This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

#DigitalSkeptic: Headphone Story Sounds Like Bricks-and-Mortar Retail Rebound

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In Bozeman, Mont., at least, the future of music retailing has nothing whatsoever to do with the Internet.

"I got tired of watching the decline of the music business," Jamey Warren, CEO of headphone and portable audio retailer Headroom told me over the phone from the cozy college town on the edge of Yellowstone National Park. "I wanted to have a place to go down and experience music like my old favorite record stores."

"But to do that these days, you have to be selling headphones and personal audio and not CDs," Warren said.

Before investors dispatch this ex-sax player as a retail romantic, keep in mind that Warren's Headroom runs one of the oldest and most established online headphone retail Websites, Headphone.com.

"We started 22 years ago as a catalog retailer for audiophiles looking for the best possible headphones," says Warren, who took over as CEO in January 2013 but has been with the firm for north of a decade.

During that run, Headroom catered mostly to a clientele that demanded the best in custom amps and headphones and, most important of all, honest product reviews. "We were out there selling $1,500 headphones. You can't be afraid of taking a stand on products no matter which vendors you angered," Warren said.

For most of this millennium, this audiophile-first strategy kept Headroom on the breaking Web commerce wave. The operation grew to nearly two dozen employees as it expanded its custom headphone amp line and ramped up product testing. But by the 2008 economic collapse, other equipment makers pushed into the firm's core amp business, and the explosion in low-cost mobile headphones ate deeply into Headroom's lucrative retail revenues.

"We were looking for new ways to grow," Warren said. "We made the gut decision that the best way to sell a headphone was to get a great one on a customer's head."

"So we found the perfect location downtown, and opened a retail store."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,001.22 -38.27 -0.22%
S&P 500 1,988.40 -3.97 -0.20%
NASDAQ 4,538.5510 +6.4470 0.14%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs