Accessorize: The Reincarnation of Audio
Some pundits question the current and future states of audio. I say high-quality audio presents enormous sales and profit opportunities today and will only grow. But to fuel that growth, we all have a lot of work to do.
Only a few short years ago, quality audio was dead to most consumers. Those in the industry blamed everybody but themselves: The retailers for not properly demonstrating audio solutions. Manufacturers for not providing the demos. Record companies for manufacturing CDs and killing analog. Napster for killing the CD. The customer for not caring. Apple for popularizing the iPod, ear bud and sound dock. Reluctantly, many of us took sledgehammers, demolished the speaker rooms, and killed the product category our industry was founded in.
Today, from the ashes of the digital music, the consumer audio experience has risen again. The bad news is that speakers have fallen from their throne as the kings of home electronics. The good news is that speakers and headphones have been reincarnated to fit a variety of tastes, needs, budgets and demographics.