Detroit’s newest pony in their stable of fancy goods with a connection to Detroit are headphones.
Revealed earlier today, they range from $195-$650 and come in over the ear, on the ear, and two in-ear styles. They’re all named “The Canfield,” much like one of their signature watches and a street in Midtown neighborhood of Detroit.
Before we get started, I really wish they had given names to the different types. This makes writing about them confusing.
The over and on the ears come with steel components and lambskin ear pads. The all models have an inline cord microphone.
The in-ears are made in collaboration with a startup called Campfire Audio out of Portland and will be available in December. There will be two options available, one that costs $195 and the other $495.
Available today are the over the ear and the on ear Canfields. As someone who produces a podcast, the slang of “In the cans” referring to if you can hear something in your headphones isn’t lost on me.
The on the ear Canfield headphones range from $495-$550, and the over the ear model ranges $595-$650.
Final assembly of the headphones happens in Detroit, and they’re apparently “tuned and tested” here as well.
They’re pretty. But are they worth it, if you’re really into sound? We’re not fancy enough to get sent a test set so here’s a roundup of initial reviews.
The Verge: “Shinola’s watches are stylish and well-made — they look like high-end mechanical watches. But the reality is that they’re quartz watches (which get as cheap as, say, a Swatch) inside a really nice package. Shinola’s bet is that the style and story of something matters as much or more to many customers than the function … That bet really comes into focus when you see the price on these headphones …. Those aren’t outrageous prices for headphones, but you can find models that sound great and look just as good for far less.” Full Verge review here.
CNET: “..the Shinola featured more of a “smile” curve to its sound signature — something more readily associated with Beats headphones. The bass was a little too prominent — “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads, for example, was bassier than I’d ever heard before. Competition is tight and by charging at least $200 more than its B&W competitor, the Canfield On-Ears may struggle. The in-ears look quite promising, however, and we look forward to hearing them as well.” Full CNET review here.
Gear Patrol: “I tried both on-ear and over-ear headphones and was struck by the weight and natural noise isolation of each. They felt substantial, in a good way, with naturally heavy ear cups that created a surprisingly strong seal on my ears. Even on the on-ear headphones, the noise isolation was pretty phenomenal — I couldn’t hear my colleagues talking across the table. They were comfortable, too. I listened to a few curated rock playlists on Tidal and thought they sounded great, but I’m no audiophile.” Full Gear Patrol review here.
So are you interested in these?