A Good Question: What Sparked the Craze in High-End and Fancy Headphones?

Ten years ago, you almost never, ever saw anyone listening to music in public using anything more than a standard set of iPod earbuds or something manufactured by Sony.  But if you look around today, you see masses people wearing of expensive high-end headphones.

Check out this graph published by the Huffington Post:

US retail market for headphones

Wow.  What sparked that hockey stick?  More from HuffPo:

There’s no one reason headphones took off in 2012. It was more like a remarkable concurrence of tech events: The smartphone wars were in full swing as the iPhone 5 launched against Samsung’s supposed iPhone killer, the Galaxy S3. Sweden-based streaming music service Spotify, which entered the U.S. in 2011, had gained a foothold. Beats’ star-powered marketing struck a chord with shoppers. Fashion and tech began to meld.And more people were buying smartphones and listening to music on them, and they didn’t want to look like white-earbud-wearing automatons.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “A Good Question: What Sparked the Craze in High-End and Fancy Headphones?

  • May 31, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Electronic DJs and culture became pretty popular over the last few years as well. A fashion trend like flannel/plaid in the early 90’s?


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