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Sennheiser pricing logic - Page 2

post #16 of 49

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

This MAP is the stupidest move ever for Sennheiser. They should stop doing this. It'd be OK if their headphones were actually at reasonable prices. $399 for the HD-600? Who are they kidding? They can only get away with it because there is nothing else out there that sounds like it.

 

I won't be buying any more Sennheiser products. If you want an HD-600, I suggest you buy a used HD-580 and get some HD-600 grills for it. Under $200 instead of $400. People actually pay $400?

 

It's amusing how they did this just before the release of the HD-700 too..

 

Sennheiser is now up there with Shure as the companies that annoy me the most..

 

Whats wrong with shure?

post #17 of 49

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

 

 

 

 

My first question is: what have/will they lose in market share and market penetration with regard to the higher end models for which they are enforcing their MAP?

 

Possibly.  They wouldn't do it though if they were experiencing sales slumps - the recent explosion of higher end headphones means they will sell more.  And for those who don't want to go stat, the HD800 especially does things no other headphone does.

 

My focus is on the HD 518 through the HD 650--what Senn calls entry and mid level audiophile cans.  I don't know what kind of explosion Senn had without their sales & historical sales numbers.  I'm not at all sure that the youth market buying Beats and the like applies to open headphones sold by Senn.  Regardless, the market told us what the value of the Senn line was for each model.  Senn had decided to price all these cans above that level and mandate that above market prices be enforced.  Setting and enforcing prices above market is a damn good strategy for reducing sales and market share.  Senn is the big dog in the fight, not a Grado with limited market share and production ability.

 

 

My second question is: is Senn nuts [x 2] initiating this during the worst recession of my nearly six decade life?!

 

Remember that during this recession the high-end headphone market has blossomed, possibly in part due to its relative cheapness compared to 2 channel setups.  Again, it's a boom market in an overall recession.

 

How do you know this with regard to the Senn products we're talking about?  Even if true at any level, part of that success was based on the prior pricing structure (or lack thereof).  Jacking up prices to artificially high levels is a great way to kill any bloom.

 

 

In addition the HD 518 through 650 are gateway cans to there most expensive and (I dare to guess) their most profitable cans.  Less gateway cans sold almost certainly means less high end cans sold over time.

 

Possibly.  Its a good point and one I would assume they thought about long and hard before enforcing this policy.  One possibility is that outside of Head-Fi, those are not "gateway cans."  If a speaker guy or a pro audio guy is looking for a great pair of cans, they don't necessarily start with the 600's and go up - they'd go straight to the 800 more often than you realize.

 

Senn clearly thinks they are gateway cans.  That's how they have structure their product lines.  Brand and sound signature loyalty, especially at these levels can be very powerful.  Ask Grado about it.

 

I think they run the danger of losing a generation of beginning audiophiles by pricing the HD 5x8 line as high as they have.  Just lowering the MAP price (assuming they will continue this madness) by $20 on each of these cans would be a big help.

 

They probably wouldn't have a problem with retailers lowering by that much except then where does it end - so they make a blanket rule to enforce MAP.

 

Sure they do.  If not they could have structured their MAP with price flexibility within certain ranges (e.g. this headphone can be sold between $110 and $135; that one for $140 to $175) for each individual product and/or line.  We have not seen that.  Every body's charging the same price almost 100% of the time.

 

I'd very much l like to know Senn's business plan and reasons for going to this hard enforced MAP--including the timing of it.

 

I don't think it was a coincidence that they released the HD800 at about the same time as they started enforcing MAP.  The "luxury" tag was reserved for STAX, Grado, and some AT (at least that's how I remember it.)  Sennheiser wanted to be perceived that way as well.

 

The HD 518 is a long way from the HD 800.  If the HD 518, why not the HD 201, which they don't MAP the same way?  Putting an artificially high price tag on a product, especially one that sold for far less just a short time ago, tells your customers that you think they are fools or zombies.  What do you think this has done to the market competitiveness to the HD 598 and especially HD 600 and HD 650?  They are no longer very special in the new price bracket that Senn has placed them.  They were before.  You don't have to do any of this to have a MAP for "super premium" products above the the HD 650.   Besides Senn was already seen as a "luxury" headphone maker, but that does not mean that it's entire line is.  Everyone knows it's not.  That's why the old and successful GM had both Cadillac and Chevy--and Pontiac, Olds & Buick stratified in between.

 

In summary, the current Senn MAP, as applied to the HD 518 through HD 650, is a poor decision and likely to lose them sales and market share.  It has already POed more than a few customers, which even by itself has a cost.

