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Constructive "Anti-Beats" headphone discussion - Page 37

post #541 of 548

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
post #542 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

I'm willing to bet that half of you bashing the beats have never even heard them, or if you have it was probably in some loud Best Buy with pairs that have had their drivers rattled out by hundreds of teenagers every single day.

The Beats are NOT BAD sounding headphones. In my opinion, they sound pretty decent. Separation is decent, mids and highs are decent, and the fact that they look cool is a plus. I listened to a friend's Studios and compared them to another friend's M50. They are quite omparable in SQ. This brings up the true issue with the Beats: They are overpriced. The fact that they are comparable to $150 headphones belies their $400 price tag.

Beats are not s**t, unlike most would want you to believe. Next time you see someone walking around with the Studios or Pros, ask them for a quick listen. Until then, hold your tongue.

Um yeah they are ****, I've had many listens to monster/beats crapphones. For their outrageous prices I don't expect "decent", I don't expect "oh they're not that bad" I expect $100+ quality and sound, not pay $100+ and get skullcandy $15 dollar sound, and build quality. When I pay for a Lexus or a Acura I expect that kind of quality, and performance. Not pay for a Lexus and get a yugo. Beats/monster crapphones are not the worst sounding, but they are not far from the worst.
post #543 of 548
But they (with the exception of the Solos) do sound like $100+ headphones. I think I've used my Beats Pro more than all but fourof my headphones because they're just straight up fun, which is what they're meant to do. If you think any of the Beats sound like $15, you seriously need to give them an unbiased listen.
post #544 of 548

Kind of depends on what your perception of $15 is. I think the SHE3590 sound better than any of the Beats in-ears, and those are like $10

post #545 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by droido256 View Post


Um yeah they are ****, I've had many listens to monster/beats crapphones. For their outrageous prices I don't expect "decent", I don't expect "oh they're not that bad" I expect $100+ quality and sound, not pay $100+ and get skullcandy $15 dollar sound, and build quality. When I pay for a Lexus or a Acura I expect that kind of quality, and performance. Not pay for a Lexus and get a yugo. Beats/monster crapphones are not the worst sounding, but they are not far from the worst.

Hey now, The DNA's don't sound bad. In fact, they could almost go head to head with my M100's if their mids weren't muted and my M100's build quality blows them smooth out of the water.

post #546 of 548
Being constructive:

The mechanics, haptics and physical nature of Beats Pros are outstanding.
Build quality is up among the best.
Pads are good, clamp is strong but no headache, seal is very good.
Bass is good in quantity.

The issue is that the driver sounds lo-fi and that there are $20 hps that are better.

I see there are some mod threads to try to get these $400 cans to live up to potential.

I don't know what would work other than a different driver.

They simply lack resolution and the lower midrange hump is the kiss of death to anyone with one of the $400 competitors.

I did read, though, that Beats marketing now has the average consumer thinking of high quality headphones with big budgets - so that is good. People now are ok with buying something that price for 'only a headphone'. They already are comfortable spending $400, now just laterally promote them to another manufacturer.
post #547 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by marone View Post

Being constructive:

The mechanics, haptics and physical nature of Beats Pros are outstanding.
Build quality is up among the best.
Pads are good, clamp is strong but no headache, seal is very good.
Bass is good in quantity.

The issue is that the driver sounds lo-fi and that there are $20 hps that are better.

I see there are some mod threads to try to get these $400 cans to live up to potential.

I don't know what would work other than a different driver.

They simply lack resolution and the lower midrange hump is the kiss of death to anyone with one of the $400 competitors.

I did read, though, that Beats marketing now has the average consumer thinking of high quality headphones with big budgets - so that is good. People now are ok with buying something that price for 'only a headphone'. They already are comfortable spending $400, now just laterally promote them to another manufacturer.

 

Honestly, I've heard fake Pros that sounded better than the real ones, so yeah, they need a driver change. Styling is actually good IMO, as is build, features, etc. It could be great if the company actually focused on their sound.

post #548 of 548

Beats are actually good now!  Seriously, I'm not trolling here.  I used to hate them myself, but even Tyll Hertsens of Innerfidelity has lauded the new Beats Solo 2.0 as one of the best on-ears on the market today.  I hate to admit it, but it seems that was Dre's plan all along, and it was a damned good one.  First, build the marketing base and popularity to get people to be willing to see headphones as something worth spending money on...then sell the company to someone who actually knows something about headphone engineering and has the money/resources to improve on that (at a higher cost to them, while still keeping your name on the wind as something cool).  It's not really a bad thing, though.  If you think about it, for the longest time, nobody, including studio engineers, took headphone quality that seriously.  Headphones simply weren't cool.  Speakers were where it was at.  But when Apple started introducing people en masse to portable listening devices, Dre saw the opportunity to turn headphones into something they never were before....a multibillion dollar industry that people were actually willing to invest money in.  And hey...if it introduces more people to high-end audio now, I'm all for it. Not to mention, the increased popularity of headphones has undoubtedly been responsible for a lot of the really excellent headphones we've seen come out in the past few years from other headphone makers.  Companies that never would have considered engineering a high-end headphone (because it simply wasn't that profitable for them) are now doing so, so on the whole, I'd say as much as we all hated Beats to begin with, it's actually a win-win for all of us. Of course, I won't really be happy or impressed until someone releases a great sounding headphone for under $100.  The real trick is that somehow, we've all been duped into spending waaaaaay more money than a reasonable person should on audio equipment :atsmile:.

 

Disclaimer: I should note that I have always had the utmost respect for Dr. Dre as a hip-hop producer.  I used to dislike Beats mostly because I thought that he knew nothing about the engineering side of sound reproduction, and hence had no business using his background in a completely unrelated field to market his gimmicky (but flashy) gear. Now, however, I can't really say much about it except, "well played, sir.  Well played.  I see what you did there."

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