Poll: What, if anything, divides headphiles and audiophiles?
It's a thought that's been on my mind quite a bit lately. I don't like this seeming division between the audiophile and headphile worlds. I don't like the commonly held belief that high-end speaker audio is somehow superior to high-end headphone listening. I don't like that headphone exhibits at trade shows are being segregated in a separate but equal sort of way. I don't like that high-end retailers seem to be turning a blind eye toward headphone listening gear.
I wonder...is the divide real? Is it simply not there, and we just drag our historic perspectives around with us? Or is it real and we just have to deal with the differences? Is our market in need of some restructuring to see what's really there? Does the headphone market need to mature more to properly integrate with the traditional high-end market? Or is the high-end market out of step and in need of a wake-up call to the benefits of personal audio?
Or maybe we're all looking at it wrong. Maybe the 15 year old kid with a hundred bucks in his pocket looking for a good headphone is just as much an audio enthusiast as as the 52 year old looking to plonk down $100,000 on a pair of speakers. Maybe we need to redefine the "high-end market" as the "audio enthusiast market" and act accordingly.
I've got more thoughts, but I wanted to throw this idea out there as an opportunity for you to comment and tell me what you think. The poll is pretty limiting, to be sure, so please feel expand on your thoughts in the comments.