Speaking with other sick people hi-fi enthusiasts about the global headphone pandemic we both arrived at the same conclusion. This has been the fastest spreading trend in the hi-fi world since….ever.
Only a few years back headphones were used by some, mostly professionals like DJs and radio stations, a few audio aficionados who were doing their listening sessions in the late hours and that was mostly it. Then came the cellphones, the iPod, flocks of gamers and last but not least Dr. Dre with Beats. Nowadays you simply cannot walk in the road without noticing how many wear headphones. From full size cans to multi armature in ear monitors seems that especially the younger cannot leave home without them. Not that the older, more mature, no longer in their twenties can do without them. The über high-end headphone market has hit historic heights and some very serious propositions have landed in the last couple of years. I can think of more than one relatively new brand offering amazing planar magnetic headphones; the same goes for some impressive single ended triode headphone amplifiers. All of this is in addition to the historic names like AKG, Beyerdynamic, Grado, etc, flooding the market with an ever-expanding product range.
And like in all pandemics, after hitting the main markets like the US, Japan and northern Europe, this virus started spreading in the periphery; this year, it’s Greece’s turn.
Local audio and video forum AVClub.gr has set up the event in big style, booking a couple of halls at the Athens Divani Caravel Hotel. More important after a long series of contacts with local importers and distributors a total of 40+ complete headphone set ups will be waiting the can enthusiasts next Saturday. Goodies on display will include all sorts of headphones from full size beasts to in ear monitors, amps, DACs, music streamers, portable audio players, specialized cables, software demonstrations for PC and Mac and loads of music.
Me? I will be there with my fido usb key, packed with everything from 320mp3 to ultra high res DXD and DSD files and will report for you on the most interesting set ups, the new stuff and best sounding like always. Stay tuned!