Lots of People Listen to Music on Computer Speakers, but That Doesn’t Mean They Prefer Listening That Way

Yesterday, I stumbled on an article on Digital Music News, that website full of whimsy, entitled 55% of Americans Prefer Their Music through Computer Speakers. It discussed a survey published by Strategy Analytics, who said:

Computer speakers now most popular way people listen to music

Consumers seem accepting of relatively low quality sound

It’s interesting how each of these outlets spins this survey in different ways. The first, Digital Music News, says that Americans “prefer” computer speakers. The second, Strategy Analytics, says that consumers are “accepting of relatively low quality sound.”

But the numbers tell a different story.

This survey was done online in “September 2015 on a nationally representative sample of 2,041 US adults who listen to music aged 18-65.” But when you look at the numbers, they don’t add up to 100%; it’s clear that the survey asked people to list all the ways they listen to music.

Computer speaker survey

So, yes, lots of people listen to music on computer speakers; heck, I do sometimes. That doesn’t mean they prefer it. 55% of people listen that way sometimes, and 41% listen on headphones connected to portable devices. That same percentage use standalone radios – which may include car radios, since that type of system isn’t broken out. The survey does not say how many people listen to headphones connected to a computer, which I think is probably a fairly large number. People who want to listen to music at work may often listen like that. Only 12% listen on a stereo system; that number sounds about right, given the many options available today.

Assuming that these numbers mean that people prefer listening on computer speakers (which, by the way, doesn’t break out built-in speakers or better speakers connected to a computer), is simply stupid.