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Advancements in wireless technology, audio technology, and artificial intelligence are having profound impacts on the way people source, discover, and consume music. We have identified some of the most prominent trends currently impacting the audio industry.
1) THE WAYS WE LISTEN TO MUSIC IS CHANGING
According to recent studies, over 80 percent of consumers use their phones to store and stream music, taking advantage of both portability and the ease of use offered by streaming services such as Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, and others.
2) CONSUMERS ARE EMBRACING WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY
Where and how we listen to music is changing. People want highly portable solutions that can move between the home, gym, office, and the car. They also want devices they can use all day, every day— whether it is a pair of wireless earbuds or a portable speaker. This drives demand for smaller, lighter form factors, and low power devices that don’t need to be charged regularly.
3) THE EMERGENCE OF HIGH-RESOLUTION AUDIO
Over the past few years, what started as an audiophile requirement in the high-end audio segment — a desire for wireless 24-bit high-resolution audio — has gained momentum in mainstream consumer electronics. Consumers are now demanding wireless audio that doesn’t compromise on audio quality.
4) THE EMERGENCE OF SMART SPEAKERS
Advancements in artificial intelligence has lead to the emergence of devices with virtual assistants capable of changing the way people consume and discover music. This has stimulated massive consumer interest in smart assistant devices and their applications. Consumers now want to be educated, entertained, and informed, simply by asking a question or giving a command. As cloud-connected ecosystems continue to expand, smart assistant capability is expected to be included in a much broader range of devices including headsets, wireless earbuds, soundbars, and networked speakers.
5) THE EVOLUTION OF HEARABLE DEVICES
A new category of “hearables” is emerging which reflects the convergence of features from traditional audio devices and wearable technology in ultra-small form factors. These device users want high quality audio combined with advanced features, including the addition of sensors for biometrics, algorithms for voice recognition, and support for cloud-connected ecosystems.