The Beauty of a Headphone Store

Travis Johnston behind the counter at HeadRoom's new downtown Bozeman store.

In my closing remarks for CES this year, I opined the headphone market is ill. 60% of the over-$100 headphone market is owned by Beats. Something is wrong.

I'm going to compare the U.S. headphone market to the U.S. shoe market. I got some push-back the last time I made this comparison, I want to be clear I'm talking about the U.S. market and not the world market, and I make this comparison for some very specific reasons, so please bear with me.

Headphones are like shoes because:

  • They are worn on your person.
  • They are bought, to some extent, on their looks. Styling is important.
  • They are bought, to some extent, for their comfort.
  • You need more than one pair for different applications. (Dress shoes, athletic shoes, work boots---Open headphones for home, IEMs or noise cancelers for travel, small on-ear sealed for mobile headset use.)
  • In general, the best way to buy them is to try a few pairs and buy the one that best suits.

Now let's have a look at some numbers:

Shoes

  • Annual U.S. Consumer footwear spending $20 Billion. (Source)
  • That's $63 per person (316 million in U.S. - source)
  • There are 29,360 shoe stores in the U.S.; one store per 11,146 people.
  • While shoes can be bought on-line, brick-and-mortar sales remain dominant. Shoes are strongly seen as something to try on before you buy.

Headphones

  • Annual U.S. headphone purchases $2bn. (source)
  • That's $6.30 per person.
  • 95% of headphone market growth is coming from $100+ headphones. (source)
  • Market growth is highly tied to smartphone sales. (source)
  • Sound quality is claimed to be by far the most important factor in people's decision making process. (source)
  • 61% of U.S. adults have smartphones. This number is expected to rise to 80% by the end of 2014. (source)
  • There are about 140 million smartphone users today, one forecast expects 270 million users by 2020. (source).
  • If 1 in 5 smartphone users bought $100 headphones to replace the earbuds that came with their phone, that would be $2.8 billion today, in 2020 it would be $5.4 billion.
  • Skullcandy grew from $9 million in 2006 to $232 million in 2011. Only 9.7% of Skullcandy headphone sales in 2011 were on-line, the remaining 90% of sales were through brick and mortar outlets. (source)
  • To the best of my knowledge, there are less than ten dedicated headphone stores in the U.S.

HeadRoom_HeadphoneStore_Photo_FullWide

A headphone store doesn't have to be big to have what it takes.

The Problem
Beats dominance in the $100+ headphone market is a symptom. The actual problem is that most people just don't know much about headphones. People understand shoes—they know when they need a pair; they have a good idea of what kind of shoe will work for various applications; they understand the quality proposition—but they don't have this kind of basic understanding when it comes to headphones. While some 85% of people buying $100+ headphones claim sound quality is very important, I would wager less than 5% have ever heard really good audio reproduction and have any idea what "good sound quality" even means. One source claims over 50% of people buying $100+ headphones thinks noise canceling is important for their headphone purchase. My experience tells me that noise canceling is only required by people in very loud environments most of the time, and that noise canceling headphones may be useful for something less than 10% of headphone users. People buy Beats simply because it's just about the only thing they know about headphones. Ask the average consumer to name off shoe brands and I bet most folks could name about 5 or 10—Nike; Adidas; Florsheim; Keen; Merril; Redwing; and more are easy to recall for me. Ask the average consumer to name headphone brands and I'd bet they'd be lucky to get past two.

Consumers have needed shoes for a long, long time and have a good understanding of when they need a pair of shoes and what to look for when purchasing. But consumers have developed a broad "need" for headphones only in the past seven years or so with the appearance of the smartphone, and as a result very few have any idea of what to look for in a headphone, or how to evaluate one...and they don't know that they don't know. The broad consuming public needs a bit of education on headphones to get themselves oriented.

HeadRoom_HeadphoneStore_Photo_Front

Headphones have strong appeal; show them the good stuff and they recognize it quickly.

A Solution
We all know that there's a big move away from brick-and-mortar toward on-line sales of all sorts of things...even shoes. But, even though numbers may be declining, brick-and-mortar shoe stores still survive and thrive. Why? Because it's an item that most times needs personal experience to close a sale. Again, there are 29,000 shoe stores in the U.S.A., and at most a handfull of dedicated headphone stores. In today's market, headphones are 1/10th the size of shoe sales, that would seem to indicate to me that the economy would support 3,000 headphone stores.

