Thursday, 20 January 2022 18:06

International audio brands predict tech trends for 2022

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In 2021, the tech and design world showcased an emphasis on 360 degree audio, VR, 5G and an elevated era of working remotely, with a big focus on rebuilding home audio and tech systems to adjust to working from home, but also for at home entertainment purposes – with ‘home theatre’ a top searched term on Google in Australia during early July 2021, but what are some top international audio brands predicting the trends we’ll see in the audio and tech space for 2022?

Retro rivals modernism

Already trending across fashion, design and tech at the back end of 2021 – retro is in. Romy Roug, Global Marketing Manager for Dynaudio, well known for its handcrafted loudspeakers, Dynaudio, predicts that in 2022 we will see "the continued resurgence of retro, vintage and Y2K audio designs too. This has been increasingly evident year on year, with consumers gravitating towards brand designs typical of early 2000’s tech.

"The recent comeback of wired headphones (as an accessory or for intended use) is likely to spill over into 2022. Could the ‘retro’ trend possibly be due to the wave of nostalgia that the pandemic has brought to consumers?" Roug asks. 

Sustainable tech boom

Roug also reveals the industry has put "a greater focus into how sustainable the entire supply chain is regarding the creation of tech products."

She notes 'cradle-to-cradle' is a buzzword that has been increasingly used in relation to the sustainability of materials and processes being used when creating new products. While it’s been a recurring theme in most industries in the past few years, Roug notes predictions the tech industry will see a big leap in this journey in 2022.

Design meets consumer tech

Popular design elements from 2021 are set to carry over into tech in 2022. Warm neutrals and earthy tones (such as shades of green and yellow) have been the most popular for elements of design, so it’s likely we’ll see these filter into the consumer tech market.

Nick Renshaw, PR Manager for multi-award winning UK hi-fi brand, Q Acoustics, is predicting top tech brands to be inspired by another design element in the creation of products: Reductionism. This is becoming a popular element of design that involves creating a minimalistic look by reducing the number of factors that go into a design.

He says "consumers are also attracted to lux looking materials used for creating products. Designers are shifting to build an experience for the consumer that uses the product, and lux materials give this feel. Tech is no different, ensuring the consumer is drawn to the products to match the aesthetic of their home."

Return to a portable world

The past two years have brought a lot of adjustments to ‘normal’ life, two of those being a switch to spending more time indoors and working from home. This also challenged the way in which we use audio products. Consumers have been upgrading work, entertainment, and audio systems to adjust to the impacts of lockdown. As we return to ‘normal living’ and begin to move around more, we will likely see the demand shift back to more portable products.

Quality above all

Clare Newsome, Head of PR for British audio leader, Naim, predicts an increasing desire for quality, including a return to true hi-fi in the home. Newssome notes "convenience remains key, but with a greater appreciation for superb performance and built-to-last design. An investment in authentic musical experiences for years to come, rather than ‘throwaway’ products are on the rise."

On a related note, Nick Renshaw of the aforementioned Q Acoustics also foresees "high resolution audio streaming continuing to rise in popularity as consumers move to 4K TV’s, 5G networks, and invest into home theatre set ups. TV sound enhancement is moving to Active/Powered products as an upgrade to sound bars, for consumers who want to combine great stereo sound imaging for music with immersive sound for movies."

So, whichever way you look at it - and listen - the future... sounds good!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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