I think for audio to push forward a lot things are going to have to change. Sure, we have incremental updates in an evolutionary piecemeal fashion, but what would be best for audio is a revolutionary way of going about it.
Think of it this way. The Von Neumann architecture has gotten us this far in computing, but it's been around since the mid 1940s. That's a very long time! For computing to go forward there needs to be a new way of going about it.
I believe the same to be true of audio. Maybe there needs to be some type of audio consortium where a brain trust of audio gurus come up with something to replace our antiquated systems and methodologies so they can be affordable to the main stream consumer. Also, there needs to be some agreed upon standards in regards to recording and mixing. The loudness war needs to go away. Two channel audio is a dinosaur. Multichannel when done properly has the potential to surpass it in spades. CDs are on the way out. The resurgence of vinyl is a fad. The same is true of the retro vintage craze. Trust me, reel to reel, old Marantz receivers and tubes are not the way of the future.
Also, the consumer would need to be educated (the ones that can
be educated anyway) as well so that they don't keep spending money on old school antiquated gear and recordings or so they don't persist in doing things because "that's the way we did it back in the '70s by golly, so it's good enough for today!" I just don't get that mentality. You can see I've spent too much time with the luddites on Audio Karma.
I've been in my share arguments over the merits of distributed bass over stereo bass and it just doesn't seem to soak in with some people.
Now, with all of this being said, I am still a two channel audio dinosaur. Why? There are a couple of reasons. One is because it is cost effective to have a decent two channel setup. Two decent speakers are certainly a lot less than several. Secondly, there is a ton of inexpensive source material recorded in stereo. Basically, I'm a cheap bastard. I've compromised my system(s) because it costs a lot less.
At some point, hopefully, the technology will become more affordable for mainstream consumers to buy truly high end audio. This is already happening in regards to DACs, headphone amps and DSP. Younger people are helping some of these technologies along.