Acoustic Sounds
The Future of Hi-Fi
By: Michael Fremer

May 23rd, 2023


Editor's Choice

"Future Hi-Fi, What's Next?"—A High End Munich 2023 Panel

I participated in a panel discussion speculating on the future of Hi-Fi

Friday morning at High End Munich 2023 I participated in a panel discussion speculating on the future of hi-fi hosted by Olaf Adam editor of The other panelists were Ljubiša Miodragović editor of Serbian audio site Hi Files and Stuart Smith, editor of HiFi Pig.

I began by quoting something I'd written in a Music Connection op-ed back in the mid 1980s. The editorial was so controversial the editor put at the top a disclaimer making sure readers knew this was my opinion and did not represent those of the editor or publisher.

Among the things I wrote was:

"Compact discs are not the future. They don't sound better than records and soon very few people will still have CD players."

I was off by a few decades, but I was correct. You can watch the entire discussion below:


  • 2023-05-23 02:33:27 PM

    ghn5ue wrote:

    Interesting conversation! I work in a high-end audio retailer in a smaller market. A trend I see is that typically people younger than 40 come in to the store looking for a turntable and conversely people over 40 come in looking to get into streaming. This is not surprising considering a generation has grown up not experiencing the joy of buying music and holding it in their hands as a tangible item. On the other side, those who spent a lifetime of moving, storing and spending tremendous amounts of money on physical media find having the world of music literally in the palm of their hand fascinating. Both are engaged in their hobby and are looking to broaden their horizons. I think the future is in both experiences.

    Another consideration is the fact that at least in North America, housing costs will consume more of someone's lifetime income and there will be less left for purchasing uber toys. Once this generation is done buying the top line products, the next will be buying more mid-range components. Still good quality items, but more like $5,000 components, not $25,000 components.