There’s a few names that sit high atop the list of audio brands, and Sennheiser is one of the better known and more prestigious. The company took a big step in its Australian history this week with the opening of its first Australian dedicated retail store, just adjacent to Sydney’s Martin Place.
The location says a lot about what to expect in the store. Martin Place, rather than Pitt St just a couple of blocks away, feels a little more aimed at Sydney’s money district than a shopping Mecca, and Sennheiser’s retail design plays to that aspect.
The store, located in the heritage-listed “Money Box” building just off Martin Place feels light and welcoming without feeling like a retread of other consumer electronics stores, with shiny surfaces meeting white plinths on which products are highlighted.
There’s a listening area with headphones connected to a variety of equipment in a comfortable quiet space, and the premium Experience Room that’s currently housing Sennheiser’s astonishing HE1 headphones.
It was intimidating to even be in the same room as the HE1. It’s an $80,000 open-design headphone connected to a base with premium components for the best quality audio experience that – oh by the way – happens to be made from marble from the same source as the Statue of David.
I held the headphones for just long enough to appreciate their design and materials, curiously also long enough to contemplate the bank loan I’d have to take out of I dropped them. I handed them back before the staff raised they’d handed them to sometime with butterfingers.
If you’d like a demonstration you’ll need to book an appointment (they take some time to warm up), but they are there to be seen and heard. Sennheiser recommends bringing in some tracks you know intimately, so you’ll be able to hear how different they sound on the HE1.
Sennheiser’s products range from consumer headphones through soundbars, audiophile- and professional-targeted audio production equipment, but the new store also carries a surprise for those of us that might be office-bound each day – Sennheiser’s range of business-targeted conferencing products also makes an appearance.
Amazingly, the store’s first sale this morning wasn’t the company’s Momentum True Wireless buds; not was it high end audio headphones. It was a humble Bluetooth headset; truly a reminder that the store is in the heart of Sydney’s business district.
Sennheiser’s Sydney store is located at 5 Martin Place, with entry via Pitt St. It’s open 7 days a week and the staff are all looking forward to greeting Sydney’s Christmas shoppers. We’d especially like to thank the store’s manager Luke McDonald for showing us around this afternoon!