Audio industry legend John Eargle dies at 76

JBL Professional has confirmed the death of John Morgan Eargle at the age of 76. Eargle joined JBL as a consultant in 1976, and shortly after moved to a full-time position as VP of product development. In the early 1980s, he returned to a consulting role as senior director of product development and application, the position he held for the rest of his career.

Eargle championed the concept of flat power response in sound reinforcement applications, and conceived of the application of the biradial constant-coverage horns to both studio monitors and cinema systems. In 2002, John received a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences along with other JBL engineers for the concept, design and engineering of the modern constant-directivity, direct radiator-style motion picture loudspeaker systems. He participated in product development activities for both the professional and consumer divisions of JBL, for Harman Becker on branded car sound systems, and for other Harman divisions such as AKG microphones.

Eargle also wrote extensively, creating articles, applications, technical notes and owner's manuals in support of many JBL products. He recently completed the book "The JBL Story: 60 Years of Audio Innovation."

In recording, Eargle engineered and produced more than 275 albums, and was at the forefront of the development of surround sound. Jazz recordings he engineered for Joe Williams and Ruth Brown were awarded Grammy awards, and in 2001, Eargle was awarded the Grammy for Best-Engineered Album, Classical. He was also a past president of the Audio Engineering Society and winner of the AES Bronze Medal.

Industry colleagues have established a remembrance Web site. For more information, visit