Harmonizing Passions: Rico and Rollin Cheng Bring Cabasse's Symphony to the Philippines

July 03, 2024 – Alike Editorial

In the heart of Manila's bustling audio scene, Rico and Rollin Cheng are not just names, but pioneers who have brought a new dimension to the local audiophile community. 

Rico Cheng, the President of Absolute Harmonics Inc. and his wife and business partner Rollin Cheng, are the exclusive distributors of Cabasse in the Philippines; the couple has embarked on a journey that seamlessly blends passion, family, and business.

The Beginning of a Passion

Rico Cheng’s love for music started early. "I’ve been into music all my life, like most Filipinos. When I was young, I liked to spend hours in the bedroom blasting my mini component with my favorite music," he reminisces. His journey into the world of high-fidelity (Hi-Fi) audio began with a simple curiosity when he bought his first expensive earphones despite already owning an iPod. This curiosity evolved into a hobby, then a business, and ultimately an obsession.

The decision to bring Cabasse, a renowned French audio brand, to the Philippines was not a simple one. Rico discovered Cabasse through a sales agent and decided to explore the brand further by experiencing its products firsthand. "I flew to the nearest Cabasse distributor in another country to try it out and instantly fell in love with the product," he says. The natural tone, resolution, and grand presentation of Cabasse speakers were unlike anything he had heard before. This convinced him that Cabasse could be the next big thing in Hi-Fi systems.

Cabasse, founded in 1950 by Georges Cabasse, boasts a rich heritage of technological advancements in the world of audio.  Their dedication to pushing boundaries is evident in their patented coaxial speaker technology, a testament to their commitment to delivering a pure and unadulterated listening experience.

Cabasse Philippines' Grand Launch

A Unique Approach to Sound, Family, and Community

What sets Cabasse apart from other audio brands, according to Rico, is its distinct sound quality. "Cabasse doesn’t have that commercial sound you usually hear. It’s smooth, linear, grand, and relaxed, impressing even at proper listening volumes," he explains. This high standard of audio quality is what Rico and Rollin aim to introduce to more Filipinos, making Hi-Fi sound attainable without exorbitant costs.

Managing a thriving business while raising twin boys is no easy feat, but the Chengs have found a way to make it work. "Time management is one, but if your business is your hobby, you rarely find the need to do anything else, giving me more time for my family," Rico shares.

The couple’s dynamic is built on mutual respect and an understanding of their roles within the business. Rollin, who is equally passionate about their venture, brings her unique perspective to the table, ensuring that the business runs smoothly.  

The sense of fulfillment they derive from positively impacting the lives of people and businesses continues to fuel their passion. “In this business knowledge is the most important thing, my staff represent the store, so they need to be knowledgeable about most things in this hobby. How to identify a good sound from a bad one and how to make it better. I believe everyone is an audiophile, people know what they want, which is a good sound for them, and it is our duty to share how it’s done,” Rico points out.

Looking Ahead

Currently, the focus for Cabasse Philippines is to introduce their products to a broader audience. "Our goal is to introduce Cabasse to more Filipinos, showing that Hi-Fi sound is attainable without having to spend millions," Rico emphasizes. Beyond Cabasse, the Chengs are open to exploring new collaborative projects that align with their mission of enhancing the audio experience for Filipinos.

When asked about their edge in business, Rico cites knowledge and open-mindedness as their key strengths. "My strength is probably being open-minded. I consider everything I hear from my clients and my peers, never judging any ideas until I try them myself," he explains. This philosophy has not only helped them in business but also in life.

For aspiring entrepreneurs, Rico's advice is simple yet profound: "Believe in yourself and be open-minded." This mindset has guided the Chengs through their journey, helping them achieve new heights and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. For them, “Success is achieving new heights that you haven’t done.” 

In the world of high-fidelity sound, Rico and Rollin Cheng stand out as trailblazers who have successfully merged their personal passions with their professional pursuits. Their story is a testament to the power of dedication, family values, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. 

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