My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Master & Dynamic MH40 Headphones – HD Audio just got Stylish Premium HD Audio Headphones support sans the Celebrities

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Master & Dynamic MH40 Headphones – HD Audio just got Stylish Premium HD Audio Headphones support sans the Celebrities

Ever since the Apple purchase of Beats Electronics for some US$3.2 billion dollars as chronicled in my blog article entitled Apple officially confirms Beats Audio Purchase - US$3.2 Billion as Apple gears up for Subscription Streaming and improved Headphones”, an undue level of focus has been placed on Premium Quality Headphones similar to the US$449 high-end Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones and US$99 Beats by Dr. Dre. Earbuds.

Despite the fact that the purchase of Beats Electronics was an attempt to get at their Beats Audio Streaming platform that has an amazing rate of conversions of 70% conversion from Free Subscribers to Paid Subscribers as described in “Beats Music turns 7 out of 10 free-trial users to paying ones?”, published March 20, 2014 11:22 AM PDT by Joan E. Solsman, CNET News, the debate has decidedly been focused on Quality headphones. 

Especially as HD Audio as a Musical movement is suddenly getting support, first with the Neil Young’s Kickstarter Pono Music Player Project coming in October 2014 that can play FLAC other HD Audio formats as I’d reported in my blog article entitled “Neil Young’s Righteous PonoMusic and US$200 PonoPlayer Kickstarter - The Hills are alive with the Sound of FLAC Music despite HD Music being a new phenomenon with new packaging”.

Now here comes the Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1, which is very popular in Japan and Asia as is widely being viewed as a comeback kid for the Sony Walkman in the US of A by December 2014 as I’d predicted in my blog article entitled US$700 Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 – Trend towards HD Audio in Asia and Japan will make it sell in the US of A”.

But what’s the point of HD audio if you don’t have HD Headphones that can effectively reproduce this sound? Beats Audio isn’t the only maker of High-End Headphones. Neither are they the best.

Premium HD Audio Headphones – NPD Group’s Retail and Tracking Service Says Beats are tops

No surprise there. NPD Group has some very positive news to report on the Overall Headphones Industry as stated in “Fueled by new fitness segment, total headphone market grew by 11 percent in 2013”, published March 3, 2014, NPD. Please note here that the Premium HD Audio Headphones segment of that Industry is defined by NPD as headphones fetching a price of US$100 or more. The Figures are impressive:

1.      Sales of Premium HD Audio Headphones has doubled in the last three (3) years
2.      20% is the projected growth for Premium HD Audio Headphones in the Global Audio market by 2020
3.      5% is the current Global Audio market will be Premium HD Audio Headphones

Last year’s wasn’t too shabby either! NPD Group’s Retail and Tracking Service says the Premium Headphone market grew in leaps and bounds in 2013:

1.      $2.3 billion made by the Total Headphone Industry overall
2.      21% growth in Premium HD Audio Headphones from 2012 to US$1 billion
3.      27% of the Total Headphone Industry belongs to Beats Electronics
4.      57% of the Premium HD Audio Headphones market belongs to Beats Electronics
5.      43% of the Premium HD Audio Headphones market belongs to Bose, Sony, Skullcandy and JVC  

On that basis, the Top 5 Premium HD Audio Headphone makers are:

1.      Beats Electronics
2.      Bose
3.      Sony
4.      Skullcandy
5.      JVC  

Why is the Premium HD Audio Headphone so lopsided, despite Beats being made of plastic and sporting a mostly Bass sound? Aside from their hand curated Beats Audio Streaming service, it may also have something to do with their advertising style, which like Apple, is focused on flash and Celebrity poppin’. 

Scope out this Ad above as an example and it should become very clear; if celebrities are rockin’ your stuff, they’ll sell, plastic or no plastic!

Master & Dynamic MH40 Headphones – HD Audio just got Stylish Headphones support sans the Celebrities

Enter the company Master & Dynamic, a rising star in the high end headphone business as declared in “The Anti-Beats By Dre: Master & Dynamic's High Quality, Design- centric Headphones”, published 7/24/2014 @ 8:25PM by Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes. Master & Dynamic is banking on the idea that there an upscale market for HD Audio Headphones that looks sexy without having to be hyped by celebrities and delivers the quality HD Audio that everyone expects.

I think they're onto something that's gonna be very big in the future. The HD Audio Music player hardware is falling into place as Americans are slowly rediscovering High Definition Music. Thus they’ll be a need for stylish over the ear Headphones that can faithfully reproduce the quality sound as if you’re in the studio, hearing every raspy breath of the artiste as he sings and every note of the instruments as they play.

CEO of Master & Dynamic Jonathan Levine and his ambitious challenge to the Premium HD Audio Headphone Industry.

CEO of Master & Dynamic Jonathan Levine originally got inspired when he noticed that his older brother passed on his Beats Audio because they were becoming too common. A stint managing restaurants at Bloomingdales after working his way up as a dishwasher still failed to whet his appetite for adventure.

Thus, he decided upon getting his MBA to make the trek to Wall Street, only to find his niche as an entrepreneur. Then he made his first hit product; LED Lights for dummies, greatly simplifying the Ikea-esque concept down to a mature science that the ordinary man could master with a few hand tools. A divorce propelled him toward High End Audio Headphone Design once more with his children as the guinea pigs. Soon a Swedish designed hobbled along, as at that point, Master and Dynamic got its start.

The Swede's touch is in all of the Master and Dynamic line of MH40 headphones; NO plastic in sight with detachable lambskin ear pads, stainless steel components, forged aluminum body. The thoughtful addition of a mute button makes them the kinds of stylish Hi-Fi Audio Headphones you can rock even in the quietest of places.

At US$400, they're a little cheaper than the US$449 high-end Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones, with buyers having the option to go for a low cost  yet still high quality MH30's and even earbuds.

CEO of Master & Dynamic Jonathan Levine is a self-financed headphone maker whose headphones are made the old fashioned way - by hand. Founder Jonathan Levine, the person, isn't too eager to become a mass producer, possibly worried about his niche produce becoming another has-been that'll be handed down to someone else younger brother. Rather, he's holding his own in a rare niche; hand-crafted stylish all metal HD Audio Headphones that deliver killer sound.

Like his LED Lights, he’s hoping to shine a light on a section of the Premium HD Audio Headphone Industry that’s being ignored; quality Hand-crafted products that elevate HD Audio from the next hot trend to a nouveau artform.

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