T.H.E. Show Newport 2013: Audeze Planar-Magnetic Headphones

Audeze Planar-Magnetic Headphones
Steve Welborn of Audeze was standing near by when I mentioned needed to find a tobacco store to get some Bali Shag. Hi ears perked up and he immediately said, "Dude, I live right around here, I'll find some for you."

His moment of generosity started a series of conversations over the course of the show chatting about music, the headphone hobby, and his experiences as the first paid Audeze employee. Initially bumping into the Audeze principals through the DJ music scene, he became a part of the Audeze team working remotely in South Carolina, and subsequently moved to Southern California when the company began to take off. Today he plays a central roll at the factory ordering parts and generally helping out with the day to day operation of the manufacturing process.

2013THEShowNewport_Photo_AudezeSteveBut here's the thing that warms my heart: Young folks being exposed to the opportunity to help grow a company and learn about the process of becoming commercially successful. Having lead HeadRoom for it's first 18 years, I've had the opportunity to hire young people like Steve, and I can tell you from first hand experience it's a magical process watching them grow into professionals. Sure, sometimes it's hard to focus all that raw youthful energy, but when it does become well focussed, the exuberant strength is unstoppable.

One of the very cool things about the high-end audio business is it presents a lot of opportunity for small companies to appear and succeed when well founded. Audeze clearly fits into that category.

No new Audeze product appeared at this show, so I'll simply point to my article on the LCD-2 and LCD-3, both of which are really fine headphones that found their way to my Wall of Fame here. But I will mention a prototype closed version of their headphones was shown at RMAF last year, and that it seems very likely to me that we'll be seeing lots more cool stuff from Audeze in future. I can't wait.