 

 

 

 

post #18 of 49

I've always hated that Sennheiser has started outsourcing their products, all of their cans are made in china, except hd25,600,650,700 made in Ireland, and only the flagship hd800 is made in house in Germany.  It's crazy to pay these kinds of prices for "German Engineering" if it's not even made in Germany!  Ich liebe Deutschland as much as the next guy when it comes to tech, but if a German company wants the real recognition of their nation, they need to manufacture in house like Beyerdynamic.  I really respect Beyer for that.

 

This new MAP is just because cans are back in fashion because of Beats, and some people actually have cared enough to look beyond the common place stuff for something better.  They landed on Sennheiser probably because of the bang for their buck value they had for the past few years since the hd800 came out and everything up and including the 650 was very reasonably priced.  Now they probably figure people will keep buying from them because more people are starting to recognize the name, and unfortunately, will (they hope) follow the masses and buy from them.  If people will pay 500 for beats, why not 500 for hd650s?  They don't care about the audiophile community as much as some companies because of their size.  They may make some nice sets of headphones, but they are a corporation out to make money.  You can't blame them really, it's the prerogative of any company to do the best they can to make as much money as they can.  Unfortunately for us, this hobby is better if it remains a niche market.  If everyone wanted audiophile grade cans, they'd all be very much more expensive, just because they could be.  There are still plenty of bang for your buck cans out there, but for now anyway, Sennheiser is not one of them.  Used Sennheisers will new be more expensive too, because used prices are based on the going rate for a new set.  Asking $100 under MSRP would've been ridiculous for 650s a year ago because new ones cost less than that; but now, $400 for used 650s actually makes sense.  As consumers, I hope we can try to not give into this, but there are not enough of us who care.  That's Sennheiser's hope, and in all honesty, they are probably right.

post #19 of 49
As originally posted by tdocktweiler:
Sennheiser is now up there with Shure as the companies that annoy me the most..

Why :o From what I have understood, they actually have better products with lower price tags than Sennheiser, if the reviews are accurate. And also their headphones don't seem to be made of 99,7% plastic like Sennheisers.

 

Though I don't have actually heard the Shure line of headphones. Do you think they offer just as bad value for the money?

Quote:

 

HD 555 Amazon Price in 2010:

$69.99

 

HD 555  Amazon Price in 2012:

$189.95

HD555 is a discontinued product.. You better look at the 558 maybe, it's 10$ cheaper biggrin.gif

 

I wouldn't buy any Sennheisers at these prices. Better look at Beyerdynamics for example. DT770 is extremely popular, but it's price has stood rock solid at 145€. IMO it outperforms HD558's easily.


Edited by Headzone - 4/27/12 at 12:53am
post #20 of 49

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Headzone View Post

Why :o From what I have understood, they actually have better products with lower price tags than Sennheiser, if the reviews are accurate. And also their headphones don't seem to be made of 99,7% plastic like Sennheisers.

 

Though I don't have actually heard the Shure line of headphones. Do you think they offer just as bad value for the money?

HD555 is a discontinued product.. You better look at the 558 maybe, it's 10$ cheaper biggrin.gif

 

I wouldn't buy any Sennheisers at these prices. Better look at Beyerdynamics for example. DT770 is extremely popular, but it's price has stood rock solid at 145€. IMO it outperforms HD558's easily

So apparently on head-fi people cal hear but are blind, the $189 is not from amazon its from another store posting on amazon, so senn or amazon dose not have anything too do with the price.

post #21 of 49

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SONIC BOOM View Post

 

So apparently on head-fi people cal hear but are blind, the $189 is not from amazon its from another store posting on amazon, so senn or amazon dose not have anything too do with the price.

 

It is doubtful that discontinued models are covered by the Senn MAP.  Even it they were, only authorized dealers would have to worry about it.

post #22 of 49

Shure headphones are pretty flimsy. My friend's SRH 940 snapped when he was taking them off gently, and another acquaintance's 750DJ snapped as well in a meet.

post #23 of 49

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by idletime1213 View Post

Shure headphones are pretty flimsy. My friend's SRH 940 snapped when he was taking them off gently, and another acquaintance's 750DJ snapped as well in a meet.

I only have short experience with the SRH440, as our local library uses them (along with HD25 Senns) for some random demo dvd's. To me they felt quite heavy and durable. Couldn't do a good audio demo as the source and music sucked tho.


Edited by Headzone - 4/27/12 at 3:22am
post #24 of 49

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Headzone View Post

 

I only have short experience with the SRH440, as our local library uses them (along with HD25 Senns) for some random demo dvd's. To me they felt quite heavy and durable. Couldn't do a good audio demo as the source and music sucked tho.

 

My srh440  are the pair of headphones I dont mind throwing around, so I never had a problem.

post #25 of 49

I think it's also because it is a discontinued product.

