Do You Really Need to Mention HRA and Dynamic Range to Sell Good Audio?

Ultimately, selling high-performance audio is about a good demo with exceptional products and a well-told story, but it helps to have some nerd sonic science in your back pocket.


Ask any high-performance audio vendor about the biggest questions they get from dealers and you’re likely to hear: 1) Is high-resolution audio catching on? And 2) Should we talk about geeky things like dynamic range and sample bit rates with the consumer?

Yes, HRA is finding its way into more products and services, and grabbing mindshare among consumers. As for techno-talk on dynamic range and stuff, it’s complicated.



Control4's high-performance audio brand Triad provides a rich experience for consumers, and compelling business cases for dealers, to deliver premium entertainment to every client.

This presentation will help integrators present effective demos, backed by nerd science, to turn casual  listeners into music lovers … and very happy customers.

Presented Oct. 11, 2017

“The most important thing is for a customer to experience it,” says Kordon Vaughn, senior director of product marketing for Control4, the big home-automation company that owns Triad, a leader in hgih-performance loudspeakers. “Still, you should have the technical knowledge in your back pocket.”

Some customers will want validation that the premium paid for “better audio” has some science behind it. Be prepared to present the evidence, Vaughn suggests.

Sure enough, you might entice a customer with a superb cup of coffee, but they could second-guess their taste buds if you can’t prove the rarity of the bean or the uniqueness of the processing.

The hard facts can convince a customer that their taste buds are right and the investment is worth it.

Of course, “Perfecting the demo is vitally important,” Vaughn says. That involves not only picking the right music and playing it in the right setting, but also guiding users through the experience.:

Be prepared to explain, “This is why I love this piece of music,” Vaughn suggests. And then: When you invest in a system that does this and that, you can fully appreciate the magnificence ….  

Some customers will want validation that the premium paid for “better audio” has some science behind it. 

The high-resolution audio story is getting easier to tell, he says, aided in no small part by TIDAL and Deezer, streamers of HRA music.

Oddly, Deezer signed an exclusive deal with Sonos in 2014 to stream its hi-res music to the mass market, even though Sonos speakers could not deliver Deezer’s full audio resolution.

Just a couple of months ago, Deezer announced wide availability of the newly named Deezer HiFi service through products that can actually support the full audio experience that HRA was designed to deliver.

Today, there is no excuse for consumers to settle for second-rate audio experiences, Vaughn says. The old objections are gone.

We have the HRA-capable music services from the likes of TIDAL and Deezer, but we also have bandwidth to support these services, both inside and out of the house, as well as adequte processing power in even the smallest of speakers. Furthermore, storage is cheap and plentiful, so bit-for-bit audio renderings can be hosted on-site for the cost of a peanut butter sandwich.

“Users can enjoy high-quality audio through their smart phones when they’re on the run,” Vaughn says, “but when they get home, they really should be getting goose bumps.”

All the piece are in place for goose-bump nation. Any objections from customers can be dismissed with good products, a well-run demo, and a little nerd appeal.

Watch it Again: The Art of the High-Resolution Audio Demo … and Deal

About the Author

Julie Jacobson
Julie Jacobson:

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson




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