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AV Receivers

What improvements do you hope to see in high-end audio in 2015?

The Audiophiliac shares his wishlist for this year.

Let me just dispel any notions that in the space of one year we're going to get a better sounding music format, the end to the Loudness Wars, or a decent sounding Bluetooth speaker. I'm thinking about things that might actually happen, not fantasy stuff.

First on my wish list: Apple turns the key and offers bona fide high-resolution iTunes, and a next-generation iPod Classic that plays high-resolution music. The possibility isn't far-fetched: Apple has been ingesting high-resolution albums for a few years, with a minimum of 48KHz/24-bit digital audio. So it already has a huge backlog of albums and songs ready to go.

Dolby's Atmos 3D surround system may get its act together for home cinema, and we'll see dozens of Atmos-encoded Blu-rays released this year. The potential for the Atmos format is there: over 150 Atmos films, including the "Hobbit" trilogy, "Brave," "Gravity," "Ender's Game," "Frozen" and "Pacific Rim" have been mixed and played in theaters. Maybe in 2015 we'll see and hear what Atmos can really do.

DTS also has a 3D surround system, DTS:X, and it's set for release in early 2015. Manufacturers representing nearly 90 percent of the home AV receiver and surround processor market, including Anthem, Denon, Integra, Krell, Marantz, McIntosh, Onkyo, Outlaw Audio, Pioneer, Steinway Lyngdorf, Theta Digital, Trinnov Audio and Yamaha, have agreed to launch products supporting DTS:X in 2015.

I think all of the big guns in the high-end headphone market -- Audeze, Hifiman, Oppo, Sennheiser and so on -- will unveil new, more affordable models in 2015. I think we may also see more immersive surround sound over headphones this year.

What do you hope to see in 2015? Share your thoughts in the comments section.