The concept of a dedicated headphone store is actually pretty rare these days in any country outside of a dedicated manufacturer store such as those you find in Japan. Most stores are a mix of lifestyle products or high tech gadgetry with some good headphones behind a glass cabinet in the far corner. Some of my far flung buddies have gone into business such as Mike Ting in Jakarta with Analog Head and good luck to them on such a fine project but closer to home (my new home that is) a new store sprung up in Manila that might just be the perfect antidote to the whiter than white ‘ithingy’ stores that saturate the malls and high streets. That store is now known as Egghead. Egghead currently has one major store in Robinson’s Galleria Mall in downtown Ortigas, Manila and was launched in 2012 by Rico Cheng and was born out of six years of commercial retail initially in gadgets, then slowly into audio gadgets and portable audio and finally the big kahuna, headphones.

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Anyone who has been to Manila will tell you traffic is a bitch, you spend all your time travelling from A to B and you don’t measure things in terms of distance but in terms of how long it takes to get from one point to another. The average music lover therefore tends to spend most of their time either listening in a car, bus, jeep or train for a few hours every day nevermind listening in the office of home. Headphones and portable audio therefore can be an essential part of a commuters life in Manila if nothing other than to shut out the hustle and bustle of the chattering crowds as you go and from work everyday. Combine that with the Filipino ethos for value for money and you have a burgeoning demand not only for good headphones or earphones but ones that don’t cost the earth or those that are durable and last a long time. Yes there are guys like me, who want to spend a bit and get the best, but out and about I have my value for money robust cans and DAP that can take a few knocks and a bit of dust and still kick out some killer tunes.

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Though not the biggest of stores, walk into Egghead and you can tell this ethos is what Rico is aiming for. From the audiophile to the vast majority of commuters and value for money hunters the range is pretty vast and the store is just crammed with one headphone or another from a few bucks to the top end Beyer T1. It’s kind of hard to believe there is room for so many cans to be honest.

I mentioned before that the majority of stores see headphones as a valuable accessory and usually have it stuffed behind a glass cabinet so buying, unless you have demoed a friends unit, is like Russian Roulette. Egghead for me is the first store locally that allows you to actually demo the units you wish to buy and I am not talking cheapo cans I am talking everything up to the Beyer T1 is there for you to try before you buy and to be honest I don’t understand why other retailers do not do this since in home theater this is an accepted principle since time immemorial. This is a sure fire way to find out what cans are liked, what are not and I never buy anything personally without trying it first.

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I spoke to Rico recently after visiting the store just to find out how things were going and how he come up with the Egghead concept. Rico explained to me the first thing he needed to do was set out the concept as a friendly and welcoming concept and entice people to come in and try the headphones. Too many audio stores felt intimidating for the newbie as well as the pro’s who just maybe wanted to come in for a day and try things out without buying. Hence the ton of demo units and a set of staff who actually know a thing or two about the headphones on stock. I have to admit most staff in stores know relatively little about what they sell other than initial promo training but these guys seem to enjoy their job and can actually explain the difference between dynamic and balanced armature which is a two thumbs up for me.

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Of course a new concept such as this does not come without it’s risks. Lots of cans to demo is cost intensive and what if they don’t sell as well as they should? Rico is fully aware that every product line can be a lemon or a hit and the only way to know is to read the reviews, talk to local forum members and of course the specific requests from walk in customers. Nothing is perfect but slowly over the last year the range and line up has come to reflect a little mix of Rico’s personal taste in audio plus what the custom is looking for and asking. Rico had a wry smile when he stated many walk in looking for a $50 basshead delight and after some hard core listening they walked out with a more audiophile slant. Yup it is an education service also I guess – balance versus bass, thump versus articulation and of course the buyer is always going to buy what they like best but if one or two can come out understanding headphones a little better than I say that’s a pretty darn good role there beyond simply selling cans.

Egghead

Egghead

Brands that are selling? So far pretty varied but the major ones are a mix of high profile and budget busting brands such as KG, Audio Technica, Brainwavz, FiiO, Jays, Marshall, Mee, Razer, Sennheiser, SoundMagic, Superlux and Westone. At the time of writing some of the global brands are not for sale yet in the Philippines but Rico and I talked about a huge brand that might be about to hit the market in a major way this year so fingers crossed that happens since audiophiles and consumers alike might just enjoy that one a lot.

I have to say every time I visit the store I am impressed. Just about everything I think is a worthwhile headphone is there somewhere and the earphone range is extensive, varied and in some cases risky. You have to like headphones, learn them and enjoy finding out about them to carry off a store like this successfully and thankfully Rico is one of those guys.

Egghead Details

Level 1 Robinsons Galleria, Quezon City, Philippines
Mon – Thu: 10:00 – 21:00
Fri – Sat: 10:00 – 22:00
Sun: 10:00 – 21:00
Phone 0922 877 8759
Email [email protected]
Website http://facebook.com/eggheadph

About The Author

Editor

Founder & Owner of headfonics.com. I first started reviewing in the late 80s (ouch!). Back then it was albums, rock concerts and interviews with a typewriter for the local rag. Now its desktop/portable and digital 2.1 audio on a rather nice laptop. How time flies.

