Hello, Implying my username, I am a noob at the whole audiophile community and I am doing research for my blog about consumer electronics. I am just wondering that are beats really that bad in terms of sound quality? Are the sony MDR XB-500 actually better in terms of sound quality? I would really love to know because most people I talked to love beats or bose and I can't get a liable source material. So, any info would be great. Thank you
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- productAudeze LCD2 Planar Magnetic Headphonestagged by System, 6/9/12
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- productSony MDR-XB500 40mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphonestagged by System, 6/9/12
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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones) 3
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Research about beats by dre
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #2 of 436/6/12 at 11:24pm
Iv'e had BOSE in ear, and the quiet comfort 3's, and I can tell you that they really do suck for the price, and that I have had way cheaper, way better headphones.
The beats are just garbage plastic swagphones. the cheap online deals are also fakes, unless you buy retail, they are probably fake mock headphones from china.post #3 of 436/6/12 at 11:49pmThe XB500 certainly do sound better. The Beats have inferior products, that make them with a fancy (lame, childish) coat painted on. If they work for someone less informed, then good for them. The FACT remains they're 90% style.post #4 of 436/6/12 at 11:55pm
Once you break into audiophile territory, you only get plus or minus 15 %. the amount you pay to get more than 10% more quality is astronomically insane. This is why I own some basic, cheap, and great studio monitors and an amazing Velodyne subwoofer I got for$200. it would cost THOUSANDS to get a better sounding setup, which is money I really don't have.post #5 of 436/7/12 at 12:17amThere is an extreme bias against both brands here. You have to look through the bias at the actual info some people provide to get an accurate representation of both.
Bose are good at one thing (two if we count their intelligent use of DSPs to fool people into thinking it sounds better than it does) and that is noise cancelling. If you need that, they're one of the best. If you want good quality sound reproduction, better can be had, and usually for less.
Beats are about as good as a set of phones 10x cheaper than the ones being sold. If you want a fashion statement, you can get some good looking stuff from better companies (Phiaton, V-Moda, Bowers & Wilkins, etc.). If you want pure sound quality improvements vs price point over Beats, look around, they're everywhere.
I have not heard the XB-500, and I don't know which pair of Beats you are comparing them to, but for the price, I can guarantee that you will feel your money is better spent on a pair of XB-500 simply due to it not being $200+ for something that sounds like it should have cost under $30.
I disagree with the ±15% claim. It really, really depends on what kind of quality you are getting now. Sure, once you get a pair of good $150 phones, a set of $300+ Senns or ATs will only build on that so much, and a $1000 pair of LCD2s will only build so much on that, but if you are currently at the level of cheap earbuds and crappy freebie headphones, there is plenty of room for growth. While you may be at a point where you only want to improve so much, or your ears can only hear so much, change it, re-work it, upgrade it, etc. until you're happy, that's the goal in all of this.
Let some people's reviews here and whatever questions you may have guide you to something you will honestly be happy with and not a cheap plastic necklace you bought because other people think it's good.post #6 of 436/7/12 at 2:46am
This is straying off topic a bit...but is nonetheless related to your question. The question of whether Beats or Bose are bad (or good) depends all upon the listener. The main problem here - as I see it - is that people have a difficult time being truthful with themselves. To anyone that may think that either of the above products are good, I would suggest they be asked the following two questions:
1. Are you able to notice a difference in whatever you consider to be good and bad audio?
2. If you are, is it a priority (or worth it to you) to spend time and money pursuing better audio.
Here's the thing, not everyone can hear a profound difference between different audio reproduction hardware. That's not a bad thing mind you, it just means that we're all different and we excel at different things in life. If they can't tell much of a difference between good and bad headphones (according to their own tastes), then there's no point in having them spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about this.
Now, if they CAN tell the difference, how much do they care about it? Are they willing to just settle for whatever because they have other things that are more important to them in life? Or is sound (music, cinema, etc.) a large part of their sensory experience, thus making it worth it to them to try for the best that they can get?
