Experience Headphones

Style and sound go together like rock and roll, so it’s no wonder Experience Headphones CEO and co-founder Dean Horsfield tapped into the design-minded audiophile demographic. The Vancouver, BC-based retailer has filled the niche of designer audio accessories, supplying brands that specialize in fashionable headphones and earbuds crafted with exceptional sound quality. Horsfield’s criteria for selecting merchandise is simple—if they don’t feel good, sound good, and look good, they’re just not up to par.

It was during the split of Monster and Beats by Dr. Dre in 2012 that Horsfield’s singular vision came into focus. “Headphones were in the spotlight,” he says. “I saw the opportunity and I got excited.” Paired with his experience at Best Buy Corporate Headquarters, this contemporaneous news convinced Horsfield that fashion and function were an unbeatable combination, a trend on the upswing.

These days, headphones hooked around ears or neck are de rigeur, and Experience Headphones’ products appeal to the most fashionable of personalities, the tastemakers of society. With VIPs constantly donning the latest in chic on-the-go audio, designer headphones have been elevated to a must-have status. Olivia Wilde, Suki Waterhouse, and blogger BryanBoy have all sported trendy label Frends, a bestseller at Experience. But there are options for the non-celebrity budget here as well—“premium” brands including Aedle and AKG rub cords with the less expensive Street by 50 Cent and WeSC.

Experience’s first brick and mortar location, which opened in November, features a custom-built environment tailored to showcase their offerings. Trim track lighting and dome pendant lamps illuminate the scene: headphones rest atop sleek wooden panels, while input cords extend delicately across the counter, begging to work their magic. For Horsfield, the store’s interior was on his mind for over a year, a concept that he and his business partner, Eric Morin, ended up executing themselves. The goal was to create a showroom with simple and clean aesthetics reminiscent of an Apple or Michael Kors retail setting. With their aim fulfilled in its entirety, the marriage of form and function at Experience extends beyond the merchandise to the physical space. Their flagship store is streamlined yet bold, pushing boundaries in design like so many of their featured brands do. The diverse selection ranges in price from around $150 to $550, and you can take all of the headphones for an in-store test drive to choose the perfect pair.

If Canada’s not in your neighborhood, don’t worry, since the e-commerce site carries the entire retailer’s inventory. And the best part? Experience ships worldwide for a flat fee, boasting a generous 365-day return policy and warranty program. Listen in—things sound pretty good from here. Visit the Experience Headphones store at 3057 South Granville St., Vancouver, BC, or shop online: www.experienceheadphones.com.

Text by Noelani Piters