Phonaudio is a new British headphone manufacturer. Despite the crowdedness of the market, Phonaudio says a gap remains: headphones for the fashionable audio professional. This month sees the company launch the first of its products; the PHN100 (pictured) and PHN200. Currently on pre-order, the headphones are said to deliver exceptional sound quality, durability and of course, good looks. A multi-function button on the earpiece caters to use with mobile devices, and the company had ensured that iPhone and Android users can use its headphones without switching cables. Company founders Steven and Emma Arinze are beyond confident of their product, but stepping into the headphone market did beg some questions...
The headphone market is heavily saturated with "fashion" headphones, professional brands and everything in between. What were you thinking ?!
We’re beginning to wonder what we were thinking! But on a serious note, it is a saturated market but we wanted to offer a grown up headphone that bridges the gap between fashion and pro. A headphone that does what it says on the box. Of course it’s vital it delivers on sound, functionality, durability and comfort but it also has to look great. We don’t want to be pigeonholed into a particular niche. We have spent a very long time designing this headphone and have produced a product we are really proud of. One that we believe gives the consumer, quality without compromise, value for their hard earned money and a headphone that we ourselves would want to buy.
You say you want to forgo fleeting fashion fads. Is the goal then to provide something that is fashionable in a more 'timeless' sense? Is fashion something you felt you had to consider at all?
Our aim was to produce a product that won’t feel dated anytime soon. Fashion is involved, not the fleeting, the classic, timeless kind.
You are a sponsor for London's OnBlackheath festival (10-11 September 2016), specifically the Play OnBlackheath competition. How did that partnership come about?
Due to our combined passion for music and the industry, championing new talent is at the heart of our brand. The Play OnBlackheath competition gives unsigned artists a massive opportunity to get noticed and ultimately to win a slot on the main stage at a festival in front of thousands.
You say you want to sidestep “tech wizardry”. So how do two entrepreneurs promise outstanding sound, and give the big brands – some of which have massive R&D departments – a run for their money?
We take feedback seriously and giving the customer what they want is at the forefront of our product development. We have spent years manually testing, tweaking and adjusting – we have achieved the sound we were after. We did our research, found the niggles with other brands and tried not to replicate them.
The headphones are built to last. They have survived extensive toddler testing over a six-month period and they are still intact! From the design to the drivers, to the small details that make life that bit easier.
It’s the simple things that make all the difference. For example: How many people do you see walking down the road holding their headphone cables up to their mouths so they can be heard?
We have put the mic on the ear cup so this doesn’t have to happen. Why do most headphones require separate cables for iPhone and Android? Ours works on both.
Our extensive research proved there were major problems with certain leading brands due to the frailty of the product. Our headphones are extremely durable, made with TR90 aka “Plastic Titanium”. You can physically twist our headphones and they will not break, yet they are lightweight making them extremely comfortable to wear.
Phonaudio is an honest brand, a core value that we will never lose sight of. We are living in an age of opportunity – a sharing economy. A place where the mass market is no longer important and this means that you have to put out good work. Your art simply has to be the best to make an impact. We are a small very pragmatic start-up and everything we have done has been done with love and care.
Why will people buy Phonaudio headphones?
Everyone loves an underdog! We are a small British brand with strong values. Customer experience is our focus – we don’t aspire to be a faceless corporate. We have produced a product that we believe offers exceptional sound, comfort, durability and functionality with a classic design that anyone can wear and we look forward to a very long future.