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Sennheiser HD 800 - price control? - Page 5

post #61 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamerphile View Post
I'm not an expert on all these companies but what you say is partially plain wrong - one just don't hear about it the efforts of Sennheiser. Don't get me wrong some of them have very good singles labs or something but there is a lot more to it. Sennheiser have more people just in research of headphone only related topics than most competitors have people involved in the entire headphone related chain. In fact I often to tell people when explaining about Sennheiser Communications and why their products are qualitative better than say Bose that they have more highly skilled people just at researching labs from Sennheiser and William Demant combined in researching into audiology topics than most other companys have staff in total related to audio including marketing, logistics etc. William Demant even spend a lot of money on research that isn't totally for gain of competitive advantage but for everyones healthcare, like advancements in training of audiologist, as they are own by a foundation for promotion of better hearing etc. And Sennheiser is known for its very strong global marketing and sales division despite some conservativeness - again due to importance B2B divisions.

What you can ague is the outcome but to say that anyone has near the research or resources that Sennheiser has is just silly. If some of the others had access to say mass production capabilities of their own speaker designs like Sennheiser does they would have been able to lower their prices on anything but the top models. HD202, 555 or MM50 for iPhone is good examples that competitors can't keep up with the overall performance for the low price segments so these sell like hot bread. On of the reasons Sennheiser still has a headphone division - the profit isn't in HD800 or that sort compared to R'n'D costs. Its something the Sennheiser family choose to let happen - just like the PC350 gaming headset I'm told was a long and hard struggle too as it wasn't expected to profitable (clearly before they really realized how much we wanted something better than the other poor headsets out there).

And it isn't going to end here - I've seen what coming out next year or the year after that and some of these products are defiantly made of the love for quality experiences at higher than most consumers would buy price points - the marketing guys just hope they will be the new HD800 or PC350 and at least regain some of their investments.
Im sorry but paralleling good innovation and r&d with the amount of employees of a company is dead wrong and naive! Technological breakthroughs dont happen by the number of people working, they happen when there is a good dedicated team with a good working space, some leading geniuses and a bit of chance. If what you say its true then you would disqualify a big part of the history of technological advance which begun with good small companies.
post #62 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by xkRoWx View Post
Then we have the squeeky headband. Try twisting them and you'll know what I mean.
Now, why would anyone want to do that?
post #63 of 147
I don't agree with the supposition that the HD-800 will drop in retail price anytime soon. (If the dollar continues its precipitous drop, the price could probably rise, instead.) It's been my experience that highly-regarded audio gear only gets more expensive to buy new, no matter what other "competition" surfaces in the marketplace. Price breaks are found in the used market, true, but it depends on the desirability of a product as to the amount of savings realized. (The very lusted-over K-1000 is still demanding top-dollar, isn't it?)

Is Sennheiser implementing price control for the HD-800? Probably. Would I be pissed-off at them if I couldn't afford the HD-800? No. Just as I am not ticked at JMlabs because I can't swing the Grande Utopia EM (new or used) into my budget.
post #64 of 147
There's some very strange things being said in this thread.

First off, I have worked in various r&d labs (both academic and commercial) and the idea that it took 10 employees several years to take a dynamic transducer and put a hole in the center is so ridiculous it is laughable. The meager technological "achievements" of these headphones require almost no innovation and should take very little time to realize (ie the on the scale of a couple months, and that time being a result of waiting for production rather than running simulations of delving into new physics ).

Second, defenders of these $1400 headphones please stop making claims such as we don't agree with the pricing because we are too poor, or that we want manufacturers to be our slaves.

These headphones are nice high quality phones. The require precious little innovation and low materials cost. The profit margins are astronomical and the prices are fixed. They may be worth $1400 to some people granted.

Why does this stuff annoy me? Because manufacturers look at these responses and say: 'Wow, we don't need to make something great or something of good value. Rather we simply must create a perception of superiority - which is done not by best performance but highest asking price.'
Now we see the me too T1s. If AKG releases something in the $1400 range I will be very annoyed. But I'm still holding out faith for them.
(if AKG actually came out with some outstanding breakthrough, then $1400 could be justified perhaps. But a transducer with two holes in it isn't gonna cut it for me).
post #65 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
There's some very strange things being said in this thread.

First off, I have worked in various r&d labs (both academic and commercial) and the idea that it took 10 employees several years to take a dynamic transducer and put a hole in the center is so ridiculous it is laughable. The meager technological "achievements" of these headphones require almost no innovation and should take very little time to realize (ie the on the scale of a couple months, and that time being a result of waiting for production rather than running simulations of delving into new physics ).

