TWICE:What do audio companies have to do to educate consumers about the features of hi-res audio products?
Jeff Davis, D&H Distributing: The upcoming upgrade cycle to 4K/Ultra HD is a good tie-in for retailers looking to market higher-end sound. High-res audio is a good companion to a better picture, so it will be a more logical sale as a combination. So 4K can certainly open up a dialog on the benefits of better audio fidelity.
Fred Towns, New Age Electronics and Jack of All Games: In music, high-res products are creating symbiotic relationships with listeners. Whether the consumer is working out, relaxing or just wants to tune everything out, they are increasingly putting value on quality. Audio companies like Beats by Dr. Dre should continue to remind listeners that they deserve to hear music as the artist created it, which is something music enthusiasts are placing more and more value on. It’s also important for audio companies to provide consumers with ways to listen in stores, such as tech zones and listening stations. Overall, education is critical here. It’s not just about the product anymore — it’s about enhancing the user experience.
Curt Hayes, Capitol: High-resolution audio has an uphill battle because of the higher price points, but the audio quality is incredible and, like Ultra HD, demonstrable to even casual listeners. If we as an industry are to grow the market for high-resolution audio, then we have to invest the time and resources into education up and down the food chain. We’re looking forward to working with our vendor partners to help spread the gospel about high-resolution audio to our dealers who in turn can demo and discuss this new breed of audio with their customer base.
Bill Stewart, Petra Industries: Simplify the message and communicate benefits that customers care about. The education should focus on consumers’ desires rather than manufacturers’ features and technology.
Dennis Holzer, The PowerHouse Alliance: Audio companies during the back half of 2014 will have a tremendous opportunity to showcase and educate consumers on why purchasing a new audio receiver now has major advantages ... specifically when coupled with Ultra HD TV that will pass the entire 4K signal. Also, the addition of new sound options later this year that only a few companies will have the ability to incorporate and include in their new model introductions. All of this can be best achieved by audio companies promoting these products on their retailer’s floors in a fully functional experience. This again will help retailers with showrooms to illustrate their ability to demonstrate these new features, and showcase the need for consumers to purchase new audio and additional speakers to round out the total sound experience.