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Constructive "Anti-Beats" headphone discussion - Page 6

post #76 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Beats are 90% personal statement about conformity to trends, and 10% listening to music. Ain't nothing wrong about that, if people value trends and norms more than being keen in the hobby of audio then let them be.

 

 

thank you, finally someone else gets it.

post #77 of 548

Beats will be highly appreciate on fashion forum & magazine . Perhaps not quite the right place to bragging about Beats status on a forum that focus on sound quality (audiophile)

post #78 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetaLicca View Post

I used to own a pair of Solo Beats HD, and I used them for around 8 months, so here are my thoughts on them; 

 

- The bass is exactly what you'd expect, loud, thumping, and definitely overpowering everything else. 

- The price was definitely too steep for the quality of the headphones

- They did fairly well for rap and electronic music, because of the heavy emphasis on bass, however, for genres like heavy metal they were awful. 

- I found them to actually be fairly durable, used them for 8 months, no real special care, shoving them in and out of a backpack for the most part. 

 

 

Personally, I don't like the Beats, but that's just my personal opinion, and really, that's what this whole debate comes down to. If you're looking for a clear, balanced, well priced headphone, then this is obviously not the one for you. If you're looking for a bassy, stylish looking headphone, then you're probably going to be willing to spend the extra cash on these. For most people, the Beats sound is exactly what they want, so I see no real reason to look down on people for using them. Listening to music is supposed to be enjoyable, and for them, the Beats make it more enjoyable. 

 

On a side note, I think that overall, the rise in popularity of the Beats has been a good thing for the headphone community, as it's proven to be a starting point into the world of high end audio for a lot of people, myself included. 

 

And that wasn't a niche previously filled by Skullcandy, Bose and Apple ?? There has never been a shortage of kids conforming to fashion trends - Monster has stolen those sales from the aforementioned and, I suspect, companies like Sennheiser. I dont know what sort of market penetration Sennheiser have in other countries, but here in Oz you'll find racks full of their cheaper models. What you wont find is the HD600/650/800 - way too expensive for the kids that are seen as the target market for headphones by our brick-and-mortar electronics chains.  Beyond that, the K-Mart/Big W's carry some of the nastiest excuses for headphones I've ever seen - el-cheapo Phillips and TDK - and anything like A-T has ridiculous sticker prices at places like Myer and Grace Bros. Basically, the masses have been conditioned to accept that even low end headphones are expensive - a 'premium' product like the Beats (!) is clearly going to cost serious cash.  

 

http://store.apple.com/au/product/H6384LL/A/Monster-Beats-Studio-Headphones-by-Dr-Dre

 

500 AUD - I'd rather spend those bills on beer and CDs.    wink.gif

post #79 of 548

So after these 6 pages, it appears to me that the main issue people have with the beats is not so much their sound, but the empire of hype that has been built around them.

 

Amirite?

post #80 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

So after these 6 pages, it appears to me that the main issue people have with the beats is not so much their sound, but the empire of hype that has been built around them.

 

Amirite?

 

Uninspired, mediocre bass-tilted headphones for the masses is nothing new. Neither is the fashion oriented can. What's new is the fad and craze, and the effects that it has on headphone hobbyists is double-edged. More interest, higher prices, more crap cans thrown into the market.

 

Nice things like the Porta pro exist thanks to the interest in portable media, but the porta pro at only 30 bucks is better than more things than a thirty year old headphone for thirty bucks should be.

 

The beats by dre line isn't exactly unlistenable, even given my far divergent tastes from their signature. That's as much praise as I can give it.

post #81 of 548

OK, I dislike the sound of Beats as much as the next guy, but I'm in the mood to play some Devil's Advocate.

One of the main concerns about Beats by Dre is that consumers wind up paying heavily for endorsement costs. Beats headphones would cost much less if Dr. Dre's name wasn't slapped on them. Cool. I get it.

