TWICE: Are active soundbars competing with HTiBs?
Sumner: HTiB sales are declining — this is a fact. As the sound on flat-panel displays has gotten poorer, having an audio solution is almost a necessity at this point. To the consumer, they have many choices, and soundbars, HTiBs and a component system are all options. We’ve had several good years in component audio and soundbars while HTiB sales have declined. In some ways, I believe this is the consumer either wanting a very simple solution in soundbars, or a highly personalized, customizable solution in a component audio system. I think both component audio and soundbars are contributing to the decline in HTiB.
Manowitz: While our research shows consumers overwhelmingly want better audio and theater experiences, home audio is not one-size-fits-all. The HTiB customer is shifting to soundbars, but the HTiB market is not going away in the foreseeable future. As soundbar quality continues to improve and provides great theater and music experiences, this market will continue to attract new consumers who desire a better sound solution.
Poggi: Yes, and soundbars are contributing to declining HTiB sales.