Experience Headphones recently opened in Vancouver and I visited the store on Dec 7th, 2013 and liked what I found. While I play and listen to a lot of music I’m no audiophile or expert on headphones. I simple use and buy cheap headphones, partly because my cat destroys whatever pair he gets his paws on and because I just haven’t put enough thought into what a great pair of headphones should sound like.
Experience Headphones hopes to set a new standard in Vancouver with their flagship store so that Vancouverites will adopt the trend of good sound that also makes a great accessory. Experience Headphones has over 100 different styles of on-ear, in-ear, and over-ear headphones from premium lines, such as Marshall, URBANEARS, and WESC. They are also hoping to target the female market which offers a lot of potential because it’s untapped. Women want headphones that go with their clothing and their style and give great sound as well. Womens headphone lines include Molami and Frends.
I wasn’t aware that headphones are split into several different categories including the premium market. Headphones at $100 dollars and above make up that market. The premium market is also fast becoming the place to be as a I found out from Dean Horsfield CEO of Experience Headphones and Eric Morin COO.
“When Dr. Dre’s Beats brand of headphones came out in 2009, that really got the ball rolling for the premium market says Horsfield. The market went from one to three billion in just four years. We’ve got a handle on some great brands that should really help distinguish us in Vancouver, B.C. and beyond.”
Headphones are also categorized as being on-ear, in-ear, and over-ear which sounds obvious but is important to understand when buying the best pair that suit you. This article on Mashable provides some great info on what to look for. Horsfield says that on ear give the best dollar value and offer great sound as well.
My first interest was in the Marshall brand of headphones, so aptly branded by Marshall amplification, the company that has made guitar amplifiers for over 50 years. Marshall has a couple of unique products to offer including the Major, Minor and Monitor headphones. I used a black pair of Marshall Major and was very impressed by the sound quality. They retail at $129.99 at Experience. Check out a video of the Marshall Monitor headphones below.
I also tried the LSTN headphones which are unique in themselves because of the reclaimed wood used to manufacture them. They come from California. No pair will ever look exactly the same because of the way they are manufactured. The LSTN Troubadors are made from beechwood and retail at $159.99.
I plan to explore the premium headphone market more in the coming months because it’s a class I’m growing more and more interested in. Next up on the list is the Headphone Bar at Cambie and Broadway.