Herein lies the challenge—and opportunity. Most consumers have not been exposed to high-resolution audio, as only two in 10 have seen an ad for it; even fewer still have heard a demo, researched the technology or made a purchase. What’s more, the consumers likely to be the most receptive to high-resolution audio are largely unaware it is a currently available technology. The implications could scarcely be more clear: High-resolution audio is largely considered an exciting but nascent product; as always, cutting-edge innovations require evidence people can see or hear. A product demonstration—whether in-store or through friends and family who have acquired the technology—will be critical in generating interest for high-resolution audio.
Dedicate Some Space
As such, retailers need to offer compelling in-store displays and demonstrations to facilitate familiarity and ameliorate misgivings or misperceptions. This, naturally, obliges top-quality speakers and headphones for in-store demos that will best position the experience, and possibly allow for cross-selling opportunities. Retailers must be considering an optimal listening space in stores to demonstrate the high-quality audio and associated products (speakers, DACs, receivers, etc.) that can be used to play this audio.
Yet there is still work to do. Consumers report being generally happy with the sound quality of the music sources they use. As always, familiarity and expediency are the primary obstacles to adoption of new technologies and products. Consumers are also increasingly likely to look online for information or, more importantly, reviews; therefore, ensuring there is adequate information and positive positioning is crucial. Generating awareness is essential, and providing education is equally important—but hearing is believing. Don’t squander any opportunity to showcase these enhanced sounds!
The conclusion is as familiar and elusive as it’s been throughout the history of consumer electronics: Tell the consumer what they need to know, and show them what they need to see and/or hear. To succeed, creating an ideal environment is possibly the most imperative, if oft-overlooked, consideration.
The audio enthusiasts have spoken, and the time might finally be ripe to deliver something they have never heard before, and didn’t know until they heard it how much they’d been missing it.