Judy, one of my wife's friends, dropped by the other day, and she spotted my headphone collection scattered all around our apartment. I explained that I review headphones, and since she seemed interested, I asked if she wanted to hear a few. She was taken aback by my offer, but the look on Judy's face when she first heard them was priceless -- her eyes opened wide, she jumped up and down, she couldn't believe the music in her iPod could sound that good! She was blown away by the
, Sony MDR 7506, and full-size 'phones. All three are affordable, real-world choices for her -- and you!
Most people have never heard decent-sounding headphones. I see proof of that every day on the streets of New York City, where the overwhelming majority of people are making do with cheap ear buds. They literally don't know what they're missing. For $100 (£64) or a lot less, they could have much better sound from a pair of FiiO EX1, or Hifiman RE400 in-ear headphones than they're getting from those 'buds.
So if you haven't recently donned a decent set of headphones, it's time to hear what's new. The ongoing headphone sales boom has resulted in a slew of outrageously great headphones, at every price range.
I'm sure a lot of Audiophiliac readers already have decent headphones, but have you guys ever turned any of your co-workers, friends or relatives on to good headphones? Try it -- it will be worth it, just to see the look on their faces when they hear how good their music can sound. Maybe you have headphones (or speakers) you never use stashed in the closet. You could sell or give them away to someone and share the joy.
In the 1980s and 1990s, I worked as a high-end audio salesman, and turning people onto great sound was the best part of my job. I'd encourage customers to bring in their favorite music, so they would instantly hear the difference a great set of speakers, or a new amplifier could make. After I made a sale, customers would often call a week or two later to tell me how much they were enjoying their music. Those calls made my day.
So if you haven't heard how much better headphones sound now than they did even just a few years ago, make the effort to listen and hear what you've been missing.