Now, this isn't going to happen magically over night, but just for the sake of argument let's say it did and every town of 30,000 or more had a headphone store. That's about 1400 cities (source). My contention is that when consumers are confronted with a headphone store it will trigger an "Ah-ha!" moment. In that instant they will recognize their need and desire for a good pair of headphones. They'll come to a conscious awareness that they don't know enough to make good choices in the face of so many options, and that a headphone store is exactly the kind of place to get the help they need to make a wise purchase. What makes me think all this napkin scribbling is worth more than the paper it's scribbled on? Because I've seen it in the flesh...and it's working.

HeadRoom has just opened a store on Main St. here in Bozeman. Bozeman is a college town of about 30,000. January and February are the worst months for shopping downtown. The store doesn't even have a sign up yet. And yet, they're doing far better than they had expected. I've spent maybe three or four hours in the store watching people have their first headphone store experience—it was enlightening and exciting.

It's fun to watch people walk by the window, have a moment of confusion figuring out what kind of store they're looking at, and then get a big grin as they recognize they're seeing a new type of store filled with stuff they actually may want. Travis Johnston, who mans the store for HeadRoom, tells me that about 1 in 5 customers had no idea they were going to buy headphones that day. Experiencing the store, all the options, and having someone help them find headphones that match their needs fills in blanks the consumer wasn't even aware of until that eye, and ear opening moment.

HeadRoom_HeadphoneStore_Photo_Fitting

Headphone stores can deliver a person's first high-fidelity listening experience.

Travis said he regularly has people who spend quite a bit of time just sitting and listening, and smiling broadly at the first time they've heard really good audio reproduction. He said it's been no problem, once people have experienced the great sound, to sell $100-$300 headphones. These aren't enthusiasts, these aren't InnerFidelity readers, these are just regular people off the street all of a sudden buying a $200 pair of headphones. The reason is simple: good sound is worth it—but you have to hear it first or you don't know what you've been missing.

Do I think 1,500 headphone stores are going to pop up out of nowhere in the next year? Sadly, no. Do I think there's a business opportunity here? Hell yes! I'm not doing HeadRoom any favors by telling you this—I reckon they're going to want to open as many stores as fast as they can—but yes, I think if you're of a mind and have the wherewithal, now seems to me an opportune time for such a store. (Warning: there are a million ways to fail in small business.) What I'm saying is that there's a big hole in the headphone market right now and that hole is consumer understanding. If consumers were able to get a little bit smarter the size of the headphone market would ratchet up quickly as consumers got wise to the real value of headphones and started purchasing to fill the real need they already have for good audio reproduction, rather than the fake need of the fad we're seeing with Beats at the moment.

My main motive in writing this is not so much to advocate headphone stores—though I gladly will—as it is to give you a picture of what a healthier headphone market might look like. If you imagine a headphone market with a healthy dynamic between a sales channel that educates customers one-on-one and the purchasing behaviors of an informed public, what you'll see is a market in which many more people than ever before will be discovering the value of high-fidelity audio reproduction. The Beats phenomenon, as important a stepping stone as it is in the growth of the headphone market, distracts people from the real value of headphones (because they generally don't have it): the pleasure of music well reproduced.

Okay, dream time over, there aren't 15, much less 1500, headphone stores in the U.S., and that's not going to change over night. Places like Head-Fi and InnerFidelity will certainly help. Quality manufacturers like Sennheiser, Philips, Skullcandy (who target their demographic very pointedly), and others will make a good dent. But the biggest gain of all will be the consumers learning all by themselves. All people really have to do is wake up to the fact that the smartphone in their hand holds an amazing experience, and all they need is a pair of headphones to get that experience into their head. Truth is, they're already doing it as evidenced by the rapidly growing $100+ headphone market segment, and the numbers are bound to go up. So: the current, somewhat ill market is already experiencing double-digit growth; improve its health with a smarter consumer and the explosion of headphone sales will be staggering.

Epilogue
The point of this article was to give you a way to see the headphone market a little differently than you might now considering the disproportionate presence of Beats. And the reason I wanted you to have a bit different and quite optimistic view of the headphone market was to address an entirely different question. Here's a quote from my CES Wrap-Up article:

Just before CES this Part-Time Audiophile article appeared featuring Scot Hull's musings on why headphones weren't going to save the high-end and John Grandberg's counter-point response. That article was followed by a firestorm of responses from a variety of publications including this Audio360 piece with commentary from writers there. It's my feeling the perspective and ideas presented in the articles were somewhat distorted by having to originate in the current malformed market. I feel that if we explore what a healthy headphone market might look like, and think about steps might be taken to achieve that health, we will then address the issues in those articles with a richer perspective and may come to different conclusions.