Second, defenders of these $1400 headphones please stop making claims such as we don't agree with the pricing because we are too poor, or that we want manufacturers to be our slaves.

These headphones are nice high quality phones. The require precious little innovation and low materials cost. The profit margins are astronomical and the prices are fixed. They may be worth $1400 to some people granted.

Why does this stuff annoy me? Because manufacturers look at these responses and say: 'Wow, we don't need to make something great or something of good value. Rather we simply must create a perception of superiority - which is done not by best performance but highest asking price.'
Now we see the me too T1s. If AKG releases something in the $1400 range I will be very annoyed. But I'm still holding out faith for them.
(if AKG actually came out with some outstanding breakthrough, then $1400 could be justified perhaps. But a transducer with two holes in it isn't gonna cut it for me).


......

verdict: an AKG fan.



.
post #66 of 147
lets suppose the HD800's didn't have price controls- would you expect teh market price to go up or down? Lets say they discontinued them today- do you think they would be in high demand?

Now lets look at the AKG K1000- finished production at $450.... I paid $1050 for mine just a year after that..now they go for even more

Will there be people who buy the hd800 at $1400....of course...but I dont' think the value of a headphone comes from the retail price
post #67 of 147
Manufacturers equate high $$$$$, F*** Y** money Prices with almost all HIGH END EQUIPMENT these days.......boils down to supply and demand doesn't it???and they're seeing less demand....
post #68 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landis View Post
I think you missed the point of his post.
I will do my own thinking thanks.
post #69 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyDebord View Post
Im sorry but paralleling good innovation and r&d with the amount of employees of a company is dead wrong and naive! Technological breakthroughs dont happen by the number of people working, they happen when there is a good dedicated team with a good working space, some leading geniuses and a bit of chance. If what you say its true then you would disqualify a big part of the history of technological advance which begun with good small companies.
Well I agree with you partially however what I was trying to get thought with was that most if not all other companies don't have the research resources or the number on going research projects compared to Sennheiser. Today R'n'D unless its really revolutionary does not only have to do with the skill of the team its also a lot about the resources in time, people and money as a total. What I'm trying to say is that Sennheiser has access and is researching into many different things at one time the same way they are developing many different development products at the same time. On the same time scale others have made one improvement they have on a roughly been thought the entire product range. And still the can afford crazy stuff like HD800 which none else has the resources for and the HD800, as you see it, is not where they are stopping in doing ground braking (alias expensive ground up new) research.
All this innovation in turn feed down the to the other products - something most others just can't do as they don't do a lot of the manufacturing them self's or make most value added innovations by hand (think Grado) so they can't move these innovations into cheaper products because these, like all brands does, are made by customizing cheap china made stuff. Thats just one place where Sennheiser are different - they mass produce what they call mid-end (their cheapest products) just like everyone else but to a many times higher standard of usage before failure etc. than say a similar priced JVC or Sony.
The key thing is that most of these mass produced products are made with Sennheiser own innovated driver designs and under extreme quality demands something no other manufacture have the resources for as far as I know. Anyone who have outsourced production will tell you that being good at getting quality back ether cost a lot of expertise in staff at the western HQ or money or both.

Also please be aware the bit I said about total staff size - most staff even at Sennheiser are marketing and such for regional areas so if you just look at the "in the area of" numbers on webpages or PR stuff you will have no real idea about the R'n'D departments sizes. I think Sennheiser's numbers are underrated/not up-to-date BTW and what you can't see is that the size of Sennheiser R'n'D departments all over the world VS [typical single] R'n'D of others.

As a note I know a few people at Microsoft and its basically how they keep ontop - they have 100 things going at once and run to the finish pole with the best stuff but that is only decided at the last minute so no-one at Microsoft really knows where they are heading just a year from now. The difference here is Microsoft have more funds for buying up competitors or new businesses that have strategic important innovations - Sennheiser can't do this that often but still I sometimes refer them as the Microsoft of the headphone community.
post #70 of 147
We don't have a working market there anymore - that's the sad truth. The dealers became too powerful, they dictate the prices, the margins and to a certain extend even the brands we buy. Sennheiser/Beyerdynamic doesn't want to lower the prices by 10% next year and another 10% in 2011? Well, so Philips, Sony or DrDre is what we are going to sell. How many new brands came up over the last 10 years at best-buy, wal-mart (is this also a Hifi-dealer?), Metro, Saturn, Mediamarkt selling headphones, hoovers, TVs, DVD-palyers?
That's why Sennheiser doesn't give the big dealers the HD800 (Beyerdynamic, either) - so they're selling Chinese Denon instead.