However, Fischer Audio and Brainwavs are just as guilty of this as Beats by Dre. First, let me introduce you to a little company called Yoga. They are an OEM manufacturer, which means that they make products that they sell in bulk to other manufacturers/companies, like Brainwavs and Fischer. This is the Yoga CD-880. These and these are the Brainwavs HM5 and the Fischer Audio FA-003, respectively. Look familiar? That's because they're identical. Yoga did the research, development, and most of the other legwork in creating these headphones. They then sold them to another company, called Jaycar who sells the exact same headphone as Fischer and Brainwavs for $50 plus shipping and handling. Assuming that Jaycar is pulling a profit, these headphones could not have been more than $45 dollars. When the name "Dr. Dre" is put on a pair of $50 headphones and the price goes up to $199, Head-Fi gets upset. However, when the names "Fischer Audio" and "Brainwavs" get put on a pair of $50 headphones, with no manufacturing, research or development costs to either company, and the price goes up to $150, it's suddenly OK? I think not.

Secondly, Beats by Dre caters to an entirely different market demographic with different needs and desires than us audiophiles. Monster took into account that a large amount of people like bloated bass that drowns everything else out. If you live anywhere near anything that resembles a road, you'd know that a large amount of people do this with car stereos. Regardless of anyone's personal opinions, (I despise this sound, actually.) Beats' sound signature is something that a lot of people like. Secondly, the internal amp inside the Beats, especially for a consumer-grade headphone, is a pretty remarkable idea. Monster knew that next to no one was going to properly amplify these things, so they put in an internal amp. I'd love to see a company like AKG or Audio-Technica do this. Could you imagine an audiophile-style pair of portable headphones with a decent rechargeable amp, and maybe even a high quality DAC built in? That'd be perfect for a portable setup. No more bulky amps/DACs that are bigger than our iPods/Cowons. Monster really did a lot right with the Beats from a non-fidelity point of view, and considering that people seem to like boomy bass that overrides the treble and mids, they did exactly what they intended to do sound quality-wise as well.

Another issue people seem to have with the Beats is that they are advertised as "Studio Headphones". That's...pretty inexcusable. Still not as bad as Sennheiser adding foam to their HD 555s to make them sound worse than the otherwise identical HD 595s. 

TL;DR: Yeah, Monster does some pretty messed up stuff to deceive their consumers. So do 1/2 of the brands in your signature. Holding Monster to a different standard than other companies isn't fair. Regardless, Beats do exactly what they're designed to and they provide a sound signature that a lot of people like. 

Edit: The Jaycar link says $79, but that's in Australian dollars. If you go to the American webpage, it's $50 with a $20 S&H charge. Sorry for any inconvenience. 


Edited by CashNotCredit - 6/12/12 at 6:05pm
post #82 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

OK, I dislike the sound of Beats as much as the next guy, but I'm in the mood to play some Devil's Advocate.


One of the main concerns about Beats by Dre is that consumers wind up paying heavily for endorsement costs. Beats headphones would cost much less if Dr. Dre's name wasn't slapped on them. Cool. I get it.


However, Fischer Audio and Brainwavs are just as guilty of this as Beats by Dre. First, let me introduce you to a little company called Yoga. They are an OEM manufacturer, which means that they make products that they sell in bulk to other manufacturers/companies, like Brainwavs and Fischer. This is the Yoga CD-880. These and these are the Brainwavs HM5 and the Fischer Audio FA-003, respectively. Look familiar? That's because they're identical. Yoga did the research, development, and most of the other legwork in creating these headphones. They then sold them to another company, called Jaycar who sells the exact same headphone as Fischer and Brainwavs for $50 plus shipping and handling
. Assuming that Jaycar is pulling a profit, these headphones could not have been more than $45 dollars. When the name "Dr. Dre" is put on a pair of $50 headphones and the price goes up to $199, Head-Fi gets upset. However, when the names "Fischer Audio" and "Brainwavs" get put on a pair of $50 headphones, with no manufacturing, research or development costs to either company, and the price goes up to $150, it's suddenly OK? I think not.


