You cannot go a day without seeing Beats By Dre headphones hugging someone’s head or neck (or self-esteem), but mention the brand in a conversation and you’ll get a range of responses. Still, it’s something to keep in mind before you fork over upwards of $200 for a pair of Beats Solo HD headphones. “Besides their crappy sound, they’re basically created to break”.
So, why would anyone spend $199 on a pair of Beats?
“Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine have leveraged their personal backgrounds and a sleek design to launch a remarkable brand that’s become fundamental to music pop culture”, Bolt prototype engineer Avery Louie concluded in his report. For evidence, he points to a teardown of Beats by Dre Headphones at Medium, which says the product feels strong and durable partly because of a few metal pieces.
While marking up retail prices is common practice (else how would businesses make money), Beats’ markup is astounding, considering its claims of superior sound quality and ringing celebrity endorsements. According to Louie, “One of the great things about the solo headphones is how substantial they feel”.
The over-the-ear headphones being worn in public by customers such as those designed by Beats, however, is not a product that is geared towards functionality. What he shockingly found was that about one third of the overall weight of the headphones came from four metal parts that were there “for the sole goal of adding weight”, he wrote. So in this instance the insertion of metal to add weight appears to be purely to make the headphones seem better then they are.
Louie noted that while Beats had impressive styling, the quality of the actual components and drivers used were nothing to shout about. The popularity of Beats, they often argued, was nothing more than clever marketing ably masking a run of the mill product.
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