‘Owning an expensive pair of headphones may make you look like a DJ, but they don’t miraculous make you into a DJ.’
If you’ve left the house this decade you might have noticed the rise in teenagers and students cat-walking across Britain’s high streets, campuses and public transport in huge and often flamboyant headphones. Massive over-ear headphones have become the essential fashion accessory of our generation, making them big, big business.
Dr Dre just sold Beats to Apple, apparently making him the, “first billionaire in hip-hop.” Most of annalists ranting about the eye watering sale price of beats put the franchises’ success down to some crafty and underhand advertised. Free pairs were sent to athletes at the Olympics [LINK] and everyone from Wayne Rooney to Justin Bieber was pictured wearing them. Whatever you’re opinion of such figure, I think it’s safe to say they’re not the sorts of people you should be taking advice of musical nature from.
The most annoying thing about the headphone craze is that loads of people now seem to believe that parading massive expensive headphones is actually a marker of anyone who knows about good music. Fortunately this isn’t the case. Today, more than ever, they’re just fashion accessories. Owning an expensive pair of headphones may make you look like a DJ, but they don’t miraculous make you into a DJ.
From the small time promoter who spent half his loan on a pair of Sennheisers, to the fifteen year old sporting a fake pair of Beats his mum got him at market so he would be down with the latest playground craze, my worry is the same. Headpones are now seldom worn for their sonic virtues but as lavish bits of jewellery and little more.
Despite this, last week I got in on the act and purchased my first pair of half-decent headphones. They’re great. I can really appreciate how they transform a mundane walk to the shops by encasing your ears in a bubble of crisp sound, allowing you to shut off from your awful surroundings and enjoy whatever new-fangled music you happen to think is cool at the time.
Their virtues aside, I still think it’s pretty clear that this trend is getting out of hand. It’s begging to remind me of when people first went mad for mobile phones in the late 90s; some people went as far as to wear them around their neck as some sort of technological medallion worth upwards of £150.
I frequently seen people wearing them perched on the back of their heads like some sort of halo or Indian headdress, and there’s a few of my friends who I literally can’t remember last seeing without their treasured headphones chained around their neck.
Its great that more people are enjoying good sound quality – but those who adorn themselves with the flashiest pair they could find on amazon like the Mr. T of Music taste just to impress passersby, are completely missing the point. And if they also happen to also be one of the millions who also stroll around all day staring into a smart phone, their technology addiction is probably becoming debilitatingly anti-social.