More manufacturers are offering Hi-Res Audio product options than ever since the dawn of the portable-music-device revolution. There is more Hi-Res content available than ever to fuel the hardware. But are the products and content now available oversaturating a market that is only slowly awakening to the benefits of superior-quality audio? Are competing manufacturers closing ranks tightly enough to increase consumer awareness and desire for Hi-Res Audio? Is the category ready for the increasing preference of consumers for streaming as a preferred music source?
These were some questions addressed at a CE Week panel Tuesday entitled, “The Future of Hi-Res Audio.” Moderated by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group’s Marc Finer, the panel included Aaron Levine of Sony Electronics, John Quick of dCS North America, Nathan Call of Kimber Kable, and Owen Kwon of iRiver.
Quick, in commenting on the fact that there are 70 manufacturers now in the Hi-Res Audio space with around 100 models, all vying for dollars from a relatively small consumer pool, said those numbers “only underscore the desirability of Hi-Res.”