I try all the time to get colleagues at work to consider alternatives to Beats, but not because they suck or because I need people to agree with my own preferences....only because there are alternatives that they don't know about and may want to consider. Hey, I like what Q Jones has done in the biz and I am sure that influenced me when I bought the Q701, so does that make me a dumb punk and does that make the Q701 a bad can? There is no right answer to that, and I am not offended nor comforted by your opinion either way.
I know what I like, and for quite a while I really liked the Q701. When my friends at work tell me their teenage kids really want a pair of Beats, I tell them to consider giving their kids what they want and not making a big deal out of it, but to also consider giving something else a try and asking their kids what is important to them: Doing what everyone else is doing, or finding something that is best for them? Do we buy cars because they are the best vehicle in the industry, or because we like how we look in them and how they make us feel about ourselves? Is there ever going to be crystal clear answer?
I listen to a bunch of headphones in a store setting at least once or twice a month: Monster, Beats, Sol, Senn, AT, Sony, Denon, B&W, B&O, etc... and I can't for the life of me figure out why folks in the head-fi community think they actually know anything for certain other than what they like. Sometimes the same headphone sounds different to me because it is playing a different piece of music, perhaps with a better or worse source or chain, perhaps broken in or brand spanking new on display, or just the environment between me and the store at that moment. Even better yet, perhaps the differences I hear are somewhat driven by my own expectation bias based on the brand name, how it feels when I pick it up, and how it looks to me... My latest recommendation: Before you buy Beats, at least try the new Monster DNA over ear... I think these still deliver the look and feel, with somewhat better sound for slightly less money, you may discover something new by giving them a try. For me, the human head / phone interface is the starting point, then I think about the rest. I need headphones to feel good on my head before I care about anything else. And some good headphones don't feel good on my head, so I don't like them. I will single out the B&W P7 in this case, for me, with my apologies to those who love them and to B&W because it seems like an otherwise very decent product.
What you like is not grounded in any fact, science or special knowledge... it is your perception of a musical event that in turn has stimulated your own imagination. Sure, we can all isolate certain specific qualities and then associate them between some well known musical passages (for us) and the audio chain we have used for our listening. There is no denying a sense of at least some objectivism being at play. But even a good set of measurements only gives you part of the story, it won't tell you about the air pressure between your ears and the driver, the angle differences between your particular ear canal and the speaker driver that is uniquely driven by how they fit you, the impact of the shape of your ear, the pads stuffing and surface material...
I actually enjoy the complete craziness of diversity, conflict, hype, agreement, thoughtfulness, and straight up B.S. that is found in almost every thread on this site. For me, new ideas are occasionally surfaced, some amusement enjoyed perhaps, and some patterns emerge as I wade through endless thread after thread. Those patterns, created by many different folks talking about one set of cans, or one person talking about many sets of cans, are what I like the most and eventually give me the courage to try something new without hearing it first (V-Moda M-100 is the latest example, and I am so glad I bought them because I love them for a particular role they play in my own collection of audio equipment).
So stop getting wound up in all this baseless sense of absolute truth, because there is much evidence to support a subjective truth that many people love the idea, the vision, and most importantly the actual experience of putting on a set of their favorite headphones (Beats, Sony, Senn or whatever...), plugging into their favorite (or only) audio device, and listening to whatever music happens to make them feel good. Some of us have the desire to try just one or two, some want to try everything, and most of us fall somewhere in the middle. Don't spend so much energy trying convince people of better/worse, just that it is sometimes fun to try something different because "you never know..."
Edited by Greggo - 12/28/13 at 9:59am