The CEA Gets Behind High-Resolution Audio!

OK I guess we're going to call it HRA (High-Resolution Audio). I kinda liked HD but maybe that's just me. In a press release dated today, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced their support for HRA:
“The time is right for our organization to explore new avenues to help promote this exciting audio technology. Recent market trends and research indicates that consumers are poised to embrace high-resolution audio, creating tremendous new market opportunities,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “We expect major HRA announcements over the next year and believe that the technology will have a strong presence at the 2014 International CES.”
I am poised! Will we see Neil Young's Pono at CES 2014? Only time will tell. I view this as more good news for lovers of music and quality playback and I only have one question—what is HRA? I mean are we talking 24-bit? We can't be talking 16/44.1 CD-quality so we must be talking at least 24-bit. DSD? DXD? The CEA ain't currently saying (but my guess is we're talking 24-bit, DSD, and possibly Pono). In any event, raising awareness is where its at and its high time we leave the MP3 and other lossy formats for the streaming services and move into high-resolution music buying.
CEA research finds four in ten (39 percent) consumers with a moderate interest in audio indicate they are willing to pay more for high quality audio electronics devices. Nine in ten consumers say sound quality is the most important component of a quality audio experience. Other factors identified include compelling content (85 percent) and superior audio electronics (72 percent) as vital to consumer enjoyment of audio (Notions of Quality: Audio Expectations of Consumers, July 2011). CEA research has also confirmed that audio buyers and potential buyers focus on quality as a critical purchase factor, second only to price (Discovering the Motivations and Opportunities Behind Home Audio Upgrades, November 2012).
That's interesting! But here's my favorite quote from the press release:
“High-resolution audio isn’t about technical specs or bit rates, it is about thrilling fans with an incredible listening experience that places them in the studio with the artists they love. As our industry continues to help bring about ways of making that quality conveniently available for fans, there will be an explosion in new creative and commercial possibilities for artists, labels, device manufacturers and digital services alike,” said Mike Jbara, president, Alternative Distribution Alliance Worldwide, Warner Music Group.
According to the CEA, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and "leading independent labels" are all behind the effort (well yea, have they visited HDtracks lately?). So am I. The good news keeps rolling in.

About CEA
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $203 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at, and through social media.

robertG's picture

... Perhaps they suddenly realized that Munich was munching on the Hi-end pie. Will they change the show location for a classier place?

christopher3393's picture

"CEA is exploring initiatives to corral support among consumers and retailers, and plans to leverage opportunities to promote HRA at the 2014 International CES®."

 “We expect major HRA announcements over the next year and believe that the technology will have a strong presence at the 2014 International CES.”

It will be interesting to see if and how this comes to fruition. I don't think they would have made this announcement if they didn't think this year is the year to give "HRA" more attention.

Thanks for posting this, Michael.

labjr's picture

This is exciting news! Can't wait!

However, I do worry that younger consumers aren't the real market for HRA. It's all us older folks that are drooling for this stuff.

Guidof's picture

Sounds like Jon Stewart wrote it . . .

Guido F.

paulg's picture

I believe it's the headphone brigade driving this. That's a good thing!