Buying headphones in itself isn’t really a daunting task however buying one with the best value in mind seemingly is. Not only there are scarce headphones here that are good in audio quality but also the pricing is a bit higher. That said, buying headphones locally isn’t as easy as how it sounds.
The two problems already mentioned above are the cost and availability. Let’s talk about cost first. Just like any gadgets, there’s a significant markup in prices which is understandable since there are costs manufacturers or resellers have to pay themselves. What makes it more painful is the fact that most headphones can be bought overseas for significantly less even with shipping included.
For example, international sites like Amazon or eBay occasionally sell items for ‘street price’ which essentially is a price that is lower than the suggested price. Because of this, it makes it even harder to justify the local price of the same item being sold here.
And then we have availability. Shops would just do what is right for them and that is to find products that they think would sell more. Of course, if a specific headphone is selling 3X more than an obscure-looking one that no one’s ever heard of, there’s no reason for them to even bother with the latter. It’s just what it is.
As ‘cruel’ as it may sound, we headphone consumers must not lose hope. There are plenty of ways still to get the headphone you’re craving without spending too much or having to fly overseas to get them.
Amazon – Amazon is probably where you’ll find the cheapest available headphones ever. The price reduction in the site for some items is simply ridiculous. Take for instance my recently purchased Beyerdynamic DT1350. The list price is $399 yet the street price around the time I purchased it was $199. That’s $200 off!
And mind you, it’s not just for headphones. It’s for everything!
eBay – Amazon’s competitor is a good place to search as well. There are some deals there that are great although the price drop may not be the same as with Amazon. Don’t forget to pay close attention to where you’re getting the product from as there are certainly bad guys there trying to scam people.
What about shipping?
Now you’re probably wondering about shipping since Amazon doesn’t really ship to the Philippines and the same is the case when you buy from a US seller in eBay. There are plenty of services to use but I have trusted Johnny Air Cargo for years.
The way Johnny Air works is that they have offices in the US where you can ship your stuff. From their offices there, they can then ship it to you here in the Philippines. It can become very pricey especially when the product gets heavier but it’s simply the tradeoff for purchasing something that is unrealistically possible to be shipped here, and doing so safely and in a reasonable time.
Shipping using Johnny Air can take up to 2 weeks but rest assure the product is delivered here safely. Do take note that there are other services that do the same but since I don’t have any experience with them I’d rather not touch any of them.
I mentioned above that purchasing headphones locally can be expensive considering some additions to the suggested price, however, there are good places here in the Philippines still to consider buying to.
Egghead – Egghead is a reliable place for buying headphones. They arguably have the biggest number of headphones for sale and cans that you oftentimes don’t see or hear, you’ll find it there. Egghead is currently located in Robinsons Galleria and you can check them out through their Facebook page.
Tipidpc/Headphiles – Both of these sites offer headphones in a form of a marketplace where buyers and sellers negotiate pricing and some other stuff. Tipidpc is more for computers generally but because the site is so big, a lot of other things can be bought there. Headphiles, which is a forum, is smaller in comparison but here they just sell mostly audiophile stuff so if you’re looking for something you think is obscure, then this site is a good place to go.
Local Manufacturers – Some of the larger companies like Sennheiser and Audio Technica have stores here where you can buy their products. I have not been to any myself and thus I have no experience however if you want to be sure that you’re buying it from the official sellers themselves, they are certainly a good option (albeit a bit pricey).
I personally buy the more expensive items overseas because it’s mostly not available here and in the end, it’s cheaper (believe it or not). However, for smaller and popular items, I just turn to the local sites/stores as I find myself prioritizing convenience in this case. And of course, you don’t experience the agony of waiting for your product to be shipped. :p
How about you? Where and how do you buy headphones and other audiophile gears? If you want to suggest any place that I have not mentioned above, feel free to post it in the comments section.