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Audio: Looking Back, Ahead As Year Ends

It’s the traditional time of year to reflect on the events of the past 12 months and look ahead to what’s coming next year. For the past decade, TWICE has asked leading audio suppliers at this time of the year to assess the market’s recent performance and forecast the following year’s performance.

This year, five key suppliers responded to questions from TWICE on the state of the market. Their comments will appear in the Dec. 15 issue of TWICE.

Respondents included Robert Goedken, Yamaha Corp. of America AV division GM; Blair Tripodi, Sound United CMO (Definitive Technology, Polk); Mike Woulfe, Sony Electronics sound division SVP of sales and marketing; Dean Miller, president of Lenbrook America; and Chris Walker, director of AV product planning and marketing, home electronics division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) .

 Here are a few tidbits from their responses:

“We see a large number of consumers now using soundbars more for music playback in their homes…” –Bob Goedkin, Yamaha

“…higher price point [soundbars] have been entering the market, allowing greater competition with component solutions, and they are starting to take customers away from the traditional AVR space.” – Mike Woulfe, Sony

“…consumer expectations are quickly shifting to enjoying music everywhere and not just where their home theater system resides,” –Blair Tripodi, Sound United

“We believe that Dolby Atmos will accelerate component audio and speaker sales in 2015. There has not been a major upgrade in surround audio since the introduction of Blu-ray…” –Chris Walker, Pioneer

“We think that early adopters and videophiles will want to upgrade to Atmos as a priority, but for the broader market it will just be another ‘tick box’ feature that may never get used.” – Dean Miller, Lenbrook America

“’s still a bit clumsy to download and play back HRA [high-resolution audio], but it’s improving.” — Dean Miller, Lenbrook America

“This has been the first year audio manufacturers decided to use the same high-resolution logo and promote these products and high-resolution playback more than previous years.” – Chris Walker, Pioneer

Check out the Dec. 15 issue for more insights from the quintent.