TWICE: What is one of your key audio messages for 2005?
Kroll: The growth of our industry depends on manufacturers’ ability to deliver audio and video solutions that not only look good in consumers homes but perform well and are easy for the entire family to operate. Unfortunately, many retailers believe their reason for being is to explain complex component audio to customers when both they and their consumers would be better served with an integrated solution that’s sonically and aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use.
Abram: Audio needs to re-establish its value and importance on a stand-alone basis. While attachment to video remains important, the industry needs to get people who bought an HD display back into the store to complete their HD system with a high-quality audio solution.
Gross: Clearly the greatest challenge facing the component-audio industry is making upscale audio a key part, if not absolutely a requirement, of an upscale lifestyle. The industry has really failed at this, but it does present tremendous opportunities for expansion and growth in the future. Upscale homeowners all have fancy refrigerators, fancy stoves, and fancy lighting and are acquiring fancy expensive TVs (not to mention automobiles and watches). This is all de rigueur for their lifestyle. Now it is time to make audio as important as a kitchen sink and make it something that people want to show off to their friends rather than hide.