Will Technology Kill the Audiophile Hobby?

Imagine audio technology in 2,000 years.

Maybe your stereo is the size of a deck of cards. Speakers are invisible. Cables are not used. Active room treatment built into the walls.

Is that the end of our hobby and fascination with audio gear? 
Is our identity in the big blocks of metal and wood? What happens to us?

I could imagine a neural shunt similar to what Neo uses in the Matrix to learn Kung Fu, but instead, you can use it to hear the music as if you were there live. Or at the very least use it to virtually transport yourself to Michael Fremer's house so you can hear his rig, Ha!

The future is pretty easy to figure out actually and some have already built it into their dwellings. Future versions of this will be more automated but the blueprint is already done.

The between now and then is pretty cool too.

As far as the big boxes, they began their painful death as soon as they were made.

Michael Green

another great thread EriK

2000 years the last thing humans  will  be  worried  about is audio if the species  still exists.  
If climate change is not halted the last 2 humans left will be eating rats .
When you think that far into the future, I find myself doing so rather often. You realize that the "important" things of today maybe not so important in the grand scheme of things.

I am currently reading my first real book in about 25 years (non-technical book) called:

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
by Yuval Noah Harari

Fascinating how we have all gotten to this place in time. The future will happen.
On 2nd thought, 2000 years will be well past the Thunderdome era. Approximately 1000 years then for the planet to rejuvenate, and by year 2000 the first (this time around) sound reproducer will be invented. 50% THD but hey it's a start.
At least power conditioners will be obsolete when
electromagnetism is taken advantage of.
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Too bad.   It's barely got a pulse and hanging on by a thread already while the rest of the music loving world continues to close the gap on sound quality and widen the gap on cost.  Maybe human hearing will continue to evolve and improve as well and help keep raising the bar.
So I guess now is the time to buy those Audio Systems Soundmaster Mark VI loudspeakers with the Icepick tweeters,  Nutcrusher 2000 woofers, and tube-driven crossovers.    Won't be here much longer evidently.  
Climate change is not going to be halted unless miracle happens. I read on the subject and the chances are not good, to put it mildly. Adapting to climate change is another matter, very very difficult with big losses.
As for audio in 2000 years, hard to tell, there must still be musicians and music lovers, possibly some audiophile too. But where brain implants or other in essence invasive things start humans as we know them end.
Imagine audio technology in 5 billion years. Its all underground because the sun went Red Giant, expanded to two a.u. and vaporized the surface of the planet. Except wait, that didn't happen, because in only 750 million years the Andromeda Galaxy collided with the Milky Way pulling the Earth out of orbit and casting it into icy interstellar space. Where humans live underground, only to escape from freezing cold not vaporizing heat.

Predictions are hard. Especially about the future.

LOL, Erik by the responses maybe you should have said 10 years from now. Sometimes I forget it's Agon.


LOL Millercarbon...
I remember a video from Paul McGowan on YouTube sometime in the past couple months stating that we are at around 50-60% toward perfect sound and that in the next 20-30 years there should be some advancements that get us most of the way there. Paul says his company is working on some radical/revolutionary ideas that he can't talk about yet and that we should stay tuned...
Just like electric fireplaces, if and when tubes become obsolete, there'll be something made so you can have them glow beside your favorite listening chair. You'll be able to get it at touchofmodern.com
Maybe we will develop the ability to perceive sights and sounds that we can’t hear or see now, like the vibrational frequencies in all living matter- and that will be more beautiful than anything man could create....

The way things are going, our survivors will more likely be hitting stretched skins with sticks and blowing into conch shells.

