The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has confirmed there will be a new 'TechZone' at International CES 2014 dedicated to high-resolution audio.
The "Hi-Res Audio Experience" will aim to "showcase the latest high-resolution audio content coming to market and the latest technologies that will give consumers the highest quality listening experience".
It's the clearest indication yet that high-res audio wil be a key trend at next year's CES, following on from comments from Gary Shapiro, the President and CEO of the CEA, who has previously said that "the time was right" for consumers to embrace high-res audio.
CEA says its own research says it's not just "enthusiasts" that are interested in high-res audio, with 60% of consumers with a moderate interest in audio indicating they are willing to pay more for higher quality digital music.
Now the CEA is throwing its not inconsiderable weight behind "HRA". Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA, said: "With recent HRA announcements from a number of music labels, digital retailers and CE companies, we've created this new TechZone to help drive category growth and give our attendees the opportunity to explore the game-changing quality of high-resolution audio." Bold words.
The area will be anchored by high-res downloads site, HD Tracks, which is currently only in the US though has long been rumoured to be launching elsewhere. Could we see a UK/worldwide launch of HD Tracks at CES 2014?
Sony (picture, above) has already thrown its weight behind HRA, with a new range of high-res audio products, including an all-in-one system and two new Walkmans, plus a dedicated online hub for high-resolution audio.
Alongside the exhibitors, there will also be a number of keynote sessions focusing on high-res music, featuring speakers from all sides of the music industry, including a look at all the high-res devices on the market. Sure to be an interesting programme, we'll be on hand at the show to report live on all these new announcements, not to mention all the other news and key products.
by Joe Cox