Secondly, Beats by Dre caters to an entirely different market demographic with different needs and desires than us audiophiles. Monster took into account that a large amount of people like bloated bass that drowns everything else out. If you live anywhere near anything that resembles a road, you'd know that a large amount of people do this with car stereos. Regardless of anyone's personal opinions, (I despise this sound, actually.) Beats' sound signature is something that a lot of people like. Secondly, the internal amp inside the Beats, especially for a consumer-grade headphone, is a pretty remarkable idea. Monster knew that next to no one was going to properly amplify these things, so they put in an internal amp. I'd love to see a company like AKG or Audio-Technica do this. Could you imagine an audiophile-style pair of portable headphones with a decent rechargeable amp, and maybe even a high quality DAC built in? That'd be perfect for a portable setup. No more bulky amps/DACs that are bigger than our iPods/Cowons. Monster really did a lot right with the Beats from a non-fidelity point of view, and considering that people seem to like boomy bass that overrides the treble and mids, they did exactly what they intended to do sound quality-wise as well.


Another issue people seem to have with the Beats is that they are advertised as "Studio Headphones". That's...pretty inexcusable. Still not as bad as Sennheiser adding foam to their HD 555s to make them sound worse than the otherwise identical HD 595s. 

TL;DR: Yeah, Monster does some pretty messed up stuff to deceive their consumers. So do 1/2 of the brands in your signature. Holding Monster to a different standard than other companies isn't fair. Regardless, Beats do exactly what they're designed to and they provide a sound signature that a lot of people like. 

Edit: The Jaycar link says $79, but that's in Australian dollars. If you go to the American webpage, it's $50 with a $20 S&H charge. Sorry for any inconvenience. 

Companies do this all the time, buying OEM products and selling them off as their own. The only thing different is that the companies use the housing and tune the sound in their own company, and this creates a different (possibly better) sound, which explains the tonal differences in the FA-003 and the HM-5. That cuts the potential costs of having to run an entire factory.

Also, unless you can find me a way to purchase those OEM products as a consumer, this argument is pretty much invalid.
Edited by crinacle - 6/12/12 at 7:35pm
post #83 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by crinacle View Post


Companies do this all the time, buying OEM products and selling them off as their own. The only thing different is that the companies use the housing and tune the sound in their own company, and this creates a different (possibly better) sound, which explains the tonal differences in the FA-003 and the HM-5. That cuts the potential costs of having to run an entire factory.
Also, unless you can find me a way to purchase those OEM products as a consumer, this argument is pretty much invalid.

Maybe I should re-iterate. The issue isn't that Fischer and Brainwavs are using an OEM. It's the ridiculous markup that they're giving it. Obviously, if Jaycar can pull a profit on these at $50, and Brainwavs and Fischer are charging three times that much, something's a bit rotten. Fischer Audio is a name that audiophiles like. Brainwavs is a name that audiophiles like. Jaycar is a name that audiophiles probably have never heard of. The pricing of the FA-003 and the HM5 compared to the nearly identical Jaycar set goes to show that Fischer and Brainwavs feel that they can take a headphone set that cost them under $50, do next to nothing to it, and sell it at a 3x markup because of their name. Beats by Dre makes headphones that are without a doubt, costing them not much. They use their name to sell it at a high markup. 

This argument has nothing to do with OEM usage. I don't have an issue with a company using OEMs. I do have an issue with a company selling a headphone that cost them $40, paying next to no R/D and manufacturing fees, and essentially flipping it for almost four times the money. 

post #84 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

Maybe I should re-iterate. The issue isn't that Fischer and Brainwavs are using an OEM. It's the ridiculous markup that they're giving it. Obviously, if Jaycar can pull a profit on these at $50, and Brainwavs and Fischer are charging three times that much, something's a bit rotten. Fischer Audio is a name that audiophiles like. Brainwavs is a name that audiophiles like. Jaycar is a name that audiophiles probably have never heard of. The pricing of the FA-003 and the HM5 compared to the nearly identical Jaycar set goes to show that Fischer and Brainwavs feel that they can take a headphone set that cost them under $50, do next to nothing to it, and sell it at a 3x markup because of their name. Beats by Dre makes headphones that are without a doubt, costing them not much. They use their name to sell it at a high markup. 

