Where would you like to see audio go in the next 20-30 years?

Where would you like to see audio go in the next 20-30 years?
Here's what I'd like to see
89% (88 votes)
No idea
11% (11 votes)
Total votes: 99

Forget about what you think will <I>probably</I> happen, if you could set the agenda, where would you like to see audio go in the next 20-30 years?

m's picture

High-quality audio going mainstream.

Claudio Ciambelli's picture

Affordable high-end audio, fewer components, no receivers, durable hardware, fewer cables, just only one remote controller, fewer speakers (no 23.5 surround, please), no "computer audio," just a good audio-equipment: source (s), amplifier, and speakers. Summing up: less and more.

kbchristian's picture

I believe that there will be two lanes: the downloads for the majority, and natural-sounding music for those who have time ( and money) to listen. Because pure sound will cost money.

Martijn ten Napel's picture

Universal access to your high-quality music, no matter where you are, with the ease of use of just pointing at a song or album and playing it and without all the technical brouhaha that audiophiles seem to love for some odd reason. Let the music be the center of attention!

jmsent's picture

The "high-end" audio industry has to let go of the idea that amplifiers and loudspeakers should continue to be developed on separate paths. It may be fun in terms of "rolling your own system," but it is now standing in the way of real progress in sound quality . A single amplifier running a full range multi-way speaker system with a passive network is wasting a large portion of its power in the crossover network. Passive crossover networks can only be subtractive, and their functions can only be basic. They are not linear with level and the parts are expensive. Dynamics suffer, and detail is lost. A whole secondary industry is then created around fancy wires and connectors. How silly. What holds this industry back is not so much technology, but adherence to "tradition." It would be really be a sad day if the best-sounding loudspeakers come from the likes of a Logitech or some other computer-based company that is willing to ignore tradition and just build the best-sounding system possible, whatever the technology. The "High End" is stagnant, and just spinning its wheels. It appeals to the "old school nostalgia" of mainly middle-aged males who are getting older every day. At this pace, the whole business will be gone in 20 years.

Mike Lepp's picture

High-resolution digital audio available anywhere—in my library or on the cloud—so I can play wirelessly on the road or at the gym or at home or on the patio. Speakers with built-in amps, so all I have to do is plug into my network access device whether it be my Smartphone or a dedicated high-end unit. All access devices can output to a separate DAC which would feed the amp/speaker.

Ladida's picture

Miniaturization and dissimulation of all components and full integration of PC and home entertainment with voice-control—affordable to the masses.

Jeff's picture

Consumer-priced equipment literally goes big again!

sleepysurf's picture

Well-recorded/mastered 24/96 (or 24/192) high-rez albums available via Blu-Ray or download, complete with album art and detailed tags. The Blu-Ray versions could include a live surround-sound video.

C.  King, Thousand Oaks, CA's picture

I don't know what to expect. Thirty years ago, I was recording my LPs on cassettes so I could listen to them in the car, and on a thing called the "Walkman." I really miss those days of listener involvement! It seems that there is a lot of listener "disconnect" these days.

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

Full-range, no distortion, high-sensitivity, high-impedance, wireless speakers the size of a tennis ball.

D Alan Nash's picture

Everything ever made will be instantly available—that is a given.

K.  L.  Williams's picture

That's easy, I'd love it if audio went in an affordable direction. If that were the case, consumers might demand good sound-quality as well as convenience.

Joseph Lee, Toronto, Canada's picture

I would like my audio in HD format, like DTS Master HD Audio 7.1 (lossless) or PCM at 32-bits/192kHz, remastered from the original master tapes or the best available vinyl source. An option for two-channel music in addition to 7.1 is also desirable. Then, I can play music in my home theater (currently with 9 Wilson WATT/Puppies speakers and two Velodyne subwoofers), full blast and with the lights off in complete darkness...

doug in's picture

Ditch the jewel box. There are many preferable paper options available. For the mass market, I think downloads will come to dominate, but physical media will not go away. There will always be collectors. I'd also like to see more high-quality, one-box audio solutions on the hardware side. And more two-channel front-ends with bass management and other bells and whistles from the A/V world.

nunh's picture

Powered speakers of designs we cannot even comprehend will be predominate. Levels of DSP will be beyond our current thinking. Computer audio will dominate; however, vinyl and DSD will still have fair to decent portions of the marketplace and people's hearts. The difference between entry level and state of the art will be wider than we can imagine. The playing field concerning manufacturers will contract and expand 1-4 times.

Tim's picture

Honest, straightforward, and lasting; real innovation but for the sake of musical enjoyment, not for a more impressive sound.

Tore N.'s picture

High-rez downloads of all music. Preferably 24/96.

Elias Breeskin, Bronx's picture

I'd like to see progressive-thinking audio companies make high-end audio reproduction accessible to "average" people. In other words, make fine-sounding, well-built components at reasonable prices. sSeriously, it isn't a difficult task! Are you listening, Stereophile?

Stephen Curling's picture

Lossless audio for download. No loss of quality and the convenience and portability of the download system. That I'd love to see. Let's throw in 99¢ per track, too.

Brad - Atlanta's picture

Not my preference, but I can totally see this: "All Mac, Krell, etc, owners must sell their systems and donate the proceeds to iPod people. It is not fair to them that you have such nice rigs and they suffer with MP3s." Damn, Stereophile! When did y'all get so political?

chito's picture

More affordable turntables and cartridges. More vinyl!

ChrisL's picture

An audio-visual room that projects video and sound from the enclosures and make you feel like you are in the concert hall or studio where the music is recorded.

Al Earz's picture

I really think that this whole industry should explore the 12 volt power side. I think that we fight to maintain a clean power soucre and that by using 12volt we could acheive that. We see 24volt in turntables and other power supplys already. So even a 24volt system would be great. Think of it we could run our systems on battery power and reduce heat along with add flexibilty in many ways.