Top Audio Trends to Watch in 2018

Every year industry experts and tech enthusiasts start talking about the emerging gadgets that are going to disrupt the market. People start wondering which essential audio trends are sweeping the audiovisual industry.

So, what are the latest audio trends that you should expect to hear more about in 2018?

While you might have heard of many of the things on our list, be prepared to be excited and amazed by other surprising developments in the audio tech sector.

Keep reading to find out the top 10 audio trends that will dominate in 2018.

1. Smart Assistants

Experts in the tech industry are always asking themselves what is the most disruptive technology that’s emerging now.

Many are giving the answer as Amazon Echo’s Alexa. With more than 15 million devices sold in 2017, there are many more sales projected for 2018 and beyond.

Of course, there are other smart assistant devices on the market. These include Google Home with the voice of Assistant, as well as, Apple Homepod with Siri. But both of these are far behind Echo.

As the cost of smart assistants drops even further, you can expect to see an increasing number of people turning to Siri and Alexa to answer questions about the weather and replying to emails in the morning.

2. The Rise of Earcons

The next item on our list of audio trends for 2018 is earcons. Earcon combines the words “ear” and “icon.” Earcons are audio signals that alert the user to particular information.

Many brands, including Amazon, Snapchat, Facebook, and Google, have jumped on the trend to create their own earcons. While at first, earcons may have been fun and silly, now they’re a much more serious marketing tool.

Take the example of Google’s “Ok Google” voice recognition tool. As Google users increasingly use the tool instead of typing, the way we interact with our smartphones, tablets, and computers will change. More recently, Facebook and Apple are following Google by moving to create their own earcons.

3. Interactive Audio Marketing

Interactive marketing is taking the marketing world by storm in the form of visual and audio interaction.

The Mars Inc. product M&M’s ran a marketing campaign called “Bite-Size-Beats” that urged users to record their own songs on their website. The best songs would be used by Mars Inc. in future advertising efforts on TV and social media. The campaign was a collaboration between the company and the singer Jessie J.

Furthermore, this year saw the announcement by the BBC that they would create interactive children’s stories for smart assistants. According to the BBC Director of Radio and Education, James Purnell, “We aim to offer some of our best children’s stories for bedtime in audio form, but activated by voice,” he adds, “building ways for children to choose a story for themselves.”

4. 3D Audio Experiences

We’ve already got 3D printers and 3D movies, but what about the emergence of 3D audio.

Perhaps the most popular and well-known examples of 3D audio are Facebook 360 and Youtube VR. These tools allow users to view and interact with 360-degree videos and images with spatial audio.

Binaural, ambisonic, spatial, surround, 3D. You’ve seen these topics in the news this year, and it’s important to know what’s happening in the world of 3D audio.

However, 2018 could be the year we see 3D audio consumer products enter the mainstream tech market.

5. Electric Car Sounds

What does the engine of an electric car sound like?

It’s a trick question, they’re silent. So how do you know if they’re coming?

This is a key question in road safety. And with the increased number of sales of electric vehicles. Incredibly, there has been a rise of 641 percent in the past three years.

This trend has opened up another set of audio trends that could gain momentum in 2018.

Audi, Nissan and other electric vehicle manufacturers are leading the way in developing sounds for hybrid and electric vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The administration is also concerned and has invested in the development of standards for the minimum decibel count of on-road vehicles.

6. Audio is Back

Experts in the industry believe we’re living through a return of audio to the vogue for the first time since the heights of radio.

Despite the rise of on-demand television services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, many people are choosing to listen to podcasts, radio, and music too.

According to one study, the average person listens to up to four hours of audio daily. This is probably much more than people realize they do.

This not only reflects the rise of Spotify and Pandora platforms used primarily for streaming music but also podcasts. In particular, the success of Serial has led to what the New York Magazine called the “great podcast renaissance”.

But the podcast and music streaming platforms are showing no sign of stopping the pace of producing weird, wonderful and fascinating audio content.

Which means that more and more people need noise canceling headphones to listen to their Spotify Discovery playlist or the latest episode of their favorite podcast. Check out this website to learn more about the best headphones on the market.

7. Playlists as Marketing Tools

Just under half of the music listened to by users is streamed online on platforms like Spotify. Brands are starting to respond to these audio trends to market their products and services.

One of the key ways this is happening is through the creation of playlists that reflect what they’re brand stands for.

Examples of this include the fashion brand Calvin Klein and the sports fashion company Reebok have both produced playlists for Spotify. While the drinks company Bacardi went even further when they produced a range of tracks called the “Sound of Rum” to tell the brand story.

Expect to see more brands getting in on the act of creating playlists to excite consumers about their products.

Audio Trends in 2018

Now you know the top audio trends to keep an eye out for this year, you’re up to date in the world of sound. With the developments in audio expected to happen in 2018, we can safely say that the future is going to sound great!

Are there any audio trends that you think we’d miss? Share them with us and get in touch with us today!

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