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?

Morrison Agen's picture

I own Rega gear right now, so I guess I tend to vacillate toward "black" as far as a look goes. I do get somewhat turned off by some of the very obviously Chinese items out there where tubes seem to be sticking up all over the place, not out of functionality, but more as a statement, as if to say "Look! This has tubes! Tubes mean quality!" That being said, if it sounds good, it is good—right?

Tim Farnsworth's picture

Look is always important, but I will not mortgage the house to buy gorgeous equipment. That class of equipment stays on my wish list.

sean92008's picture

Unless it's a rack mounted component for industrial use, the design should make it a piece of furniture or display item. After all if it costs an arm and a leg, it shoulf also look good

Dave Wallace's picture

As long as it's not actually ugly, I don't really mind.

sam's picture

A) How does it sound? B) Can I afford it? C) Is it heavy enough not to have the interconnects pull it off its perch? That's it.

Peter Primich's picture

A poorly designed product speaks of a garage operation

triggermn's picture

Whether is a car or a bike, or a piece of audio equipment, I'm gonna have to live with those looks every day. Just based on that, it matters.

JR's picture

Sound is first, but design is also critical. I'm a McIntosh guy—I love the design and I love the sound. My system is in my family room and it has to look good and my Mcintosh equipment looks good. My wife's not crazy about the 6'7" XRT1Ks, but I love them! Here is proof that design means a lot to me:

pathfinder.'s picture

Hi-fi components must be functional and look good. That is why we all love the McIntosh amplifiers with the classic blue lighted power meters. I cannot imagine McIntosh without the beautiful lights. Also the Oracle CD 2500 is a captivating space age design. Besides, the first important impression that makes us want to buy that product, we will have to live with it and see it every day after purchase. Therefore, both function and design are important.

KBK's picture

Yes, it is very important. Every time I try to studiously ignore it when making stuff, my fellow folk in the company smack me in the forehead and I grind my teeth and go along with making it look pretty. At the lowest associated cost possible, that is.

Russell Pereira.'s picture

It's gotta look good and sound better. No sense parting with your hard-earned money if you're not happy with your purchase, both from a performance and an aesthetic point of view.

Nathan's picture

I love good design. An expensive product should be finished accordingly, the visual and tactile qualities are all part of the equation. However, I distain over-designed products with gold accents, lots of lights gimmicky chassis. Among my favorites are the plain black aluminum designs of some high-end companies, often criticized as being too plain by others. Simple is elegance, for me.

Jeff Kyle's picture

If it's going to sit in front of me, it better not be an eye sore. Bang & Olufsen knew this early on.

charles Dorroh's picture

There are many wonderful components available and appearance is an important discriminator

Brad - Atlanta's picture

Beauty is only skin deep. But, ugly goes all the way down to the bone! - F. "G" Sanford PS I don't care so much.

Chris Kenney's picture

Appearance is irrelevant. Ugly components demonstrate to visitors your ability to not succumb to aestheically correct groupthink.

Rob Auld's picture

The appearance doesn't really matter as long as the control and function are simple and straightforward. Of course, the sound quality vs investment has to be there.

Stephen Scharf's picture

All that matters is sound quality and value for money

Anonymous's picture

it should look nice and powerful

Jared Gerlach's picture

Audio products just have to have a seriousness to them—no Fisher Price audio products, please.

Greg E.'s picture

I own Mcintosh amplifiers and a Thorens TD 124 / II turntable. I love solid, well built components.

Tom's picture

Who wants something that sounds great but looks like crap ? It's like having an ugly woman give you the best sex you've ever had. She's still ugly and you wouldn't want to introduce her to your friends.

Russell Finnemore's picture

Primarily I'm attracted by the component's performance aspects but I wouldn't buy one that I thought was plain ugly or grotesque.

ACF's picture

I'm weak. I like it all no matter how it looks, as long as it sounds great. Except for turntables. Turntables have to look "right".