Industry Profile: Summer Yin, AURALiC's National Sales Manager

Dear Reader: This is my first of a series of industry profiles. The hi-fi publication sector largely consists of equipment reviews and music features. My hope for this series is to focus instead on the great people who keep this industry alive from the ground up, behind the scenes—designers, engineers, listeners, salespeople, and all music lovers alike (footnote 1). It should be interesting.

As the winter months inevitably approach, it feels only appropriate to delay the forthcoming cold with one last bit of summer. Summer Yin and I have known each other for nearly a year and a half, during which she has played integral roles at both HiFiMAN and AURALiC. I started our conversation by asking her about her experience and background in the audio industry.

Summer Yin: I first joined the industry as sales and customer support for HiFiMAN four years ago. I got the chance to interact with the customers and dealers directly every day, and that helped me understand the industry and the market. And soon I was promoted to manage the US operations including the office, warehouse, and trade shows while helping with sales. When the right time came, I became the sales manager for the North American market. Last year, I also got the chance to re-structure the UK dealer base so that was a very unique and exciting experience for me too. Now I work at AURALiC as the National Sales Manager of North America.

Jana Dagdagan: Are you an audiophile? Were you an audiophile before working in this industry?

SY: (Laughs) Compared to the hard-core audiophiles I know, I'd call myself a music lover. Music has always been a big part of my life. I play violin, and I love singing and dancing, but I didn't know what hi-fi was before I joined this industry. It was like, "I finally found what I had been missing all these years!"

JD: Do you have a listening system at home? On the go?

SY: I listen mostly through our AURALiC Aries Mini and a pair of PSB desktop speakers. I also have our Altair streamer next to my 5.1 home movie and gaming system which has a pair of PSB T2 tower speakers in it, so when I feel like having the same music played in the house I have the two streamers do that. I've also been looking into custom IEMs recently so hopefully I can find a pair I like soon.

JD: Do you think people treat you differently because you're a female in a male dominated industry?

SY: I would probably say yes. I think when I'm involved in a conversation, I'm treated more patiently and nicely. Also, I think it's easier for me to get people's attention. Sometimes even special treatment . . . for example, I tend to get a better time spot when I schedule training sessions with my dealers. Of course, being a female isn't always a good thing. Some people automatically assume I'm just a receptionist and I know nothing about the products. Or, even worse, I find out that the person I've been talking with for an hour about products really just wanted to get my number. Luckily, this doesn't happen very often, so most of the time, being a female is a good thing for me.

JD: How do you think we can get more females and millennials interested in hi-fi?

SY: When I first started, I was actually very surprised to find out that there weren't many females around. I mean, everyone loves music, right? I think one of the reasons that might prevent females or millennials from hi-fi is the complication of a system and perhaps also the look of products? I understand that the fun of being an audiophile includes comparing all the choices in the market and finding out each piece of gear might change the whole system's sound. But to get more females and millennials interested, we might need more products that have great sound (of course) but are also very user friendly, and very easy to set up/use. A lot of brands are already working on this, including AURALiC.

JD: What's your favorite part of this industry? What do you love about it?

SY: This is a special industry formed by people who all love music. I think this is the part that I'm fascinated with. Because of that, everyone is always very pleasant, very nice to each other and you don't see that very often in the other industry. We say, "once you get in, you never get out", right?

Footnote 1: In addition to Jana's planned series of interviews, we have a very large number of interviews with audio-industry people reprinted on-line here, going all the way back to the early 1980s.—Ed.

Glotz's picture

Just what the magazine and the industry needs- personalities!

Keep doing this!

cgh's picture

Love my Auralic Taurus amp with my LCDs!

ednazarko's picture

I've got the Mini, along with the linear power supply, and it's the match (maybe better) than any of the other DACs we have other than our top end unit (about 7x the price.) I've tried it on a couple different systems we have, and it shines the best on gear that I acquired over 20 years ago (but that cost several times then what my current main system cost.) The mini is a hell of a deal.

veentage's picture

Another good post!

Allen Fant's picture

An excellent start- JD.
keep writing!

Staxguy's picture

What a lovely, attractive woman!