AES Member Profile

Sean Olive

Sean Olive

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Audio Fields:

  • Product Design & Manufacturing - Research & Development
  • Recording Industry - Music Recording/Mix Studio
  • Recording Industry - Post Production
  • Recording Industry - Film/Video Sound
  • Broadcasting - Studio
  • Broadcasting - Television Sound
  • Consumer - Home
  • Consumer - Car

Job Duties:

  • Researcher
  • Acoustician
  • Author/Journalist/Technical Writer
  • Educator
  • Engineer
  • Manufacturer


Sean is Senior Fellow, Acoustic Research for Harman International, a major manufacturer of audio products for consumer, professional and automotive spaces. He directs the Corporate R&D group, and oversees the subjective evaluation of new audio products. Prior to 1993, he was a research scientist at the National Research Council of Canada where his research focused on the perception and measurement of loudspeakers, listening rooms, and microphones. Sean received a Bachelors in Music from the University of Toronto, and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Sound Recording from McGill University in Montreal. He has written over 50 research papers on the perception and measurement of audio for which he was awarded the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Fellowship Award in 1996, two Publication Awards (1990 and 1995) and best peer-reviewed paper award at AES 143rd. in 2017. In 2013 he was awarded the ALMA Titanium Driver Award for scientific contributions to the loudspeaker and headphone industry. In 2019, he received the Harman External Leadership Award. Sean is an AES past President.

AES Awards

In 1990, Sean E. Olive was presented with the AES Publications Award.

In 1995, Sean E. Olive was presented with the AES Publications Award was presented with the AES Publications Award for his paper "The Effects of Loudspeaker Placement on Listener Preference Ratings," vol. 42, no. 9 (1994 September). This award is presented to an author or authors under the age of 35.

In 1996, Sean E. Olive was presented with the AES Fellowship Award for contributions to the understanding of psychoacoustics in the interactions of loudspeakers, listeners, and rooms.

In 2016, Sean Olive was presented with the AES Board of Governors Award in recognition for co-chairing the 2016 AES International Conference on Headphone Technology, Aalborg, Denmark, August 24-26, 2016.

AES E-Library Collections

Headphone Paper Collection

Non-AES Awards & Award Nominations

In 2014 Sean Received the ALMA Titanium Award for Life-Time Achievement in Audio Research

In 2012 Sean received Harman Achievement Award

In 2018 Sean received a Harman Senior Research Fellowship.

In 2017 Sean received the "Best Peer Reviewed Paper Award" at the AES 134th Convention

In 2019, Sean received Harman's External Leadership Award.

Education Background

B. Music, University of Toronto
M. Music in Sound Recording, McGill University
PhD, Sound Recording, McGill University

Employment History

Research Scientist, National Research Council, Acoustics and Signal Processing, 1985 - 1993;
Manager Subjective Evaluation. Harman International, R&D Group, 1993- 2006;
Director Acoustic Research, Corporate Technology Group, Harman International, 2006 - 2015
Research Fellow, Corporate Technology Group, Harman International, 2015 - present;
President, Audio Engineering Society, 2013-2014

Why Am I An AES Member?

AES has 14,000 student and professional audio members world-wide, and is the most relevant audience for my research. It's the best society for audio professionals interested in advancing their career and knowledge about the science and engineering of audio and its related fields.

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