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Behold the ’Phones

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Record companies say the iPod killed the music industry. Audio companies say the iPod killed the speaker. They’re both exaggerating-but on some level, both assertions are true.

Many people now listen to music primarily on an MP3 player through headphones. And as the demand for headphones has increased, they’ve become a bigger and bigger business, and have gotten better and better. These improvements have spawned a subculture of serious audio enthusiasts who’d much rather listen to Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington through ‘phones than on a regular set of speakers.

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Originally Published

Brent Butterworth

Brent Butterworth has been a professional audio journalist since 1989, and has evaluated and measured thousands of audio products. He is currently a writer at Wirecutter and editor of the SoundStage Solo headphone site; served as an editor at such magazines as Sound & Vision and Home Theater; and worked as marketing director for Dolby Laboratories. He also plays double bass with several jazz groups in Los Angeles.