 

I'm currently doing my internship at their company. Purchasing for spare parts can be costly due to low/no demand.

post #26 of 49

I remember when Newegg use to have the senheiser hd280 and include the px100 for free for $100 in their deals that happens somewhat frequently a few years ago, I wish I picked up a set back than. Oh well I just got my Superlux hd668b yesterday along with a Xonar DG sound card, only took me a few years to get a nice pair of headphones after years of drooling over them. Was never sure if I was able to justify the price back than, now I know better. I can justify it quite easily as of yesterday.

post #27 of 49

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

Sennheiser is now up there with Shure as the companies that annoy me the most..

 

Except in Shure's case, especially IEMs, they only really have one competitor offering the same performance level product, and those are priced almost identically.   So there's not much options, and that just sets the price point for that performance. 

 

For full size cans, there's endless variety including superior options at lower prices. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

It's a "luxury brand" move - you don't see highly sought after luxury brands being heavily discounted through authorized dealers (at least not advertised online.)  It hurts the brand.  So Sennheiser decides to enforce MAP.  In many situations, you can still get a good percentage off at a brick-and-mortar or by calling your dealer but Sennheiser cares about perception.  I really don't like it but I understand where they are coming from.

 

Also, I've looked into this legally in the past.  They're in the clear.

 

Exactly, it's a "luxury brand" move, but unfortunately, Sennheiser isn't seen as a luxury brand.  Maybe in Germany they are, but not in the US.   They're trying to be Bose/Beats/BMW/Apple, when they're just Sennheiser, they're "that company that makes some headphones."  Nobody other than audiophiles going for the high-end cans, sees Sennheiser as a luxury lifestyle product.  It's just another headphone company. It's a move that could backfire.  The thinking is that if they set the pricing that way, they can suddenly become more desirable.  But they're missing the competition (both poorer quality but trendier images, and better quality at lower prices) that are pushing them out the door.

 

I almost wonder if it somehow has more to do with Pro Audio (as tdockweiler mentioned, Shure is the other company notorious for this policy.)  Both Senn and Shure are kingpins in the pro audio (micrphone) world.  Maybe this policy is blanket applied but is more expressly for that purpose. 

 

But there's no flipping way the 10 year old HD650 is worth $500.  It's an excellent headphone, but it's not worth that price. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post

My first question is: what have/will they lose in market share and market penetration with regard to the higher end models for which they are enforcing their MAP?

 

My second question is: is Senn nuts [x 2] initiating this during the worst recession of my nearly six decade life?!

 

In addition the HD 518 through 650 are gateway cans to there most expensive and (I dare to guess) their most profitable cans.  Less gateway cans sold almost certainly means less high end cans sold over time.

 

All of this is even stranger with regard to the HD 600 and HD 650 which are aging classics.

 

I think they run the danger of losing a generation of beginning audiophiles by pricing the HD 5x8 line as high as they have.  Just lowering the MAP price (assuming they will continue this madness) by $20 on each of these cans would be a big help.

 

I'd very much l like to know Senn's business plan and reasons for going to this hard enforced MAP--including the timing of it.

 

Agreed, in full.  They are indeed appearing nuts.  If it's not about pro-audio, I'm guessing it's a combination of Sennheiser mis-understanding their brand image (maybe they're idolized in Germany the way Sony is in Japan and wrongly assume that's their global image.)  Or they're boldly trying to forge a new image simply by setting prices differently.  Or they're looking for a buyout and need to "fix" the books a little by getting some funky numbers for doing so. 

 

I mean, in the US, who is even selling Sennheiser at this point other than the audiophile dealers and places like Amazon.  Sure Best Buy has the low-end IEMs.   But the mass-market stores never carried much of their stuff, and the hi-fi crowd that goes to specialty stores will be savvy enough to know they don't want to pay those prices for those products.  $500 for HD650 is hard to swallow.   $1500 for HD800 is almost believable based on the competition but still a hard pill to swallow.  $1000 for HD655 HD700 is worthy to make Sennheiser a laughing stock.

 

They want to be Bose.

post #28 of 49
Yeah, i really don't like sennheiser MSRP crap, i bought last year HD595 from Amazon for 120 dollars, and right now the price is freaking 400 dollars, wtf.
post #29 of 49

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the fool View Post

Yeah, i really don't like sennheiser MSRP crap, i bought last year HD595 from Amazon for 120 dollars, and right now the price is freaking 400 dollars, wtf.

 

I bought HD650 5 years ago for $350.  Now they're $500.  In the middle of global recession.  Pure genius.  Someone up in the executive suites really needs to go kindly return their MBA from Oxford and apologize for accidentally taking one.... 

 

On the other hand, maybe that's just the taxman's fee for Sennheisers share in holding up Greece? very_evil_smiley.gif

post #30 of 49

?ProduktID=253187

 

This is the pricing of the HD650 over the past 2 years in Holland.(in Euro's)

Seems pretty steady to me.
 

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