Headphones: Paradigm of Market Progress (Jeffrey Tucker)
Monday January 14th, 2013
We had headphones when I was a kid. They were nothing special, just speakers with puffy foam to fit around your ears and a plastic piece to secure them on your head. They sounded fine. They kind of made your ears sweaty. Others could hear a bit of what you heard. You could hear what was going on outside the headphones. Mostly, they just made the scratches and pops on the vinyl records sound louder in your ears. Otherwise, they didn’t matter much in the scheme of things.
Somehow, over the last few years—and especially over the last twelve months—everything changed. Total headphone mania has broken out. It seems like everyone under a certain age wants a pair. The quality makes the ones I had when I was a kid seem like stone-age relics. Forget the pops and clicks of vinyl. The purpose of the new headphones is to reveal a universe of sound no human being has ever experienced.