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Why Buy Headphones when you can rent them?

DT Wells

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Please read the following, we need your input:

I represent a team of entrepreneurs as well as budding audiophiles. Before you’re dissuaded from reading, I’m not asking for money, investments, supplies, donations; anything physical. I’m here to ask you for is your advice; what can we do better, what do you like, what do you dislike-anything, really. In the end, this could possibly benefit everyone, so please offer anything you can.

The idea: Headphone Rental and Retail Company

I know that this idea has circled around before, and most of the companies who have tried this either recalled their service or failed, but we believe we can tackle this in a more efficient, more convenient way for you, our targeted customers. So, here are the details of what we plan on releasing in the beginning:

Details of the company:

We’re going to rent various company’s models of headphones, including circumaural, supra-aural, and universal in-ears. Each model will be available to view on the site by company or price, and when you find something you like, you can start the rental process. We will have the rental agreement fully online, using electronic signatures for the contractual agreement and credit cards for the payment method. Once that’s filled out, we’ll send you a pair of burned in headphones. We want to send burned in headphones so that each renter can get a feel of for the headphone’s true sound. The renter will pay bi-weekly for the model or models they have on hand (you can rent as many as you’d like,) and they can send them back at any time. Here’s the real kicker; if you rent multiple pairs, the rent rate decreases for each pair. Also, assume you find the pair you’d like to buy while renting them; you can send them back in with a notice of purchase, and we will send you a new pair while also discounting MSRP by the amount you’ve paid for that pair during rental. For example, if I spend X dollars on renting a pair of DT 770’s and then decide I wish to buy them from the same company, we will sell them to you for sales price – rental fees. A few minor ideas we’re swirling around is for headphones that need an amp, we’ll allow an option to rent a small FiiO E6 for minimal extra charge. Amps won’t be required, especially if you have your own amp. Additionally, we will also include the instructions for how we burned in the same headphones so that the customer can get the same sound from their new pair.


So why a rental company, and why set it up this way? Well for a few reasons. As newer audiophiles, we’ve come to understand that there are dozens of beautiful over-ears, on-ears, and in-ears out there that we want to listen to, but can’t, and frankly, it’s expensive. Through these forums we’ve read countless of posts wishing for more money to buy a new pair of headphones, or hoping there will be a meet within four hours of their residence so they can audition them, and we just think that’s ridiculous. Nowhere is there a major rental company that puts sound quality and audiophile pursuits in front; in fact, there isn’t a real major rental company for headphones at all. Our goal is to help your budgets and your love of hi-fi audio equipment in the most convenient way possible.

How you can help:

To make this as successful as we, and hopefully you, want, we need market input. So please, post and tell as many other board members to post as you can. We need as many unique individuals for market analysis as possible, and the more we have, the greater the chance that our business will follow your desires. Post as much advice as you want, our priority is in understanding who our market is and what they, that is you, want:

Consider telling us:



-General annual income level

-Number of headphones owned (all types)

-What you would reasonably pay bi-weekly to rent one pair of headphones

-A synopsis of your criticisms

-Your criticisms, advice, and everything else you can think of

If you have any further things you’d like to discuss, feel free to either private message me or send an email with your information and content to [email protected]

Thank you for your time and assistance!

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-Age - 84

-Gender - undecided

-General annual income level - tree fiddy. sometimes a cookie. but depends on lunar phase and general mood of hc users.

-Number of headphones owned (all types) - 2

-What you would reasonably pay bi-weekly to rent one pair of headphones - tree fiddy. no cookie.

-A synopsis of your criticisms - I like big butts. You don't seem to have one.

-Your criticisms, advice, and everything else you can think of - spritzer said it better than i could.

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I'd be interested in renting a Leica 50F0.95 or any of the "DC Nikkor" lenses. The Canon 50F0.95 is somewhat appealing for its blindingly fast speed, but the bokeh is kinda fugly so um yea, scratch that. Ooh, the Konica hexanon 57F1.2 would also be a welcome loaner provided it was lent with a suitable camera.

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No, no, this is awesome! You could have a FOTM club, where, just like those record clubs in the 70's, we'd get a new headphone every month, and if we didn't fill out the card and send it back, then we'd get charged for the full price of the headphones.

A few minor ideas we’re swirling around is for headphones that need an amp, we’ll allow an option to rent a small FiiO E6 for minimal extra charge.
Uh, no, fail. You'd basically need to provide the same service with headphone amps. At the very least, find some good entry level amp like a HeadAmp Pico or something. But I would recommend things like the Benchmark and the Grace audio m903, too.

I mean, think of it this way -- would you rent speakers? Okay, yes you would if they were PA speakers, but no you wouldn't if they were audiophile speakers.

Same difference.

EDIT: I am not familiar with the FiiO, so feel free to tell me it's not crap. I've been both pleasantly and unpleasantly surprised by some entry level items I've had time with. My one experience with NuForce, for example, is surprisingly good.

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Sounds appealing doesn't it? The ability to listen to multiple headphones for a fraction of the price.


I am a bit worried about getting headphones that are possessed. If you can give me that reassurance they will not be, I am interested.

There was a Head-Case hex going around back when the forum started and one poor fellow had a year of bad luck, presumably from some gear sent to him.

Following that incident one of our members took it upon himself to slaughter "fattened calves" with any incoming gear. It seems to have worked, though sadly he has not been around the forums recently. I hope he isn't being haunted by cows.

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