The Cable Company's Hi-End Headphone Library
It is with great interest that we have watched the headphone hobby grow and evolve over the last 10-12 years. A decade ago, as far as high performance headphones are concerned, there were dynamic headphones that topped out with the Grado's and the long discontinued AKG K1000's, and there were electrostatic designs such as the Stax. While the electrostatic designs have remained pretty much unchanged for the last decade or so (and limited from an audiophile perspective by questionable amplifier designs), dynamic as well as orthodynamic (planar) headphones have advanced dramatically. This new generation of ultra-high performance dynamic headphones when combined with the best of the high performance headphone amps (both solid state and tubed) offer a stunning level of performance - a level of performance that rivals the finest cost-no-object speaker-based audio systems.
Whether it's the neighbors, the spouse, the kids, the construction happening next door, or the coworker in the neighboring office, many audiophiles are not able to listen to their systems whenever they would like to. The right hi-end headphone system allows a music lover to enjoy their music at all hours of the day or night. However finding the right headphones has up until now been problematic. Few brick and mortar dealers demo any, much less multiple, high performance headphones. There are trade shows and "Headphone Meets" where a short listen under noisy conditions (with unknown sources) is possible, but hardly allows a thorough evaluation. How can a music lover find the right headphones?
The Hi-End Headphone Library:
Twenty years ago a similar situation existed with high performance audio cables. Then we started our Cable Lending Library. Now twenty years later there are many thousands of our clients who have had the opportunity to optimize their system by borrowing and auditioning cables in their own home, with their own systems and music. Personal home auditions have allowed them to choose the perfect cables for their system.
Similarly there is no better way to determine a headphone's performance, system compatibility, and long term comfort, than with an extended in-home audition.
And so (drum roll please) based upon the prototype of our Cable Lending Library, The Cable Company is pleased to announce our new Hi-End Headphone Lending Library.
We have assembled a selection of the finest High Performance Headphones available. The top headphones from Audeze, beyerdynamic, Grado, HiFiMan, Sennheiser, and Ultrasone are the foundation of our Hi-End Headphone Library.
Headphone Amplifiers are also important:
What if you don't have a headphone amp worthy of these high performance headphones? Not to worry. We have also assembled the best of high performance headphone amplifiers from Burson, Cavalli, Luxman, Alpha Design Labs (Furutech), and HiFiMan, also available for you to try at home. Now it is possible to borrow several sets of high performance headphones and amplifiers and thereby come to an informed decision based upon your own ears.
So how can I borrow some headphones?
Give us a call and speak to one of our knowledgeable consultants or contact us by email using the contact link (upper right on this page). Our customers in the US may borrow up to several headphones/ amps at a time from The Library for a period of approximately 2 weeks. Given shipping times this should leave the products actually in your hands for evaluation for approximately 7 to 10 days.
A deposit equal to 5% of the selling price of the borrowed products will be charged to your credit card when we ship. This deposit is not refundable, but will be applied in full against purchases (headphones or any other new or used products) from The Cable Company, Usedcable.com, or our Ultra Systems affiliate.
While The Cable Company will pay domestic surface shipping charges on all headphone-related purchases over $50 (as well as purchases of all terminated cables and audio accessories over $50 up to 5 lbs.), shipping charges for products borrowed from The Library must be paid by the customer (we will endeavor to minimize charges by making use of the least expensive UPS or FEDEX service which allows the consumer to take full advantage of the demonstration period).
A notice will be included with the shipment of borrowed products stating the date they should be shipped back to The Cable Company. The customer should contact The Cable Company at least 2 days before this return date to confirm use of the prepaid return label, or so that The Cable Company can issue the necessary “call tag” for pick-up. Use of the return label or call tag saves the consumer having to deal directly with UPS or FEDEX. Nice!
While credit card, Paypal, cash, check or money order may be used to purchase products, access to The Library is by credit card only.