before I get into show reports I want to address this price aspect that is being discussed then since we are in the RMAF impressions thread maybe we can move on.
Over time companies the large companies will release new mid tier phones with technology from the top tier cans, I believe we are seeing that from Beyer right now. Just a few short years ago we had the K1000, Sony Qualia, Grado PS-1, Sony R-10, Audio Technica l-3000 and I am certain I am leaving out a few others and they were all discontinued. We go years without a flagship headphone product from ANY major manufacture and the community is crying out for it. Secondary markets on previous flagship designs skyrocket. When I first got into this you could get a Grado HP-1000 for $600 and the R10 could be had for $1500-$2000. Sennheiser and Beyer release flagship models and they can't make them fast enough for demand. This spurs market space for other players like HiFiman and Audeze to create top tier headphones. I for one hope that we continue to see innovation and companies competing in the flagship market. I also believe we'll that this innovation will begin to find its way into mid tier general market type phones now that the players are investing in R&D again after being shown there is a market.
Sorry to derail the impressions thread I do hope you are right. But I can't help seeing the parallels with the speaker and speaker amp history of the past 30 years. Of course, I am happy we have new SOTA products. But we also have products with no discernable technological advances being sold for ridiculous amounts. And I can see the beginnings of the "luxury" headphone amplifier market. Most people equate price with quality, and that is a major reason 2ch. stereo is dying. People look at the hot products right now like the Magico Q5 or Technical Brain amps or MSB Platinum DAC and think "why would I ever wanna get into that hobby? I might like music, but I'd rather buy a house! I can never afford a good system." Which is sad, because there actually is more great affordable stereo equipment than ever. But there are less people interested in the hobby than ever, and high prices of the "best" gear is a major reason.