Does a component's industrial design matter to you? How much?

Does a component's industrial design matter to you? How much?
Yes, very important
36% (118 votes)
Yes, somewhat important
33% (108 votes)
Yes, but just a little
18% (61 votes)
No, not really
9% (31 votes)
4% (14 votes)
Total votes: 332

In a blog comment, reader Henry writes "I won't buy a component that does not look right . . . . It needs to have a look like someone cared deeply about the appearance of the thing as a function of performance." <P> Does a component's industrial design matter to you? How much?

ty sproul's picture

Yes, I'm attracted to a component's looks, but in the end, it's still about how it sounds that's the most important!

Serpieri's picture

Some things just grow on you. Sometimes they don't.

OvenMaster's picture

Appearance is important to me. I'm the one that will have to look at it every day for the next twenty or thirty years. Ugly gear is a crime.

Andy from Burlington's picture

Yup, it has to both sound and look good.

Brendan's picture

I'm in it for the music.

Todd Sauve's picture

While I am ultimately more concerned with capabilities and features, a product's looks are very important, as well. It can swing my purchase one way or another.

Don's picture

Do it right all of the way through.

Jimmy's picture

It's the functionality that counts!'s picture

A llittle bit, but not a lot. Sound matters most. If something is offensively ugly then no, I won't buy it, but if form follows function, then yes, I'll buy if it sounds good—no matter what.

rpeluso's picture

I would not purchase, for example, the Gradient speakers, simply based on their looks/design.

djl's picture

It matters some, but ultimately, it's how it sounds that's really the most important.

John P.'s picture

I will buy a butt-ugly audio component if it sounds good to me. Lord knows I've done that many times. Good looks are icing on the aural cake. My favorite icing is those dreamy blue McIntosh output meters sigh, swoon.

Bob D's picture

I have very definite ideas about what looks good or not. However, if I can find a component for a bargain price that doesn't really please me aesthetically, sound quality will be the primary concern.

Sunil Jocelyn's picture

Unless the damn thing is playing, the "look" is the only's ....turned on!

King99's picture

Its contribution to overall sound is first and foremost, but looks definitely come into play. Not surprisingly, I own a Primaluna Prologue 1.

Marsanz's picture

Absolutely without a doubt, I want form and function!

James Henry's picture

Making something "look good" is not difficult once you've sorted the engineering and electronics—the difficult bits!

Nik from Chicago's picture

Sound, then price, then looks.

45triode's picture

The green of SHINDO, the black of ZU, theredD of YAMAMOTO are the colors of my flag. Does it matter to you where you live?

Steven Bell's picture

I like my components to look as good as they sound!

WIll's picture

Beautiful design is as important in audio as it is in autos. Both my Jaguar and my Linn Audio system provide a certain amount of pleasure just looking at them.

Peter Watson's picture

If you are going to spend a significant sum of money on an audio component, it's not unreasonable to expect that it will be visually attractive, if not a work of art. The days of ugly pressed-steel boxes or concrete speaker enclosures being de rigueur for sound quality are long gone.

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

Of course, it matters. As long as anything is not hidden in a wall or cupboard, the design is imortant.

Stephen Curling's picture

The attention to detail can help tell you what's under the hood. In some cases, the chassis is the most expensive part of the unit. If a manufacturer wants me to spend big money on their product, then it had better look pretty good and perform very well or the their competition may get my money.

Chaves's picture

I think brands shouldn't spend much in looks—the sound is much more important.

chris's picture

Industrial design does not guarantee quality. Lack thereof is a sure sign that something may be missing. The best products always have a kind of timeless integrity about them. Apple, NAD, Tivoli, Leica, Rega, Leben, the QUADs and Revoxes and Nagras of old, the tape recording gems named Stellavox..., they all look right, feel right, give excellent value for money, and perform accordingly.

chris malloney's picture

It's like furniture. If it's on display, and you take pride in the appearance of your home, then a little consideration of form is necessary

Daft Punk, Raleigh NC's picture

I'm often finding that I don't like too much bling on my audio electronics.

tonye's picture

Make it small, with a little bit of nice wood and unobtrusive—not showy. But make it reliable and sound good.

obieseven's picture

Industrial design is a "nice to have." Audio design—whether proven, innovative or simply clever—and build quality (parts and implementation) are much higher on my list.