The following is a list of challenges facing high-performance audio and its ability to attract the next generation of music lovers. If you have identified a challenge that is not listed below, please propose the challenge be added to the list through contact us.
Save The Stereo Project Challenges
Updated December 21, 2013
CHALLENGE #1: Awareness and Access
Most young music lovers have never experienced a high-performance audio system and are not aware of the lifestyle or benefits of home stereo system ownership.
Access to high-performance audio brands and components is limited as many home stereo stores have closed. As a result, opportunities for the next generation of music lovers to discover the experience, lifestyle, and benefits of high-performance audio system ownership are literally few and far between.
CHALLENGE #2: The Device Revolution
Over the past decade, computers, portable media players, smart phones, Bluetooth speakers, and other convenient one-box devices have all but replaced high-performance audio systems for the next generation of music lovers. This cultural and technological sea change is a significant reason why most young music lovers are unaware of the high-performance audio experience.
Room Filling Sound (RFS) Products
Widely available room filling sound products like portable Bluetooth speakers and sound docks offer the next generation of music lovers a convenient home stereo replacement without the higher cost, space requirements, set-up complexity, and overall commitment of a high-performance audio system.
RFS Product Quality
The sound quality of room filling sound products, including Bluetooth speakers and sound docks, has improved to the point where some young would-be high-performance audio system owners feel satisfied with the sound quality offered by these products.
RFS Product Marketing
Through celebrity endorsements, culture-focused branding, aggressive use of social media, and traditional marketing and advertising, relatively new RFS product brands have emerged to dominate the youth market for consumer audio products. Furthermore, these brands and their lifestyle headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and sound docks have captured the attention of the next generation of music lovers.
CHALLENGE #3: Physical Media is the Exception
Although the LP market has made a comeback in recent years, most young music lovers do not own physical media (CDs, SACDs, and LP records). These music lovers either stream their music over the internet, or play their music as files on computers, portable media players, and smart phones.
CHALLENGE #4: Cost and Perceived Value
Cost and Value
In contrast with popular RFS products ($200-$500 for a complete solution), the cost and perceived value offered by high-performance audio systems, even among dedicated young music lovers, can be a significant challenge.
Challenge #5: Aesthetics and Space, Size and Weight
Aesthetics and Space
The aesthetics and space requirements of a high-performance audio set-up can be objectionable to the next generation of music lovers.
Weight and Size
Many young music lovers would consider the weight and size of some high-performance audio components to be excessive and intimidating to move. For example, fifty pound amplifiers and hundred pound speakers are not uncommon.
Challenge #6: Spouse Acceptance Factor
Some spouses of next generation music lovers may object to the cost, value, aesthetics, room space requirements, weight, and size of a high-performance audio system. Spouses may also have concerns about the potential hazards a high-performance audio system could present to children and pets. These hazards include hot components, sharp edges, and stand-mounted speakers that can topple.
CHALLENGE #7: System Complexity
High-performance audio systems require what some next generation music lovers would consider a complex set-up.
For newbies to high-fidelity stereo, the myriad of components available and the complexities of system matching and building can be confusing and/or intimidating. Even for some dedicated audiophiles, the myriad of components available and the complexities of system matching and building can be confusing and/or intimidating.
CHALLENGE #8: Consumer Leisure Time Behavior at Home
People Do Not Sit and Listen To Music
Taken as a whole, the next generation of music lovers (and the general public) does not frequently sit and listen to music at home.
Multiple Screen Competition
High-performance audio must compete with multiple screens that often preoccupy consumer interest and time. These screens include high-definition television, laptop computers, smart phones, and tablets.
CHALLENGE #9: Negative Press
The mainstream and high-performance audio press regularly publish articles and blogs describing the impending demise of the high-fidelity stereo community and marketplace.
CHALLENGE #10: Music’s Health Benefits Are Not Well Known
The remarkable and unique mental health, physical health, and wellness benefits of music are generally not well known by the next generation of music lovers. For example, there’s extensive medical journal evidence that music helps with stress, depression, anxiety, hypertension, physical pain, and heart disease. Recent research has even discovered music benefits for autism and Alzheimer’s.
If you have identified a challenge that is not listed, please propose that challenge be added to the list through contact us.