SoundHound Reviews | Glassdoor

SoundHound Reviews

Updated July 26, 2017
21 reviews

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4.4
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Keyvan Mohajer
12 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    "Next level technology and a cool, collaborative culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SoundHound full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of smart people with almost no egos
    Exciting being at the leading edge of next-gen speech recognition/HCI
    Exceptional work/life balance
    Cool people who like to socialize
    Great office space
    Free lunch is always good
    Lots of ownership and opportunity for growth
    Working with people who are passionate about tech and love to collaborate
    Weekly happy hour
    Granular visibility into company's business/finances
    Execs actually keep their doors OPEN

    Cons

    I really can't think of any. It's probably the best all around workplace I've been in.

    Advice to Management

    Get a couple ping-ping tables
    Keep pushing to be the leader in this space!


  2. "Love Soundhound"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SoundHound full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This has been a fantastic first job. So many people who are so willing to help, and a number of diverse teams that all appreciate help.

    Cons

    The codebase is in C++ and a number of proprietary languages built on top of C++, so it might be difficult to transfer the engineering skillset.

    Advice to Management

    Connect more often with the little guys! What are the legal goings-on around here? What's our marketing strategy?

  3. "Great people and product"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SoundHound full-time

    Pros

    There's a lot of confidence in employees, very little micromanagement.

    You have a say in what projects you want to work on

    Free lunch

    Smart and motivated people

    Room for career growth

    Work-life balance is great

    Cons

    Benefits are just okay

    Sometimes there's a lack of direction

    Engineering salaries are on the low side for the Bay Area, especially for a company with this amount of funding

    Teams are understaffed (probably because of compensation)

    Advice to Management

    Up compensation! At least to industry average. There shouldn't be a struggle to reach hiring numbers at a ground breaking company in such an exciting space. This will also keep your top performers and longstanding engineers.

    It'd also be nice to have a system for employees to be able to provide anonymous company feedback/criticism without having to go through glassdoor and the like.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "I actually enjoy coming into work here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SoundHound full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    #1 are the coworkers and the culture. I can't speak for all departments, but the teams in which I've worked and most of the teams with which I've interacted (mostly Engineering and Product) are made up of talented, hard-working, and supportive. They are what make it more than your average workplace; it's gratifying to get to work with them.

    Great work/life balance. Once in a blue moon, I'll have to work more than 40hrs/week to finish something with a hard deadline (usually due to some external force) or to fix something that broke in production. However, it is very rare that I am asked to work long/odd hours, and it is almost never expected to happen. Everyone understands that life outside of work is more important than your job. I think management respects the fact that an employee that gets to enjoy their life outside of work is more productive than an overworked employee.

    Flexible hours. I can work pretty much whichever hours are convenient for me as long as it doesn't affect the quality of my work or the work of others (e.g., missing meetings or graveyard hours). I can show up to work "late" if I need to take my car to the mechanic, leave for an hour in the middle of the day to go to a doctor's appointment, or head out "early" for the weekend if I have a flight to catch. As long as I am getting my week's work done in some way or another,

    Another nice thing is that they give me a decent amount of freedom in what I work on and how I work on it. There is no shortage of ideas for projects to work on, which means I often get to decide what it is that *I* want to do. Additionally, many of the projects I've worked on have very open-ended requirements, giving me most of the control and allowing me to build in whichever way I think is best.

    There is a high bar to get in. This is a Pro because we don't have to waste time training people who lack necessary skills or dealing with people who have issues working with others. Occasionally someone gets hired that doesn't fit quite right due to a lack of technical/personal skills, but they usually either leave on their own or get moved to a team/position that is more appropriate.

    There is also a higher-than-average degree of loyalty. Some may see this as a Con since you might end up with an employee seen as underperforming making the company seem like it is not operating optimally. However, it makes sense because: A. financially, it makes more sense to give an underperforming but promising employee a little push in the right direction than to deal with offloading tasks and on-boarding someone completely new, and B. culturally, it is much better for company pride and morale to let employees focus more on doing our jobs correctly rather than looking over our shoulders wondering if we're going to be fired next.

    Transparency. Every quarter the CEO and other officers hold a company-wide meeting for all the full-time employees to present updates on finances, products, the workplace, and the company as a whole. They take anonymous questions and suggestions for "employee of the month"-style appreciations. Additionally, the managers for the teams on which I've worked provide weekly updates on other teams and the company as a whole.

    Leading-edge speech and music technology.
    Sit/stand desks if needed.
    15 days/year PTO.
    Unlimited sick days - great for keeping contagious people from infecting more employees.

    Free lunch (Eat Club 3 days, rotating catering 2 days) has helped me save a lot of money over the years.
    Weekly happy hour.
    Company parties/events like "Summer Picnic" at Great America, Winter Holiday Party, Super Bowl and Grammys watch parties, Halloween, etc. and +1s are always welcome (and often kids too).
    Company-sponsored extracurricular activities if enough employees join.

    Cons

    The starting pay in the Silicon Valley office is not as competitive as other companies in the area. If you're all about the money, there are plenty of soul-crushing jobs available elsewhere. To me, the small sacrifice in pay is worth it for the environment I get to work in and coworkers I work with. There are no bonuses, but I do a pretty good job, so my raises are pretty nice (10-15k/year).

    Some engineering teams are working on/with technology that is brand new, proprietary, and/or very low-level. This can make it a challenge for both new and experiences employees to feel like they are succeeding or performing optimally. As a very documentation-oriented worker, it has been frustrating at times. Most of the time, others are receptive to requests for help, though.

