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Industry Slowing Down?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey, Head-Fi.

I wanted to throw the idea out there and get your feelings on the subject.


It appears the audio market, particularly the in-ear market, has slowed down a lot in the last year. Excluding the ******-baggery of CES and celebrity earphones, I'm not seeing much new stuff. 


Do you feel the same or am I way off? 

post #2 of 14

at least JVC pulled out some crazy stuffs.. 


post #3 of 14

Yeah... I remember when companies were racing to cram the most BA drivers into an earpiece.

post #4 of 14

I think your pretty offwink.gif. The last year has seen a steady increase with a bunch of companies including hi-fi audio/speaker companies and accessory companies like Cardas coming aboard. Bunch of attempts with hybrids, the triple dynamics, AT incorporating the first permender circuits in one of their earphones etc. on and on. The CNT craze. A new UE flagship after too long a wait. Customs dropping to really affordable prices and increase in the # of companies. Many companies upping their game like Hi-fi Man having a new line coming out, TDK bursting on the scene from nowhere which goes along with the Japanese mainstream brand resurgence. AKG had nothing for serious earphones till this past year. Aurisonics was also in the past year. Etc., etc., on and on.

post #5 of 14

Maybe some of the companies feel the needlessness of re-doing old models and give them new boxes and market them as "new models". Maybe as we speak, Westone is working hard on Westone 5, Shure is trying to make a CIEM etc. Maybe they feel it's quite redundant to make "extra bass IEM" with some $50-$150 price tag because there are so many of them out there. Maybe we should wait for those companies to come up with new technologies that will make it worth the wait.


And please don't complain with my constant use of the word "maybe".

post #6 of 14
You're forgetting that Cavalli is debuting TWO new amps this year... his work is known as some of the best! Also, Justin released his GSX amp, the new Oppo Player (105) has great audio, the LCD 3 is pretty new. The HE400s, Mad Dogs with Alpha Pads, Fiio E12, Schiit Magni/Modi, and the new Asgard 2... wink.gif
Edited by gopanthersgo1 - 3/13/13 at 2:23pm
post #7 of 14

I didn't get the feeling the industry has slowed down. If they do, I am actually going to feel happy since I already think the whole market is moving too fast for the good of the customer. But I do notice many audio companies have moved away from CES because it has became too big of an event to get attention from the media. Audio companies now seem to prefer smaller audio specific events to introduce their new gears.

post #8 of 14
Hmmm...actually I kinda feel the opposite to the OP especially in the IEM market. Few yrs back, to my limited knowledge the TotL were the likes of UM Miracles, UERM, JH13/16, etc. But this past 9-10 months. I kinda found a jump in SQ features with IEM with the likes of Tralucent, Rapsodio, (and although not personally heard yet, the Aurisonics, Frogbeats, Heir Audio)...and somewhere my fav FitEar TG!334's & MH335DWs come in.

Using the Traluent as an example, the features I speak of are super massive soundstage that may rival some mid/high-tier closedback isolating headphones, tremendous detail, etc. Or FitEar's 3D deep imaging.
post #9 of 14

I'd like to see more and more dual BA headphones. I can appreciate their benefits, but a single driver doesn't do it for me.

post #10 of 14

Maybe the industry has slowed down because you left it and you haven't been paying attention.

post #11 of 14
Well there are a gazillion new products but if you mean an actual improvement rather than a 1000 different flavors there are limits. There are many new good new IEMs but both single BA and multi BAs are kind of stuck - on the neutrality front the ER4 is still the one to beat despite a good fight from the hifimans and fishers, and on the multi driver BA front the new offerings - ue900 etc... - remain at the level where they compete with offerings from a few years ago (w4, se535). So no breakthrough but many people are making new products and trying new things, especially:

1. Hybrid dynamic and balanced armature IEMs
2. Phase technologies (JH's freqphase)
3. External crossovers
4. Custom IEMs turned into universals, especially those with a gazillion drivers (334, the new heir)
5. Big "subwoofer" drivers (okay, maybe not a big thing but those Fitear 335DW dual woofers leave quite an impression!)

I think we might we might be an experimentation stage, people trying are to find the next big thing. UE (UE900, triple bore design) and AKG (K3003 hybrid) have tried and not, in my view, entirely suceeded, but Westone and Shure have been quiet. That might mean a chance for the smaller companies - Fitear, Hier, etc... But then again, I remember the HD650/K701/DT880 triad lasting for at least 4-5 years before the HD800, T1, LCD2/3 and HE-series came along and gave us what I think most consider another level of performance, so maybe we are also waiting in the IEM field.

Edit, more thoughts: To move on from the HD650/K701/DT880 triad, designers had to go to new technologies (HD800 - ring driver, T1 Tesla) or seriously improve overlooked technologies (HE-series, LCD-series - planar magnetic). Could we be waiting for the next big thing in IEMs?
Edited by Ypoknons - 3/14/13 at 8:15am
post #12 of 14

Graphene Earphones anyone? ;)

post #13 of 14
Saw that earlier!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Right, right, right! 

Thanks for setting me straight. There were some things mentioned that I have seen, so I'll look those up. 

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