• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Are all passive speakers officially "retro"?

Galliardist

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
2,558
Likes
3,274
Location
Sydney. NSW, Australia
Oh, I think the crisis is very real. I just don’t think that switching personal transportation from petrol to electric power is the path to salvation.
It's a hairy one. In fact, for the "make believe problem", you have to take into account the power where you live, the relative energy efficiency of those sources against your vehicle, the environmental costs of replacing one vehicle with another,

What I find ironic is that the other reasons for ditching fossil fuel energy would otherwise have made the stuff history a decade or more ago in many countries. And those other reasons - health, pollution and particularly cost - are compelling.

If you want to help with the "very real" problem, the best thing to do is to drive less, where that is possible. I would say that, as I can't and will never be able to drive, though, wouldn't I?

I'll just add that electric vehicles are most definitely retro, invented almost half a century before the first Benz.
 

Waxx

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
1,954
Likes
7,776
Location
Wodecq, Hainaut, Belgium
It's a hairy one. In fact, for the "make believe problem", you have to take into account the power where you live, the relative energy efficiency of those sources against your vehicle, the environmental costs of replacing one vehicle with another,

What I find ironic is that the other reasons for ditching fossil fuel energy would otherwise have made the stuff history a decade or more ago in many countries. And those other reasons - health, pollution and particularly cost - are compelling.

If you want to help with the "very real" problem, the best thing to do is to drive less, where that is possible. I would say that, as I can't and will never be able to drive, though, wouldn't I?

I'll just add that electric vehicles are most definitely retro, invented almost half a century before the first Benz.
It also helps to use smaller engines in your car. I drive a 2019 Skoda Octavia Wagon with a 1L 3 cillinder motor, and i also get where i want, even with a load and with decent accelleration to drive on normal roads. And my car use in reality about 5.5l/100km (42.8miles per gallon US Specs).

US cars mostly have way to big and inefficient engines, and are in many circumstances way to big and heavy. You don't need a pickup or heavy suv in town... And even when you want to drive fast, a Porche 911 with a 6cilinder 3.7L boxer engine is way faster than any big block engine musccle car that uses 4-5x the fuel of what the Porche does.

And it's true electric cars are older than internal combustion cars, the first one was made in 1828 by a hungarian guy called Anyos Jedlik. The first electric production car was only made in 1880 by the french inventor Gustave Trouvé, powered by a Siemens made engine designed by Johann Kravogl (Austria) and using the then fresh invented lead-acid batteries (invented by Gaston Planté in 1859) to power it. The principle of the internal combustion engine was already known from the late 18th century, but it took to 1879 to make a working and reliable model, made by Karl Benz, who released the first car with it in 1886...
 

Justdafactsmaam

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 13, 2023
Messages
727
Likes
509
I’d say all passive crossovers are retro. Whether or not the amps are built into the speakers doesn’t really date the philosophy of speaker design.
 

JaccoW

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
348
Likes
514
Location
The Netherlands
If you base it on sales numbers, a casual answer is "no" based on random (but convincing) quotes about industry sales figures:
Harman, is part of Samsung.

In their annual 2022 report they get described as:
[Harman]
 Industry overview

Harman competes in the automotive and lifestyle audio industries. As consumers want cutting-edge technologies for automotive components (digital cockpit, telematics, car audio, etc.), car makers demand latest technologies in areas such as car sharing and autonomous driving. As a result, competition is particularly fierce in the connectivity and entertainment solution markets between dominant players (e.g., Alpine, Aptiv, Continental, Mitsubishi, and Panasonic). Harman provides not only system solutions but also audio components (including speakers and amplifiers), and it is another segment where fierce competition between several major players (e.g., Bose, Pioneer, and Panasonic) is expected to drive technological advances as each firm introduces unique sound-management solutions. Competition is expected to remain intense. Lifestyle audio business has two segments: consumer audio and professional audio solutions. Consumer audio (portable speakers, headphones, connected audio solutions, etc.) is fragmented and a handful of companies (Amazon, Beats, Bose, Ultimate Ears, etc.) are showing early signs of dominance. We expect competition to remain intense as new players try to make inroads, given the saturated market for connected homes and smart speakers. In particular, for True Wireless headphones, for which smartphone manufacturers dominate market share, is expected to grow explosively. The professional audio solution industry (commercial audio, audio for large venues, etc., special lighting, video control solutions, etc.), led by QSC and Yamaha, is segmented by product and has seen the entrance of numerous companies offering Samsung Electronics Business Report 49 / 413 a wide range of products and applications.
So they are an automotive component company first and lifestyle audio second.

Their revenue in 2022 was $132,137,000 but I struggle to find any further breakdowns into different categories. It is clear though that most of their focus lies on the automotive part, bluetooth speakers and headphones. So while the market for classic passive speakers remains strong, most people seem to go for more integrated solutions.

From the interview quoted;
Evaluating the entirety of the home audio industry, Garrett recommends that one market segment that integrators should keep an eye on is the growing demand for unobtrusive solutions.

Customers want simplicity in their lives and are interested in less complex solutions like active loudspeakers and integrated systems. From a design standpoint, keep an eye on the invisible loudspeaker category too. Eliminate the friction for your customers and show them why it doesn’t need to be intimidating to have a fantastic sounding system in 2023,” he advises.

Keep in mind the variety of access to music content from mobile devices to smart televisions, to gaming systems that all have the latest music apps and services and use those [products] to show them how it can be done. And don’t forget the art of a good demo, especially now with the incredible performance you can achieve from powered loudspeakers. Music is a universal language. Share the passion with your customers.
Looking at my friends (I am 37), most (in order of occurence) either make do with the built-in speakers of their TV, get a soundbar, get a home cinema setup and only audiophiles get separates... but most of them buy second-hand setups from thrift stores. I have yet to go to a friend's place with brand new expensive speakers. €1000 for a soundbar is not an issue, but €1000 for speakers + amp is rare.
 
Top Bottom