Consumers want sound quality over style, report reveals

For the State of Play report, CSR, the company behind the aptX Bluetooth technology, interviewed 2000 "music lovers" from China, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US to find out the main considerations behind purchasing decisions.

And the majority of those questioned (82 per cent) rated "excellent sound quality" as an important factor. Meanwhile, 79 per cent said sound quality is becoming more important than appearance.

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Here in the UK, the report found that consumers are starting to spend as much on hi-fi kit per year – an average of £172 – as they do on home essentials, which averages out at over £200.

It also appears that we are more demanding from our content too, with 81 per cent confirming that they'll become frustrated if audio and video aren't in sync on a film or TV show.

And not only is sound quality an important consideration right now, but people are increasingly in search of more control – with multi-room capabilities appealing to the majority of respondents.

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Elsewhere, State of Play revealed that CD is still the preferred format for 80 per cent of Germans and 76 per cent of Brits, while the Chinese (88 per cent) stream the most music from online services.

"The desire for quality sound is not surprising, but the fact that consumers are seeking more from their existing home audio equipment is," said Anthony Murray of CSR's Business Group.

"When it comes to the home audio experience, music lovers have high expectations and the opportunity for manufacturers to deliver on this demand is evident."

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Pete was content editor on What Hi-Fi?, overseeing production and publication of digital content. In creating and curating feature articles for web and print consumption, he provided digital and editorial expertise and support to help reposition What Hi-Fi? as a ‘digital-first’ title; reflecting the contemporary media trends. He is now a senior content strategist.