Wow, This is Depressing. Most Americans Prefer Listening to Music Through Computer Speakers

FYI Music points to this article at Digital Music News.

According to a survey conducted by Strategy Analytics, built-in computer speakers are now the most common way to listen to music, by a sizable margin.  In the study, laptop and desktop speakers overwhelmingly topped the list of frequently-used listening methods, with 55% picking the category,


But this low-quality tale gets even more woeful.  According to the study, despite the relatively low quality devices selection, 43% of respondents reported being ‘very satisfied’ with the audio quality, with 26% ‘somewhat satisfied’.”

David Watkins, Strategy Analytics’ director of Connected Home Devices, blames a technological rush that has always prioritized convenience over quality.  “Music’s focus over the past decade has been about usability and convenience – being able to get it on as many devices as possible – whilst sound quality has been largely ignored or forgotten in this race to portability,” Watkins said.  “It’s bred a generation of listeners who’ve never really known what it’s like to listen to high quality sound and, consequently, is already sounding the death knell for the likes of the hi-fi system.” 


We have to fix this. People are missing out on the high-fidelity glories of music. This is like saying “I’m okay with listening with music on AM radio.” WTF, people? This is why I and the consumer electronics industry are hoping that people will see the value in moving to Hi-Res Audio.

Stop cheating yourself! Buy some goddam speakers!

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.

2 thoughts on “Wow, This is Depressing. Most Americans Prefer Listening to Music Through Computer Speakers

  • December 22, 2015 at 9:39 am

    My computer speakers are no ordinary speakers. It’s a nice pair of desktop-sized Klipsch speakers I picked up a few years ago. Everything sounds great on them.

  • December 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I’m thinking in this case “satisfied” isn’t synonymous with “think it’s amazing.” More like “They cost $50 and music plays out of them without static, so I’m satisfied.”

    The world of high res audio starts at $250 for a set of decent headphones and the general population isn’t willing to drop that kind of bank. I JUST got myself a good set of Sennheisers in September. Before then? I was paying for a wedding. No way I’m dropping $300 on headphones when I’m paying for a wedding. Apple earbuds were satisfactory enough at the time, plus I didn’t really know what I was missing.

    Now, of course, I can barely stand to listen to music through the ear buds.


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