This argument has nothing to do with OEM usage. I don't have an issue with a company using OEMs. I do have an issue with a company selling a headphone that cost them $40, paying next to no R/D and manufacturing fees, and essentially flipping it for almost four times the money. 


I see your point, but considering that the Fischer Audio FA-003 sounds (to my ear) better than the similarly priced Audiotechnica ATH M-50, it doesn't seem all that egregious to me.  The main problem with the Beats is their price relative to their sound quality, which of course comes from the Dre brand name.

 

Also, have you actually heard the Jaycar vs. the Brainwavs and Fischer?  I ask only because I have not, but I was under the impression that Fischer used the same housing but an entirely different driver in their headphones.  Correct me if I'm mistaken about this, because I would be very interested to know.  Thanks in advance.

 

On a side note, however, I will add that comparing the Beats to other similiarly-priced non-audiophile headphones (like the Extreme Isolation headphones or even the Equation Audio RP22-X), I actually don't find them to be all that horrible.  My main objection to Beats is catering to a crappy, loose-sounding bass (I don't mind heavy bass eq so long as the bass doesn't suck) and more importantly, selling cheap-o ear buds that actually measure significantly worse than the apple i-buds for close to $100.  THAT is inexcusable, and something like a 5 or 6 times the price markup.


Edited by Mishalex - 6/13/12 at 7:57am
post #85 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishalex View Post


I see your point, but considering that the Fischer Audio FA-003 sounds (to my ear) better than the similarly priced Audiotechnica ATH M-50, it doesn't seem all that egregious to me.  The main problem with the Beats is their price relative to their sound quality, which of course comes from the Dre brand name.

 

Also, have you actually heard the Jaycar vs. the Brainwavs and Fischer?  I ask only because I have not, but I was under the impression that Fischer used the same housing but an entirely different driver in their headphones.  Correct me if I'm mistaken about this, because I would be very interested to know.  Thanks in advance.

Beats (I can't believe I'm defending them. I feel like I have failed as an audiophile. xD) caters to a market that likes ridiculously-over the top bass that drowns everything else out, wants to look cool, uses their headphones portably, and appreciates convenience. The "Control Talk", integrated (albeit crappy) amp, built in microphone, detachable cord, and overall design seems to cater very well to people with these needs. These are people who put looks and convenience on par with sound quality. Are they right? There really is no "right" and "wrong" when it comes to aesthetics, just personal preference. The Beats line gives these people exactly what they want/need, so more power to them. 

According to TheJT, who posted in this Brainwavs thread right here, "Just to point out a very obvious reason why the HM5s and the FA-003s use the exact same drivers-check the serial code on the baffle when you take off the earpads.  For both the HM5s and the FA-003s, the serial code comes in the form of 42B followed by ##K## under it.  It's basically absolute proof that all these drivers come from the same manufacturer."

Any sound quality differences between the Fischer and the Brainwavs must come from their only two differences: the Fischer's velour pads and a thin layer of acoustic foam that rests on top of the driver in the second revision of the Fischer FA-003. 


Edited by CashNotCredit - 6/13/12 at 1:05pm
post #86 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

Beats (I can't believe I'm defending them. I feel like I have failed as an audiophile. xD) caters to a market that likes ridiculously-over the top bass that drowns everything else out, wants to look cool, uses their headphones portably, and appreciates convenience. The "Control Talk", integrated (albeit crappy) amp, built in microphone, detachable cord, and overall design seems to cater very well to people with these needs. These are people who put looks and convenience on par with sound quality. Are they right? There really is no "right" and "wrong" when it comes to aesthetics, just personal preference. The Beats line gives these people exactly what they want/need, so more power to them. 

According to TheJT, who posted in this Brainwavs thread right here, "Just to point out a very obvious reason why the HM5s and the FA-003s use the exact same drivers-check the serial code on the baffle when you take off the earpads.  For both the HM5s and the FA-003s, the serial code comes in the form of 42B followed by ##K## under it.  It's basically absolute proof that all these drivers come from the same manufacturer."