The HD800 was designed from scratch, every single component (except for the screws and plugs) was custom-developed and made for this particular model. 12 engineers/scientists working full time for 2 years on it - that wasn't said by some marketing people who wrote the brochures, it was a statement by the engineers themselves. The hifi-forum-people saw nearly everything, from the laboratories to the assembly/testing - Sennheiser was very open.
Every component was designed and brought into a digital model, simulating all necessary aspects and then the first prototypes were made and tested. I'm just a stupid mechanical engineer, but this simulation stuff isn't simple and it isn't simple analyze every material and program it's physical properties into the simulation programs, either...
Many small high-end companies don't do that, they don't have the resources or they're not willing to invest them. Most speakers are made from cheap OEM drivers with cheap housings (despite nice glossy finish) - most German manufacturers use carpentries from Poland (3€/h instead of 30€/h - no modern machines - with up to 90% reject rate in QC!). CD-players are made with cheap drives (there are no high-quality drives available anymore), assembling a few circuit boards and putting them into a cheap sheet-metal housing (with massive Al-front). These "manufacturers" don't even understand what they're doing, they don't have the equipment, they just buy finished components/modules for a few €. Some have talented engineers, but they still have to use the trial&error-method...

But still, these amps, CD-players, small speakers are often sold for way over 1400$ - nobody seems to complain, some don't even consider it true high-end! Many HD800/T1/Stax users pay more for the amp or CD-player than for their headphone!
These "Hifi"-components are the true rip-offs - the HD800 or the T1 are more like professional audio-equipment.
Just look inside a 400$ HD650 and a 1400$ HD800 - entirely different design and materials. Open a 400$ CD-player and compare it to a 1400$ model. Nicer front, more buttons - but same plastic-drive /that's cheap plastic!) and components (or a 10$ more expensive DAC).
I'm sure they could sell the HD800 for 700$ (considering the higher quantities) and I'm not happy that when spending 1400$ over 500$ go straight to the dealer ("you want a HD800? Ok, I order it or listen to it here..." <10min work), that's why I would order the Beyerdynamic directly from Beyerdynamic.
But an overpriced rip-off? Not in comparison to the other stuff we own...
post #71 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgl View Post
I'm sure they could sell the HD800 for 700$ (considering the higher quantities) and I'm not happy that when spending 1400$ over 500$ go straight to the dealer ("you want a HD800? Ok, I order it or listen to it here..." <10min work), that's why I would order the Beyerdynamic directly from Beyerdynamic.
But an overpriced rip-off? Not in comparison to the other stuff we own...
The first part of what you wrote is a good description of what I'm also seeing with audio community and some other industries.
To the interesting part I can prove, since my relation does I can buy one or 2 Sennheiser products a year at near BOM price + VAT, that even compared with other Sennheiser products you are not just paying for the extremely expensive research project but HD800 does have a relatively high BOM compared to the list price than many of their other products. Its a generally industry trend with very new tech products in general - they are not just ripping you off BTW thats as much as I can disclose due to NDA so you have to trust my word on it
post #72 of 147
Economic discussions should be relegated to the sound science forum. I must say, I find the perspective some people here have on economics to be more embarassing than the worst opinions I've ever heard on cables.
post #73 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
Second, defenders of these $1400 headphones please stop making claims such as we don't agree with the pricing because we are too poor, or that we want manufacturers to be our slaves.

These headphones are nice high quality phones. The require precious little innovation and low materials cost. The profit margins are astronomical and the prices are fixed. They may be worth $1400 to some people granted.

Why does this stuff annoy me? Because manufacturers look at these responses and say: 'Wow, we don't need to make something great or something of good value. Rather we simply must create a perception of superiority - which is done not by best performance but highest asking price.'


Attackers of these phones, please stop saying that the people who bought them did it because we wanted to flaunt our ability to spend money needlessly or were fooled by the high price into thinking they were good quality.

Also, please stop saying these phones are not worth $1400. Obviously, they are worth $1400 to many people.
post #74 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Economic discussions should be relegated to the sound science forum.

Really? Is that because the educated people post over there exclusively, as opposed to the rabble that post over here?
post #75 of 147
haha haloxt ftw
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