Where to demo headphones
Dec 20, 2016 at 5:56 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29

Bacon Bits

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Hello.
I live in Austin TX and am not sure if there is any place to demo headphones. I want to demo headphones because I have gotten advice to listen to them before I get one. However in Austin I am not aware if there is any place to demo 'phones. If any of you know a place could you help me out?
 
Dec 20, 2016 at 11:39 AM Post #3 of 29

ProtegeManiac

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Quote:


Hello.
I live in Austin TX and am not sure if there is any place to demo headphones. I want to demo headphones because I have gotten advice to listen to them before I get one. However in Austin I am not aware if there is any place to demo 'phones. If any of you know a place could you help me out?

 
Found these brick and mortar stores on Grado's website. Chances are they might have some other headphones too, but at the very least, they'd have Grados. If you like them any of them then just get that rather than buying blind (deaf?).

 
I did the same thing when my brother was looking for headphones and I found a small hi-fi audio store just behind his college in SoCal.
 
Dec 20, 2016 at 5:38 PM Post #5 of 29

ProtegeManiac

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Thank you I tried looking on Google Maps but didn't find anything so this is really helpful.
smily_headphones1.gif

 
No, you go to each manufacturer's website, like Grados, and there's a page somewhere that interfaces with Google Maps based on their database. There you can put in your city/town or zipcode and control how many places marked by the manufacturer are within a certain distance radius from where you are. I used 50mi.
 
Dec 20, 2016 at 11:28 PM Post #6 of 29

obobskivich

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In addition to Guitar Center, some Best Buy stores have a Magnolia in them, which usually has some hi-fi headphones on display (over the years I've seen Audio-Technica, Denon, and Sennheiser pretty consistently). Finding absolute TOTL obscura is probably not going to happen, but more "common" high end fare (e.g. Sennheiser HD 558 or HD 600, Audio-Technica 900X, etc) isn't usually out of the question. And remember: if the physical retail location you go into has a headphone you like/want, consider buying them there too - its polite to the retailer. Of course if they have nothing you want, they have nothing you want. :)

ProtegeManiac: nice idea using Grado's site. :beerchug:
 
Dec 20, 2016 at 11:37 PM Post #7 of 29

Bacon Bits

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In addition to Guitar Center, some Best Buy stores have a Magnolia in them, which usually has some hi-fi headphones on display (over the years I've seen Audio-Technica, Denon, and Sennheiser pretty consistently). Finding absolute TOTL obscura is probably not going to happen, but more "common" high end fare (e.g. Sennheiser HD 558 or HD 600, Audio-Technica 900X, etc) isn't usually out of the question. And remember: if the physical retail location you go into has a headphone you like/want, consider buying them there too - its polite to the retailer. Of course if they have nothing you want, they have nothing you want. :)

ProtegeManiac: nice idea using Grado's site. :beerchug:

Yeah austin has low to mid fi cans but no truly high fi cans. Take the hd800 for example sennheiser has no vendors in Austin that carry this phone and the hd800 needs demoing.
 
Dec 20, 2016 at 11:42 PM Post #8 of 29

pbui44

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Check here for Magnolia Stores around you:

https://www.magnoliaav.com/locations/

I searched for Austin, TX and there were 4 locations. Probably no HD800, but there might be some Audeze Deckard DAC/Amps to demo. Remember that they can vary in size from 4 headphones to 16 headphones ready for demo.

Edit: This is probably the largest one, as it is a Magnolia Design Center:

South Austin
Magnolia Design Center
inside Best Buy
4970 W Highway 290
Austin, TX 78735
 
Dec 20, 2016 at 11:51 PM Post #9 of 29

obobskivich

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Yeah austin has low to mid fi cans but no truly high fi cans. Take the hd800 for example sennheiser has no vendors in Austin that carry this phone and the hd800 needs demoing.


