CES 2013: Aedle
I love traveling to foreign lands. I'm always struck by how things are similar yet different. The width of a roll of toilet paper; when you tip and when you don't; the size and strength of a cup of coffee. All these little things add up and in total become a cultural vibe that is unmistakably different from my own.
Aedle is a French boutique headphone company, and while headphones are headphones, I find their approach both somewhat foreign and quite refreshing. If they were Americans I'd call them headphone geek entrepreneurs, but the truth would be lost in translation. Co-Founders Rapael Lebas deLacour and Baptiste Sancho are aural artisans, creating their headphones with the passion and care with which a Frenchman would make a fine wine, or soft pungent cheese, or a crisply crusted baguette with chewy center. That is to say, with great care and an eye toward the sensual pleasures.
The VK-1 is all machined aluminum and lambskin leather on the outside and carefully selected drivers and cables within. But when you look at them and hold them, they feel remarkably organic and personal. For example, leather parts are hand sewn and show the very slight imperfections of something not assembled by a computer. I liked the look and feel of these cans very much, it was as if you could sense the craftsman's hand as you held and wore them.
This would all be for naught if they didn't sound good, but I'm happy to report my brief listen was very pleasing, and I look very much forward to getting a sample in for review in future. I felt the $325 asking price was quite fair for this very nicely hand-crafted product.
I'll let Raphael tell you more about them in the video below, but I highly recommend a visit to their website for a closer look at these cans, and don't miss the video there, which will give you a much better idea of their culturally characteristic passion in action.