Friday, January 21, 2005

Case or Stand & Furoshiki?

I must say I was at first very underwhelmed by the packaging of the Qualia 010. They came in a white cardboard box. Not even a really nice cardboard box like the Sennheiser HD650. Not even just a nicely designed box like the iPod. But basically, a cardboard box.

Although I must admit I had a grin on my face when unboxing the 010 revealed that it was covered not by a plastic bag but by a white satin furoshiki. It's definitely a Japanese product <^_^>

I then thought about the packaging of these high-end phones. With most of them, you get an elaborate presentation box. Sony's own MDR-R10, the Stax Omega II, the Audio-Technica ATH-W2002, not to mention Ultrasone's Edition 7 and others... they all ship in boxes that are not only useful to transport the phones in, but also make a statement about what you're getting.

Then OK, it occured to me that once you buy these things, most people will actually just use them at home and the case won't be used. So, the Qualia 010 approach of shipping a stand instead of a fancy case actually makes more sense. But making sense and making a statement are totally different things... and the Qualia range is supposed to be about making a statement.

I appreciate the stand, really. It's a sculptured, heavyweight, handsome thing that I can only find... ooh, 2 or so major design faults on. But I really would have liked an elaborate box WITH a stand and furoshiki. I mean, people will spend $2.5~$3K on these so an extra couple of hundred for a fancy case wouldn't kill the prospective buyer, would it?

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