By: Rob Scott-CT Lab at NAPCO Media
We’ve spent plenty of time highlighting some of the ridiculous technology that Philadelphia-based consumer electronics retailer World Wide Stereo displays in its two showrooms in the area. And we’ve also spent some time hanging out with the staff during some of their marquee events, which include playing host to some of the local professional football talent. But it’s not always about just fun and games for owner Bob Cole and his team.
In fact, World Wide Stereo has a real knack for playing up the local aspect of its existence through other, more educational events that the company hosts throughout the year. And there may be no better example of that than their recent “Music Matters” event. Hosted over two nights—one at the Montgomeryville store, and the other at the Ardmore location—the event is described as the retailer’s way of celebrating its shared love of music, while showcasing some of the top brands and products, and letting the technology do most of the talking.
“It’s really a brand agnostic kind of event,” Cole told us, while we were in attendance at the Montgomeryville event. “Even though I expect it to be so, I am always taken aback by how much the music really does move people. That’s just so much fun.”
The event was set up like a mini TED Talk kind of experience, with the World Wide Stereo showroom divided up into several mini classrooms. At each stop, attendees could hear brief 15-20 minute presentations from some of the best and brightest in the audio industry—including representatives from KLH, McIntosh Labs, Bowers & Wilkins, Harman Kardon, Dynaudio, Audeze, and more. Sessions hit on topics like the evolution of the loudspeaker, analog vs. digital audio, streaming services, the importance of sound and music in movies, a deep dive into the wide range of headphone experiences, and more.
World Wide Stereo tied the event together with two exceptional keynotes. One, delivered by Martin Guitar, gave an overview of that company’s nearly 200-year-old history and how they’ve come to create some of the most iconic instruments ever made. The other, delivered by Molly Hicks, a certified musical therapist at Penn Wissahickon Hospice in the Philadelphia area, hit all of the emotional feels and opened the door to the true healing power of song.
Of course, like any good retail event, World Wide Stereo offered up free food to attendees along with some giveaways donated by a few of the presenters who were on hand.
Cole, who’s fresh off of his induction into the Consumer Technology Association’s Hall of Fame last week, credits a good friend in Mark Ormiston of Definitive Audio in Seattle for the “Music Matters” concept. But “the music is the inspiration, of course,” he said. “Really, it’s just that it clearly defines what we’re trying to achieve, to bring great sounding music into people’s lives.”