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Beats Are Magical! And Other Nearly-Criminal Marketing Schemes - Page 10

post #136 of 436
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbamg View Post

I think I'd rather profit off this misinformation than spread real information. The Beats have become a very lucrative market, for counterfeiters, manufacturers, retailers and resellers alike.

The lie of the truth is better handled and consumed by the knowledgeless

post #137 of 436

I dont really see what the big deal is about M50's either really....

 

Listening to them in a shop the other day I noticed they are not really that great... I preferred the Beyerdynamic DT770 in the shop ( I hate bright headphones as well )

 

M50 = closed in sounding, no soundstage, loads of mid bass no sub bass, mettallic highs etc etc. Maybe it was just a dodgy pair or something but to me they didnt sound great tbh.

post #138 of 436
Thread Starter 

I'm going to start the new thread today so we can get this one back on the topic of marketing lies and overpricing in the audio industry, and I'll be removing reference to that photo of Dr. Dre because the origins remain questionable.

 

Something that's always pissed me off is that Sennheiser and other companies's MAP-enforcement policies are quickly putting local shops out of business. I used to go to a local shop when I lived in Green Bay for nearly every headphone purchase because they could get me a deal on a Grado or Beyerdynamic that was better than anything on Amazon and still make a comfortable living. They even gave a certain discount on Sennheiser products to bring it in line with online pricing, though Sennheiser has long been enforcing the bottom line so they couldn't do as much. Now Grado at the very least has joined the MAP police party, and I was being charged more than Amazon prices (including shipping, in many cases) for my last purchases from there before moving. I don't know if Beyerdynamic started doing it, too, as the last Beyerdynamic I bought was over a year ago.

 

The problem with this is that, unless we are a society completely driven by instant gratification, MAP-enforcement policies designed to keep up a brand image are going to bankrupt great local shops like mine. If you're being charged the same or more than online prices locally because Sennheiser has come down heavy-handed and one shop doesn't have the negotiating power of a conglomerate, then how long can our cherished realms of audio survive?

 

Has anyone else had the same experience with Grado prices going up at their local shops over the past year?

post #139 of 436

I wouldnt be at all suprised if in about 30 years from now none of these high street stores exist anymore, along with most other small shops.... All shopping will be done in either huge warehouse type stores such as costco or whatever in the US or supermarkets.

 

All other shopping will be done online because the high street stores simply cannot afford to offer competitive prices or even competitve return policies etc.

 

Frankly shopping from Amazon is just easier and you have more consumer rights than buying in a shop as well as being significantly cheaper and more convenient. I will miss being able to test audio equipment in a local shop such as Audio-T but it is not looking good for smaller high street stores frankly.

post #140 of 436

Beats is sort of like the iPhone of the headphone world. Only difference you could actually make some arguments in favor of the iPhone (easy to use, etc.). Beats on the other hand really have no advantages. It's just sad that people into the marketing. I'd love to give a pair of SR225s to someone with Beats to listen to...that would probably be funny. :D

post #141 of 436
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandemic187 View Post

Beats is sort of like the iPhone of the headphone world. Only difference you could actually make some arguments in favor of the iPhone (easy to use, etc.). Beats on the other hand really have no advantages. It's just sad that people into the marketing. I'd love to give a pair of SR225s to someone with Beats to listen to...that would probably be funny. :D

 

They would probably still prefer the beats because most people like a bass heavy sound with lower treble and do not listen critically enough to notice that the quality of the bass etc. on the beats is actually crap.

post #142 of 436

The two seem extra crazy-

 

"Headphones used to mix in every major studio."

 

Isn't that a flat out lie?

 

"Never interfere with the track"

 

Then wouldn't you want a flat frequency response?

 

Also, I think I detected a Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat reference in the original post.  :)

post #143 of 436

Lol dont know if this makes me feel like laughing or crying more :P

post #144 of 436
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

I'm going to start the new thread today so we can get this one back on the topic of marketing lies and overpricing in the audio industry, and I'll be removing reference to that photo of Dr. Dre because the origins remain questionable.