Vote blue.
Mankind is unlikely to be here 200 years from now no less 2000. A soundwave doesn’t morph into something different despite strange ideas that we’ll suddenly have wireless 1000g transmission in 30 years. You need a speaker and for no loss it will still need to receive signal via a wire.
I receive daily updates from realtors to get a feel for what homes are selling for in my area.  What amazes me is how the majority of people today live without music in their homes.  I scroll through all of the pictures room by room and 98% or more do not have a single pair of speakers in a room.  I also see beautiful home entertainment furniture with a large wide screen TV and they are listening to the speakers on the TV rather than through even a modest surround sound theater system.  I cannot understand how people can live this way.  You would think a home listed for $1.3 million would have one room dedicated to home theater or a music listening room.  No wonder why this hobby is becoming extinct and why dealers are hanging on by a thread.  I wonder why people don't listen to music?  This has become quite a strange world.  
Hi Everyone!

It wasn't really clear when I posted, but I'm less interested in what will happen in 2,000 years than to try to glean what it is we are after in this hobby. Does it still exist if the gear is gone, or all costs $30?
with CRISPR-CAS9 and what not, they'll have hopefully cured aging before I die. I think if I end up living to 1000 that I would still get a kick out of listening to my system (assuming it lasts that long). By that point it would be more of a relic than an actual music listening device but I'm sure I'd still enjoy it. Kind of like how people still enjoy horseback riding or archery.
Nothing with replace the chest thumps from the low end in ZZ Top songs, the cannon in 1812, etc.
I won’t be here in 2000 years so I’m just going to enjoy the equipment and the music I have, and whatever comes my way until I ‘m no more.
I’d rather listen to Handel or The Beatles instead of worrying about something I have no control over,

I know for certain there will be a guy like me surrounded by glowing metal boxes with dials and numbers, wires, stands, stacks of books and cd's, and a big CRT screen in the center of the room with the sound turned down. No better life will be discovered.
I'm thinking a little about a Babylon 5 episode, where Garibaldi rebuilds a motorcycle despite gasoline being illegal for centuries, just for the thrill of it.
curiuosjim.....you answered the question perfectly. However, it is an interesting question by the OP to pose what may happen in 2000 years.
Technology will continue to advance to levels we can't even imagine today. Probably, there will be astounding advances in the next 5 or 10 years that we couldn't imagine possible today.

One thing that won't change in the near term is the human ear. Maybe some time in the future people can get a "bionic ear" implant that will increase their hearing ability to astounding levels. Back to the original post....assuming human hearing remains the same the next 2000 years, who can say that audio technology won't advance to a level we can't imagine today? Maybe.....Maybe not.

Nothing wrong in looking at the future of audio. It's just hard for me to look that far ahead. We don't know if our world will end in 2000 years or next week. Killer asteroid or something else. If it's climate change I would like to be invited to the next conference on that. Maybe, Al Gore will give me a ride to that on his private jet.
larry5729 ...

Regarding your post ... I spent 40 years (now retired) in the residential real estate business. Over that time span, I had access to many thousands of homes. It always amazed me how many homes (most) didn’t have any music or books. How does one survive with no music and/or good literature? Oh yes, they always had a TV, some expensive ones too. But how much inspiration can one glean from Jerry Springer or CNN? ... kind of the same thing in my opinion.

Far into the future, I see no possibility for high-end audio, or music in any form for that matter. Freedom of thought and spirit will be long gone, and with it, the desire for music or any of the arts.

The quest for exact equality will have been attained. Individual names will be replaced with numbers and there will be a total caste system.

There will be no currency other than digital bytes, operated through an implant under the skin. Money in the form of currency will have been long gone in the name of convenience and safety. Each individual "number" (humanoid) will receive credits from the central banking authorities, and they will spend digital debits.

All thoughts, in the name of political correctness, and to avoid hateful thought crimes, will be monitored by the Central Authority in Brussels. Wrong thoughts? No credits. No credits, no food or shelter.

There will be no new technology because desire has been murdered through lack of motivation. No need to be motivated when everything is assigned to you ... your housing, clothing, transportation, and health care will all be controlled by the Central Authority. Your uniform will designate your stature in society, and also your occupation.

Breeders will wear specially designed uniforms. All others will be kept from breeding ... Can’t have inferior humanoids, right?

