Beats Headphones, that bad?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by reznick, May 22, 2014.

  1. reznick macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2013
    Every blog post and forum thread about Beats headphones I read, always refer to the products as "Stylish without substance."

    What gives?

    What am I missing?

    I don't personally own a pair, but my cousin has a pair, and I think they're phenomenal. They drown out noise when music is playing, and the sound quality is awesome.

    I'm just curious why the popular sentiment is "Stylish without substance," because my experience using them has been totally different.
  2. Matthew9559, May 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2014

    Matthew9559 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    It's not that they are horrible it's the fact that you can get even better quality headphones for less money. That's the main gripe.

    I haven't personally used them but I'm sure they sound great. I was looking for a pair of headphones sub 200 and my research lead me to the ATH-M50s and they sound amazing to me and while the price fluctuates, it's always sub 150. Everywhere you look though they are rated amazingly high for the price so that's why I went with them.
  3. Fairfax macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2011
    Deep Web
    People here love to trash beats headphones because it's trendy, made popular by a rapper who will now be associated with Apple and have a seat at the board and some people here can't handle that so they lash out at the product so they can feel better about themselves. Performance wise, the headphones are fine. People use the price of the headphones sell at as an excuse to bash the headphone because they believe for the price beats headphones sell for the quality should be on par with mixing headphones used by recording engineers worldwide.

    You can also tell from reading a lot of the posts online a lot of apple users get their self esteem from their Apple products, they identify with it, it makes them feel good, they can look down on other people, such as those who wear beats headphones. Now that beats is going to be associated with Apple that is a threat to them because Apple is special, as a result of the beats acquisition they will no longer be so special, beats will tarnish the Apple brand and their self worth.
  4. jasoncordelle macrumors regular


    Jan 29, 2008
    Auckland NZ
    They're just overpriced...

    Audiophiles hate Beats because they're bass-heavy, unbalanced in their sound signature and flashy...

    Personally, I'd happily own a pair of beats on-ears if they didn't have such a high pricetag.

    I have a pair of beats in-ears and they sound great...for me.

    My preference is to listen to metal, hard rock and the ocasional bit of hip hop or pop/dance. For that they are perfect.

    My on-ears are SOL Republic Tracks HD. They have a similar sound to the equivalent Beats product, but at less than half the price. Just as flashy, just as cool, less popular (probably due to a smaller marketing budget) and they really do rock my world.

    Audiophiles also bag the SOL's...again, flashy, bass-heavy, etc etc.

    It's just the way that sound snobs are.

    Beats are over priced, but there's not a lot wrong with the quality or the sound, if they suit your personal taste.
  5. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    Beats Headphones, that bad?

  6. Crichton333 macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2014
    My impression was that the quality is on par with the hype. Didnt really come across any comments that had any real counter arguments. You cant really judge by "I tryed them once and it felt wrong" type of reviews.
  7. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008

    I think part of the snobbery is that they seem to be worn by people as a fashion or status without regard for their sound.

    As for sound; some seem to think they're the best without knowing that there is far better kit.
  8. EM2013 macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2013
    There it is. Well said.
  9. mojolicious, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014

    mojolicious macrumors 68000


    Mar 18, 2014
    Sarf London
    Don't they just.

    Add that to the news that the Google 'brand' is now adjudged to be more 'valuable' than the Apple 'brand' and a fair few posters seem to be positively suicidal.
  10. bmac4 macrumors 601


    Feb 14, 2013
    Atlanta Ga

    I agree. I have a pair of beats studios, and love them. I don't care if others have them or not. I wanted a good pair of headphones that had noise canceling. Beats hit the mark, and could not be happier. I bought my iPhone because I like what it has to offer. Not because it trendy.

    What I don't get is the Apple fans that bash beats. They are the same thing Apple is. Just on the headphone side of things. Not the phones. I know a lot of people that think Apple is over priced and trendy. I can't blame them either. Apple for sure is trendy, and at times I think they are over priced. I just don't get the complaining. Just look at the company you associate with.
  11. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    I don't like beats because they are far and away too bass heavy, and I'm someone who only listens to a bit of rock and a ton of audio podcasts.
  12. bmac4 macrumors 601


    Feb 14, 2013
    Atlanta Ga

    Yeah beats are not for everyone that is for sure. I like the bass, and for what I am use them for they work great.
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Beats Headphones - try them out, if you like the sound and the price then buy them. There really is not much more to say as far as tastes go.

    If one is more into a flat response then Beats may not be your best bet but that doesn't make them bad just not for certain types of music or personal tastes.

    I am not one to buy Beats for both price and type of headset they provide. I prefer something a bit more flat in response and as such, other makers come to mind for my needs.

