Dolby commissioned Parks Associates to study how important multimedia–audio in particular–is to mobile users. The study apparently shows that the majority of smartphone owners consider sound quality to some degree when choosing a smartphone or tablet.
According to the Park Associates web site, Parks Associates interviewed 1,000 smartphone owners in each of four countries — China, France, Germany and South Korea — and 1,152 smartphone owners in the United States when conducting the study. The concept was simple: smartphone owners were asked if audio quality was a consideration when purchasing a mobile device. Then they were played an audio demo on a mobile device featuring enhanced Dolby sound, and asked the same question again.
Close to 3/4 of subjects in the US, France, and Germany said sound quality was important before hearing the demo; after the Dolby demo, those numbers jumped to between 80%-90%.
You can read all the data of the study here on Dolby’s web site
. However the bottom line is that once users hear good sound, they see how important it is and they want it. While the digital audio revolution has opened up the accessibility and portability of music, it’s really done a disservice to the quality of the playback experience.
For that reason, I’m happy to see studies like Dolby’s that will hopefully get to Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung, and others to let them know that we, as consumers do care about great sound from our devices and that great sound is a differentiator that people are willing to pay for. Products like Audyssey’s amp, which I previously reviewed and blogged about
, also give me tremendous hope. I’m happy to see Dolby putting financial resources behind such a study and I’m even more encouraged (but not surprised) by the results.
I hope that the mobile revolution will kick-start an audio quality revolution as well.