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San Francisco Bay Area Headphone Stores

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I live in an area in NC where there are few retailers of audiophile headphones.

I will be visiting San Francisco, CA and surrounding cities for the first few weeks of January.

I am interested in visiting a headphone retailer in the area during the period. The criteria that the retailer must meet are:

(i) They allow the customer to listen to the headphones that they have in stock.

(ii) They carry a wide range of brands (Audio Technica, Beyer Dynamic, Grado, Sennheiser, ...).

(iii) They stock many models of each brand.

I would greatly appreciate it if knowledgeable members of Head-Fi could give me recommendations on stores that are worth visiting.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
post #2 of 43
The Bay area has quite a few stores that sell headphones, but not a wide variety at any store.

Most of the stores are dispersed across the bay area and some of them are are in San Jose or along the peninsula.

Fry's electronics sell Sony's. Lately, their inventory has been weak and oriented towards mass consumer ear buds.

Magnloia Hifi and Century Stereo carry Sennheiser headphones. They have stores in San Jose.

SF Stereo has some Grados. They also sell headphone amps such as the X-Can V2 and the Creek. That store has three locations, one of them in the actual city of San Francisco.

Cambridge Soundwork store (palo alto, great mall, and several other places) was rumored to sell certain Grados headphones. I never saw them in stock at the store though.

All these stores should have web sites. Just look for them on google. None of the stores I mentioned sell stuff at a great discount like you can get on the Internet.
post #3 of 43
I know , old thread. But I thought some bay area folks might be interested.

www.paradiseav.com (Saratoga) has the full grado line, and they are more than welcome to auditions.

As a matter of fact, I bought my 325s there, and I heavily audtioned from SR60 to RS1. Some were broken in, some were not.

When I asked to audition the RS1, they said they didnt have any demos, but happily opened a brand new pair for me to check out. This is even after I told them I had no real intention to buy the RS1, but wanted to test as a reference point. They also let me test it with and without the RA1 amp.

Great people!
post #4 of 43
Thanks for the heads up!
post #5 of 43
Eber Electronics on Market (in SF) used to have a pretty good selection, but it's been a while since I checked.
post #6 of 43
Thread Starter 
Actually, I am now in the Bay Area and keep referring back to this thread for information, so all comments are still useful to me.

I appreciate the feedback from all who post. In particular, I'd like to thank Pedxing for the prompt response.

Peace.
post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by pedxing

Fry's electronics sell Sony's. Lately, their inventory has been weak and oriented towards mass consumer ear buds.

Magnloia Hifi and Century Stereo carry Sennheiser headphones. They have stores in San Jose.

I agree that lately the Fry's inventory has been weak. Some locations still have the Sony MDR-V6 though... pretty much the only Sony worth buying that Fry's carries.
post #8 of 43
Just a head-up that Circuit City on Vanness Avenue has one pair of KSC-75s left on the shelf for $19.99. First time I've seen them in SF and there's only one pair left. Btw I bought the second to last pair
post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by conklin2
Eber Electronics on Market (in SF) used to have a pretty good selection, but it's been a while since I checked.
Eber went out of business months ago.

I bought my three pairs of Grados from San Francisco Stereo.

Jeffery
post #10 of 43

Bay Area's poor headphone supply

Sadly, the SF bay area's stereo stores mostly stocks lower range phones, though canal fans might want to visit the Apple store downtown. They have Shures for sale -- but good luck findng a Beyer anywhere.

I suggest ordering from an online merchant who allows returns. Or, better yet, wait until the headphone meet in August in San Jose.
post #11 of 43

Audio Vision SF

Audio Vision SF (Pine Street @ Van Ness) has a small headphone section, including HD-650s and a few tube amps like Opera and the XCAN 3. They are very friendly and will let you listen to your heart's content.
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by majid
Audio Vision SF (Pine Street @ Van Ness) has a small headphone section, including HD-650s and a few tube amps like Opera and the XCAN 3. They are very friendly and will let you listen to your heart's content.
Besides the HD650 on Vanness, does anyone know if SF Stereo or any other place in SF carries some of the Senn 5xx series?

Thanks.
post #13 of 43
dayum... old thread!!

Dont forget guitar center for sony, technics, Beyer, and AKG.

Garrett
post #14 of 43
Which part of NC are you in?
post #15 of 43

House of Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by gshan
Besides the HD650 on Vanness, does anyone know if SF Stereo or any other place in SF carries some of the Senn 5xx series?
Well, there is House of Music on 9th at Bryant, next to Trader Joe's and Bed, Bath & Beyond. They carry McIntosh and Marantz gear, and a small selection of midrange Sennheisers. Not sure if they have any 5xx in that lineup, I'm pretty sure they don't have the HD600 or HD650. If you do visit them, try the Marantz SA8260 SACD player, it is quite sweet and has a decent headphone out that can drive HD650s (I got mine from them).

You could also check with Cutting-edge Audio Group, who sell the Benchmark DAC-1 and Apogee Mini-DAC. They are more of a pro audio specialist and aren't open on week-ends, but they do carry Sennheiser microphones and perhaps also their cans for monitoring purposes.
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