EDGE Sound Research: Valtteri (Val) Salomaki’s Big Idea that Might Change the World

An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Fotis Georgiadis
Authority Magazine
9 min readApr 18, 2022


Solve problems, don’t fall in love with a solution. A startup’s solution may change many times, but the problem you are solving should stay the same.

As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Valtteri Salomaki.

Valtteri Salomaki is an MBA graduate from University of California Riverside with a concentration in Information Systems & Marketing Strategy. He dedicated his time to understanding global markets and their economic transformation due to new emerging technologies.

Valtteri is the co-founder of two companies, EDGE Sound Research and Free Logic Inc.

EDGE Sound Research brings realism to sound with our patent-pending audio platform called Experiential Audio, which allows you to reliably HEAR and FEEL sound in high fidelity, providing the missing layer to bring content to life.

Free Logic Inc. is a digital strategy consultancy specializing in designing and implementing scalable digital strategies for venture funded start-ups, traditional businesses with an advantage in the digital era, and mission-driven organizations.

In his free time, you can find Valtteri traveling to new places and learning about new cultures. He enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and capturing moments through photography or drawings that express a certain emotion or story. Valtteri is also an avid gamer and sports fanatic!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you please tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have always been obsessed with competition, playing multiple sports in high school and enjoying competitive video games in my free time. When I started college, I was no longer able to play sports, which left a void in my competitive nature. I quickly turned to pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors to fill this void as they allowed me to explore creative ways to solve complex problems. There is nothing more competitive than building a business, as at the end of the day, the market defines who is successfully solving a problem.

While pursuing entrepreneurship, I attempted to build multiple ventures, which led to multiple failures due to my limited knowledge. However, I kept pushing forward, which ultimately led to me starting a consulting company, Free Logic Inc., to help transform traditional businesses for the digital era. My passion to problem solve and create unique experiences allowed me to research trends in how new emerging technology impacts consumers, which prepared me for the unexpected origin of EDGE Sound Research.

Can you please share with us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The most interesting story in my career was the first month of founding EDGE Sound Research. Ethan Castro, our co-founder and CTO, had just shown me his PhD research to feel sound in high fidelity, and within a month we were invited to present at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. Without knowing how to properly articulate our new invention, I was on stage presenting to a crowd of over 100 tech enthusiasts at the biggest tech convention in the world. Within 6 months, I completed my MBA studies, quit my day job working at a tech company, ESRI, moved back home with my mom, and went all in to change how people experienced sound in every aspect of their lives. It was a gamble, but looking back it’s a decision I would make every time.

Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?

My personal philosophy is if your actions do not match your ambitions, then your ambition means nothing at all. It is ok to dream big, but it requires rigorous work to actualize a vision.

Ok thank you for that. Let’s now move to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?

EDGE Sound Research brings realism to sound with our patent-pending audio platform called Experiential Audio, which allows you to reliably HEAR and FEEL sound in high fidelity, providing the missing layer to bring content to life. We do this by turning any physical object into the sound system by vibrating the surface like an instrument to emanate clean sound that fills space creating an endless ‘sweet spot’. A user can enjoy any of their favorite content as they do now and automatically enjoy immersion like never before.

Our first product, the ResonX, is designed for gamers and audio engineers to attach to the back of a chair, turning it into a sound system and enriching any experience. These are the building blocks to realize our vision to fundamentally change how we perceive reality by including the tactile dimension to sound reproduction.

How do you think this will change the world?

By introducing Experiential Audio, we see a future where gamers are fully immersed in the virtual landscapes created by a developer. We see teenagers and concertgoers listening to strong music, instead of loud music, staving off years of self-induced hearing loss. We envision sound playing a more intimate role in the future of IoT and smart-home devices, by making the response of your favorite virtual assistant more personal and visceral. This is achieved by making their voice come through the nearest piece of furniture, be it a mirror, table, counter, or refrigerator.

We see a future with full-bodied sound and immersive experiences from impossibly small and portable devices. We see individuals not thinking twice about tapping into a desk or conference room table to instantly connect their portable device to the built-in audio system in order to gently emanate rich, full-frequency sound from the table’s surface, or even from the walls of a classroom, theater, or boardroom.

We see the possibility of a virtual world and real world experiences feeling one and the same. This is the future of sound: a more inclusive and intimate world of sound that changes our perception of reality.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this idea that people should think more deeply about?