Humanoids 2000 years from now won’t find it odd at all that there are no people over the age of 50.
How did all of this come about? Because long ago, way back in the 21st Century, the politicians in every party ceased working for the interests of the people and worked instead for special interests. People sought another way, and finally, they gave up on freedom and liberty and chose security instead. I think they called it something like economic and social justice and they were promised lots of free stuff.

2000 years from now, they will be holding celebrations honoring the most advanced technology invented over their past 100 years ... the candle.

Let's take that scenario another 1000 years into the future and we'll be the ones mutilating cattle and abducting some primitive version of ourselves, probing and experimenting on them in the pointless pursuit of regaining our older existence.

All the best,
Frank, great post. But I wouldn’t blame politicians for everything, they are not worse than average person and reflect them.
Terrifying perspective.
Its also possible, bar a few specialist groups that still know how to play an instrument, that new music will be so much worse than the rubbish broadcast on mainstream radio now, that you wouldent want to listen to it anyhow. The origonal tapes of the quality music made in the last fifty years will have deteriorated and all we have left are low sampled digital copies. I can see music lovers having a synthesiser that produces music in the genre that is selected. Maybe with thousands of digital backtracks.
2000 years in the future? Think Guardians of the Galaxy, mix-tape, cassette player....all you need to know! And a new version of Iggy and the Stooges will be plugged into intergalactic overdriven amplifiers blasting rebellion against everything, sending multi-dimensional soundwaves across the universe, while Captain Beyond jumps on a moon-beam and rides.......as some outsiders are holed-up in a cave reverse-engineering tube amps found in a scrap heap....
I love this thread. :-)

2000 years in the future:

"Hello, my name is Equality 2936514, and your's?"  ... "Me? Oh, my name is Equality 42967831." 

"Well, Equality 42967831, have you ever wondered what lies beyond the great perimeter? ... the line over which we are not allowed to cross? Is it true what they say, that that is where the savage 'Mud People" live?" 

"It must be true, Equality 2936514 because the Central Authority says it's so. Those who have come before us said it's so as well. And beyond the 'Mud People,' there is nothing but devastation and ruins, for that is where the perpetual wars have been raging for the last 500 years. It's dangerous and means death to go beyond the line. If the 'Mud People' don't kill you, and you are caught beyond the line, the Central Authority will."

2000 years in the future, there will be no need for border walls, as there will be no borders. The borders, as they always have been, will be built in the minds of the people. 

What color will your uniform be?

I'm guessing vinyl will be out of fashion by then and rare original pressings can be had for a dollar.

Well, I'm going to pull back a little here and mention the future "now" is coming on quickly. How quickly this forum may not even be aware.

I believe the days of big amps is almost gone. To follow will be high mass speakers. The small Class D amps are simply blowing the doors off of the big amp designs with 2.1 or 2.2 setups. To stay in context I tune and don't use these amps with their chassis.


How can any audio equipment or hobby for that matter exist when the people 2000 years from now are living in what amounts to an enormous company store from which there is no escape? 

To help climate change, I propose all class A and A/B amps are forbidden, only class D should remain.

Furthermore, they should work with windmills since there will not be any electricity generation left soon due to abandoning fossil fuel use.

Alexandra Ocasio Cortez
High-end audio is like Walter Cronkite. In its/his heyday there wasn’t that much competition, so it got top-of-mind and was magical and worth pursuing. Now, you’d be hard pressed to find a brain that would tolerate a Looonnng Playing record. In a world of technical magic, the song no longer remains the same
Furthermore, they should work with windmills since there will not be any electricity generation left soon due to abandoning fossil fuel use.
They cried the same cry when we banned whale hunting for lamp oil.

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No because fools, I mean people like us. With digital technologies getting cheaper it'll be easier to have high-end sound.
2000 years ,you think the human race will still be here ? Instead of progressing how about regressing...Human race gets to start all over again,if possible. I guess there won't be any Audiophiles around  .Didn't Fred Flintstone have a record player...lol
It seems likely to me that there will be virtual reality systems with goggles and head phones and we can watch the actual performers play their music. Imagine bringing a symphony orchestra right into your room..