Audio Legend John Eargle Dies

John M. Eargle, veteran audio engineer and expert, has died at the age of 76. He was found dead in his home in Hollywood Hills, Calif., May 9, according to the Los Angeles Times.

At the time of his death, Eargle was working as a consultant for JBL, now part of the Harmon Group. Eargle had just completed a book on the history of JBL, "The JBL Story: 60 Years of Audio Innovation."

"The industry lost a giant with the passing of John Eargle," said Dr. Sidney Harman, founder and executive chairman of Hartman International Industries, the parent company of JBL. "But we at JBL and Harman International lost a beloved and revered member of our family. John Eargle cannot be replaced, but his life, his vision, and his many contributions to our industry can and will be memorialized in concrete ways by our company."

During his career, Eargle had worked for Klipsch and Associates; RCA, Mercury and Delos Records; and Altec Lansing. He spent the last 31 years with JBL, working in both professional and consumer divisions. For six years he was vice president of the company's product development division and for the remainder of his career, was JBL's senior director of product development and application.

His work included contributions in the field of studio monitors and cinema audio systems, as well as work in the AKG microphone product line. He was a prolific writer, turning out technical and application notes, as well as authoring 10 books on audio. Some of these are still used as college-level textbooks.

Eargle was also a recording engineer and producer with more than 275 compact discs to his credit, as well as an accomplished musician. Eargle taught at the Aspen Audio Recording Institute for more than 20 years and was member of the Aspen Music Festival and School's corporate board.

Eargle received undergraduate degrees in both engineering and music from the Eastman School of Music, the University of Michigan, the University of Texas and Cooper Union. He was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and a Fellow of both the Acoustic Society of America and the Audio Engineering Society.

Colleagues have established a Web site at for friends and former associates to place their remembrances.