Something that's always pissed me off is that Sennheiser and other companies's MAP-enforcement policies are quickly putting local shops out of business. I used to go to a local shop when I lived in Green Bay for nearly every headphone purchase because they could get me a deal on a Grado or Beyerdynamic that was better than anything on Amazon and still make a comfortable living. They even gave a certain discount on Sennheiser products to bring it in line with online pricing, though Sennheiser has long been enforcing the bottom line so they couldn't do as much. Now Grado at the very least has joined the MAP police party, and I was being charged more than Amazon prices (including shipping, in many cases) for my last purchases from there before moving. I don't know if Beyerdynamic started doing it, too, as the last Beyerdynamic I bought was over a year ago.

The problem with this is that, unless we are a society completely driven by instant gratification, MAP-enforcement policies designed to keep up a brand image are going to bankrupt great local shops like mine. If you're being charged the same or more than online prices locally because Sennheiser has come down heavy-handed and one shop doesn't have the negotiating power of a conglomerate, then how long can our cherished realms of audio survive?

Has anyone else had the same experience with Grado prices going up at their local shops over the past year?

Grado has ALWAYS had a strict MAP - if your shop was selling under SRP they either weren't authorized or were otherwise being very naughty. Authorized Grado dealers always have stuck to their tiered pricing (HeadRoom, ListenUp, J&R, etc). Sennheiser is the only one who's recently (as in the last few years) started enforcing the MAP through warranty. It's a means of controlling the retail channel - if everyone follows the MAP it equalizes the world. An RS-1 is $695 no matter where you go. And that kills competition between your dealers, which ideally lets you sell more products. It also has a retail mark-up worked into that price so they make money by going along with the program. When someone wants to price-war with everyone over it, it makes waves, and messes with the skim.

I don't think MAP is what's killing local dealers - the fact that their overhead is too high and they aren't otherwise competitive is what's doing it. I'm all for "local business" when it doesn't disagree with legitimate free market economics (funny how politicians will bastardize "free market economics" to mean whatever they want, isn't it?) - if the market doesn't want it, the market won't carry it. If it has to be subsidized to exist, it's problematic. There's also the question of customer service - a lot of these die-hard brick-and-mortar shops are snob factories and have all sorts of screwed up unspoken policies about turning away "tawdry" customers and similar because they only want to sell high mark-up equipment and make those big whale sales. That's not how you turn a profit these days. There's a reason Wal-mart has burned down every CE retailer except Best Buy, and why they have Best Buy jumping and fetching like their heads are on fire and their...well, you know the rest.

I'm not even trying to make a political statement - it's just basic supply/demand and profit/loss. Apple, for example, has a very established BnM retail channel, and it's profitable. So BnM isn't the problem. It's the super-snob, super-high-pressure, used-car-dealer approach that "high end" has been buried under for the last 20 or so years. Most customers don't like that, they tolerate it, and they aren't happy about paying those chumps commissions. So if they can walk, they do. And before you say "no they don't" - why is Amazon the largest retailer in the world? wink.gif
post #145 of 436
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Grado has ALWAYS had a strict MAP - if your shop was selling under SRP they either weren't authorized or were otherwise being very naughty. Authorized Grado dealers always have stuck to their tiered pricing (HeadRoom, ListenUp, J&R, etc). Sennheiser is the only one who's recently (as in the last few years) started enforcing the MAP through warranty. It's a means of controlling the retail channel - if everyone follows the MAP it equalizes the world. An RS-1 is $695 no matter where you go. And that kills competition between your dealers, which ideally lets you sell more products. It also has a retail mark-up worked into that price so they make money by going along with the program. When someone wants to price-war with everyone over it, it makes waves, and messes with the skim.
I don't think MAP is what's killing local dealers - the fact that their overhead is too high and they aren't otherwise competitive is what's doing it. I'm all for "local business" when it doesn't disagree with legitimate free market economics (funny how politicians will bastardize "free market economics" to mean whatever they want, isn't it?) - if the market doesn't want it, the market won't carry it. If it has to be subsidized to exist, it's problematic. There's also the question of customer service - a lot of these die-hard brick-and-mortar shops are snob factories and have all sorts of screwed up unspoken policies about turning away "tawdry" customers and similar because they only want to sell high mark-up equipment and make those big whale sales. That's not how you turn a profit these days. There's a reason Wal-mart has burned down every CE retailer except Best Buy, and why they have Best Buy jumping and fetching like their heads are on fire and their...well, you know the rest.
I'm not even trying to make a political statement - it's just basic supply/demand and profit/loss. Apple, for example, has a very established BnM retail channel, and it's profitable. So BnM isn't the problem. It's the super-snob, super-high-pressure, used-car-dealer approach that "high end" has been buried under for the last 20 or so years. Most customers don't like that, they tolerate it, and they aren't happy about paying those chumps commissions. So if they can walk, they do. And before you say "no they don't" - why is Amazon the largest retailer in the world? wink.gif

