Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › The Numbering Disease: Where Skullcandy and Monster Win
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The Numbering Disease: Where Skullcandy and Monster Win

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

Why do most headphone companies just label all their models with a few numbers and a letter or two thrown it?

 

DT880, HD650, K701, etc, etc.  They don't tell you anything about what you are buying.  They've got no emotion.  For the most part only Monster and Skullcandy actually name all their models.  Some are better than others, but at least they try.  AT give individual names to their top end models (W5000 Raffinato,  W1000X Grandioso) but group their lower end models into different numbers with the same name (Art - the closed A-series, Air - the open AD-series, and Earsuit - the portable ES-series) but not many other "audiophile" manufacturers actually name their gear.  Sennheiser named the Orpheus (and named it well) but they haven't named anything else AFIK.

 

I think this may play in to SK's and Monster's marketing success.  A good name has a visceral appeal that a number just doesn't have. 

 

Luckily, amps are more of a mixed bad.  For every Valhalla or Blue Hawaii there is a WA5 or M902.

 

This isn't really enough to make me buy something just because of the name, but its just a pet peeve of mine.  Anyone else feel the same way?

post #2 of 49

That's probably why BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and Audi are so unsuccessful too. Or Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. There are many, many companies that simply number their product lines, and I find it easier to follow actually as generally you can tell where a product falls based on the number. Higher number=higher perfomance (usually).


To me anyway I really couldn't care less what a company names their product. Performance is probably 99.9%, looks .09%, everything else .01%.

post #3 of 49

I think you have a great point here. I've owned many headphones over the years and they have all just had random names which mean nothing to me. It was only recently when I bought myself a pair of Sennheiser CX-"Insert number here" and I genuinely cannot remember what that number was. The appeal is virtuously non-exsistent with model names like that.

post #4 of 49

I actually agree. It isn't an important carachteristic, but it's quite annoying. When I listen to myself having a conversation about headphones, I sound so geeky like I'm trying to impress people. I have to agree, Monster and SK win at this point. I'm just tired of having to remember all the numbers Sennheiser has!

And it's not like it's strictly better quality or price that decides the number! Many brands actually have 3 algarism numbers: the first determines the class (Senn 4** class and such), and the other two the model. The second and third number, on various occasions, relate to quality on an inverse proportion: the lower, the better. Unfortunately I can't remember of an example, but I know I noticed this just last week.

post #5 of 49

That's interesting. Now I'm trying to come up with names for all my headphones! tongue.gif

 

How about this. Would you rather own the Beyerdynamic T1 or the Beyerdyanmic Tesla?

post #6 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcg27 View Post

To me anyway I really couldn't care less what a company names their product. Performance is probably 99.9%, looks .09%, everything else .01%.


Like I said, I not going to not buy something because it has a number instead of a name but that doesn't mean I like that it doesn't have a name.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LizardKing1 View Post

I actually agree. It isn't an important carachteristic, but it's quite annoying. When I listen to myself having a conversation about headphones, I sound so geeky like I'm trying to impress people. I have to agree, Monster and SK win at this point. I'm just tired of having to remember all the numbers Sennheiser has!

And it's not like it's strictly better quality or price that decides the number! Many brands actually have 3 algarism numbers: the first determines the class (Senn 4** class and such), and the other two the model. The second and third number, on various occasions, relate to quality on an inverse proportion: the lower, the better. Unfortunately I can't remember of an example, but I know I noticed this just last week.


Grado does both of those.  In the SR series the higher the better but in the RS series (which is also the reverse or SR) the lower the better.

 

SR80 > SR60 but RS1 > RS2

 

Madness I say!  wink_face.gif

post #7 of 49

I don't think naming will affect the target customers for high end audio. Audiophiles are used to speaking about headphones and other gear by using their number/letter naming system. I think the most egregious naming comes from TV manufacturers with incomprehensible product names. Still, it doesn't seem to deter people from buying TVs from one company over another. 

post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuralRelations View Post

I don't think naming will affect the target customers for high end audio. Audiophiles are used to speaking about headphones and other gear by using their number/letter naming system. I think the most egregious naming comes from TV manufacturers with incomprehensible product names. Still, it doesn't seem to deter people from buying TVs from one company over another. 

