CEA, Recording Academy P&E Wing Promoting Quality Sound

The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing and the Consumer Electronics Association launch Quality Sound Matters initiative to promote the awareness of higher quality music.

CEA, Recording Academy P&E Wing Promoting Quality Sound
Quality Sound Matters, a website produced by the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing and Consumer Electronics Association, will launch in Q4 2012 and promote the benefits of higher resolution audio.
Robert Archer · November 14, 2012

As the shift from physical media to digital downloads and streaming services reshapes the music industry, the people who make music have become increasingly concerned over the quality consumers receive.

Recent efforts from artists such as Neil Young, as well as iTunes’ “Mastered for iTunes” initiative are placing the subject of music quality in a increasingly brighter spotlight.

The latest effort comes from the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing (P&E Wing). This music industry trade organization recently announced a partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) to launch a website Quality Sound Matters that promotes enhanced consumer awareness of higher-quality sound for music.

Scheduled to go live during Q4 of 2012, Quality Sound Matters will offer music consumers information about how they can enhance their enjoyment of their music by seeking out today’s higher-quality digital file formats and methods on how to use listening and storage products that help retain the sound of the music as the artists and engineers intended. The site will help mark a turning point in the evolution of digital music technology from a time when convenience and ubiquity were primary factors in consumers’ music technology choices, to a new era when the pursuit of sonic quality becomes equally important.

“We’re now entering a time when consumers want to focus on the sonic quality of music, not just its convenience,” says Maureen Droney, senior executive director of the P&E Wing. “As music moved further into the domain of computers, handheld/mobile devices and software, manufacturers of consumer electronics products worked to create new systems that consumers would find valuable in their everyday lives, sometimes at the expense of fidelity. But with increased bandwidth and more readily available hard drive space, it is now possible to merge these conveniences with the world of high-resolution files.

“Producers, engineers and mixers have always made the most of digital audio’s benefits, like improved signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range, to make recordings that reflected what recording artists heard in the studio. Now those benefits are becoming available to consumers as well.”

CEA research shows 34 percent of consumers consider themselves audio enthusiasts and 90 percent say sound quality is the most important component of a quality audio experience. More than 70 percent of self-described audio enthusiasts report a willingness to pay extra for high quality audio electronics and more than 60 percent are willing to pay for high quality content.

Droney also points out that developments such as the growing popularity of premium headphones over OEM (original equipment manufacturers) supplied earbuds and the embrace of multichannel music through a new generation of audiophile labels and websites have driven new opportunities for consumers to enjoy music.

“It’s clear that we’ve turned a corner in how consumers want to experience their music,” adds Droney. “Now that experience is going to include a far greater emphasis on sonic quality along with artistic quality. And we’re happy to be able to join with the CEA in helping consumers find their way into this new expanding universe of music quality.”

  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]

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