Happy with your new Beats by Dr Dre? – You finally feel part of a privileged circle of people who have something in common?
Well, the truth is that whenever you go out with them on, you look quite ridiculous. Why? Imagine the following situation: you have a group of friends in your house, you show them your new 60 inch TV, with wonderful construction materials and the best industrial design on the market. But you can only see the video in low resolution black and white.
Now imagine the faces of your friends. And the subsequent laughter. Well, it’s exactly the same thing happens with your Monster: Beats headphones with superior design that sound, in one word, awful.
And though it sounds obvious, the headphones are acquired and used to listen to music with good quality, not to make you look cute walking down the street. And although no one likes to use things that look “bad” or “ugly”, it does’t make sense to have a device on your head, covering your ears just to make the world believe you’re cool.
In the ballgame of the Monster Beats have fallen many brands and tech companies — from HTC (who came to invest 300 million on the brand) up to Apple that sold them in all their stores, making their customers think that, by being there and costing 300 or more dollars, are good devices.
But they are not. In fact, base on how much they cost the company to make, it’s a robbery. They have terrible audio quality and its main feature is that it has louder bass. This is not only my opinion, people like Tyll Hertsens (general editor of the respected InnerFidelity.com) commented to the New York Times:
In terms of audio performance, it’s the worst thing that you can buy.
The history of Monster selling accessories at exorbitant prices, justifying it by its exterior (and not its operation), is quite extensive. In the 90s they were selling audio cables 10 or 15 times more expensive than any other based on the lie that sounded better. Even though there is no evidence that supports this assertion.
In recent times they have applied the same technique with digital cables, including the popular HDMI, that, as we have explained before, there is no difference between a cheap and expensive one. They are now doing exactly the same thing, but with headphones.
The strategy of Beats and Monster is brilliant: to sell an accessory for how looks, regardless of how it sounds, and set it at a premium price. This business strategy is flawless, not only because there is a large portion of people that need to feel that they carrie something stylish on their ears (we must accept it, some Sennheiser are not necessarily good looking), but because in the process they have celebrities buying them and their legion of followers doing exactly the same thing (aspirations motivation is strong).
It is such a great idea that 50 Cent and Ludacris have followed these steps and released their own lines of headphones, SYNC and Soul, respectively. None, by far, with the same success, marketing, international expansion and capabilities of distribution that the union between Monster and Beats offers.
But the marketing, design, red wire, the name or “Dr. Dre’s endorsement or the price make a technological device to have good quality of audio and that is the biggest problem.
You can always feel like Justin Bieber when you have your Beats
For 300 dollars (or its equivalent) you can acquire headphones of muchhigher quality headphones (Yes, more discrete) but that will make you listen to music in a different way and understand that there are better ways of enjoy your favorite bands. I recommend you to check Inner Fidelity’s headphones guide in the ranges of 100 to 250 dollars and 250 to 500 dollars. And if you’re interested in headphones that cover your ear, I recommend the Beyerdynamic DT 1350, which cost the same the Beats.
In my experience, I’ve used some Etymotic Hf-2 for almost two years and I couldn’t be happier.