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-   -   Is HIFI dead-where is it going? (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/everything-else/212718-hifi-dead-where-going.html)

M Gregg 15th May 2012 09:22 PM

Is HIFI dead-where is it going?
 
The more I think about this,

The more I wonder if its already dead and we are the only ones that are not aware of it yet...:confused:

The formats are changing faster than car models...and its obvious that its not going to stop in the near future..

Where is it heading?
Is the term HIFI dead?
Is it part of the history of audio now to be AV?

Regards
M. Gregg

bluntje 15th May 2012 10:54 PM

Interesting questions, my thoughts on some aspects of it

Where is it heading?
Back towards higher quality, probably CD quality and perhaps beyond that. Ease of use and download speeds have degraded sound quality in the past. With the rise of the internet a lot of people began downloading songs and this could only easily be done with compressed files to compensate for the slow internet connection. Besides most people don't care much about quality probably because they don't know mp3 files sound bad and they want to stuff as much songs on their devices as possible. In essence that's three things that degraded sound quality: internet speeds, disk sizes and unawareness. The term HIFI has raised awareness of quality in the past, maybe if some big company would promote sound quality in a same way again it will influence consumer choices.

An interesting change is happening though. Internet speeds are finally rising to speeds with which you can download lossless files in seconds. And with the move to cloud computing great disk sizes aren't needed anymore. You can store all your files in the cloud and stream them to your portable devices or desktop PC. Apple is the first with this but others are following and will follow in the coming years. I think Apple is making a move to start streaming high quality (maybe even higher than CD quality) from the cloud. With cloud 'computing' people can access their songs everywhere and when wireless playback becomes more common they can listen to these at friends places and basically everywhere they are. Mobile internet speeds are rising and my guess is sound quality of audio streams will scale proportionally when not at home.

The quality of the hardware playing from portable devices files is improving, and consumer devices will get to a higher standard than CD. I don't get the feeling amplifiers are improving much, am I wrong on this? I'd like to be wrong.. If so, why isn't this improving?

Is the term HIFI dead?
It is or will be soon probably, who would want to promote a device with the term HIFI? The word sounds old to me. My dad bought HIFI speakers when he was my age. That's what the term reminds me of. I can only see high end and not so much innovative companies use the term, maybe because they have older customers. Do you have examples of the term being used? Maybe design has become a greater factor than a product being HIFI.

Is it part of the history of audio now to be AV?
Don't know what you mean exactly? The term might not be commonly used anymore but the concept still exists and will never go away.

Just my thoughts of course. I would very much like to read what others think of where music playback is heading.

Beardmagic 15th May 2012 11:33 PM

I think it is going more and more digital, and the term "HIFI" is being replaced with "bit perfect". At least in my experience.

M Gregg 16th May 2012 08:50 AM

I find this interesting,

BBC NEWS | Technology | Wireless power system shown off

Could this be part of the future system?
Thank's for your thoughts.
The reason I asked these questions is also because in the past there seemed to be a demarcation between so called HIFI and normal "run of the mill audio". This seems to be changing with no definite "this is high end" or this is not situation.

Regards
M. Gregg

DF96 16th May 2012 10:18 AM

'Wireless power' will always be inefficient, at least until room temperature superconductors become available. The cost of energy is increasing so few people will want to waste money heating a coil. Of course, at first they might not realise this is what they are doing but the eco-warriors will eventually realise and tell them.

Hi-fi used to be a useful term, but it is less useful now. It used to mean an attempt to accurately reproduce sound, but then it started being applied to anything slightly better than a cheap radio-cassette. Now it can sound old-fashioned, although it can still be used to distinguish between 'reproduction' (hi-fi) and 'impressive sound' (audio). 'High end' to me simply means expensive fashion, almost unrelated to actual sound quality.

A problem we have is that a whole generation (or two?) have now grown up having never heard good quality sound reproduction, and never heard live acoustic music, so they don't know what they are missing. They are happy with MP3 or a silver box with lots of flashing blue LEDs.

magnoman 16th May 2012 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DF96 (Post 3025336)
'
A problem we have is that a whole generation (or two?) have now grown up having never heard good quality sound reproduction, and never heard live acoustic music, so they don't know what they are missing. They are happy with MP3 or a silver box with lots of flashing blue LEDs.

DF96
Not sure why you think the latest generations are missing quality sound reproduction and live acoustic music.
From my perspective I see the younger generation with even more live music available to them in smaller venues, an acoustic guitar revival, and more ways of music instruction in part from the loss of such programs in public schools.
As far as sound reproduction I believe that the average household stereo is better at this than was the case 30 years ago.
During my childhood listening to a couple of albums a week was about par, nowadays it seems many kids have those ear buds in for hours daily.
Since I just cant stand using these portables I cant compare to my experiences but I must assume that this generation is even more into the music than mine was.
Having said this I am somewhat puzzled with the current acceptance of some smaller inexpensive systems that just sound terrible. But I think that problem has more to do with the cheap and throw-away attitude of our society.

My 2 cents.
-Antonio

ric-paul 16th May 2012 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DF96 (Post 3025336)
A problem we have is that a whole generation (or two?) have now grown up having never heard good quality sound reproduction,

Rigged up an MBQuart 290 set and a 310 (8" 2-way + 12" sub) for my daughter (9) as she wanted to practice some dancing in her room. She now wants me to remove it again. Tried my best before to get some speakers in her room, but she even doesn't want a computer-set.:confused: Beginning to wonder if she's mine...:p
Just upgraded the 6 year olds 4" 2-way micro-set JVC speakers to Wharfedale 1970's speakers (6.5" 2-way I think). She can still be influenced...;)

How I hate not living in my student dorm anymore where you didn't have to keep it down for the neighbours... Guess that's why I switched more to caraudio nowadays.

Not saying accurate reproduction should be loud, but if it has the POSSIBILITY to go loud (and this includes things like not irritating the neighbours), then that does help imho.

Quote:

Originally Posted by M Gregg (Post 3025286)

How old is this interview? I've seen this idea of an electrical vehicle parking above a mat for energytransfer in the 80's... And what is this special discovery made by this MIT professor 2.5 years before the interview? Powertransfer via e.g. beamed mirco-waves has been around for decades.

I also find it irritating that the one question I have: how hotspot dependent is the system, is exactly what he carefully circumvents...

So I share DF96's reservation (being an economy driven eco warrior myself...)

lduarte1973 16th May 2012 03:14 PM

What i hate most about music today is that there is no dinamic range , worse even engineers are recording cds with such high levels that you can clearly ear distortion .The young kids buying music today dont even know it , so if cds , mp3 whatever sound like cr*p why will they bother with hifi ?

DF96 16th May 2012 04:13 PM

The fact that someone always has an earpiece in with sound on does not mean that they are listening to it. In fact I would suggest the reverse - we notice things which change, not things which are constant. Youngsters notice, and can be disturbed by, silence. It has also been found that they can be allergic to Mozart, which some shops now use to repel teenagers now that near-ultrasonic repellents have been declared an infringement on human rights.

Osvaldo de Banfield 16th May 2012 04:51 PM

Ja, ja ja, the modern hifi is from phones, 400 to 1000Hz wide bandwidth, and systems with 10000W PMPO with 10W speakers of 4"

I equally hate classical music as "cumbia villera" here in Argentina.


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