    Incidentally, Apple's earpods to me sounds much better than their earbuds but not really great for good playback of higher quality music files. I was reading an article where the author mentioned an app - Dirac HD sound. I found this app to do amazing things with the Apple provided earpods and earbuds. Though I am not telling people to get this app, the point is that many types of headsets can be adjusted with some sort of equalization to achieve more pleasing sound.

    Bottom line is that sound quality is both subjective and measured objectively. Beats has many happy users and will have similar with neigh sayers.
  14. RiddlaBronc macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    Mcallen Tx
    Kicker sells some great headphones for a fraction of the cost
  15. reznick thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2013

    Well said. The headphones you linked to is a product I could never walk around wearing. It reminds me of the headphones I used to wear in school when doing audio design.

    I think I get it now. Beats doesn't have the best sound quality, but they have GOOD quality yet they are fashionable enough to wear in public.

    I think Beats might be the only brand that can deliver on that intersection.

    Since Apple is taking high tech into fashion, acquisition makes a lot of sense.
  16. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Its a preference of lifestyle.

    There is no objective "bad" or "good" because music is subjective.

    Different people like to listen to different things in different ways.
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    This post expresses the matter well.

    The marketing behind the product makes them extremely fashionable, but - for the same money or a bit more, there are far better products available which are both less 'trendy' and which - to audiophiles - deliver a far better sound.
  18. regkilla macrumors 6502


    Mar 19, 2013
    calm down Dr. Dre fanboy.
  19. Bobby Corwen, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014

    Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Well though that is true, you don't really have much room to criticize.

    Be fair to the average consumer, to whom headphones are a niche market; he/she doesn't KNOW which "other" headphones are just as good.

    They do know two things:

    1) Beats are at least something they can for sure count on to deliver the WOW factor they want in the headphone bass.

    2) They will have the added bonus of not only not looking awkward or clunky, but rather be a fashion statement and secretly also a status symbol. Like: "I paid at least 100/300$ for these" same as any other brand name status. With lets say the Audio Technicas or others "clones" people don't know if they are 40$ or 200$, but they DO know you CANT buy Beats for less than 100$ or so.

    So its not really that dumb, the consumer isn't being an idiot, its simply a difference of preference. Say what you really mean. You just don't like bass.

    But the point is nobody knows who those "other" quality headphone clones are. With other makers making so many different varying degrees of confusing types, you need a sound engineering background just to understand it all.

    Some are partially as good. Maybe some are identical. Maybe even better and cheaper. But again, people know exactly how much your beats cost and that is subconsciously worth value to people that justifies the price.

    Are they really expected to try out all these various brands just to get an imitation to save some money?

    There are many industries of convenience. The price tag is something that buys both status and time saved shopping for comparable quality because you can feel comfortable you bought the original that set the standard for that energetic bassy closed-can feel.

    Branding has logistical value and there are many parallels to be found in many other industries where such a paradigm exists unchallenged.
  20. HRPufnstuf macrumors member

    May 17, 2014
    Someone's got deeper issues here it seems.
  21. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    I love Apple products, but Apple's earphones are trash. I would recommend Sennheiser which is also a very famous brand but with better bang for the buck than Beats.
  22. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Sorry but I can not agree. I have had two different models and both have been defective. The first pair fell apart while the 2nd pair, after only two days lost the right hand channel. Sorry two pair was good enough for me to say they are crap and that DOES "feel better about myself"!

    Maybe Apple can make the product line better, Time will tell.


    I was thinking the same thing.:rolleyes:
  23. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    This video I believe sums up the debate well.

    It's not that Beats are bad, it's just there are better options that are cheaper.

    I had a set of Beats as a replacement for a set of ATH ES7s I decided to replace...

    The Beats were really expensive so I was expecting quality, though the poor build quality meant they fell apart after a few months, sound-wise they weren't bad rather boomy and muddy treble with little separation.

    So I ended up going back to a brand I had good experience with in the past, Audio Technica. I ended up with a set of ATH-M50s, seriously the choice I should have gone for first... They sounds awesome and were worth every cent of the $125 :)
  24. bmac4 macrumors 601


    Feb 14, 2013
    Atlanta Ga

    So I tried the Dirac HD, and it sounds great with my Apple headphones. What I would like to know though is if there were a way to figure out what the app is doing. Could I change my EQ to copy this? I listen to Spotify a lot and I can't use the app.
  25. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    You need to listen to some good headphones, then you'll know what substance is. And you get good headphones for less money than these cost.


    I'll save you getting a sound engineering background: Grado SR60i for much less money are the best headphones for _any_ money when connected to a portable device. There are better headphones if you connect to your HiFi equipment at home or use a headphone amplifier, but without these, nothing beats them.

    And strange enough, I don't care how much people think I paid for my headphones. I couldn't care less if I tried. I care about how they sound.

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