A no+no answer combination should result in a person just buying whatever is cheapest. A no+yes combination will likely result in a person purchasing Beats or Bose based on the recommendations of their friends. A yes+no answer combination should result in someone buying a more affordable alternative to Beats or Bose. And finally, a yes+yes combination should result in people buying nearly anything other than Beats or Bose.
But most people are not truthful with themselves. As a result, you'll often find that people who can't tell the difference between good or bad audio (again according to whatever their own tastes are) like to claim that they can. But because they truly cannot discern good from bad, they will simply go with the herd. And in a world where marketing is actually effective, that means Beats and Bose more often than not.
Despite my avatar (and some of my posts), my main problem with Beats is not based on their headphones. This is an imperfect world after all, and not every product can be expected to be great. My problem is with the typical Beats customer. Most of them (out of the ones that I've talked to) like to talk about how great they sound. When you ask them questions about it, you'll find that they are often unable to tell you exactly why they think Beats are good. They just "know" that they are. And they are happy to go around telling everyone else just how great they are - without being able to back up why. I don't care whether it deals with headphones or morality or nuclear physics, that's called talking out of one's ass and I simply don't care for it. And I tend to dislike the rank and file Bose fanboy for the same reason.
Keep in mind, I'm not trying to pin down some kind of objective data here. I understand that one's personal audio experience is subjective. I don't ask any Beats or Bose fanboys to show me objective data on why they're good. I just want them to be able to tell me WHY THEY think it sounds good. And having them say "they're just good okay" just doesn't cut it. I'd rather they tell the truth and say "I don't care about sound - they look sick, they're popular, and I want them to make a personal statement about me." Who am I to judge them? If that's what they care about, and that's what they want, then good for them. I just think that they should keep it mutha f**kin REAL.post #7 of 436/7/12 at 2:56am
I wouldn't say Sony XB500 are better in SQ than beats solo's when you push the price of both aside. I can tell you this, once you break it down to a price to sound ratio XB500 leap forward about 50 light years from solo's. beats aren't terrible, they offer a lets say....standard street sound which the kids / adults alike all fall for because they've never compared or... simply do not understand true sound. (XB500 have better low end than the solo's) because they're bass driven. It would be very interesting to see how well beats did if the design hadn't of appealed to the public.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 6/7/12 at 3:02ampost #8 of 436/7/12 at 3:10amBased on my experience, I don't think Beats and Bose should be lumped together, and I don't think there's any cause to denigrate people who happen to like either brand. After all, it does ultimately come down to preference - just because I dislike what you like, doesn't make you inferior to me.
Overall I don't think either brand is the best price/performance value here, but I would gladly take a Bose product and use it, over a Beats product of any sort. I remember a review from years ago comparing a few headphones, one of them was a Sony, and the reviewer said something like "these are the most expensive offering at a local department store, and if your average customer walked in and asked for the best, these are likely what they'd be handed - they sound good enough and for those who don't care to spend a lot of time on research, they can be content with their purchase." And that's how I feel about Bose. Good, not great, and at a reasonable price and with wide availability. They stand behind their products and have good customer service, and really do honor their 30-day trial period. They are not the best (and I see a lot of users who want to hiss that Bose claims their products are "really good" or "the best" and then compare them to just absolutely absurd things like SR-009s or AH-D7000s yet when other manufacturers make similar claims (like Grado), nobody bats an eye), but in their price range nothing really is. You can do worse for $150ish, and you can (with a lot of research and trial and error) do probably better.
Beats, by contrast, are just very expensive and offer no real justification for it (build quality is sub-par, sound quality is sub-par, end-user support is sub-par, cachet is nonexistant, etc; what is the money doing aside from making someone very very rich?). They're a toy, nothing more. At the $300-$600 mark, you can really do much better, even if you don't give two hoots about sound quality - you can at least find something that looks more unique, and is more comfortable and better put together. So they really fail as both a fashion accessory, and as an audio device. Even if they were just able to establish themselves as the Louis Vuitton of the headphone world - something that's exorbitantly expensive but still functional and potentially exceptional - I think they would be more palatable to most Head-fiers. But they don't; they're just like every other Monster product - better than 90% mark-up and no performance.post #9 of 436/7/12 at 4:13pm
I didn't say that there was only a + or - 15% in sound quality, I said that once you break into the audiophile catagory, there is only a 15% deviation pretty much.
