I'm not suggesting everyone buy actives, or that they're the solution for everyone, i just think the way tech is going, with most everyone owning a pc, tablet, and the younger generation being so tech savvy, that manufacturers will need to adapt to meet a growing demand for more streamlined and cheaper, pc based audio solutions. Which may marginalise the traditional seperate enthusiast further, will there be a point when the economies of scale and lack of demand mean they'll all but dissapear? Or become quite expensive?
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Which begs the question.. How long before we see the iSpeakers? Probably active, wireless, built in preamp, DAC, wifi, just press play on your iWhatever and off you go..
They tried that, it bombed. Better to license the tech to people who are good at it.
Makes me think of those Japanese toilets which wash and dry your....
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You mean like ihome? which sounds like a fox having a romantic encounter with a Hedgehog.
Active speakers aren't the answer for everyone Max. They have limited connectivity and, in order to add more, you end up having to have some sort of pre-amp, particularly if you still wish to use analogue sources. Active speakers with multiple digital inputs create a problem of their own in that you end up with far more cables going to the speaker than you would have in a traditional system.
Seperates are a niche product and they will remain a niche product, but I sincerely doubt they will disappear. Many of us still use multiple sources - CD, vinyl, streaming, TV etc. - and find that a traditional integrated amp and passive speakers suits us quite nicely.
Some have analogue connections. I feel I'm missing something...
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i just think the way tech is going, with most everyone owning a pc, tablet, and the younger generation being so tech savvy, that manufacturers will need to adapt to meet a growing demand for more streamlined and cheaper, pc based audio solutions. Which may marginalise the traditional seperate enthusiast further
I don't think the argument hangs together, you're only talking about the source. Yes, the proportion of people using a computer as their source will increase (while TTs and possibly / probably CDs will also remain for a minority) but this will continue to be implemented in different ways. The majority will (and already do) want a 'cheap, streamlined' solution, hence mp3 players, docks and headphones. This won't stop there being a vibrant hi-fi community using separates and, yes, also active speakers.
Agreed. Separates are a niche product in the whole market of 'music consumption' (yuck!) but actives are almost certain to remain yet more niche than separates.
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It was EDITED.
I really hope not at least not in my lifetime but I suppose separates will eventually only be affordable to rich audiophiles who want to try and achieve the best sound quality possible, and that is likely to be a very small number of people .
It has taken me years to put my separates system together and get it sounding exactly as I want it, I can turn out the lights and it sounds as close to a live performance as I have ever heard , It's magical and I would not swap my separates for anything else no matter how convenient it was
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Sorry, just had to edit the title to spell it correctly. Was nagging me and I couldn't work out why.
Not as much as CDs are!
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To acheive the "best sound possible" active crossovers would be prefered over passive though...
Anyway, I agree with Ben.
Most music consumption now is portable, computer or lifestyle.
I think there is plenty of life left in passive speakers though. Unless the whole industry starts making actives (both passive and active crossover type) then the AV industry will keep it going and for now, AV processors cost MORE than the same with built in power amps...presumably as they aim at a more esoteric market rather than any increase in product costs.
I'd personally never buy another stereo amp or dedicated CD player, but would have no problem upgrading my AV, and for the moment I'm more than happy with my Ikon/Vokal front 3 speakers, although money no object I'd get an AV processor and some active 3-way floorstanders!
Longer term though, I would suggest the future is in wireless speakers with built in amplification and DACs whether it be small dock-like things with blue tooth, airplay, wifi etc or more "audiophile" products like the Dynaudio Xeo and the Audio Pro Living.
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Nostradamus probably foretold the end of separates as well
The only item that will disappear over the next few years will be the CD player, but even then, I doubt it'll totally disappear for quite a while yet. People are still buying turntables and streamers, so will still need amplification.
Speakers are such a personal choice with regards to looks as well as their sound, that small active bookshelf speakers aren't the holy grail of answers.
Hi-Fi separates are a niche market. But active speakers are a niche within that niche, and therefore won't be 'taking over' as the next best thing. If they were, they will have already done so years ago.
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