Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Beats by Dre headphones, why have such poorly made expensive headphones become so popular and mainstream?

Chances are if you see a teenage kid walking down the street with a pair of headphones around his neck, they are a pair of Solo or Studio Beats.  You see the celebrity endorsements with these all the time (the Beats symbol is present in almost every Lady Gaga music video) and Tour Beats are shown (in an extremely close and obnoxiously implemented camera shot) in the LMFAO Part Rock anthem music video. So why have such poorly sounding, poorly built, and extremely expensive (for what you receive with these things) headphones been allowed to become so mainstream and popular?  I think it comes down to three things.

One:  They are designed to look "stylish and sleek" the appearance of Beats headphones appeal to a lot of people (I personally don't find them visually appealing at all, but you may disagree) I believe that this style  comes at the expense of build quality.  The idea of a plastic headband is visually appealing until you discover that the sleek plastic material they use is prone to cracking.  Many headphones are made out of plastic and I get that.  In fact, many of Sennheisers expensive professional and reference headphones have plastic headbands as well.  The difference between these Sennheisers and Beats is that Sennheiser manufactures their headbands out of tough, flexible plastic that doesn't crack and break over time.  Beats by Dre fails to acknowledge the major design flaw in their headphones which is cheap plastic that results in premature breakage under normal usage conditions. Beats by Dre users also like supposedly "stylish" look of the headphone  and wear them around their neck wherever they go.  I often get annoyed by folks who wear Beats by Dre around their neck just to show them off, while rarely ever using them.  I find it absurd that people would pay $300 to $400 dollars on a popularity tool.

Two:  They are expensive and are designed to look expensive, making people think they are of high quality.  I can tell you first hand that they may look expensive, but they definitely do not feel that way.  The plastic feels cheap and flimsy and the battery cover on the Studio Beats comes off too easily. While on the headphones the battery cover doesn't feel firmly secured.  Most  people think that just because something costs more money it is better.  This is exactly what Monster wants people to think.  Be your own advocate and research before you buy, a companies claims are not always true (I find most companies to be completely trustworthy to an extent when it comes to things like technical specifications, but Monster doesn't have the cleanest track record in that area.  Lots of deceit with Monster as a corporation towards their consumers).  

Three:  Monster and the Beats by Dre website market the headphones to people like they are some innovative new headphone better than any thats come before it. Additionally they also give them fancy names like "Studio" and "Pro" implying quality (like they really use Studio or even Pro Beats in an actual studio). Here is a quote from Dre himself which can be found on their website: "People aren't hearing all the music. Artists and producers work hard in the studio perfecting their sound. But people can't really hear it with normal headphones. Most headphones can't handle the bass, the detail, the dynamics. Bottom line, the music doesn't move you. With Beats, people are going to hear what the artists hear, and listen to the music the way they should: the way I do."  Well I am sorry Mr. Dre but people still aren't hearing all the music.  I can guarantee you that artists who work in the studios don't prefer muddy over powered bass, poor midrange and high range, and dont use any type of Beats headphones including the so called "Pros".  

People STILL aren't hearing all the music, and I would expect a 300 dollar pair of headphones to have a better frequency response than Apple ear-bud pack-ins  which have a basic frequency response of 20- 20,000Hz. Its also worth noting that Monster hides the specs of their Beats line of headphones and I had to do a little digging to get the specifications.  If you are a company that is selling headphones and I go on your website and the specifications are nowhere to be found that already makes me distrustful.  I am pretty sure that professional sound engineers don't appreciate you marring their, quote "hard work" with your poorly designed headphones.  I find it particularly disgusting the way Monster markets these things to younger people, wasting all of their money on inferior headphones.  I for one will continue to listen to my audio on proven professional quality headphones that sound three times as good and cost two times less. I for one am hearing all the music Mr. Dre.  Are you?

I challenge all of you to research and formulate your opinion on what YOU want to purchase.  Do not be swung over by the celebrity endorsements and the mainstream propaganda.  Do not just get them  because everyone else has them.  Be different, and maybe perhaps think different.  Theres nothing wrong with purchasing headphones that aren't Beats, especially when you have the satisfaction of a headphone thats built better, sounds better, all together performs better, and costs less.


  1. I got a pair of AKG k272s over the summer, Im extremely happy with them. Best pair of closed back cans you can get for the price IMO

  2. Ive heard great things about AKG's. I know that they are extremely popular in recording studios. They make good mics too.

  3. I have to agree with this article. These things fall apart very easily. There is a weak spot where the headphone connects to the metal headband adjuster. It simply comes apart with regular use. If you go to any Best Buy that has the headphones out to try, you will see headphones that have come apart. If you are out of warranty (1 year) you are out of luck, because the company doesn't repair them, they only do warranty replacements. The Sonitalk cable that comes with it is also very flimsy. The wire becomes frayed at both ends over a short period with regular use. Not only is this wire expensive, but the company never has it in stock, so good luck finding a replacement. So in summary, I have a pair of $300 headphones that are less than two years old, with the wires and body held together by electrical tape.

    1. Thank you for posting this as it proves my point exactly! They do not take pride in their work as a company and they also neglect to repair the damage the headphones sustain under NORMAL use. Even if the product is under a year old. It's simply ridiculous. Horrible customer service and horrible products.

  4. Are Cad Audio Headphones really Professional Grade and good quality?