Research claims that people prefer better audio quality over a stylish design

When you’re looking for a new sound system, what do you look for? There’s no point in buying a system that looks disgusting, but no matter how fantastic a system looks it’s practically worthless if the sound quality is terrible. So what do you go for? According to new research, the large majority of people will choose audio quality over style any day.

Research commissioned by CSR questioned 2,000 people in the USA, UK, Japan, Germany, and China about the factors that come into play when buying a new sound system. 82% agreed that audio quality was one of the most important factors to consider, with 79% stating that it’s more important than how the device actually looks.

The research also found that here in the UK people are spending, on average, almost as much on audio equipment (£172 annually) as they do on household essentials (£201 annually). 77% of UK-based participants claimed that they would like to get better audio quality in their home, with 54% claimed that it would improve their home audio experiences.

But our sense of hearing isn’t the only thing getting more sophisticated either, it turns out that more people want systems that offer greater interconnectivity between devices. A total of 76% of UK residents surveyed believed that having systems they could control with their smartphone and tablet would make life easier. 77% also stated that they have listened to music streaming services in the month before being surveyed, so it would certainly be handy to have that music coming out of a dedicated sound system rather than the speakers on a phone or tablet.

Music plays such a big part in our lives, so it makes sense people would want the best they can get. Who wants to spend their day listening to a crackly rip from YouTube? There’s always a margin for error with surveys, and since we don’t really know how CSR decided on their sample there’s no way of knowing whether its results are truly representative of the general population or not. Regardless, it does mean there are a good number of people out there who aren’t going to stand for substandard quality — and that can only be a good thing.

Tom Pritchard

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