The NAMM Show held every January in Anaheim, California is the largest music merchant show in the world, drawing in big-name vendors such as Fender—and small boutique shops like Inderbinen, which handcrafts woodwind and brass instruments with a smoky vintage sheen. Although technically not open to public, aspiring yuppie rockers with Aqua Net-hairdos manage to sneak into the show, intermingling amongst famous artists (Eddie Van Halen, George Bensen to name a few) browsing the latest and greatest musical wares. But NAMM’s not all about gear for hardcore musicians—and here are three noteworthy products featured at the show.
High-end headphones that actually look the part
Beats headphones by Dr. Dre try to get marketed as fashion gear, but the candy shell plastic only looks suave if you shop at Urban Outfitters or listen to Lil Wayne. Other audiophile brands like Grado Labs go for a retro look that still feel chintzy.
Enter the Seinnheiser Momentum, which combines premium materials with crisp, clear sound. The stitched Ethiopian long-haired sheep leather is treated at the same tannery where Bentley gets its leather seats, and the sumptuous earpads move up and down the satin stainless steel frame with a smooth and slick action. The Momentum was revealed last year, but Seinnheiser has added a brown colored variant into the mix.
Retailing for $350, it includes a detachable cable with an in-line microphone and volume remote control.
The iOS rock star
The company announced iRig BlueBoard ($99), the first Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard for iPhone, iPad and Mac, which enables you to switch sounds and presets on the fly—and without cords cluttering the stage (or your room). Coupled with the iRig HD announced at CES, it delivers digital rock in a compact and elegant package that’s appealing even for budding guitarists.
You don’t need to be Bootsy Collins to lay down a cool bass line with the Slaperoo Noodler, a baton-like instrument that consists of a two-foot PVC pipe with a metal strap stretched across. It can be played by hand or with drumsticks, and can be amplified for larger venues. The Noodler is a smaller cousin to the original Slaperoo, which debuted last year, and will retail for $300. Here's a video of the larger version in action: