The boom in the headphone business may have been fueled by a hip-hop beat, but a new player in the market is hoping to make a little noise with country and rock music.

A campaign on crowd-funding site Kickstarter has raised $178,000 for CEO Tim Hickman, designer David Adam and the rest of the team behind California Headphone to develop and build the product.

This month Kickstarter-funded California Headphone Co. is shipping its first few thousand headphones. Designed for fans of country, alternative and rock music, the Danville company’s products must compete with a line of headphones from country music star Tim McGraw, but not much else.

The headphones were inspired by those from Santa Monica’s Beats by Dr. Dre, a which emphasize the bass sounds found in rap and hip-hop music. Headphones with Beats’ lowercase “b” logo have been spotted on hundreds of Olympic athletes in London. The headphones have quickly become fashionable, helping double U.S. headphone sales from August 2010 to August 2011.

Since the beginning of 2011, headphones priced at $100 and above have gone from 28 percent of headphone sales to 42 percent, according to the NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service.

Hickman said California Headphones will be sold at retailers in the United States, United Kingdom, France and South Korea beginning next month. Online, they are exclusively available via the California Headphone website. A limited number of discounted preorders are available through crowd-funding service Kickstarter until the end of the week.

These are slated for release in August, with the Laredo retailing at $100 USD and the Silverado at $200 USD.

Posted By: @BrookLynnDiva

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