I've considered mostly every angle before criticizing Beats. And ultimately, I still criticize Beats. However, I will go out on a limb and say that these headphone manufacturers are missing out on a market. For example, my girlfriend wanted good headphones that I approve of that look cute. She liked the Beats in pink, but thought they sounded like garbage. Ultimately we ended up getting her the Panasonic ones (the $30 retro ones). But would she have paid $200 for good looking headphones that sound good? Absolutely.
Have you ever talked to a Beats fan? For example, my brother, despite all my struggling, owns Skullcrushers and Beats Tours. (I know, I know). He thinks the Beats and Skullcrushers sound good. He's listened to my Sennheisers. My Grados. He likes the impact of those headphones, fake or not. To be fair, Monster knows their target market and they exploit it very well. There is a massive amount of people who buy Beats because they look good but also because they think they sound superior. Last night at work, I bought the Sennheiser HD558. New kid, a teenager, was insisting that the Beats would sound best. However, I've already introduced him to Logans and B&W speakers, so he trusts my judgment. He wants to hear the Sennheisers. But would I be shocked if he liked the Beats better? No. Because kids these days like the boomy, electronic impact the Beats have. They truly think they sound better.
However, you'll find the few people who go into a Best Buy looking for Beats to be pleasantly surprised when you audition some B&W M5s or something else of higher quality. My point being is that I criticize the Beats in the same way I criticize my generation. My generation is a bunch of people who think it's cool to look like criminals, have the attention span of a five year old, are anti social, and easily distracted by shiny things. Ever look at a box of Beats or Souls? No audio information, whatsoever. Compare that to the Sennheisers which have half the box filled with this.
What's even more infuriating is that they're so cheap, and so plastic. They are also an annoying fad. But seriously, the Beats are made of this horribly cheap plastic and pleather cups. They are just really poorly made. My Sennheiser 280Pros are plastic, but thick, sturdy plastic and no frills ear pads. But because Beats (I can't say Monster, because they take audio seriously, they get a lot of unwarranted hate) look flashy, people want them. It's disgusting. And because they listen to poorly mastered rap crap, they assume they sound good. It's so frustrating.
Out of all of my headphones, 5 pairs of them, I've compared them all to Beats. I was given Studios for a present which I promptly sold.
Sennheiser HD280Pros are SO much better. They don't have that impact, but the clarity is so crisp and it's beautiful. Beats people like the impact of the 280s better.
Grado SR60i are immensely better. They have such a crisper bass response. I also think they look better than Beats.
Bose OE TriPort are cheaper, sound better but still have that impact, and look better.
Koss KSC75 are so much better, as well.
Yet none of my headphones except my new 558s have that flash.
Point in case, Beats are a fashion statement that deludes people into thinking they have good sounding headphones. In 20 years, people will look at a picture of my campus with all the tools wearing Beats and go LOL WTF