Written by Allie Schratz, Editor of Business Review Australia
Be it on the train, in the office or on the go, music is often a necessary source of fuel to keep us going throughout the day. Fortunately, Dave Thompson emphasises with that need, and his chosen line of work provides us with the key ingredient: live concert-quality headphones.
Born with a fierce appetite for music, Western Australia-based Thompson credits his grandmother’s piano and gramophone for his early musical inspirations. As he grew up, Thompson played violin and guitar, dabbling in a diversity of genres: from rock and indie, to jazz and fusion funk music. Building his own guitars inspired him to pursue a career in the product development and design field, and he spent a number of years working in the mobile industry with major distributors such as Nokia.
Moving into Music
A three-year stint at Sea to Summit, a camping and outdoor manufacturer, in Perth was the experience that really opened Thompson’s eyes to the career path he truly wanted to follow. “I was working for a guy who was so passionate about what he loved – climbing, being outside – and it made me think about what I loved: music,” Thompson said. “I thought headphones would bring me back to music.” In 2010, this initial thought became a reality and Audiofly was born in Perth.
Those early tastes of music at his grandmother’s have shaped the foundation for Audiofly’s business methodology. “[The] design approach to our headphones is [driven by] what influences, from a gear point of view, have influenced us as we’ve grown up,” said Thompson. Therefore, Audiofly’s products are made with a musician’s sound quality standards in mind. “On stage, it’s crucial [that] your in-ear headphones reproduce sound as accurately as possible – your performance depends on it,” Thompson said in an earlier media statement. “With Audiofly, we literally questioned every driver, magnet, cable and casing to push the quality as far as possible.”
Audiofly’s product line features four series of in-ear, noise isolating headphones suited for the distinctive needs of different listeners.
- The 33 series is the entry-level product. Fashioned after the blues-inspired “bullet mic”, these headphones help Audiofly compete at the lower end of the sound market while still maintaining a quality sound through the 9mm driver. The 33 series retails for AU$30.
- The 45 series, designed with an 11mm driver, offers a broader range of sound detail than the 33s while still mimicking the design elements of a microphone. Cult of Mac spent some quality time with a set of 45s at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show and thought they were pretty spectacular. The 45 series retails for AU$60.
- For the 56 series, the Audiofly team constructed the sound port to sit in the wearer’s outer ear – you want these trendy ear buds to be seen. Coupled with the 13mm driver, this product provides Audiofly’s gateway into more performance-driven product development. The 56 series retails for AU$100.
- The top-of-the-line series, the 78, is a unique hybrid product suited for both professional and common use. With two drivers and a dual armature built into each piece, the sound quality is precise and well-rounded. According to Thompson, South Australian electric guitar goddess Orianthi Panagaris sampled a pair and was blown away by the quality. The 78 series retails for AU$200.
Audiofly’s roadmap is leading the company’s product development further into the live performance market, which is great news for musicians and audiophiles. With a newly launched online store, everyday listeners the world over will now have an opportunity to enjoy a clearer, more professional-quality sound that just might trick your mind and ears into believing you’re hearing a live set. For those who require beats and harmony to get through the day, Audiofly has you covered: “As a brand, we want to connect with those who resonate with music at a life level,” said Thompson.
Spotify will never sound the same again.