You probably won't find $1000+ stuff to demo, even in bigger cities. It's just too much outlay for something that can (and will) be disrespected and banged all to hell by the masses. Especially something as hyper-niche as $1000+ headphones. Some genuine high-end shops will let you take things out of the box to try, but there's usually a strong assumption that the next step in the process is purchasing, and such shops may not have a huge selection of headphones depending (there's a big difference between conventional 2-channel land and modern personal audio). I think it's also probably better for everyone involved if we cut the head off of the "true hi fi" Scotsman here and now. :xf_eek:
 
Dec 21, 2016 at 12:02 AM Post #10 of 29

Monsterzero

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You probably won't find $1000+ stuff to demo, even in bigger cities. It's just too much outlay for something that can (and will) be disrespected and banged all to hell by the masses. Especially something as hyper-niche as $1000+ headphones. Some genuine high-end shops will let you take things out of the box to try, but there's usually a strong assumption that the next step in the process is purchasing, and such shops may not have a huge selection of headphones depending (there's a big difference between conventional 2-channel land and modern personal audio). I think it's also probably better for everyone involved if we cut the head off of the "true hi fi" Scotsman here and now.
redface.gif

If you ever find yourself in SE Asia you'll be in heaven...I sat in one store and a/b all day long Abyss vs Stax vs you name it....Thailand and Singapore are stocked of fully loaded brick and mortar shops offering 100s of different headphones,DACs,amps...and you can literally sit there all day long and nobody bothers you!

Ive often wondered why such a shop doesnt exist in USA.

Jaben in SG/BKK told me they were considering a shop in states but that was a good 5 years ago,so clearly theres a reason.

FWIW to OP I have a bunch of buds in ATex...all of em are rockin M-100s for some reason...maybe for when they hit The Salt Lick and wanna rock out?
 
Dec 21, 2016 at 12:07 AM Post #11 of 29

pbui44

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FWIW to OP I have a bunch of buds in ATex...all of em are rockin M-100s for some reason...maybe for when they hit The Salt Lick and wanna rock out?


3.5 years ago, I was walking in downtown Austin and saw this guy on a bike wearing over-ear V-Modas, which were either Crossfade LPs or M-100s.

Be careful what you mean by "The Salt Lick", as drugs do flow around Austin as well. :wink:

Edit: Yeah, to Bacon Bits: don't spend a few quiet hours with a good Stax setup. If you do, the huge HD800 soundstage probably will no longer mean anything to you. :rolleyes:
 
Dec 21, 2016 at 12:12 AM Post #12 of 29

Bacon Bits

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If you ever find yourself in SE Asia you'll be in heaven...I sat in one store and a/b all day long Abyss vs Stax vs you name it....Thailand and Singapore are stocked of fully loaded brick and mortar shops offering 100s of different headphones,DACs,amps...and you can literally sit there all day long and nobody bothers you!


Ive often wondered why such a shop doesnt exist in USA.


Jaben in SG/BKK told me they were considering a shop in states but that was a good 5 years ago,so clearly theres a reason.


FWIW to OP I have a bunch of buds in ATex...all of em are rockin M-100s for some reason...maybe for when they hit The Salt Lick and wanna rock out?
I'm in china currently for vacation but im in ruralchina. Hope to demo a few when i get to a big city for the next half of my vacation. If only google worked here.
 
Dec 21, 2016 at 12:13 AM Post #13 of 29

Monsterzero

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3.5 years ago, I was walking in downtown Austin and saw this guy on a bike wearing over-ear V-Modas, which were either Crossfade LPs or M-100s.

Be careful what you mean by "The Salt Lick", as drugs do flow around Austin as well.
wink.gif


Edit: Yeah, to Bacon Bits: don't spend a few quiet hours with a good Stax setup. If you do, the huge HD800 soundstage probably will no longer mean anything to you.
rolleyes.gif

I guess ive lost my ATex cool factor cuz AFAIK Salt Lick in Austin means only one thing....btw its a very cool town...one of my favs in USA
 
Dec 21, 2016 at 12:15 AM Post #14 of 29

Monsterzero

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I'm in china currently for vacation but im in ruralchina. Hope to demo a few when i get to a big city for the next half of my vacation. If only google worked here.

only been to Hong Kong,dont recall good headphone shops there,but I disliked HK so much I stayed less than 24 hours.

I would assume one could get decent deals on HiFiman HPs over there tho.
 

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