    The benefits are probably mediocre. Definitely better than nothing, but I am actually signed onto my wife's benefits because it worked out slightly better financially (stipend from SoundHound for waiving benefits > cost of adding me to my wife's plan). Medical plans include high-deductible HSA (free), PPO, and HMO (Kaiser). There is a 401k program, but no 401k matching.

    Advice to Management

    Let employees know that it is not only okay but beneficial to come to you with criticisms or other worries/concerns. Most people come from places that are at best unreceptive or at worst hostile environments, and therefore would not be comfortable coming forward with this valuable information. Make sure they are aware that there won't be any adverse consequences for honesty.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Unique culture and impact at a stable startup"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SoundHound full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work. The founders and early employees have been able to preserve the original culture of curiosity, humility and intelligence they started with and have accomplished much with a relatively small team. There is a strong sense of trust and ownership given to each individual, and most managers are fairly hands-off. Engineering teams get to make a direct and profound impact on the products and technologies used by millions of consumers - due not only to the 2 apps but also to the Houndify platform, which integrates into other devices. SoundHound is a market leader in a very hot space, and the market potential is tremendous especially for B2B opportunities. People genuinely care and respect one another, and take their work seriously, a culture that starts with our CEO and leadership. Unlike many startups, there is a sense of financial stability given the company’s 10+ years of existence and a recent round of funding. Depending on the team, some engineers will work on side projects they find interesting to them, and some of these have eventually made it into production. Employees consistently initiate social events with one another outside of work such as bike rides, movie nights, workouts, sporting events and more. An additional bonus is how organically diverse an office SoundHound boasts- over 20 different countries are represented in a company of just around 140 people. Also good work-life balance for those with family or not looking to live at the office.

    Cons

    SoundHound is very much an engineering company, so many of the product decisions and strategies are initiated and driven by engineering, which can be hard on product and marketing folks who feel they should have a stronger say in creating and executing the product roadmap.

    As the company grows, so does middle management - the organization does not feel as flat as it once was.

    Interpersonal issues are swept under the rug

    Not the most competitive compensation-wise

    Lack of career growth resources (classes, educational programs, etc.)

    Advice to Management

    Continue to hire great people to keep the unique culture we have

    Bigger focus and budget for marketing to improve brand recognition

    Grow internal employee resources (career training, HR, etc.)

    Find a way to deal with personal conflicts so we don’t lose great people over them


  6. "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SoundHound full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    SoundHound has a lot of smart people, and you can learn a lot from being here. The company itself has been around for over 10 years, and the culture is still fun and supportive. I really like how they try to find the right fit for you so that you can be excited about the projects you're on.

    Cons

    One of the challenges with a growing company is that it can get pretty chaotic. It's also not clear sometimes how to get stuff done. This is purposeful, but it can be hard for people who like more structure and process in place.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Good if you want to work for the underdog"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SoundHound full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Smart and talented coworkers
    Freedom to work on various projects and move within company
    Fast moving projects, fast growing company
    Opportunity to learn a wide breadth of technologies and develop skills
    The product is pretty cool, normal people use it
    Fun people who organize events outside of work
    Free lunch
    Still a mostly informal workplace (slowly becoming more corporate)

    Cons

    Pay/benefits aren't competitive for the area
    Lack of upper management transparency (direction, finances)
    Lack of internal employee resources (no anonymous tip/suggestions, understaffed HR)
    Problem employees are kept on
    Interpersonal issues are swept under the rug

    Advice to Management

    Teams and progress suffers from understaffing, so offer more competitive pay to attract/hold talent, and invest in your employees. Start spending money to grow the userbase (sponsor events, higher marketing budget, more general dev community involvement), just making the product better isn't enough anymore.

  8. "Good company- bright leaders"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SoundHound full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I’ve been here in the new San Francisco office for about 5 months and I have been impressed with the easy-going nature of the office all while being highly focused on deliverables and communication. The technology is really great and San Francisco hosts a blend of disciplines from iOS engineers, Front-End Engineers, Android Engineers and marketing and sales personnel. The office is small but hospitable, and I believe open to suggestions on how to grow the culture apart from the Santa Clara headquarters. Five stars for an independent work environment, stand/sit desks, a kitchen stocked with healthy and not so healthy treats, centrally located in the financial district and 3 steps to the Montgomery BART escalators, daily catered lunches, a dog-friendly office and gaming consoles. Oh, and the requisite bean-bag loungers if you need to crash.

    Cons

    I’m still pretty new, but nothing glaring stands out.

    Advice to Management

    Haven't been around long enough to assess all that goes on


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Smart people with focused intensity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Consultant in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Enjoyed working remotely for SoundHound and when visiting the headquarters appreciated the free lunch, ready supply of snacks, and easy conversation with the staff, Was continually impressed with how sharp everyone is, which makes one work harder to be on the top of one's game, Self-motivated people are cherished. Really enjoyed the experience and think fondly of the project work accomplished.

    Cons

    Found it challenging to 'over-communicate' when working remotely; everyone is focused on their specific tasks and regular meetings can be sporadic.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Low salary for engineering"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at SoundHound full-time

    Pros

    The employees are extremely intelligent and great people. The technology behind Hound has great potential to change how people interact with technology.

    Cons

    The base salary is well below market for a Silicon Valley engineer. High strike prices, no bonuses, no 401k matching, and mediocre benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Review compensation packages for bay area employees if you want to stay competitive and retain engineering talent.


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