Sometime in the coming month I'll address the issue: "Will headphones save the high-end?" Spoiler alert: Yes and no.

COMMENTS
Brentagon's picture

It's nice to hear about the HeadRoom store, and I know about the Audiocubes NYC store, although I've never been there.  What are the eight others?  It would be great to have a list to refer to, just in case I happen to be travelling near one someday.

johnjen's picture

It's good to see your 'baby' growing up, isn't it? yes

JJ wink

DrForBin's picture

hello,

this is a thought that has been kicking me in the back of my head recently. and i don't really know how to go about it.

there is a superb two-channel store where i live. they are the only authorized NAD dealer in my state and when i contacted them about the Visio HP50's they were rather clueless. based on your review, i wanted the GYTW (Gorgeous Young Trophy Wife) to audition them.

that said, the showroom manager cajoled the NAD rep into lending his personal pair to the store where the above auditioned, swooned etc. etc. (she now uses the HP50's as her commuter and workplace cans, and i got her HD25's as cast offs {great synergy with a JDS Labs C5.})

at the last head-fi meet we attended, she was evangelizing these cans. and you know what, people were responding very positively to an on-the-go solution.

she also convinced one of her co-workers to get a pair from the same retailer as a special order item (just like her's were.)

what i would love to do is present a business plan to this retailer for a separate, stand alone head-fi store that would coattail on their (stellar) rep and may provide me with painful employment.

alas, my hearing is shot, the GYTW (who hears only what the angels can) is supporting our household, and i feel that the above mentioned showroom manager would think me... insane.

in our current world where we live very much on top of each other, with folks who may not share our taste in tunes, or are constantly on the go to somewhere, how do i convince a very well established two channel retailer that head-fi will not cannibalize their market?

p.s. after seeing that HeadRoom was opening a storefront, i started lobbying for a road trip to Bozeman.

audioops's picture

What your plan lacks is a reason why they would choose you to be involved with the store if it was something they wanted to go through with.

Jazz Casual's picture

Tyll, I'm amazed that you're persisting with this flawed analogy after the pummelling you received. ;) Footwear, like clothing, is a necessity. Earphones/headphones are not. They are a lifestyle choice. It's like chalk and cheese.

However If I were to accept your proposition, couldn't I counter by saying that most people are actually ignorant of what constitutes suitable footwear for their feet because they are fashion slaves or they want to ape their sporting heroes? They happily buy ill-fitting footwear because it fulfils a desire, while being oblivious to the long term damage it can cause. But as they age and comfort becomes the most important criteria in their choice of footwear, they gravitate towards more suitable choices that provide comfort and support when properly fitted. So if buying shoes really is like buying headphones, you could say that people might start out with a fashionable pair of Beats but they will end up with a sensible pair of Sennheisers. ;)

Having said that, I won't be joining you and Beats competitors in the collective handwringing over their market dominance. If people like the look, feel cool wearing them and are enjoying their music, then what's the problem? And if buying a pair of Beats sparks an interest in headphones, which leads to exploring other brands further down the track, then what's wrong with that?        

I'm fortunate to have two excellent bricks and mortar headphone stores, and a few hi fi stores where I live with a good selection of headphones. This has given me an invaluable opportunity to audition most of the phones that have piqued my interest, and discuss their merits or otherwise with knowledgeable staff. I've found that there really is no substitute for first hand experience when trying to make an informed choice about a headphone purchase (and this also applies to hi fi generally). I hope that specialist headphone stores proliferate, and defy the trend that has led to the sad decline of the specialist hi fi store.  

 

   

Bennyboy's picture

It has taken me a while but I have come to the sad realisation that a big group of you weirdos who are nuts-deep into headphone / head-fi nonsense really don't enjoy music that much at all, and are actually just hooked on the technology itself.

I have proof, but it would involve graphs and measurements and getting those out online would show how much of a loser I really am.

So, to conclude: listen to Miles Davis in 1970 - Bitches Brew, Isle of Wight, or the upcoming Bootleg Series 3.  That ought to fix you.

No, don't thank me, its cool.

