To the extreme! Those words would be an apt fit for Wicked Audio. In yer face, bold, loud, the Wicked Audio brand seeks to match their headphones with the world of surf, skate, biking and more. Through music and extreme sports sponsorships, Wicked Audio continues to roll out their beats to the next generation of sound lovers. We talked to the founder of Wicked Audio, Paul Marshall, to get a little more insight into the brand.
How did Wicked Audio come about?
For 14 years we had a brand called EarHugger. One day we were sitting around and thought that that name wasn’t cool enough. So we came up with Wicked Audio. For the last four years we have gone crazy with growth and sold more headphones and ear buds than we did in the first 14 years of business.
What made you decide to start Wicked Audio?
We wanted a cool brand name but wanted to focus not only on awesome packaging and style but sound quality as well.
What are some of the difficulties in breaking into the populated headphone market?
The hardest part is that there are always headphone companies popping up all over the place. They come in with cheap products and cheap packaging with no back end marketing. It makes it hard for the companies like us that have been around for a while and put money into building a brand.
What makes WA different from other headphones like Skull Candy?
We focus on sound quality first and foremost. We know that you bought the headphone to listen to it. Some of the other brands just want to make the packaging flashy and do some guerilla marketing but don’t really care about the sound quality of the headphones themselves.
What are a few athletes, bands and music fests you endorse/sponsor?
We work with about 70 athletes and bands. We will sponsor about 100 tour dates through various music festivals like UpRoar and Mayham.
Speaking of athletes, I tend to sweat a lot while working out. I’ve noticed a few of my headphones start crackling or do other funky stuff when they mix with sweat. Do you take this into consideration?
We do. We use the best glues and plastics you can buy. This makes a lot of difference concerning corrosion.
Do you plan on breaking into the premium headphone market like Wicked Audio by [insert rapper here]?
We sell a $100 headphone now. We are looking to push that to $150 at the end of the year. We don’t have any plans to have an artist headphone at this time.
How are your headphone designs inspired?
We have an awesome design team here that is always thinking of some killer ideas for headphone designs and packaging.
In a few reviews, I’ve read a few WA headphones sometimes break easily. Do you listen to customers and improve quality? What’s that process like?
We do take this very seriously and inspect all product that comes back to us. We get about 1% defective units which is very low. We do sell a lot of headphones so I am not surprised that some of the reviewer’s products have broken.
Which are your most popular set of headphones? Which ones do you like?
Our Jawbreaker earbuds are great. They have extreme bass and a good fit. They come in 5 different colors. I personally wear our Heist earbuds. These have an extra jack on the cord so someone else can listen to music with you as well.