We Love Great Cans

There is a revolution in hi-fi audio: it has gone personal. For under two grand, you can hold in your hands a level of fidelity undreamed of even five years ago in the highest-resolution systems. The newest breed of headphones, headphone electronics, digital preamps, and class-D switching amplifiers produce sonics so pristine, you feel as though you're listening in on the recording session. Devices in the chain are being driven down to inky-black levels of noise and distortion equating to 19 or 20 bits of resolution — easily -120db down. That constitutes a revolution.

Sadly, however, many older, established names continue to produce equipment no better — and often worse — than the best equipment of 20 or 30 years ago. The measurements at AudioScienceReview.com prove the clear superiority of some brands of electronics. The same site makes clear that many hyped brands are crummy or even junk. There is no reason to pay huge sums for superbly engineered equipment, though it is true that the top-performing equipment, such as Benchmark Media, RME, Matrix Audio, and others, are not dirt-cheap. Adjusted for inflation, however, they are far cheaper than quality electronics of two decades ago.

The problem is, hi-fi has gone mainly mass-market, so it's hard to get your hands on the equipment before you buy it. That's a shame. The top-tier headphones from Audeze and other manufacturers are extraordinary, but they are all quite different. People hear differently, and what suits one listener may not suit another. Yet the economics of the hi-fi industry have dictated that listeners take an expensive plunge without trying out the products.

By working directly with the makers of premier headphone equipment to reach an under-served market of headphone enthusiasts and gearheads, Nice Cans is pioneering a personal approach to getting the best equipment into the hands (and onto the ears) of listeners.

Call or email in advance to visit Nice Cans in Central Austin. We have a loaner program locally and a fair return policy.

We are competitive on price

We sell only upper-tier headphones and vetted electronics which meet superlative technical standards. We sell some less-expensive electronics that we have evaluated (Topping's lower-end models, for example). We can match the price you would pay from another authorized reseller. There is no price penalty for buying from us.

Why by-appointment only?

It's not possible to sell ultra-high-end headphones from a garden-variety retail storefront. Buyers of these products need a quiet, friendly place conducive to listening and discussion. We want to give you the best buying experience possible, and we want you to love your great new cans.

We schedule appointments at convenient times at our business office near downtown Austin, or we arrange for loaners. We have everything you need to audition our products using instrument-grade electronics.

- Patrick Sutton

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