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Audio: How Do We Get Out Of This Mess? (Part II)

12/22/2003 02:00:00 AM Eastern

The economy has turned a corner, but the home audio industry sure hasn't.

Factory-level component-audio sales have fallen to levels not seen since 1985, and that's in unadjusted dollars. Combined sales of components and home systems fell below aftermarket car audio levels in the first half for the first time ever.

How did we get here, and how can we turn it around?

Those were the key issues posed to industry executives and representatives of the Consumer Electronics Association during a roundtable discussion moderated by senior editor Joseph Palenchar.

Part I (see TWICE, Dec. 8) of the edited transcript focused on such topics as why step-up audio is being undersold, whether the industry is speaking to the nation's youth, and whether the industry is taking the necessary steps to pull itself up by its bootstraps.

Part II focuses on the potential of emerging product categories such as multichannel music, digital radio, and new speaker designs, and whether opportunity exists in the gamer market.