If you’ve ever seen a video or a photo of celebrities wearing headphones…
There’s a good chance they were using Beats.
So if a lot of famous people prefer this particular brand…
It must be pretty awesome, right?
Well, not really. And I’d be happy to explain why.
Continue reading to find out:
- 5 genuine reasons why Beats headphones are bad.
- 3 of the best headphones that are worth less than half the price of Beats.
- 5 factors that make Beats headphones so popular in spite of their poor quality.
- And a lot more…
Why Beats headphones are bad – 5 reasons
#1: There’s too much emphasis on low-quality bass
“Because you know I’m all about that bass, ‘Bout that bass, no treble”
Some of you might be familiar with that lyric. But to those that aren’t, it’s from a song called All About That Bass by pop artist Meghan Trainor.
And I quoted it because it’s pretty much the best way to describe the Beats headphones.
They’re really just mostly about turning up a song’s bass level.
It has actually become the most common complaint by many with regard to this brand. And I think it’s well-deserved.
When you listen to music using Beats headphones…
You’ll instantly notice how the bass overpowers everything else.
And while that’s not a bad thing in certain genres…
It just doesn’t sound right on other types of music.
That’s why you should only consider buying Beats if you enjoy hip-hop or electronics.
It’s only with those genres that you’d appreciate Beats’ overemphasis on bass.
#2: Highly overpriced
The cheapest Beats headphone costs around $200. But the premium versions could go as high as about $350.
Now, if you’re as wealthy as those celebrities that use Beats…
Those amounts mean nothing.
But for the average folk, those prices are just too much for a headphone.
As a matter of fact, to give you an idea of how overpriced Beats are…
Tech website Bolt had experts tear down a Beats headphone. The goal was to find out the parts used to make it.
And upon seeing the components…
They estimated that a Beats headphone should only cost around $20 to make.
In other words, the selling price of the cheapest Beats is about 10 times its likely production cost.
Now that’s a ridiculous profit margin no matter how you look at it.
And considering that Beats don’t even produce the best audio quality…
It’s just not worth its asking price.
You might also be interested in: 11 Reasons Why Beats Headphones Are So Expensive
#3: Not made of durable materials
Most tech websites say that Beats wireless headphones last around 4 to 5 years.
However, there have also been reports that they could start breaking down much sooner.
In fact, another site, Gizmodo, took apart a Beats headphone.
And what they found out was the headband part of the device was made of cheap plastic.
According to their test, this material was very fragile. And it broke down really easily.
Moreover, it turned out that Beats also contained metals that served no purpose. They were only inserted to make the headphones feel heavier.
Now, all of those discoveries are quite disappointing. Especially with the headphone’s hefty price tag.
When you’re spending a lot for a device…
It’s only fair to expect it to last a long time.
But unfortunately, that’s something you can’t really expect with Beats headphones. And that’s mainly due to their substandard materials.
So if you want a headphone that can offer more bang for your buck…
You’ll have to look for another brand. And in the next couple of entries, I have a few recommendations for you.
#4: Inferior overall quality compared to similarly-priced headphones
I believe it’s fine to charge over $200 for a headphone. It’s not totally unreasonable.
It’s just that if your asking price is that high…
You should also be able to back it up with performance.
And with Beats headphones…
Their overall sound quality simply doesn’t justify their price.
Now, if money isn’t an issue and you’re willing to spend around $200 or higher…
Consider the following headphones instead.
If you want the best headphone that money can buy…
Go for the Bowers & Wilkins PX7. It’s actually a bit more expensive than even premium Beats.
It’s priced at $400.
However, its performance more than makes it worth it.
The PX7 offers a much cleaner sound compared to Beats.
It also features adaptive noise cancellation.
This means it can listen to the sound of your surroundings. And it can adjust the level of noise cancellation accordingly. So you’d be able to hear music with absolutely no distraction.
Moreover, it’s made out of carbon fiber composite. And that material is much sturdier compared to the Beats’ cheap plastics.
Another excellent premium headphone is the Sony WH-1000XM4.
Like the Bowers & Wilkins PX7…
The WH-1000XM4 also features the best noise-canceling technology in the industry.
But what separates it from others is its Edge-AI.
It’s software built by Sony for maximizing the quality of any audio. Every facet of a song, from the vocals to the instruments, is enhanced. So you get a richer and fuller sound.
In addition, it also has an awesome Speak-to-Chat feature.
Basically, the headphone will stop any music as soon as it hears you talk. And then it immediately continues playing right after you’re done speaking.
All in all, it’s far more advanced than Beats. And that makes its $350 price worth it.
If you want something slightly cheaper than Bowers & Wilkins and Sony…
The Bose Headphones 700 is a great alternative.
At only $275, it’s still superior to the $350 Beats in every aspect.
The Bose 700 also comes with an 11-level active noise-canceling feature. So like the previous 2 headphones I mentioned, you’ll also get to enjoy music uninterrupted.
