Regarding the death of the home stereo system
In the last 15 minutes, about 25 people have sent me a link to this article, so now I'll share it with you. For better or worse, whether we're discussing velour suits or Compact Discs, any discussion regarding death is most likely premature. I call for a death to the discussion of death.
Yet, here we go again, this time discussing "the death of the home stereo system." CNN reporter Todd Leopold paints it as the classic struggle between quality and convenience, and seems to think that convenience has finally delivered the knock-out punch.
Nothing Leopold says is necessarily wrong, but I think his argument is a bit simpler and neater than reality. We tend to forget that quality and convenience aren't necessarily at odds. Even hi-fi, in its most basic sense, is an endeavor of convenience: Rather than travel to the concert hall, we choose to stay home and listen.
The truth, as I see it, is that quality and convenience are two sides of a long and happy marriage. Our interests sway from one side to another, of course, but, when things are at their best, the two sides are in perfect harmony. We're entering one of those phases now, with respected audio brands delivering intelligent, forward-thinking products fit to our current lifestylesproducts that look good, sound good, are made to integrate with our homes or travel with us wherever we go, and are actually affordable.
As Jon Iverson so famously said, "Audiophiles perfect what the mass market selects." It just takes a little time.