers very sophisticated factories, recognized globally as reliable suppliers for many decades. Yet the Philippines’ labor rates are competitive with China, encouraging large companies such as AAC Technologies, Knowles and Sonion to move production to the Philippines.
What are the differences of manufacturing in the Philippines?
In this webinar, Mike Klasco, CEO, Menlo Scientific, and Dave Lindberg, CEO, DB Enterprises, will host two leading names in audio manufacturing from the region – Kaertech and Dai-ichi Electronics Manufacturing Corp. The two companies will briefly address their unique capabilities, after which Colin Ward, Director of Engineering, Kaertech, and Dwight Tobiano, chief operating officer, Dai-ichi Electronics Manufacturing Corp., will discuss with the two APEI chairs about what makes the Philippines an attractive region for audio manufacturers.
The session will also debate the board challenges in the supply chain caused by the pandemic lockdowns and rising cost of goods from China, the dynamics of the global logistics, and the advantages that long established relationships, and trustworthy suppliers in the Philippines might present for those seeking manufacturing outside of China.
The webinar will be followed by a live Q&A sessions with all presenters.
Dwight Tobiano

Executive Officer, Dai-ichi Electronics Manufacturing Corp.,
Pasig City, Philippines

Born in the Philippines and raised in the US, Dwight Tobiano studied Economics and holds a BA from the University of Irvine, BA, and an MBA from University of Western Australia. Since finishing his studies, and for nearly 25 years he has been managing his family business with Dai-ichi Electronics Mfg. Corp., gaining significant experience in the audio industry, product management and manufacturing operations. He travels regularly between his home base in California, the Philippines, and China, where Dai-ichi operates, apart from visiting clients in Europe and all over the world. Dwight is currently leading the next stage of growth for Dai-ichi Electronics, with a core focus on the loudspeaker industry and key core competencies that are highly valued and thought after in the industry.
For over 50 years in business, Dai-ichi Electronics is a leading name in audio manufacturing globally, with five factories in the Philippines, a massive factory in Shanghai, China, and since 2016, also a high-quality speaker assembly operation in California, following the acquisition of Radian Audio Engineering. With its roots and manufacturing expertise deeply connected with leading Japanese brands, Dai-ichi quickly evolved to become the secret manufacturing base for many leading Asian, Japanese, America and even European brands. Many of Dai-ichi’s clients appreciated the favorable economic conditions in the region, easy access to international hubs, but above all, the deep expertise in loudspeaker manufacturing, with complete product engineering skills in some of the most sophisticated and competitive categories. While many Asian manufacturing operations compete based on lower price, Dai-ichi proudly followed the hardest path of quality, consistency and added value with ISO 9001/TUV-Rheinland (TUV) certified operations. Today, the company supplies a vast range of speakers and speaker systems in the Philippines and neighboring countries under the Dai-ichi brand and other registered trademarks, while offering full OEM/ODM services to the rest of the world. Its management, valued in-house engineers, and production experts are highly recognized by its clients, awarding Dai-ichi its unique reputation as one of Asia’s most innovative households names for speakers in the Philippines, equipped with complete state of the art production lines, metal tooling, plastic injection, rotomolding, automated powder coating, automated electroplating, CNC, wire cut and lathe machines for precision tooling, handcrafted wooden cabinets, and other related processes. Over decades, Dai-ichi earned the trust of clients such as Sharp, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Klipsch, KEF, Celestion, Peavey, OPPO and countless others. And anyone entering a movie theater either in the US or China will most likely be listening to cinema speakers manufactured in the Philippines for any of the leading names in the field.
Colin Ward

Director of Engineering, Kaertech, Biñan,
Laguna, Philippines

Colin Ward is a British expat with depth knowledge and relationships with both the Asian manufacturing base and market channels globally. With more than 25 years experience in the global consumer electronics industry, Colin has been focused on consumer audio and video products for global brands with streaming media and connected products. Based in Hong Kong and Asia for more than 15 years with his own business consultancy firm 1dBFs, until recently he acted as Director of Business Development for Libre Wireless in Asia and APAC regions during nearly 8 years. Since 2014, working also with Kaertech in the Philippines he lead projects in A/V product hardware and software design, mobile applications, while facilitating business in the Philippines and Asia.
Based in Hong Kong, Philippines, France and the US (San Diego), Kaertech offers full turnkey services with state-of-the-art product design and manufacturing services. From R&D to engineering and manufacturing with a strong focus on electronics – from schematic to board layout – the company is able to offer support in the early stages of product development and help companies refine product specifications. Beyond product development, Kaertech optimizes the whole product ecosystem, and helps engineer embedded software for connected devices, cloud services, mobile applications and protocols. The company’s state of the art System Assembly Manufacturing facility in the Philippines specializes in high end precision manufacturing.
Mike Klasco

CEO, Menlo Scientific, Richmond, California,

Mike Klasco is the president of Menlo Scientific, an audio consulting firm for the loudspeaker industry, located in Richmond, CA. He is a graduate from New York University, with post graduate work in signal processing, and he holds multiple patents licensed or assigned. For the past 35 years, since founding Menlo Scientific, he has worked on product development, design and technical support, liaison between suppliers and manufacturing facilities, sourcing guidance, and certification for a large number of companies. Mike specializes in materials and fabrication techniques to enhance audio performance, has over 500 articles published in audio magazines and technical journals, and to this day continues to be a regular contributor for audioXpress and Voice Coil magazines. He presented papers at the Acoustical Society of America, held positions as Session Organizer for the Audio Engineering Society, Chairman of the Committee on Acoustics, and is an AES Life Member.

Dave Lindberg

CEO, DB Enterprises,
Hong Kong

Dave Lindberg is the CEO of DB Enterprises based in Hong Kong, and an experienced professional in business and project management, focused on linking brands to innovative technologies and suppliers in Asia. Dave is a factory savvy marketing professional with strengths in selling early stage innovative technologies for consumer electronic devices, medical, industrial and textiles. Based in Asia since 2008, Dave holds a unique perspective on supply chain, having sold technologies and solutions to factories in China and across Asia, connecting brands with suppliers, sourcing key suppliers for manufacturers, or coordinating entire product development projects for select customers.