It’s also optimized for Alexa and Google Assistant. That’s why you can also use voice command easily for controlling the music.
Furthermore, it has a touch control ability. This allows you to just tap one side of the headphone.
And it’ll start playing from Spotify in an instant.
Overall, it’s yet another premium headphone that’s better than Beats.
#5: You can find better alternatives at half the price
So I mentioned that the Beats headphones cost anywhere from $200 to $350.
Well, just so you know…
You can also find headphones under $100 that can compete with premium Beats. Examples are:
All 3 headphones offer noise-canceling techniques that are similar to Beats. And they all last over 40 hours of playtime on a single charge.
Now, they may not be as advanced as the 3 that I mentioned in the previous entry.
But for headphones that are under $100…
They offer a sound that’s just as good, if not better, than the much more expensive Beats.
So that combination of quality and affordability makes each of them a great buy.
If Beats are bad, why are they so popular?
Beats are popular even though they’re bad because of effective marketing strategy. Beats headphones were marketed as premium gadgets. And the endorsements of celebrities helped push that idea to the people. This eventually convinced many to buy the product even at its expensive price.
Now, to further understand Beats’ rise in popularity…
I’ll be breaking down 5 reasons why this brand became the most famous in the headphone industry.
#1: Strong reputation of its founder
We can debate all day about the quality of Beats headphones.
But one thing that no one can deny is it’s a successful product, profit-wise.
And it all started with its founder.
For those that aren’t aware…
It was hip-hop legend Dr. Dre that founded the brand in 2006. And it’s precisely why these headphones are also called Beats by Dre.
Now, Dr. Dre is a powerful person in the music industry. He was actually responsible for launching the careers of other popular rappers. The most notable ones are Eminem and 50 Cent.
And he’s also world-famous.
So when he released these headphones in the mid-2000s…
His name alone was enough for many to buy it.
That’s why it didn’t really take long for these listening devices to explode in popularity.
And with the brand’s success,
Eventually, Apple decided to buy the company for a whopping $3.2 billion in 2014.
But really, when you trace back the success of Beats…
It’s mainly due to Dr. Dre’s influence.
Fun fact: The first Beats headphone model was released to the public in 2008. Its retail price was $399.
Now, Beats actually has a fascinating history. And if you’d like to know more, watch this video:
#2: Celebrity endorsements
LeBron James. Kim Kardashian. Lady Gaga.
What do they all have in common aside from being rich and famous?
Yes, you got that right. They’re all endorsers of Beats headphones.
Dr. Dre’s influence may have jumpstarted the rise of this brand.
But it’s the endorsements of these mega celebrities that pushed Beats’ popularity all the way to the top.
These personalities have literally millions of followers worldwide. And their words are gospel truths to many.
So if they say that Beats headphones are the best, many will readily believe them.
And the truth is…
As long as these celebs continue to promote the brand, Beats will continue to thrive. And it doesn’t matter if there are far superior alternatives out there.
#3: Excellent marketing strategy
Another reason why Beats became world-famous is its excellent marketing strategy.
Basically, the company employed a tactic called Premium Pricing.
This is when a manufacturer opts to sell its product at a much more expensive price than the competition.
The goal here is to make people think that it’s a high-quality commodity.
“Hmmm… it’s really expensive so it must be good, right?”
So even though Beats headphones only cost around $20 to make…
The company marked up the retail price over 10 times so that it appears to be premium.
And looking back…
It was a smart strategy. It actually worked as Beats became a household name in a matter of a few years.
However, with more premium headphones now on the market…
This strategy is slowly starting to backfire. This is because more people are starting to realize that Beats products aren’t worth their price.
Although with the backing of celebs, this shouldn’t hurt Beats too much.
#4: Beats have become a status symbol
Most products that become popular via premium pricing also become status symbols.
“What exactly does that term mean?”
Well, it refers to material possessions that indicate someone’s wealth.
Examples are those Gucci t-shirts.
There’s absolutely no reason for relatively plain shirts to cost over $500 each. Yet many people still buy them.
It’s because it lets everyone know that they’re rich.
Now, the same thing goes with Beats.
It’s an expensive headphone used by popular and wealthy people.
So naturally, people who are trying to show off will also want to buy one.
When you’re wearing a Beats headphone…
Many will think that you’re cool and you’re well-off. And for a lot of people, that’s enough reason to purchase this gadget.
As a result, it only further boosted the Beats headphones’ popularity.
#5: Stylish designs
If there’s one thing that Beats deserves credit for…
It’s the stylish designs of its line of headphones.
Beats products come in a wide selection of colors. And they’re easily customizable.
A famous example of a modified Beats is rapper Lil Wayne’s diamond-studded headphones. It cost over $1 million to design.
But of course, you don’t have to spend that much to personalize your Beats headphones.
There are many online shops that offer to do it at an affordable price.
One of those is Skin It. This company customizes Beats for less than $20.
So while Beats aren’t the greatest headphones…
They at least allow you to show off your personality through designs. And that’s another reason why it’s popular.