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Issue 155    January 2018
High-End Audio Growth During 2018 Will Continue To Flourish
Editorial By Alan Sircom


Hi-Fi+ Issue 155 January 2018


  Welcome to 2018. The audio world has seen some changes good and bad in the last 12 months. We suddenly lost a spate of exceptional audio designers in November, but also audio is returning to being just a little bit cooler than it was a few years ago, thanks in no small part to turntables and headphones. It used to be slightly more of an uphill struggle for loudspeakers, but even that is changing for the better.

It's not hard to see why when faced with the bumper crop of transducers in this issue. The great part of this is the diversity of the loudspeaker world; although we have concentrated on floorstanders in this issue, the loudspeaker market has really remained a diverse space where huge floorstanders can rub cabinet side panels with models that really live up to the term 'bookshelf' and there is more to come.

What's also great about this is audio is now able to leverage some extremely good state-of-the-art technologies and materials that it simply could not do a few years ago. Sometimes because those materials didn't exist at all a few years ago. Combine this with high-end measurement systems and we end up with loudspeaker designs an order of magnitude better than we could have ever imagined a generation or so ago.


Hi-Fi+ Issue 155 January 2018


Despite all this bleeding edge technology, classics still remain constant, and the loudspeaker is one of the last places in consumer electronics where the art, design, and sheer effort of one man or a small team can compete with the big guns with huge R&D budgets. It's also a free market in the truest sense, where a product stands or falls on its merits, irrespective of name or age of the technology, which is why classic loudspeakers, valve amplifiers, and cartridges that saw the light of day around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis are still highly prized for their performance. Aside from maybe a few pens and watches that have stayed in production for decades, I can't think of any other branch of modern commerce with such staying power.

Audio is not without its challenges, and some of them will blink out while others will grow during 2018. But, let's face it... it's the future and – although we were totally lied to by our 1970s dystopian sci-fi movies – challenges are what make audio stronger. That and bigger loudspeakers!


Alan Sircom, Editor Hi-Fi+







































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