iPod Headphones and Steve Jobs words

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Piggie, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    First, I'm very new to the whole Apple thing really, but there's one thing I really don't grasp.

    Apple (generally) charge a reasonable premium for its products, and fair enough, they are (mostly) lovely designed items.

    They go on about unibody designs, focussing on the quality of the last screw.

    I see Steve Jobs on stage saying to the world how his goal is to bring the very best products that they can make to the public. He is fanatical about design and quality.

    Yet, pretty much every review I've ever read in magazines over the years of various generations of iPods have said, (what talking about the sound) they did not sound very good, till they changed the cheap and nasty headphones supplied to some decent ones. Then the iPod sounded much better.

    Now, perhaps it's just me, but hearing all the Steven Design, Quality, and having to throw away Apple Official Headphones are they were cheap junk just confuses me.

    Can anyone explain how this works together as it all seems a bit contradictory.
  2. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    Simply, the better the headphones, the more they will cost to make. Apple is trying to make great iPods that also provide a great value. They include headphones to make the package more complete. It makes sense to throw in cheaper headphones rather than including headphones that would cost signifcantly more to make because then customers would be paying at least $50 extra. Apple provides decent headphones and customers decide if they would like to pay for better headphones and get a choice of which headphones they would like to buy.

    Many wouldn't like paying extra for more than what you're really buying, which is the iPod; you're not choosing an iPod for the headphones that Apple includes. Apple sells more iPods with cheap, mediocre headphones, and consumers get a choice of which headphones to use. It's a win-win situation this way.
  3. Psykomaniaque macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2009
    Totally agree!:)
  4. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    Also, depressingly, most people use either the Apple or other piece of crap headphones anyway.
  5. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Thanks for the replies.

    I can see what you are saying (though to be honest, when bought in the millions I don't suppose better headphones would really add more than a few dollars to the package)

    Perhaps it should be made clear to buyers that the headphones are just a "get you going" pair.

    It's reasonable really for your average joe to assume the headphones are as good a quality as the device itself.
  6. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    If the average Joe is fine with the included headphones, there's really no reason to tell them they aren't that good. Some see the iPod as expensive and can't afford better headphones, anyway. Apple does include fairly decent headphones. It should be obvious from the amount of headphones available that there is a difference. Even still, the average Joe pays $20-$30 if they want new headphones. I have no problem spending much more since there is a difference, and when you have one nice pair (I have a big set of Audio Technica headphones to use at home with my MacBook Pro), you won't settle for owning subpar speakers/headphones.
  7. kbfr08 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2007
    What I don't get is why apple is charging $40 for the standard earphones. If it's really are a "great value" then why do other $40 earphones sound better?
    Then they offer $80 in-ear headphones (two driver), which you'd be better off getting ultimate ears triple-fi 10 (three driver) at best buy for the same price.
  8. tikidoc macrumors regular


    Jan 20, 2010
    I have no idea as to the quality of the sound from the included headphones because the earpieces are so damn huge that I can't fit the things in my ears. Are they made for elephants? I am a female with small (but not tiny) ears and I have never understood why they would include a set of earphones that probably does not fit into the ears of half the population.
  9. JPGR_Fan macrumors regular


    Apr 5, 2003
    St. Louis
    An analogous situation presents itself when you purchase a $100+ pair of running shoes from Nike, Asics, etc. They arrive with very cheaply made inserts. I have several shoe boxes full of these, totally unused, preferring to spend the extra $20-$50 to avoid injury.

    Apple's problem with earphones is similar, but even more difficult. I'm trying to think of all the variables–ear size, comfort issues, place on the audiophile continuum, music taste preference, color, controls in the cord–and know I've left out many. But Apple can't come close to satisfying these preferences, and that is why there is a thriving market for headphones; it is why I have pairs from Sony (3), Sennheiser (3) and Shure.

    Having said all that, for running I use and prefer an old beat up set of buds that came with my 3rd Gen Nano. Ha.
  10. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    The Average Joe wouldn't know good quality audio if it pooped in his lap. Just check the horrid 128kbps (if that) MP3s the Average Joe downloads from LimeWire.
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Duh. You have a choice. Apple has never advertised it's in the "headphone" business.

    And people like different things. Some people like accuracy, some people like boomy, etc in their sound.

    Even if Apple created world peace, ihaters and arms dealers will complain.

    I've never met anyone who said the earphones don't fit.

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