High-end audio company Master & Dynamic only launched two short years ago but they quickly established themselves as a force in the headphone game. Not only do they focus on sound quality, they’ve created a design-driven product in a market where the design is often just an afterthought. The man behind the brand, Jonathan Levine, has been steadily paving the way to the top of the premium headphone market, thanks to the company’s principles: design, art, creativity, collaboration, technology, and a desire to create high-quality products that inspire. The New York City-based Levine used his Wall Street banking and investment background to become an entrepreneur launching two consumer products companies, both of which were successful, prior to his latest venture. With their ever-increasing popularity, Master & Dynamic products can now be found in over 450 retailers around the world and through collaborations with artists like The Rolling Stones, Poliça, and Christian Scott. Take a look at this week’s Friday Five where you’ll get a sense of his great taste and how he stays so inspired.
1. Central Park
I can’t imagine living in New York City without Central Park. As a designer, I am awed and inspired by the genius and care that went into the design of the park and every time I am in it, I discover something I haven’t seen there before. I have been running, biking and walking in Central Park for over 25 years and some of my best ideas have come to me while in the Park.
2. The ocean
I spent my childhood swimming in the ocean as a young boy at the New Jersey Shore and now spend summer weekends on Long Island with my business partner/girlfriend and the six children we have between us. I have a rule that whenever I am near a body of water, I go in it, regardless of temperature. Nothing beats riding a bike to the beach with my sons Robert and Justin, jumping in the Atlantic Ocean, and then riding back home.
3. Antique coin-operated soccer game (circa 1930)
I played soccer in high school, taught my sons how to play soccer, and then had the great pleasure of cheering them on from the sidelines. I collect a lot of industrial inspired objects and this is among my favorites. It sits in my office and is a big conversation starter. If you look closely, you can see the players are wearing hand-knit sweaters.
4. Watch collection
I’m obsessed with all things mechanical. It may have all started with the few unique timepieces I inherited from my father who passed away when I was only four years old. I’ve since added to my collection. I love walking up Madison Avenue in New York where you can find an amazing array of watches, new and preowned, for viewing.
I’m not sure where my love of chairs came from. Ironically, I prefer to walk around our offices from team to team rather than sit in one place. I’ve picked up some great chairs over the years, whether at yard sales, flea markets or antique shows. The vintage Charlotte Perriand chairs in our offices remind me of our Master & Dynamic headphones: metal and leather combined elegantly and timelessly. A portion of my Conrad Marca-Relli collection can be seen on the wall behind the chairs.