We’ve been involved in the audiophile headphone industry for seven years. In the last year, we noticed a troubling trend, and we got back in the game to address it.
Well respected headphone companies have been engaging in a pricing arms race that far outstrips the value of the product, all while using excruciatingly long pre-orders to rake customers through the coals just to make minimums. They also sew the seeds of doubt to up-sell accessories or conjure up tuning “technology” that has absolutely no effect on performance. It’s reaching a fever pitch that rivals the absurdity in the 2-channel (speaker) industry. Luckily, the headphone community tends to be young professionals and are rightly becoming more and more skeptical.
We’ve always seen headphones as an amalgamation of art, engineering, design, branding, and passion. Something we use to express ourselves through aesthetics and to enjoy the music that is so core to our being. We cannot sit idly by and watch the enthusiast headphone market fall to the same fate as the earphone and 2-channel market. So today, we go to the mattresses.
We hate the audiophile industry, but we love building headphones. So we sat down and came up with a plan to solve everything that really grinds our gears.
Unpretentious sound signature. We tune our cans to move us, not to tell us how terrible the mastering is.
Limited runs, no pre-orders. First we build a set of headphones, then we announce the limited run through our mailing list. After purchasing, we ship your headphones within three business days. That’s it. No more waiting months for a pre-order just because the business couldn’t get their act together.
No pricing arms race. No dealers. We cannot compete on a dealer shelf without engaging in the pricing arms race. So we told them respectfully that they’d have to sit this one out. This allows us to maintain fair pricing on our headphones. Another advantage is we keep all inventory on site, which means we can make improvements to our headphone designs with no strings attached.
Evolving product. We are constantly improving our headphones and releasing new versions. That’s why our headphone has no name. We’re not sure what it will look like in a year, but it certainly won’t be the same headphone as today.
Vertical integration. We are ruthlessly integrating every step of the manufacturing process. This allows us to go from concept, to prototype, to production at astonishing speeds. It also allows us to have total control over quality. Does it cost more than partnering with overseas manufacturers? Actually, no. We move so fast with our small-batch limited runs that it costs less to do it in house.
Honest cables. Cables are like politics or religion, we don’t discuss it with friends at dinner. But, we love nice cables because like a nice paint job or good packaging, they are absolutely gorgeous, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We pledge to provide the nicest stuff out there without buying into hype, and we’re not going to introduce the seed of doubt to crank up the margins. We have better things to do.