Max MasonMax MasonResurgent Adelaide restaurant The Henry Austin is delighting diners with high-fidelity VAF SoundWall speakers that match the venue’s fine food and wine with a diner-controlled world-class sound system.

Reborn in the premises of iconic Chesser Cellar, The Henry Austin Restaurant & Bar opened in June this year after a six-week renovation blitzkrieg. By the end of August, enthusiastic word-of-mouth and great reviews were filling the restaurant each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

As well as a 100-person dining room and an 8000-bottle cellar, The Henry Austin offers the Hogarth Room, a heritage-listed, oak-panelled, 40-person function room equipped with hidden VAF speakers.

Max Mason, who founded The Henry Austin Restaurant & Bar with partners Tess Footner and chef Shane Wilson, said the VAF SoundWall speakers were perfect for the Hogarth Room. “To offer a room where diners can bring their own playlists, set their own volume and enjoy their own music at such a high quality is a world-class thing to do,” he said.

“I know from experience that if your VIP gets up to talk at a swanky event, you can bet your bottom dollar the music is so loud that no one can hear. So to put the music into a guest’s hands is amazing. 

“The fact that these superb speakers are designed and built in Adelaide is perfect for The Henry Austin because our menu celebrates the wonderful food and wine produced by South Australia.”

The VAF SoundWall, made by Kent Town-based VAF Research, is a stylish, high fidelity sound system that hides in plain sight on your wall, disguised by personalised fabric panels that fit perfectly with any room’s décor. The Hogarth Room’s SoundWall panels portray a bear wearing a top hat and a monocle – an anthropomorphic embodiment of the Churchillian bon vivant who will succumb to The Henry Austin’s charms.

The modular nine-panel SoundWall contains three speaker panels and six sound absorption modules that engineer the room’s acoustics to deliver concert-hall quality sound. Diners choose songs and set the volume wirelessly using a smartphone-based Sonos app.

Mr. Mason said many guests had already enjoyed sharing fine music with their food. “We had a night up here with an Elgar-loving club of gentlemen,” he said.

“When they played blind cellist Jacqueline Du Pre's Elgar Cello Concerto through this system, it was absolutely mind-blowing. There are points within the cello concerto which I'd never heard before - pins dropping and coughs and tiny touches to the cello that Du Pre played. It was just stunning.

“Our guests were absolutely over the moon. If fact, we all of us just sat around the table with a tear in our eye because you can feel her pain through the music better than I've ever experienced it.”

Mr Mason said he was delighted that The Henry Austin could provide a showcase for VAF’s speakers. “Regrettably, I think a lot of people in Adelaide don't know how affordable VAF is,” he said.

“It's a world-class brand that has flown over the heads of many people in its home town. To have VAF’s SoundWall here and to tell people ‘this is made in Adelaide’ is the most exciting thing.

“Apart from the marvellous sound, the SoundWall is wonderful for its interchangeable ‘skins’: This lets a VIP party order a ‘skin’ showing their own brand, so when guests walk into the room, they see their brand large on the wall – and it’s on one of the world's most advanced sound systems. That’s a pretty cool status symbol.”

The Henry Austin Restaurant & Bar is located at 29 Chesser St, Adelaide. Phone 08 8223 2998 or visit

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About VAF Research

VAF Research is a privately-owned Australian company that builds great loudspeakers based on a design philosophy that ensures more natural and accurate sound reproduction. Tens of thousands of individual owners throughout Australia and the world use VAF loudspeakers to bring their stereo and home theatre systems to life. VAF loudspeakers have been chosen by The Conservatory of Music (Elder Hall), Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Microsoft, School of Audio Engineering, Telstra, Kojo Productions and Parliament House Canberra. In 1998, VAF loudspeakers were selected by the Adelaide Festival Centre for what was then the world’s largest electro-acoustic system. With its head office in Adelaide, VAF offers specialised service from a team of great people who are passionate about giving you the best possible listening experience.

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