Any sound quality differences between the Fischer and the Brainwavs must come from their only two differences: the Fischer's velour pads and a thin layer of "acoustic" foam that rests on top of the driver in the second revision of the Fischer FA-003. 

 

Thanks for letting me know about the Fischers...I officially feel ripped off now, lol.  Actually, I too will give Beats some credit for starting the trend of top-end headphone companies now trying to design with some of the features you mentioned above, and also for getting more people to become aware of the existence of better headphones.  Truth be told, it wasn't until after hearing Beats and thinking they sounded awful that I even ventured into "audiophile" terrain in search of a better headphone, so I guess I agree with you.  On the whole, as much as I think Beats are scamming people, I still think that they have been a positive contribution overall as far as sparking an increased interest in higher quality headphones in the world at large.  Unfortunately, this has also had the consequence of jacking up the prices of many flagship headphones into the absurdly expensive terrain.  I can't believe that just a few years ago, $600 seem exorbitant even for the top-end flagship models (with the exception of things like the Sennheiser Orpheus), whereas now, you'd be hard-pressed to find a true flagship headphone for under $1000.

post #87 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishalex View Post

 

Thanks for letting me know about the Fischers...I officially feel ripped off now, lol.  Actually, I too will give Beats some credit for starting the trend of top-end headphone companies now trying to design with some of the features you mentioned above, and also for getting more people to become aware of the existence of better headphones.  Truth be told, it wasn't until after hearing Beats and thinking they sounded awful that I even ventured into "audiophile" terrain in search of a better headphone, so I guess I agree with you.  On the whole, as much as I think Beats are scamming people, I still think that they have been a positive contribution overall as far as sparking an increased interest in higher quality headphones in the world at large.  Unfortunately, this has also had the consequence of jacking up the prices of many flagship headphones into the absurdly expensive terrain.  I can't believe that just a few years ago, $600 seem exorbitant even for the top-end flagship models (with the exception of things like the Sennheiser Orpheus), whereas now, you'd be hard-pressed to find a true flagship headphone for under $1000.

Yeah. My Jaycar's are coming in the mail in 2-4 weeks; so I'm definitely biased towards them, but in reality, you still got a headphone for $140 that sounds like it's worth $300. All three (four actually, there's a fourth brand and the name's on the tip of my tongue.) are regarded to be varying degrees of a very good deal.

Beats...and Monster in general really, are notorious for scamming people. They used to (and still might) have display units for their HDMI cables that have one TV with a regular composite cable in 480i and another TV with a Monster HDMI cable in 1080p. Hopefully, now that Beats is owned by HTC and is ceasing cooperation with Monster by the end of this year, the prices will go down or the fidelity will go up.

post #88 of 548
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

Yeah. My Jaycar's are coming in the mail in 2-4 weeks; so I'm definitely biased towards them, but in reality, you still got a headphone for $140 that sounds like it's worth $300. All three (four actually, there's a fourth brand and the name's on the tip of my tongue.) are regarded to be varying degrees of a very good deal.

Beats...and Monster in general really, are notorious for scamming people. They used to (and still might) have display units for their HDMI cables that have one TV with a regular composite cable in 480i and another TV with a Monster HDMI cable in 1080p. Hopefully, now that Beats is owned by HTC and is ceasing cooperation with Monster by the end of this year, the prices will go down or the fidelity will go up.

 

if prices go down with the coop with HTC. even though they sound bad.

 

they dont sound like how 200-400$ should sound like. they sound worth about 70-120$. especially when the build and sq are not up to par with sennheisers (which have GREAT build strength)
 

post #89 of 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinoyPogiman View Post

 

if prices go down with the coop with HTC. even though they sound bad.

 

they dont sound like how 200-400$ should sound like. they sound worth about 70-120$. especially when the build and sq are not up to par with sennheisers (which have GREAT build strength)
 

The durability on all of the Beats is said to be poor. The sound quality is what it is, but the Control Talk, built-in mic, and integrated amp definitely add value. 

Beats have a lot of interesting features, a nice form factor, decent/trendy looks, do well with low-bitrate music and are very portable at the expense of sound quality and durability.

