Yeh but I dont want a lifestyle product or to be a fashion victim High fashion stuff in the main is very fleeting and soon goes out of style and nobody wants it anymore. There are the odd items that are iconic design items and become timeless classics, but they are few and far between. I say if it aint broke dont fix it!
I think Edifier are likely to help Stax produce some of the high fashion and lifestyle items you are looking for.
My real beef with stax is that they could have updated the materials used in the designs and moved away from plastics to composites or light metallic components. I would have thought this could have improved the sound by providing a much stronger platform to mount the transducers on. They could also be more adventurous with the colours, black, brown, and grey are a little dull.
You also need to appreciate that Stax are not a big company like the Sennbeiser's of this world, you would almost class them in the Artisan Boutique category. In fact many of the top specialist Audio Companies are not really that big in numbers of people either.
Also beauty is in the eye of the beholder! I think Sennheiser did a fantastic job on the styling and comfort of the HD800, but I know there are many others who think it sucks! The development and tooling of such a design must be a significant cost and undertaking for many audio companies, Stax included. I'm not sure if its a Japanese thing but generally I think their culture is very traditional and they value continuity and understatement. I dont see a lot of "high fashion" audio coming out of Japan, I may be wrong as there are lots of items/manufacturers we don't see in Europe.
As I hate in the ear IEM's and just cant wear them, the SR-001 are an absolute boon to me and personally have no issues with ergonomics. You are right in that they are a hidden gem and offer surprising and fantastic performance for such diminutive headphones. I suppose people can tolerate different things like the popular on the ear Grado's, which I fell must be the most uncomfortable headphones ever designed. However; I do agree that Stax should be more adventurous in the design of the new SR-002 and ought to be able to offer users a number of different ways of using them, perhaps in ear and on the ear canal but not being a headphone designer i'm not sure if thats possible as the coupling to the ear may require different designs.
Edited by complin - 10/17/12 at 2:53am
Originally Posted by catscratch
Pretty much, this. Stax make headphones as scientific instruments instead of fashion or lifestyle accessories, and the exposure they're getting on public forums is totally incidental. They don't care; I dare say their views on marketing are pretty naive and/or antiquated. And the fact that most people are reluctant to try them is related to how they present themselves.
I do think they need to update their image, as well as the styling of their products. The old Lambda style phones need to be restyled, there's no excuse to use the same exact housing that you used in the 70s, and which looked ridiculous even then. The SR-001 is an absolute hidden gem in terms of sound, sonically it makes you wonder why a lot of headphones under $1k even exist in the first place, but the ergonomics again are inexcusable in a product that has been on the market for this long. The updated version has new eartips and I'm pretty hopeful about that, though I'm less hopeful about the new thinner diaphragm.
There definitely needs to be more exposure to their lower-end stuff, which is a fantastic deal for the money. Dynamics have shot up in price, but Stax didn't follow suit, so now there's even less of a reason to ignore them. The "SR-009 or bust" attitude is pretty detrimental and ignores a lot of great deals that you can get on cheaper 'stats.