Let's look at my 5" Kevlar studio monitors with silk domes. I paid about $90 a bookshelf speaker for them which includes being bi amplified with class AB amplification. I won't ever get more than 10% better sound quality than what I have coming from my auzentech X-Fi home theater HD analogue out as my surround sound processor without spending thousands and thousands of dollars.it's actually almost on par with my friend's Gallo 3.1 system which is worth easily $10,000+ in system components with the Mcintosh tube amps, marridian surround sound processor, the expensive Gallo 3.1 system tower speakers and another tower for the center, then nucleus in wall rears, in wall subwoofer, an entire in wall rack of more components which I haven't even looked at yet....point is that if you know what to look for, you can get quality which is in the top 10% range for much less than what it costs to be in the top 15%. and even then, the most expensive systems you can get are often colored sound, which is bad. JM lab utupia's use Berylium tweeters which are worth over 2 grand in the tweeters alone, in a speaker setup worth over 30 grand.. they are sharp and bright sounding tweeters, which is stupid to spend that much money for, because sound is supposed to be as flat as possible. that is the goal of sound reproduction, and this is why I like studio monitors, they are designed to be as flat as possible.
So, the difference between good $300 headphones and $1000+ headphones won't be more than 15% difference is what I'm saying.
Then again, I know a lot more about actual speakers than headphones, and haven't heard top end headphones yetpost #10 of 436/8/12 at 7:15ampost #11 of 436/8/12 at 9:45ampost #12 of 436/8/12 at 11:15amBeats and Bose arent as bad as people claim here but they definatly arent worth the price tags. Maybe 1/3 ish? Well anyways good sound is subjective to different people. Most Audiophiles here are gonna want a More neutral sound sig while most people on the streets love bass and thumps. The Bass on Beats is overpowering leading people to think they sound amazing. If the people you know like their beats then just let them like what they like cuz chances are your gonna have a hard ass time convincing them their 300$ headphones suck. I own a pair of studios and I do like them. It satisfies my inner bass head. They are a fun headphone but when I want to hear more detail I go with a more neutral headphone.post #13 of 436/8/12 at 11:34am
Beats by Dre ans such headphones are mainly known to be a fashion headphone: no sound quality/value for what you paid for. They also break after some months of use. Thats why people looking for bass go for the XB series instead.post #14 of 436/8/12 at 11:37am
What I generally don't understand about many responses to such reasonable questions is that "why" the responder believes this or that is never given. "It sucks because it sucks because I say so"??? Having said that, I find actually answering the "why" is easier said than done. Big words and esoteric sonic terms are thrown around like confetti. So, Mr. Noob, I will say that I agree with DJHoro on this. For the most part, it's really difficult to understand why the Beats would "suck" until you've heard them back to back with a pair of headphones that don't "suck". Neutrality is a difficult thing to come by. I've recently purchased two pair of $500+ headphones (and some highly praised amps) that are lacking in one way or another. Neither of them will do dubstep the same justice that the Beats Pro will because they both seem to try to do well across the spectrum instead of excelling in one area (bass). However, if you're listening to classical stuff (I generally don't) "neutral" headphones work well because they don't have to achieve sonic greatness at either end of the spectrum. Generally speaking, the midrange is where it's at.
Why: I like the Beats Pro better than the Bose QC15's because the Beats have better and cleaner bass impact while the QC's tend to smear the bass across the midrange, creating a bit of a muddled sound. The Beats midrange is fairly recessed, but if you're listening to a lot of electronic music, this might not matter to you. Also, the QC's have a slightly annoying "hum" that seems to be caused by their noise cancellation. See how easy that is to understand? Just kidding. I think finding the perfect analogy to explain something is what these blogs tend to be about at best - especially when no one is bashing anyone or anything.post #15 of 436/8/12 at 5:49pmQuote:
They suck because they sound like crap.
- Research about beats by dre
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