With headphones delivering more profits than some model TVs, big brand vendors like HTC and Edifier are moving into the headphone market in an effort to capatalise on the growth in demand for premium models.Last month Chinese manufacturer Edifier aquired Japanese headphone Company Stax, a Company that has been credited with having the best headphones in the world. While HTC moved to take over Beats Electronics in a $300 million dollar deal that has seen Monster part Company with the Dr Dre brand.
Stax was founded in 1938. Twenty-two years later the Company released their first electrostatic earspeaker, the Stax SR-1. Over the following thirty-six years Stax produced a variety of amplification, earspeaker, tonearm, CD player, DAC, phono cartridge and loudspeaker products. In December 2011 Edifier announced the acquisition of 100% equity in Stax.
According to retailers, consumers are demanding better quality headphones and are prepared to pay the price.
At the recent CES show Monster CEO defended his relationship with Beats Electronics whose products are proving extremly popular in Australia
“We had a great run together,” Lee told TWICE on Friday. “We couldn’t have done it without Jimmy [Iovine] and Dre, but they have a different vision of what Beats wants to be, and we want to go onto our next phase of audio and headphones. It ran the course, and it’s time for both of us companies to do our own thing.”
Lee who has been one of reasons for Beats’ success at a retail level recently announced a new Diesel line of headphones.
“We’re going for a different type of consumer,” he said. “We’re going to be more centered around the audiophile … We’re going to come at sound quality from a different perspective. It will resonate more with more mature listeners, business professionals [and] active sports with our iSport line. Luxury is a focus for us at the end of this year, so we think we can create even higher performance than we have ever done at higher price points.”
When asked if Monster would be willing to partner with another high-profile musician again, Lee said they would, although he noted that “star power only takes you so far – the product itself has to be phenomenal.”
During an exclusive interview with ChannelNews at CES 2012, the President of Edifier WenDong Zhang said that the demand for headphones was set to grow and that his Company “had to” move into this market if it was to capitalise on the growth that retailers were experiencing from the headphone category”.
“Stax is a high end headphone Company if not the best in the world and we intend to keep it that way. We will invest in the Company’s growth while introducing new marketing opportunities” he said.
“Initially we will work with Stax in expanding their existing business we also plan to create a new brand that will appeal more to the mass market as people are demanding better sound from their headphones. Stax have the knowledge and the capability to deliver a brand new range for us”.