THUMP was there to get the low down on the superstar DJ's collaboration with Philips.
Every March, the Winter Music Conference takes over Miami. For music professionals, DJ's, record labels, producers and all others involved in electronic music, WMC is one of the most important events of the year. At this years conference, Philips presented the new A5-PRO headphones, in collaboration with Armin van Buuren.
The launch of the A5-PRO
On the Thursday afternoon of Miami's WMC, the launch of the A5-PRO took place. Armin and Tim Homewood, A5-PRO's designer, presented the headphones together in Baoli's backyard. The A5-PRO is a result of the collaboration between Van Buuren and Philips; Armin collaborating with Philips' professional listeners, the Golden Ears, to perfect the sound. The headphones are designed especially for DJing. The practical side of the headphones, van Buuren stresses, are as important as the sound quality. Together with Homewood, he tried out several prototypes to get the shape comfortable, to make them easy to carry - and hard to break. The headphones also come with a leather coating. The headphones are also twistable, as Armin demonstrated for the crowd:
After the presentation, and since Philips stressed the importance of the role Burren played in the development process, THUMP asked him what he seeks for in the ideal headphones. For him, "the most important to me is the sound. Until that is proper, the rest doesn't really count. You don't buy headphones because they look great. The sound of the A5-PROP is very spacious, and can go extremely loud." So, how was the experience of collaborating with Philips? "I'm constantly being approached by major brands", said Buuren. "I'm not against working with them. I want to make enough money, although I want to do that by supporting something I believe in. I don't want to be a progressive sourpuss who will be telling people in the end "well, at least I never sold out". I'm like a football player: at one point I won't be popular anymore, and at that point, I don't want to be moping around, simply because I forgot to make money.
After a heavy battle between journalists to speak with Armin, he started to play his set. A couple of hundred invitees were waiting in anticipation behind a curtain, as the volume slowly went up. As soon as the curtain opened, they stormed the DJ booth. The space was lit by phone screens. Everyone was frantically making pictures. That same night a bigger event took place: the Armin van Buuren & Friends pool party in Surfcomber. When Armin finished playing, the crowd kept chanting his name for at least five minutes. At WMC, it's clear that Buuren is treated like a superstar.
This status was gradually confirmed over the course of the conference. At the airport, our reporter was asked by many how he got his Armin goodiebag. Even at customs, where officials are usually out to spot terrorists, everyone got excited. Someone even gave him a high five. Basically, if you ever need to smuggle something out of the States, be sure to put it in an Armin van Buuren bag.