Audiophile-grade headphones have good to near-perfect sound quality and tend to have above average durability, often at the expense of form factor, power consumption, features, aesthetic appearance and tolerance for low-bitrate music. 

See why it's difficult to compare them? They're pretty much polar opposites. Beats has a lot of features for the kind of people who download 96kbps MP3s off of 240p YouTube videos (not condoning this, for one, it's illegal in most nations, for two, compression on compression? No thanks.), won't do the research to buy a portable amp, let alone want to carry one around. The kind of people who will download a watermarked MP3 that says, "YOU ARE LISTENING TO NEWHIPHOP.COM, YOUR ONLY HOME FOR HIP-HOP MUSIC!" during the chorus, and gladly listen to it. Are they wrong? No! They're using their headphones to enjoy their music, exactly like we do. If anything, an audiophile set would probably sound worse on their setups because it'd probably be underpowered and it'd definitely be revealing.

Would it be nice if people shared the same passion we do about sound quality? I think so. But not all people do, and for them, the feature set of the Beats makes them worth $300. The misleading advertising isn't fair, but Monster's not the first company to do this, nor will they be the last, and they're definitely not the only. If I see someone who genuinely cares about audio quality thinking about purchasing the Beats, I'll recommend another set. But most people I've met are completely content with a pair of iBuds, even after I let them try out my setup. Good for them! They're enjoying their music as much as I am and are definitely spending a lot less money to get there. 

post #90 of 548
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

The durability on all of the Beats is said to be poor. The sound quality is what it is, but the Control Talk, built-in mic, and integrated amp definitely add value. 

Beats have a lot of interesting features, a nice form factor, decent/trendy looks, do well with low-bitrate music and are very portable at the expense of sound quality and durability.

Audiophile-grade headphones have good to near-perfect sound quality and tend to have above average durability, often at the expense of form factor, power consumption, features, aesthetic appearance and tolerance for low-bitrate music. 

See why it's difficult to compare them? They're pretty much polar opposites. Beats has a lot of features for the kind of people who download 96kbps MP3s off of 240p YouTube videos (not condoning this, for one, it's illegal in most nations, for two, compression on compression? No thanks.), won't do the research to buy a portable amp, let alone want to carry one around. The kind of people who will download a watermarked MP3 that says, "YOU ARE LISTENING TO NEWHIPHOP.COM, YOUR ONLY HOME FOR HIP-HOP MUSIC!" during the chorus, and gladly listen to it. Are they wrong? No! They're using their headphones to enjoy their music, exactly like we do. If anything, an audiophile set would probably sound worse on their setups because it'd probably be underpowered and it'd definitely be revealing.

Would it be nice if people shared the same passion we do about sound quality? I think so. But not all people do, and for them, the feature set of the Beats makes them worth $300. The misleading advertising isn't fair, but Monster's not the first company to do this, nor will they be the last, and they're definitely not the only. If I see someone who genuinely cares about audio quality thinking about purchasing the Beats, I'll recommend another set. But most people I've met are completely content with a pair of iBuds, even after I let them try out my setup. Good for them! They're enjoying their music as much as I am and are definitely spending a lot less money to get there. 


yea, being honest... i am used to getting music off of 360-720p videos from Youtube via Converters.
but right now im trying to fill those awful gaps by buying my music again.

because YT convert music sounds particularily bad.

im now seeking to find my music in high bitrate, VBR or not.

because i ripped a Daft Punk- Discovery CD from Fye on iTunes burner on 320kb mp3 VBR

and it SOUNDS great on my Portapros.

 

but yea, because some of the general public. With the lack of knowledge or appreciation of Audio Quality or headphones. they dont know what good a Headphone amp can be. so Monster decided "lets add a internal amp" so the public wont complain about our headphones not having enough drowning bass or volume not high enough.

indeed, the integral amp is interesting... but the misleading adverts/ marketing strategy and ignorance. including the inflated price for non-audiophile quality headphones when economy isnt so hot right now.   thats just taking the consumer's wallets out in the middle of a busy commute.

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