Photo: John Atkinson
John Atkinson and I met with Ronny Tsai, president of a new company called Spider International, makers of cables, headphones, and accessories. Here I am listening to a little bit of Kanye West’s “Heartless” through Spider’s Blow Out in-ear headphones ($89), due to be available in January 2011. I had just completed a direct comparison between the Blow Outs and Monster’s Beats by Dr. Dre Diddybeats in-ears ($179.95), and though I heard more bass through the Diddybeats, the bass through the Spiders may have been just a touch tighter. I’m not sure, though; I would need to listen more. More impressive were Spider’s Real Voice in-ear headphones ($129) which offered well-extended highs and were very comfortable to wear. Spider also plans to release a noise-cancelling model in April 2011, priced at $99.
Tsai explained that he’s got two designers working with him, one with a background in headphones and one with a background in cables. The company is striving to produce components that can outperform mass market brands, but at lower price points. They are targeting the 25-45 year old listener who is interested in quality, but who also wants a good-looking, affordable product. Spider components are manufactured in Taiwan.