Jazz Casual's picture

Miles who? I remember you from Head Fi Bennyboy. :) So how they hanging?

Bennyboy's picture

They're hanging brother, they're hanging.....

BaTou069's picture

Hey Tyll, funny to read this article.

Just recently I thought about opening a Headphone store here in Tel Aviv.

Since most good headphones can't be auditioned here (The senn HD600 is the most expensive headphone I found that I could audition, but with sh***y gear) and you can't buy a pair and then give them back for a refund in Israel, I thought that opening such a store is a great idea. You can audition headphones, DACs and amps in the store . I think this idea came mainly to my mind, because I wished so much that such a shop existed here.

Let me explain why I think I wouldn't succeed with such a store:

I haven't done the exact math, but I'm pretty sure that I couldn't beat prices from bigger electronic shop chains. I don't buy merchandise in huge amounts, I have a rent to pay for the store, I have to pay salary for a co-worker and I still need to earn a little bit.

I think most people would do as me: Go into my shop and try different headphones until you find the right one, leave the store and buy it online where it's the cheapest. 

I also want to add my 10cents to the first part of your article:

You say 85% of the people buying $100+ headphones say that SQ is important, but most of them buy Beats. From my surrounding I can say that everybody claims to know how good sound sounds like. Also people who use Beats (especially). But I don't believe that any Beats wearing person cares for SQ as any Nike wearing person cares for good running shoes. I'm sure that almost each Beats owner bought them for one reason only: show off. Beats is THE headphones brand, they buy it so people see it on them..."wow, he wears Betas, these cost $300...". That's it. Nobody would look at someone with Abyss headphones on and think "hey, these are some serious headphones", or "these look nice". Nobody recognizes them. Nobody will look at some LCD-XC wearer and say to himself: "this guy knows the good stuff". That's branding my friends. Normal headphone brands don't have that big of a branding deparment I guess if at all and they don't aim the same people as Beats does.

 

Most people don't care for good sound in their daily life. It doesn't mean that they won't enjoy it, or that they won't recognize it when they hear it. It just isn't that much of a issue for them. I see enough people listening to online radio from the iPhone speakers during work, endless people running with Beats, and even more people listening to Apple earbuds in the bus . The only "normal" headphone I recognize here and there are Koss Porta Pros. Have never seen here someone with a CIEM, some over the ear IEM like Shures, not even V-Moda M100s...

I don't know anybody except maybe for 2 people (myself not included) who are ready to buy headphones that cost more then $50. 

 

So yes, I'd love to have some local headphone store in Israels main metropole, I would certainly sit there and discuss stuff for hours. I just think such a store (at least here in Israel) isn't rentable. You would need to sell Beats, that's for sure.

 

I wish headroom all the best for their new store, I'd love to come visit :) 

mikeaj's picture

I don't know the slightest about retail, supply chain, economics, or anything like that, but the hypothesis that there could be 1/10th the number of headphone as shoe stores because headphone sales are 10% of shoe sales all seems fishy to me. Is that the way it works in general? I would need to see the numbers.

That's for any generic product type. I am even less convinced when considering headphones vs. shoes in particular, given that the needs of the buyer, distribution of frequency of purchase of product vs. price, buying frequency, market, etc. are different. Also notably that headphones are a market that has grown significantly recently whereas shoes are more mature and already have an existing retail presence. 

I mean, it'd be nice to have, but I don't expect to find one nearby anytime soon.

Three Toes of Fury's picture

OOOOO...i want to visit this store....it looks like they did it right...namely by creating an environment with alot of 'hands on' opportunity with different headphones.    Folks can bring in their own player and check out different options.    dig it!      

The proliferation of headphones options as well as bluetooth speaker options should give them a fighting chance.     They'll face the same challenge that most B&M places do,  namely that folks can try the stuff in store and then order online...however alot of high end brands for headphones seem to keep prices pretty locked down, even online, for a while,  so that may work in their favor  (example:  ive been watching the Amazon price for Vmoda M100's for over a year and they never appear to go on sale).

It appears the store is a fan of innerfidelity and Tyll's wall-o-fame suggestions...pretty much every headphone shown is found on the wall o fame (M100,  Sennheiser On Ear,  HD600,  HD800).  

Best of luck to y'all @ the new store HeadRoom!!!! If im ever in town you can count on my patronage with several impulse-buy purchases!!

