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Headphones and niche music tastes

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

One trend that has made its way back into pop culture is traditional style headphones such as Beats by Dre. This trend has come back at the same time as niche music tastes have dominated the music world. Due to Spotify and Apple music, people are able to dive into their own underground music tastes and curate their playlists. This is a newer phenomenon because prior to this, people had to listen to what was on the radio, making their music taste generally similar to those around them. People could prefer different genres, but within a certain genre, they would know the same songs. 

Traditional style headphones are a symbol of this new ability to organize and delve into a specific music genre. They allow the wearer to stand out from the crowd and make a statement. 

When you see someone walking around with big headphones on, you probably think to yourself, ‘I am sure they have good music taste.’ Often the people with these headphones are the ones attending underground concerts in their free time and there is a mysterious element to them because you are left wondering what they are listening to. You have already assumed that they have good music taste and wish you knew what songs they were playing so you could add them to your playlist and enhance your carefully created and meticulously curated Spotify account as well. Mystery creates allure, thus influencing your probable purchase of your own pair of headphones. 

This trend is also a way of connecting to past decades, specifically to the 1960s and 1970s. Headphones like Beats are similarly designed to those from these decades, but with newer and more advanced technology and sound capabilities. Headphones are more classic compared to Airpods and it is considered trendy right now to look retro. Thrifting and the overall attraction to vintage items has become popularized on social media platforms and headphones are part of this aesthetic. 

Headphones represent the intersection between niche music taste development and a fondness for the past. A pull toward vintage, and a step toward the future.

Mia Epstein

Cal Poly '26

I am a first-year Journalism major at Cal Poly SLO. I have a passion for writing and am excited to utilize Her Campus as an outlet for creativity.