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Best Stores in Manhattan to Demo Headphones Before You Buy Them

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Here's to all the people who want to try out all the mid/higher range headphones before you buy them, and live in the Manhattan / New York area :beerchug: And here we go! :

 

AC Gears are #1 if you want to try out your headphones before buying them. They have a great selection, and their prices are extremely reasonable as well, either equally matched or cheaper than Amazon. Something you won't have in any of the later mentioned stores.

 

Some headphones that AC Gears has that you can listen to:

 

AIAIAI TMA-1 Headphones

Marshall Moniter Over-Ear Headphones (really small and great sound too)

V-Moda Crossfade LP(2?) / V-Moda Crossfade M-100 / V-Moda XS On-Ear 

All the Grado's up to the RS2i (Grado SR60i, SR80i, SR125i, SR225i, SR325i, and RS2i) (no RS1i). The RS2i's sounded surprisingly good, even including the fact that I am not a Grado fan of any sort. 

Sol Republic Tracks HD / Tracks Air Bluetooth Headphones

Thinksound on1 Supra-Aural On-Ear Monitor Wooden Headphone

Sennheiser Momentum, Sennheiser HD 600, and Sennheiser HD 650.

 

These are some headphones I remember being there. They also said that they should be getting a shipment of Shure and Beyerdynamic headphones soon, which should be fun :D 

 

AC Gears even let me use one of their Objective2 amps with some of the higher-end headphones with large amounts of ohms; I liked the Grado RS2i with the amp more than any other combo. Kudos to their customer service.

 

A small store, with great selection, price, and customer service. Highly recommended!

 

#2 is Guitar Center, as of right now they have on display the Audio Technica M-50S + M-45, Krk KNS 8400, Beyerdynamic 770 + Beyer 880, Shure 840, and two random ~$200 Sennheisers. A great store to combine with AC Gears for demo-ing. Eager customer service, and great selection of audio equipment in general.

 

Best Buy and Stereo Exchange are across the street from each other; Best Buy has the Bose and the Beats, as well as the Sony extra-bass series, and Stereo Exchange has Grado's up to the SR325's, but that's about it.

 

J&R and B&H both have the headphones plugged into the wall with awful music coming out. Only go to those if you have to.

 

I've heard that Sound by Singer is great, but you need an appointment during their 3-days-a-week office hours.

 

Anything other stores I'm missing?

post #2 of 9

J&R allows you to demo their display headphones with your own gear as long as you're standing next to their counter.

 

B&H allows you to demo their display headphones too, you can just unplug the headphones from their system and use your own gear. They probably have the best selection of things to try from out of all the stores but it can be quite noisy there sometimes. And portable gear ain't the best thing to try full-sized open headphones with either. I think they carry the fiio x3 and eventually the x5 as well. 

 

I'd recommend going to Julie Glick's office if you're interested in custom IEMs because she carries demo versions of UE and JH's stuff. Definitely try the UE4s, UE reference monitors, JH13, and maybe the JH16 for bassheads. Roxannes if she has them? 

 

http://www.musicianshearingsolutions.com

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you @thegunner100 Sorry about the miscorrect info on the B&H and J&R info, I just wrote what I heard from other people about that. Correction up here ^^^^^^^

post #4 of 9

Didn't J&R just close?

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

@jjcha could be, I never went there so couldn't say :frown:

post #6 of 9

I've been there.  Back in the day, the wall of shame wasn't that bad.  They had a fair collection of stuff, though in sometimes kinda beat up.  But you could ask them to try the gear with your portable stuff.  I do think the loss of J&R is a tragedy (such a NYC institution...) but times do change.

 

I don't know if I'd spend that much time auditioning stuff in stores in NYC, other than maybe stores like Stereo Exchange or other high end audio shops if you know you want to listen to something they carry.  Obviously NYC is not Tokyo when it comes to being able to audition cans.

 

AC Gears is a cute little store, and definitely worth checking out. 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjcha View Post
 

I've been there.  Back in the day, the wall of shame wasn't that bad.  They had a fair collection of stuff, though in sometimes kinda beat up.  But you could ask them to try the gear with your portable stuff.  I do think the loss of J&R is a tragedy (such a NYC institution...) but times do change.

 

I don't know if I'd spend that much time auditioning stuff in stores in NYC, other than maybe stores like Stereo Exchange or other high end audio shops if you know you want to listen to something they carry.  Obviously NYC is not Tokyo when it comes to being able to audition cans.

 

AC Gears is a cute little store, and definitely worth checking out. 

Oy! Now I remember! Just read an article this morning about J&R closing. A lot of people thought (like you) that it was a really big shame. Guess I'll have to wait till it opens again to check it out...

post #8 of 9
Stereo Exchange near Broadway and Houston recently added Audeze to their lineup and used to have AKGs set up along with Grados. Call ahead to check them out, 212-505-1111, ask for Steve or Alan C.

A call to Cosmophonic Sound on 1st Avenue near 84th Street to see what he might have could yield some results, 212-734-0459, ask for Tom.

I did not get to check with them but Park Avenue Audio might also be worth a call.

Sound by Singer used to be a top end store on 16th Street but I think he is just working out of his apartment.

A short distance from The city in Nassau County is American Audiophile in Lynbrook. Mike is a dealer for Astell and Kern high definition players and also a dealer for Grado headphones, usually having the SR60i, SR80i, SR125i and SR225i's in stock and on display. He also is a dealer for TEAC's impressive 500 series headphone amps and DACs. I recently bought the TEAC HA-501 amp from him and am thoroughly impressed with it's sound quality and flexibility. My new go to piece. Mike's phone number is 516-887-7530.

Joe G cool.gif
Edited by ESL-1 - 4/24/14 at 6:20pm
post #9 of 9

I'll second the motion on Julie's office.  She has all the JHs and UEs that you can demo.  Loved her table at the last meet I went to.  She is also very knowledgable and more than willing to help anyone looking into IEMs.

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