              Peace .n. Living in Stereo
                                                           3ToF

PS:     @Bennyboy...i actually believe you make a valid point...not so much in your statement about us "not enjoying music much that all"..thats completely bunk...but you are correct about some of us being hooked on technology...technology is wonderful..its not such a bad thing to be hooked on or to turn into a hobby.    As for your suggestions...hmm...Bitches Brew eh?....interesting however i think i'd start the masses out on a better gateway entry album into Miles's work such as "Kind of Blue".       

Dan S's picture

I think you're totally right, that locked down prices are very important for enabling the success of brick and mortar stores. I like the fact that Sennheiser does this. It removes the incentive to try them at the headphone store and buy them online.

monetschemist's picture

Folks,

when in Vancouver, Canada make sure you visit the Headphone Bar on Broadway east of Cambie.

There is a headphone store on south Granville as well (whose name I forget) but it's a bit more about styling decisions and a bit less about sound.  Still, worth a second look.

Also Commercial Electronics at 7th and Granville offers a good headphone selection and lots of other great stuff.

Come visit!

Dan S's picture

I like Headphone Bar. I bought some headphones there. The service was good, and it was great to be able to try out a good range of stuff. There's a similar store in Toronto now, too, but I haven't been there yet.

There are a couple of high-end stereo shops in my town that also sell headphones, but they don't take much of an interest. One store tops out at the Sennheiser HD650, nothing better. And they're an NAD dealer but hadn't heard of the NAD HP50, and weren't interested in stocking them.

The other store only has high-end Grados, no other top headphone brands. I asked them if they'd consider stocking some planar magnetic headphones like Audezes or HiFiMan since they do have the $1900 Grado PS1000i. The guy looked at me funny and said that the idea of having planar magnetic headphones doesn't make any sense because they'd be too heavy. I suggested he check out this site and Head-Fi, I told him they were quite popular, but he didn't seem interested.

I wish I could take over their headphone departments, stock them with a good range of phones, amps, and DACs, and set up some listening stations. I think they're missing out.

Jazz Casual's picture

He's right, they are too heavy but so is the PS1000.

Bennyboy's picture

Is you don't look like a bit of a tit wearing shoes.

That's the reason why a headphone shop will never take off like a shoe shop will.  Only a small number of people feel happy wearing headphones in public.  Earphones, yes, of course, but headphones? Nope.  Fashion conscious kids, and old men with issues - that's the demographic for over the ear jobs.

abpalencia's picture

Wow, My Dream Shop!!!

Does anyone knows if there is a shop like this near San Antonio Tx?

Or at Least in the state of TX?

Kindly appreciate your help,

Abraham Palencia

Three Toes of Fury's picture

...i am one of the "small number of people" that you identify as feeling happy wearing headphones (on ear, over ear, you name it) in public.    for example when grocery shopping.   I do not do so for fashon reasons or "look at me" but rather its a nice opportunity to listen to some good tunes while running errands.  Music makes me happy.    Im not a kid and therefore, according to your analysis,  im an "old man with issues".    

I, quite honestly,  would love to hear more of your thoughts on the subject.....what,  pray tell,   are the "issues" that you perceive older folks have who wear headphones in public have?    Would they include such symptoms as:   self confidence and not letting something as petty as perceived perception or reaction of others to affect them enjoying what they enjoy?   If so...guilty as charged.

Your previous post offered advise to folks to check out some miles davis...ive got some advise for you,   throw together a quick mix of 10-15 upbeat but random tunes that you like listening too.    The next time you are running errands,  throw on the mix with a big pair of headphones.     I'll bet you enjoy it.

Peace .n. Living in Stereo

3ToF

 

Johnman1116's picture

Just use your local Apple store to listen to your hi-fi headphones :)
 

Of course theyre selection is very minimal but better than nothing. They have the momentum, b&w p7, B&o h6, bose qc15 (their noise cancelling is amazing..) and ofcourse beats. Maybe apple can be our hi-fo store (gasp!) 

Johnman1116's picture

Just use your local Apple store to listen to your hi-fi headphones :)
 

Of course theyre selection is very minimal but better than nothing. They have the momentum, b&w p7, B&o h6, bose qc15 (their noise cancelling is amazing..) and ofcourse beats. Maybe apple can be our hi-fo store (gasp!) 

Jim Tavegia's picture

I can tell you that Beats are all over our high school and yet when I ask students why they bought them they tell me because they sound so good....NOT.  I ask them compared to what?  I then go on to quiz them if they compared them to models from AKG, Shure, Sennheiser, Grado, or Sony they say no, and most only heard of Sony and did see the $15 buds at Wal*Mart. You are right in that if they have no place to really compare the top models they will never know what great sound is.

