Most People Don’t Care About the Audio Quality of Their Music

Here’s a question: if you hand to choose been (a) a great and vast selection of music and: (b) a somewhat smaller selection of music but with superior sonic quality, which would you choose?

For me, I’d always choose (b). Audio quality means everything to me when it comes to music. Then again, I’m a guy who grew up in the 70s in 80s, part of a generation who spent ungodly amounts of money on speakers, amplifiers, headphones and anything else that promised even the tiniest step closer to audio perfection.

Today, though, most people would apparently choose (a). Check out this chart published by digital music news. The question asked was “How important is audio quality to you on your streaming service?”streaming_music_quality_survey31

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “Most People Don’t Care About the Audio Quality of Their Music

  • December 7, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Oh, the digital generation…quantity over quality.

    Meanwhile, I just went and upgraded my amplifier, just to get that next level of sound out of my turntable. Who needs all that music when it sounds so cold and impersonal.

  • December 7, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    This is why Neil Young’s PONO is a huge waste of time and energy

  • December 8, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Quality is a meaningless term; purely subjective. Most people already listen to music in a way that was qualitatively superior to the past. Do you think an AM radio is better than even the worst streaming music on average headphones?

  • December 10, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I’ll say it this way: a great song is still great even when the sound quality is inferior. But being able to hear exactly what the artist intended, without frequency limitation or data compression, adds a different level to the enjoyment experience. Star wars is a great movie even on a 9 inch black and white TV, but isn’t 70 mm film and surround sound more enjoyable and satisfying? I’ll take high sound quality and suffer a limited catalogue….as long as I chose the catalogue.


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