"The hifi industry is dying"
It's not really dying and it never will do for as long as people have money and are passionate about music. But over the past couple of years I've read several times on various forums that HiFi sales are down and that the HiFi industry is slowly dying. I totally disagree with both of these statements and think that the HiFi industry is better than it ever has been before. Traditional HiFi isn't dying, it's just changing and evolving into something new and IMO something much better than it used to be.
People are still listening to lots of music and the explosion in sales of upgraded portable headphones and iPod docks confirm this. Digital sources have improved so much now that there's no audible difference between most of them and a genuine HiFi quality source can be bought for very little money nowadays. Using digital rather than analogue formats also means that high sound quality is much easier to keep intact.
Many people have also started using their computer/tablet/phone as a hifi source too and with high quality streaming options such as Spotify we all have an almost infinity large music library available to us at the touch of a button. Most people even have a palm sized hifi system built into their phone which they carry with them everywhere they go.
Hifi and speaker technology is improving all the time too and has reached a point where you no longer need to spend several thousands of pounds on multiple hifi boxes to get a good quality sound. And while I doubt that passive speakers will ever die out due to their convenience, active speakers are gradually becoming more common in both stereo HiFi systems and lifestyle iPod dock/streaming systems which is helping to bring about better sound quality and value for the masses.
It's also become more common for people to use their speakers at home for other media such as movies and computer games as well as just music now. There are many exciting new technologies finding their way into peoples homes which are replacing the traditional two speaker multi-box HiFi systems for many people. These include things such as soundbars for TV's or the 'all in one' DVD/bluray/internet streamers which include full 5.1 speaker systems and amplifiers in one neat and good value package. These new technologies also offer surprisingly good sound quality for very little money and are within the reach of many more people than the traditional multiple box stereo HiFi systems used to be.
The internet is also playing it's part by allowing everyone access to information which is making it harder for conmen to sell snake oil and foo HiFi products. This means that more people are getting better value for money because they're buying products that actually make a difference to the sound quality.
Traditional HiFi is far from dead. It's just evolving into something new and much better. Viva la revolución!