The Shoe to  Headphone comparison is spot-on to me. In high school I saved my work money and bought Florsheim Imperials which were about $50 in 1964, crazy shoe money them, but worth every penny. Then the top sneaker were Chuck Taylor Converse AllStars which were all of $5 in canvas off white, then the colors came in black and blue at first I think. Of course Levi's were also $5 a pair.  The times they did change. Now $75 Levi's are not uncommon. Thinking of these prices make $200 and $300 headphones seem a bargain. 
 

Onix's picture

And they belong to the same company. They sell mostly DJ stuff and things you guys probably won't like. But they are here. I wonder if its a good business here, but since the iPods are so popular, maybe it is.

schalliol's picture

I am using my HeadRoom Triple Stack with balanced HD 800s as we speak, but how about stores in more populated areas?  I've seen a good portion of the "hi-fi" stores go away in the last decade.  I think they probably would do fairly well relative to some of the hi-fi shops, and the nice thing is that the high dollar headphone systems are still low dollar compared with the mega stereo systems sold at hi-fi stores.

Lawk's picture

I have no doubt a dedicated headphone store would be heaven to most headphone geeks and audiophiles and could establish itself as "the place to buy headphones/earbuds for phone/home/office" even for the average consumer.

But I fear it is not an easy thing to pull off. From my personal experience (it might differ around the world) independent, individual owned stores are rarer than ever. I think they are good for society. But unfortunately everything has moved to corporate chains and whatnot. And those (at least) here have polished their headphone sales area, maybe 5 years ago we didn't even have a headphone isle where one could attach his or hers own equipment. Now the electronic markets here have this and this is still the place where the average consumer goes to buy his or her gear.

But I guess with some marketing a store like this could work.

No offense but to open up a shop like this in Bozeman, Montana seems rather ballsy to me! (and while I know nothing about it other than the low population from wikipedia) If it works in Bozeman I believe it will definitely also work in larger metropolitan areas.

You could also turn it into a franchise I guess :P

Other than that I disagree with Jazz Casual, buying a pair of Nikes is also a lifestyle choice. 

The problem is some folks will buy Nikes no matter what.

No matter how good the Senns, the AKG's, the Beyers, are.  I believe it is very hard to dethrone Beats at this stage.

Jazz Casual's picture

I was having some fun with Tyll's analogy. The point is that footwear is a necessity, while headphones are a lifestyle choice. The variety of styles and brands of footwear available today to choose from, doesn't alter the fact that we still need to wear something on our feet. I very much doubt that those who wear Nike exclusively for whatever reason, would elect to go through life bare footed if Nike went out of business overnight. They would have to "choose" an alternative.

mrog's picture

Tyll, would this still be the case if the price of all the true quality cans were 1/5th of what they curretly are, i.e. what an average shoe wearer might be prepared to pay for a couple of tranducers with a piece of wire and a plug, however good?  To what degree do all these makers of refined headphones are shooting themeselves in the foot by pricing themselves out of the market?  And opening the doors for Beats to run the show?

E.g. what % of  global market share would someone like Shure be able to grab if they offered their SE535 IEMs ($500) for the price of SE215 ($100), and their SE846 ($1000) for the price of SE315 ($200)?  How many headphone shops would we need to discover the true quality of audio, if most of us would be able ask a firend if we could borrow their IE-800s (bought for $200 new) for a couple of days to "see" if they're any good with my smartphone?

 

And, by the way, it would be really good to know how much it actually costs to produce a set of cans like HD800, LCD3, Shure SE846/535 etc.  More than iPhone 5s?

 

Talking of which, puzzles me a bit people like Shure and Audeze don't just have one quality headphone model, upgrade it from time to time and discontinue the old one and keep the price the same - like Apple with their products? If every minor tweek adds another few hundred $ to the price, where do you stop? If you make SE215 better, owners of SE315 who paid double will feel cheated, and so on...

 

 

 

 

 

Nitrohemi's picture

A new company called Sound Lion (http://www.soundlion.com) has four headphone stores in malls around the Boston area. They're more mid - fi than high - end, but at least one can audition brands other than Beats. 

MusicaAcoustics's picture

Great Article. Very nice store. Where is it located in USA?

IUyyufe2's picture

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