 

Exactly. Naming items with flamboyant titles only serve to catch the customers attention. Skullcandy markets toward teenagers, thus a number system would prove uneffective. Think of someone from high school running up to his buddies saying, "Hey guys, I just bought a Skullcandy GV-399B! It's much better than my HR-450Q!". That would confuse the heck out of the average consumer. Thus simplified and attention grabbing names are given.

 

Once you have a feel around the market and you know what to expect, you don't need flashy names to know how good a product is. The average Head-Fi member will know the difference between the HD800, DT880, D2000, M50, and AD700. Those numbers will instantly make sense into what they are, and who they are from. I don't think any owner of the HD800 or LCD-2 for instance, would care if the name of their headphone was a number or a name. They just know they have one of the best.

post #9 of 49
Thread Starter 

But a good name will only expand the market and audience.  It doesn't hurt, doest it?  Are you going to be turned off by a good name?

 

I'm trying to suggest a way for good sounding brands to fight back against SK and Monster's marketing blitzkrieg.

post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

But a good name will only expand the market and audience.  It doesn't hurt, doest it?  Are you going to be turned off by a good name?

 

I'm trying to suggest a way for good sounding brands to fight back against SK and Monster's marketing blitzkrieg.


There's nothing to "fight back" when you have different target consumers, which in this case would be teenagers. As you scale up where people rely more on the products' performance ratio rather than the looks and mainstream appeal, stuffs like the name becomes almost irrelevant. Yes it may be nice for other brands to have actual names for their models, but their sales would hardly improve. I for one honestly don't care.

 

post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

But a good name will only expand the market and audience.  It doesn't hurt, doest it?  Are you going to be turned off by a good name?

 

I'm trying to suggest a way for good sounding brands to fight back against SK and Monster's marketing blitzkrieg.

 

Not necessarily. It's the price that will keep most of the consumers away. And no, it's doesn't hurt. As I said, I really could care less the name of my headphones.

 

Unfortunately, there may not be a way. But that's okay. Let SC and Monster flourish. I just know I'll never be apart of it. Because I know of something better. We all do.

post #12 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TobaccoRoad View Post

There's nothing to "fight back" when you have different target consumers, which in this case would be teenagers. As you scale up where people rely more on the products' performance ratio rather than the looks and mainstream appeal, stuffs like the name becomes almost irrelevant. Yes it may be nice for other brands to have actual names for their models, but their sales would hardly improve. I for one honestly don't care.

 


Are you saying they don't want to expand their market sell more products and make more money?  Anyone buying the Beats can spend the same money to buy a better sounding alternative from an "audiophile" manufacturer.

post #13 of 49
Lol my girlfriend used to say, "Why do electronics always have these kinds of name? It's ugly."
post #14 of 49
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Katun View Post

Not necessarily. It's the price that will keep most of the consumers away. And no, it's doesn't hurt. As I said, I really could care less the name of my headphones.

 

Unfortunately, there may not be a way. But that's okay. Let SC and Monster flourish. I just know I'll never be apart of it. Because I know of something better. We all do.


It's not just the price.  The Beats and Aviators are well into the range of what's considered "good" around here and most of the bigger "audiophile" manufacturers make lots of models in the sub-$50 range that could be more popular with better marketing.

post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

Are you saying they don't want to expand their market sell more products and make more money?  Anyone buying the Beats can spend the same money to buy a better sounding alternative from an "audiophile" manufacturer.

 

No, no, no. That's not what he is saying at all.

 

First, I don't think it would do squat to their market. You could have the coolest freakin' name for a pair of M50s. Does that mean every teenager on the planet is going to run and buy one because of the name? Absolutely not. Like I mentioned, there is a price barrier for the majority of general audio consumers. It maxes out at about $50. For those who are brave and venture into a pair of $150 Beats, they aren't doing it for the sound. They are strictly doing it for fashion and social appeal. It's like a social status boost. Because why in the world would someone pay for a $150 decent headphone, when one could buy a $100 fantastic headphone? Because they don't care for sound. If they did, companies like SC and Monster wouldn't exist.

 

And again, once you jump into the world of audiophiles, you know the headphone's name means absolutely nothing. Because we aren't after names, looks, or popularity. We are after for sound quality, sound quality, and sound quality. Others of our type will be looking for insane value headphones, or all arounders. Regardless, we look for sound. The general public will look for popularity and visual appeal. Thus, they *need* to have names. Us on the other hand, numbers make great names.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › The Numbering Disease: Where Skullcandy and Monster Win