The Strip was packed today. Looking forward to getting the news bites.
Last year 182+attendance, over 4K exhibiting companies, over 1K industry speakers.
It's not the CES that is dead, the place is exploding with excitement and innovation. It's the HEA section that has died.
Talking to several people here who are attending the CES the question that comes up is how does HEA attract the now generation if they don't have ties to an organization like the CES to piggy back. All the young dudes spreading the news are at the CES.
If HEA is going to be a part of the audio community again it will need to reinvent itself in a way that appeals to todays listener. I'm not even sure using HEA as a name or even high performance will be enough. It might even be a turn off. It was a mistake for HEA press and designers to get so wrapped up in high priced audio instead of quality sounding audio "at any price". Playing the snob for those many years did nothing but kill the enthusiasm of the audiophile. JVS's report to me looks like back peddling. How does Stereophile for example after years of upselling and only covering the top come back down to earth with credibility. It feels like either they were not all that honest about the top or have to find a way to sell their opinions without price tags qualifying sound this next time around. And, do it smoothly enough that no one notices.
Low mass tunable innovators, this is your opportunity to capture the audiophile's attention. The audio signal is variable and tunable, this is the future and the few the grab it will be the winners.
The articles are coming out and the buzz of this CES is "innovation has arrived". What's interesting is that it's not a matter of getting rid of the in-room system, just the opposite, entertainment rooms are staying. And even more so the whole house is becoming smart to AV. 30 years of audio and video systems being pieced together is finally paying off and designed for the now. It's for sure a different look but it's easy to see where we are going and I like it.
Many on HEA forums talk about how the mini headphone (ear bud) has replaced the in-room system but that's not what I saw happening. I don't see the in-room system going anywhere. In fact I see the whole house now as an entertainment venue. We're moving from bulky to a style that is going to allow the room to perform better.
This isn't anything new some will say, but I disagree. It's becoming modern, organized and variable.