You may have heard about the new Adidas co-branded headphones at Sennheiser offered in the 680 line. News of the new Adidas cans was all over the net, but did you know there are two other related lines? The 880 line which appears on the Sennheiser web site in the premium portable earbud category, and the 990 line which appears with the moniker Expression Line on the site. The relationship is that all three new lines were designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA. The story of the design effort is here, but I think the real story is that even Sennheiser --- one of, if not the premier headphone maker in the world --- is stepping up their game in the fashion department.
While I really don't care one way or the other, the number of headphones that are selling as fashion statements is rapidly on the increase. If the blossoming market of consumers for fashion headphones is not exposed to better quality sound, we will have lost an opportunity to expose these listeners to better quality sound. I'm very glad Sennheiser is competing on this basis because I'm confident they are not going to forget to build good sounding headphones as they strive to make their headphones more fashionable as well. I think it's important that the headphone market not be split in two with audio quality remaining within the pro and enthusiast arena, and fashion headphone competition making its way out to the broader consumer market. I applaud Sennheiser for their efforts to make sexy looking headphones and I look forward to looking good while I listen ... well, looking a little better anyway --- it would take a lot more than cool headphones to make me look good. [caption id="attachment_1486" align="alignnone" width="480" caption="The new Sennheise 980 cans designed by DesignworksUSA are very cool looking."][/caption]