The high end audio industry, like any industry in the world today, is subject to innovations, changes, discoveries and inventions each and every year. As a result, new trends develop, old trends die and the diversity of products and features benefits tremendously with each passing year. And, if you consider the timeline of where ultra high end audio in Chicago has been and where it’s going in the future, the progress is truly incredible to witness.
With that being said, as we turn over a new leaf into 2015, let’s look ahead at some of the trends that will likely change the industry once again:
- Hi-res streaming is likely on the docket for 2015 and there have already been whispers of amazing things from some of the industry’s largest music streaming services including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and Pandora in regards to this idea. With the idea of 48KHz/24-bit as a minimum for streaming digital audio, 2015 could likely be the year of crystal clear streaming that brings high end audio to the masses.
- Atmos-encoded Blu-ray disks are going to be all the rage in 2015, helping home theater aficionados bring a realistic theater experience home. Many blockbuster titles from 2014 already shipped with Atmos-encoded audio capabilities and several more big titles have already been mixed for theater quality sound. If you’re the proud owner of an Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound system, prepare to take full advantage of it in the coming year.
- Affordable headphones serve to be a niche market that high end audio manufacturers have largely overlooked in recent years, with most of the market share falling to pseudo high end options like Beats by Dre. This year could mark the introduction of an affordable pair of high end headphones from such noted manufacturers as Sennheiser, Audeze, Hifiman and Oppo, allowing those with tighter pocketbooks but a love for high end audio access to the upper echelon at last!
- A better Bluetooth speaker is what’s been on the minds of many in regards to ultra high end audio in Chicago and 2015 might actually be the year that we see such an innovation. While this is more of a far fetched prediction than the others above, it’s still one that has a lot of momentum within the industry and it’s something that would have consumer clamoring to get their hands on it should it be produced with favorable results.
- Expect 2015 to be the year of control when it comes to high end audio—specifically smartphone integration. Imagine being able to control your home theater system with your iPhone or being able to run a native Android app to control the equalizer levels of your home theater system? These things are right around the corner and it’s possible that they become market favorites in 2015!
High end audio is moving in a direction that pairs innovation with convenience and quality with sustainability—expect to see trends in 2015 that accentuate these pillars. What’s on the horizon is anyone’s guess, but if you pay attention to the history of ultra high end audio in Chicago and observe the market’s progress in recent years, you’ve got a good shot at making the right prediction!