Although it's worth mentioning that unlike Bose who also gets a bad rap, Monster's products are generally good, just expensive for what you get. On the other hand, Bose is the champion of marketing in the audio industry, and most of Bose home audio speakers are crap. Some of their Acoustimass sets have holes in the frequency response, and Bose uses the cheapest possible materials in their drivers. So if you want to see someone get abused as a fanboy of an audio product, go over to the AVS speaker forum and express a lot of love for Bose Acoustimass. The head-fi response to Beats owners is quite nice by comparison.
What did you miss from Intellexi.us, let's see: "cheapest possible components, holes in frequency response, deceptive marketing" - yep, sounds like it verbatim. I don't mean to start off so combatively, but that single very poorly conducted and heavily biased and uncontrolled blog post does not inform this argument. This argument also sounds highly practiced and rehearsed...I've heard it all before, and it's all easy to put holes into. And let's not link to the objective crusade HQ, shall we? If you want to get the measurements and theory sticks out, I can go there too - Bose does not come up short in a lot of arenas, especially when you ACCEPT that Hoffman will always be there to kick you in the seat. The other point that I'd add is a lot of "Bose sucks" arguments that I've seen set-up on forums in recent years, the guy (or gal, I guess) making the claim usually hasn't even set their equipment up correctly - so of course I'm gonna hate driving my car after I loaded sulfur-enriched diesel into my gasoline engine. Does that mean Ford sucks?
Regarding the quality/etc of Bose speakers, in terms of parts cost, they're going to be on the level of whatever you get for the same price from various big-box manufacturers (or better, in the case of their crossovers). That's just economies of scale in action - I've never understood the whole "oh XYZ is evil they are making a profit so buy ABC [which is also making a profit and running at the same margins]" line of thinking. They aren't in business to be your BFF, they're in business to make money. And they do very well. If they weren't doing something right, they would not be one of the oldest continuously operating speaker makers in the United States (trust me, lying to your customers does not make you billions of dollars - it will eventually come crashing down around your ears). I know this is a very marketized explanation, but at the end of the day they really do have to be doing something right (and "marketing" is not a legitimate answer - boiler room products always die within a generation or two) to rake in the greenbacks.
I'm not trying to argue that Bose makes the best products on the market, but as a poster in another thread posited - they're good "civilian grade" equipment. And in many cases, their equipment is more listenable and certainly better supported than what you get from a lot of "audiophile approved" manufacturers. Sure, boutique/gear-head shops will always beat them, but how much does a boutique pair of speakers cost? $10,000? $100,000? Is that even a remotely fair comparison? (not unless we're talking about Bose of course).
I think both responses to "fanboys" is absolutely ridiculous - there's not a single good justification for hating someone over a commercial purchase. The crusading is just...fruitless. As I've established in many other threads, I'm pretty agnostic in such matters, but I have an issue with illogical or unfounded arguments from all sides.
Hm speaking of Bose, what would you guys say about the QuietComfort15 headphones? I got them as a gift and while not as good as my incoming Denon D2ks, I didn't find them too bad. I thought they were pretty decent. A hundred times better than Studios in my opinion. I compared them side by side with a friend's set. The Beats sounded distinctly muddy and squishy - the sound was all mushed together and sounded muffled with thumping bass finding its way into everything. Plus, the NC of the Beats was a joke compared to the Bose, especially when we used a hair dryer as a background noise. The Beats felt cheap and flimsy to me, but one positive thing was the nice thick cord that made you think it was indestructible. But in all honesty, I think the Studios are inferior to my $30 Skullcandy Titans. I heard more clarity and less mush from the $30 iem than the $300 Beats. And the Skullcandy is made of metal! LOL
After that experience, I can definitely say the QC15s are superior to the Studios. Not sure how they stack up against other cans though. My Denons walk all over the Bose in sound quality, but in any noisy place, I find myself favoring the QC15's ability to hush the world.
What do you guys think?
I'd agree with this. The Bose headphones really are not that bad on the whole when you get beyond the blind-rage "hate it because it's edgy" phase. IMHO the AE2 are better than a lot of their competition, and they'd be the perfect sub-$200 pair of headphones if they weren't so BLOODY MICROPHONIC (and the AE1 were just as bad!). The QC15 fix that, are more comfortable, but force you to use ANC (I have an issue with ALL devices that eat batteries, so the only ANC headphones I don't have a "thing" about are the Klipsch M40 - because they can all day and never have batteries installed). Sound quality wise, they're pretty good for closed headphones - fairly clear and uncolored midrange, boosted but not insane bass, and non-sibilant/clashy/aggressive top-end (which is something most closed headphones, the Denons included, suffer from). They're very well damped. The problem is they have a somewhat soul-less/life-less presentation of audio as a result, and there are a number of headphones at or around their price-range that are more musical and more enjoyable if/when isolation can be taken out of the equation (in other words, the K701 sound much better, but you can't use the K701 on the bus).
I think that overall they're a solidly built pair of closed headphones. Not the best thing ever, but they address a lot of ergonomic and functional problems that a lot of "audiophile favorites" have.
Regarding the Beats headphones - I've yet to find a working Studio setup on demo, but every pair I've handled is just click-clack plastic. They remind me of the toys you buy children at theme parks or ice shows, you know, that break before you make it out of the parking lot...
The Beats Solo and Beats Pro are quite different beasts (I've heard those) - the Solo are like listening through a large woofer played full-range, and the Pro want to push the entire frequency spectrum down your ear-hole in one aggressive thrust. Neither is really memorable, but both seemed reasonably well built. Probably overpriced but hey, they look kinda cool and come in more than one or two colors. I could very gladly live with either of the Bose headphones over either of them though (and over a lot of other headphones too). Certainly there are better performers, but again, what's a pair of boutique headphones cost? $1000? Is that a fair...
I think in general popular products take a bad rap simply for being popular outside of enthusiast circles. It's sort of a "I know more than you do about this, and that's why I avoid the mainstream" vibe - and I certainly see that with a lot of the "beats bashing" threads (the whole genre of "I once had beats but now I see the light and I got xYZ...").
Sure, it does get annoying to constantly hear about a single product as the end-all, but that isn't just Beats, that's a lot of other products that are senselessly hyped up and ultimately fail to perform to that level, or at all. I think in the case of the Beats products, the biggest complaints I could make are that they aren't comfortable for me (but if they're legitimately targeting "children" I could understand them as probably being more comfy, especially for the 10-20 minute at a time sessions between classes or activities that children are likely to engage them for; but for the 7-9 hour sessions I need out of a pair of headphones, with my big'ol head, they just aren't cutting it), and the sound quality isn't to my liking. But that doesn't mean it's out and out bad (although I'm not sure I could legitimately field an argument that I'd like to listen to a woofer played full-range all day, it's funny to do as a demonstrator, but not something I'd want to set-up in my listening room; the somewhat IEM-like presentation of the Beats Pro could probably appeal to some listeners though). Regarding the pricing - yuck. But I think that's a larger trend - there's tons of wildly overpriced and overblown headphones and speakers on the market today. Beats are probably among the most visible, but aren't alone at all.