These are some of the deepest conversations our team has about the world we are building with experiential audio, as it is the building block to our concept of experiential reality, where any real world experiences can be replicated in a virtual environment. This actualizes an idea like the Matrix, where the blur between what is real and what isn’t is very slim. It is our belief that the real world should always be more enjoyable than any virtual world; however, that is up to the consumer to decide.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?

My co-founder, Ethan Castro, was born hard of hearing and unable to enjoy simple things, such as listening to a song. His doctor said, “Just don’t go into music.” However, Ethan loved music. He would hug his father’s speakers to feel every note of a techno song. This passion led him to become a professional audio engineer and composer, against his doctor’s advice. Now Ethan is completing his PhD in Digital Composition and researching how he perceives sound by combining hearing and feeling into a new audio format. Ethan asked me to help him get a small grant to fund his research, but as soon as I experienced feeling sound in high fidelity, I immediately said, “Holy Sh*t, this changes everything!” From there, we found a team of engineers and started the pursuit of introducing this new experience to the world.

What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?

To reach widespread adoption, we need to introduce our audio format, Experiential Audio, into all the main entertainment hubs (stadiums, cinemas, live event venues, etc.). This is because, similar to how audio evolved from mono to stereo to surround sound, it all started with natural places of consumption — such as movie theaters — to demonstrate to consumers the experiences they were missing out on. After someone enjoys Experiential Audio, there is no going back.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why.

The five things I wish someone told me before I started:

  1. Solve problems, don’t fall in love with a solution. A startup’s solution may change many times, but the problem you are solving should stay the same.
  2. Ask for help. I have always tried to solve complex problems by myself; however, in a startup, time is your enemy. It is always better to ask for help and keep moving an idea forward than make mistakes because you think you can do it by yourself.
  3. Take care of your mental health. Taking a day off won’t kill your company. I personally deal with anxiety and on multiple occasions I have pushed myself past healthy limits with work as I obsess over an idea. Taking time off to make sure you take care of mental health is important, as it allows you to be more productive. Taking a day off of work will not kill a company, but burning out just might.
  4. Hire slow and fire fast. This is a valuable lesson I have learned over the past few years as attracting top talent is vital for the growth of a venture. To build something extraordinary requires extraordinary people. However, a hiring decision shouldn’t be made quickly, as it is expensive for a company to get it wrong since a new employee can make or break the company culture and burn a whole company down in its early stages. It is better to take the necessary time to hire and fire quickly if problems arise.
  5. Overcommunicate the vision. While a vision may be clear for the founders of a company, it is important that all employees understand where the company is headed. This reduces ambiguity and increases morale as everyone moves towards a common goal.

Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?

  1. Failure is a moment in time, not a permanent state, so it is ok to fail, but fail with the intention of learning. If you do not fail, you are not pushing yourself past existing boundaries and it is hard to grow.
  2. Delegate tasks to others even if you can accomplish them yourself. There is only limited time in a day, so it is better to focus all your efforts on the roles you can perform the best to bring value to a venture and delegate everything else to others.
  3. Treat everyone with respect. Whether you are speaking with a billionaire or a janitor, your interaction should be the same.

Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)

The last major innovation in sound was more than 30 years ago with surround sound, but even this format still uses the fundamental technology that was invented back in the 1920’s. Audio peaked at surround sound because existing speakers are directionally pushing air pressure towards you, which limits any new experience from feeling realistic because natural sound is chaotic. It is the result of vibration, which is why you can both hear and feel when a car drives by. This is impossible to reproduce with today’s audio technology.

EDGE Sound Research brings realism to sound with our patent-pending audio platform called Experiential Audio, which allows you to reliably HEAR and FEEL sound in high fidelity, providing the missing layer to bring content to life. A user can enjoy any of their favorite content as they do now and automatically enjoy immersion like never before.

With bootstrapped capital, we have been able to turn our heavily researched IP into a commercially viable product, the ResonX, in under 2 years. This has attracted the interest of Grammy-nominated and Emmy Award winning producers, as well as Twitch gamers, to join our Alpha Program for early access to our ResonX Bundle. In addition, we are implementing our first stadium experience with the Minnesota Twins as we build the lego blocks for new immersive experiences to be enabled at any seated venue.

This is the first step in our journey to fundamentally change how we perceive reality.

How can our readers follow you on social media?



Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.



Fotis Georgiadis
Authority Magazine

Passionate about bringing emerging technologies to the market