What I think the OP is trying to say is that it is a risk spending $1000 on an item that cannot be returned without a large (and 20% + shipping both ways is large) hit. So he is ruminating on how a company could make it easier for the customer to hear it, while still being fair to the company. 1964 offers demos - you state a company can't afford to send 100's of demos out to people - that's a spurious argument. 1964 doesn't create a new demo for every time one is requested - I'm sure you have to wait for one to be available. And they make sure the shipping is borne by the prospective buyer. You seem to think it is proper to charge a prospective customer for the honor of just hearing a certain IEM (see bolded) - there I don't agree with you. This industry is a very subjective one - not everybody is going to hear the same thing - or like the same thing. We know Noble would rather not send out a demo - their belief is that to hear it is to love it - and for most that is probably true. But at the same time it can hamstring growth - but growth is not always a good thing (read: Roxanne rollout) But this disdain for those who would like to hear what they are buying before dropping a wad of cash is troubling. And lastly - you don't have a Verizon store or a Best Buy store near you? Are you on an island? Incarcerated? Locked in a basement? I'm fairly certain there is a cellular phone shop and an electronics store close by you. In your argument you make valid points. I don't know why you need to resort to obstructionism.
As I mentioned, it's possible to contact Noble to contact for a demo unit. No disdain for people who want to hear stuff before buying it. Everyone would like that option. In a perfect world everyone will have all of the newest and best gear in the store right behind the nearest street corner. I'm not affiliated with Noble and I bought the N4 without auditioning it or anything, so I understand your point. My point is that on some matters people attack Noble as if they are the only people doing a certain thing. Like the complaints and hateful comments about Noble not providing measurements and fp graphs for their product while 99.999999999% of the companies don't do it or just provide wrong info. The same goes for the demo units. Most of the companies in the high-end market don't do it for the average customer and people rely on luck and other people's opinion - thus one of the main reasons for head-fi to be so popular.
And I don't have verizon and bestbuy coz I'm in EU lol