Audio/Video

What Millennials Want in Audio? CE Pro’s Youngest Editors Respond

CE Pro's Millennial editors discuss how high-end audio manufacturers and dealers might better appeal to younger, digitally inclined buyers.

What Millennials Want in Audio? CE Pro’s Youngest Editors Respond
Sometimes the best way to know what Millennials want in high-end audio is to simply ask them. Web editor Adam Forziati suggests something like a Warby Parker try-it-at-home model for audio.

Andrew Nichols · March 12, 2018

Recently, CE Pro’s Bob Archer urged the home-technology channel to serve high-performance audio with a “shot of youth.” Baby Boomers, once the lifeblood of consumer audio spending, are giving way to Millennial buyers who shop in very different ways, he wrote.

I couldn’t agree more, and I should know. I’m one of those buyers. As a 26-year-old male, I've never really been in high demand (unless I'm being asked to reach something on the top shelf), but these days every major corporation from Apple to Zillow wants to know what my friends and I care about so they can relieve us of our money. 

Related: Consumer Audio Needs a ‘Shot of Youth’: Lessons from Millennial Marketers

Since no one has asked me about my innermost audio desires (do I have something in my teeth?), I decided to take matters into my own hands, along with friend and coworker Adam Forziati, web editor of Commercial Integrator

We posed the question to ourselves, “What would make us buy good-quality audio products?” and recorded our responses on video (below).

It was Forziati who first suggested the audio industry try "borrowing a little bit from the very new-aged service models" like Warby Parker and the new Amazon Prime Wardrobe

"They send you something to try out in your own home for a long time," he says. "I really like that model." 

Turns out, I also would like that model for audio purchases, as I said on camera: "I think that the idea of being able to try it out in your house first is a great idea, because you never know what you're going to like until it's already in with your integrated system and you get to try everything out." 

Check out some of our other Millennial musings in the 2-minute video below.




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  About the Author

Andrew is a journalist and educator living in the Providence area. He was previously the Editor-in-Chief of a gaming and tech website, and the Managing Editor of his university newspaper, The Torch. He received his Bachelors in Writing and Masters in Teaching from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Andrew at andrew_nichols@ehpub.com

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  Article Topics


Audio/Video · Business · Sales & Marketing · News · Media · High-End Audio · Millennials · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by Paul Cunningham on March 13, 2018

This idea is far from new, HiFi shops have been doing some version of this for decades. You charge a non-refundable deposit that applies towards the purchase - basically just enough to cover the markdown you would incur to sell the “open box” equipment to someone else, and the customer tries it out for a couple weeks or so. If it’s already an open box or floor model you’re trying to get rid of, then maybe no charge.

Bailey - it’s not your first born child, it’s just a piece of electronics that is covered under your insurance if it all goes wrong. Obviously the extremes like $50,000 speakers or amps may not be appropriate for this approach, but your moderately successful mid 20s guy or gal with a nice bonus check to burn is not in the market for that. The $3K prepro, DAC, or speakers? Sure why not*.

In fact the last two cars I bought (<$20K commuter/grocery getters), the dealership let me drive it around for the weekend like it was my own and return it for no charge other than gas. My credit score was good, I appeared to be legitimately interested and able to buy, I signed the “I promise not to damage it or else” paperwork and left my payment and personal info on file - it’s not much more complicated than that.

*Companies like Amazon or maybe even Magnolia can absorb the cost of the inevitable fraud that comes with sending product to random people they’ve never met, so I don’t see this approach ever going completely online for your average HiFi shop.

Posted by Bailey AV on March 13, 2018

Chances of me leaving something even remotely hi-fi.. mid-fi! with any customer to use in their home.. especially a younger one = absolutely 0

Posted by Bailey AV on March 13, 2018

Chances of me leaving something even remotely hi-fi.. mid-fi! with any customer to use in their home.. especially a younger one = absolutely 0

Posted by Paul Cunningham on March 13, 2018

This idea is far from new, HiFi shops have been doing some version of this for decades. You charge a non-refundable deposit that applies towards the purchase - basically just enough to cover the markdown you would incur to sell the “open box” equipment to someone else, and the customer tries it out for a couple weeks or so. If it’s already an open box or floor model you’re trying to get rid of, then maybe no charge.

Bailey - it’s not your first born child, it’s just a piece of electronics that is covered under your insurance if it all goes wrong. Obviously the extremes like $50,000 speakers or amps may not be appropriate for this approach, but your moderately successful mid 20s guy or gal with a nice bonus check to burn is not in the market for that. The $3K prepro, DAC, or speakers? Sure why not*.

In fact the last two cars I bought (<$20K commuter/grocery getters), the dealership let me drive it around for the weekend like it was my own and return it for no charge other than gas. My credit score was good, I appeared to be legitimately interested and able to buy, I signed the “I promise not to damage it or else” paperwork and left my payment and personal info on file - it’s not much more complicated than that.

*Companies like Amazon or maybe even Magnolia can absorb the cost of the inevitable fraud that comes with sending product to random people they’ve never met, so I don’t see this approach ever going completely online for your average HiFi shop.

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