Streaming services have enabled people to instantly access music on their devices – but they’re also normalising substandard audio quality. In their quest for high-fidelity experiences, some audiophiles are now seeking venues that put music first, prizing purity of sound over all other factors.
Ian Hsieh is a Cornwall-based journalist specialising in music, technology and visual arts. He writes words for global brands and publications, including Audi, Kodak, Highsnobiety and Bandcamp.
From bass-heavy cans to Apple’s signature white earbuds, headphones are now ubiquitous; 41% of Americans wear them. Yet there are few pairs that can complement an outfit. Enter Frends, which produces luxury headphones for women, transforming audio equipment into a fashion accessory.
Spotify may allow users to hear virtually any track or artist on their devices, but it can’t deliver the physical experience of a live gig – that pumping bass line that pounds into your chest. Enter the Basslet – a wrist-mounted, matchbox-sized subwoofer that lets people really feel their music.
Despite Japan’s reputation as a world leader in technology, the nation’s audiophiles have been slow to embrace music streaming, with many people still craving vinyl and making regular trips to CD stores. What’s got the world’s second-largest music market stuck on physical media?
Can out-of-home leisure destinations lure people away from screens? Why does travelling like a local beat being a regular tourist? And is AR a real game-changer? As part of our Expert Outlook 2017 series, we speak to three leisure experts about what the future holds for how we unwind and explore.