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  • this is THE best. most store will slap your hand if you even think of touching some cans, but they actually encourage you to try and test if not all of them!

    • headfonics

      Yup, try before you buy is gold for me.

      • Maelo

        Still dont know why it is so hard to have stores like that in the United States. I live in Virginia and guess what there is nothing around where you can try decent headphones. And the few stores that have some demos such as Best Buy – half of them wont work properly – there is so much fear of thieves I guess that the way they connect the headphones is ridiculous. For example all the headphones are connected to a single connector and if the single connector is not working then you are out of luck. So far the only way I can buy headphones is by reading sites like yours to get an idea what sounds good.

        • headfonics

          Thanks for the message and to be honest for me its still hit and miss due to a plethora of sources, systems and I guess moods. Part of the reason why I started this blog is to help others like me who were buying blind. If this site helps in any way then mission achieved.

          • oldandcurious

            And the mission is accomplished quite nicely πŸ™‚

            I lurked and read pages after pages at Headfi, and then read and re-read your impression before I plucked my hard-hearned money on Fiio’s X3. For people like me who have the option not to brave the city’s infamous traffic, reading and more reading is the only option, viz a viz “trying out first.” And all it takes is a couple of text messages, send someone to BPI or BDO and by the next day, Egghead has satisfied an old man’s curiosity and passion to listen to good music. Yes. Am much older than you πŸ™‚

            I am now saving up for the X5. I hope you can review this with the other thing I am saving up for, the HD650. I am aware that one can spend so much for “the right” amp for the 650, but I belong to the other end of the specturm, folks with a budget that is not capable to follow the cycle of “buying and upgrading” at a whim πŸ™‚

            Egghead and headfonics are doing a great service for local enthusiasts. Keep up the good work!

          • headfonics

            The X5 will suit the HD650 well give its clean expansive sound signature. We actually reviewed the X5 a few weeks ago.

            Thanks again for all your support!

          • oldandcurious

            Thank you for that reassurance. I did read your review of the X5 πŸ™‚ But I may have missed your experience with this wonderful DAP paired with the HD650.

            My plan was to go straight to the X5 from my trustworthy Clip+ – then I heard a whisper, “it’s better to get and enjoy the X3 now, so your ears can better appreciate the X5 when it lands at Egghead.” πŸ™‚

          • headfonics

            I would have stuck with your original theory to go straight to the x5 as it is out in a few weeks and the Ibasso DX90 will be out soon also which wil provide intense competition.

            As it is an X3 is a good start πŸ™‚

  • Well said sir. There are already a couple of stores that somehow “allow” (still stuck behind the glass) demoing but none compare to Egghead. Plus they give discounts when you buy in cash and do give freebies every once in a while. It would be great if they start selling other international brands that you can’t find in other local stores.

    I remember having a conversation with a sales staff from another store (a larger name in audio/video stuff). I was asking what was the difference between this PHP 350 earphone and this PHP 750 earphone whereas almost everything with the specs was the same. The response was: “Sir, the PHP 750 earphone is better because it has FREE EXTRA BASS.” =)))

    • headfonics

      Oh the life style stores eh? I have nothing against them since they stock a lot of stuff I like, its just the emotional attachment when you have specialist staff that I prefer.

  • One great thing about egghead is they also accept online purchases! I’m from the visayas, so I have no chance to get visit their store in manila but a simple text conversation and bank deposit, the next day my item arrived! Plus I’m assured that they are selling authentic products and not just fake items sold on ebay or other trading sites.

    • headfonics

      Oh I didnt know this – kudos to Egghead πŸ™‚

  • I bought my first “real” headphones from here! I originally came in looking for Sennheisser headphones because I thought I would like their sound signature better. After listening through their HUGE collection, I decided ATH cans wer more suited to my tastes. They even gave a free FiiO amp to boot.

    • headfonics

      FiiO amps are great value!

  • Cheese

    hi i bought a Sennheisser CX-215 and the warranty will expire in 2014. The right part of the earphone is losing its sound and i would like to ask if i can replace the earphone even though the covered rubber plastic below the head of the earphone is coming off? Im pertaining to the small rubber plastic (connecting the head and the stem), sorry i dont know the name of the earphone’s parts so i just kinda made the names up. Thanks for answering my query

    • headfonics

      Thanks for commenting but have you asked Rico and the Egghead team for feedback? if there is a defect Senn normally has 2 year warranty and a PH website to email for a support request to repair it – sounds like a loose cable or driver.

  • DeepGroove

    Egghead is a great place to discover and try on headphones. Selection is huge and they will even let you try earbuds. If you feel chatty there is often a headphiles member happy to exchange impressions and make you discover new gear! I found the store is a bit too noisy to enjoy open cans like the T1, but for everything else, this is the place to go.

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