Just pointing out quickly that the MAP won't mean that the entire world holds the same, or even similar prices.
Headphonebar.com (Canadian online retailer) sells the grado sr325is for $350 + tax (About $370 total)
amazon.com sells it at 275 + possible tax depending on where you live (let's say $285 total)
That's an $85 price difference.
post #146 of 436
Quote:
Originally Posted by GL1TCH3D View Post

Just pointing out quickly that the MAP won't mean that the entire world holds the same, or even similar prices.
Headphonebar.com (Canadian online retailer) sells the grado sr325is for $350 + tax (About $370 total)
amazon.com sells it at 275 + possible tax depending on where you live (let's say $285 total)
That's an $85 price difference.

Grado has different MAPs outside of the US, which is very unfortunate. I don't know why they do this, but they do. Koss is similar (the PRO/4AAs reportedly cost around the equivalent of US $250 in Okinawa, which is pathetic when they're $99 all day in the US).

Amazon.com is not an authorized Grado dealer either. The set you're referencing at $275 (which has only been up for a short while) probably would not have a valid warranty as a result.

I'm not really trying to goad an argument here either - it's just reality. It's like Pioneer Elite units at Costco - sure they cost less, but they aren't coming from an authorized retailer, and carry no warranty as a result. For some people that doesn't matter, and the savings is worth it, for others it's a deal-breaker. Some manufacturers care a lot less about this (e.g. Koss) and will back the product as long as it's legitimately theirs.
Edited by obobskivich - 7/24/12 at 2:20pm
post #147 of 436
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Grado has different MAPs outside of the US, which is very unfortunate. I don't know why they do this, but they do. Koss is similar (the PRO/4AAs reportedly cost around the equivalent of US $250 in Okinawa, which is pathetic when they're $99 all day in the US).
Amazon.com is not an authorized Grado dealer either. The set you're referencing at $275 (which has only been up for a short while) probably would not have a valid warranty as a result.
I'm not really trying to goad an argument here either - it's just reality. It's like Pioneer Elite units at Costco - sure they cost less, but they aren't coming from an authorized retailer, and carry no warranty as a result. For some people that doesn't matter, and the savings is worth it, for others it's a deal-breaker. Some manufacturers care a lot less about this (e.g. Koss) and will back the product as long as it's legitimately theirs.

Well it's just about every pair of headphones I see is consistently cheaper in the US (probably due to the little to no import fees and taxes).
So it's such a shame because it'd be so nice if they were the same price just about any where in the world.
post #148 of 436

You would think that paying higher price premium in high street retailers would mean that you would get better service and better customer rights such as return policies etc.

 

When looking at headphones recently from HMV I had the choice to buy them from the HMV high street store for £199 with a 14 day exchange only returns policy or buy them from HMV online for £159.99 with a 30 day full refund return policy...

 

The high street shops really need to be more competitive with online shops if they want to stay in bussiness...


Edited by nicholars - 7/24/12 at 2:36pm
post #149 of 436

Marketing BS exists in all industries, not just the audio one. Beats (or previously Monster) is certainly not the only culpable party here. As mentioned before, the keyword here is 'loopholes'. I do think they spend a part of those ill-gotten gains to recruit legal advice regarding the legality of their statements.

 

I don't read law, but have read some of the most hypocritical arguments on semantics (if you live in Singapore, you'd probably know a few of the more high-profile cases (i.e. involving constitutional law) as well) and here's my humble take. For example, 

 

"Beats Pro headphones sound so good because they put back the quality lost in modern-day file compression"

 

On first read it seems to hint at the magical ability of the earphones to restore quality lost due to compression. However, they'd probably argue that it simply refers to the restoration of quality lost in the process of compression, NOT that the compression is the cause of the quality loss (i.e. in the process, other factors might be influential). "modern-day file compression" is highly vague and they can probably find some other forms of 'compression' that do not coincide with our consensual understanding of the word.

 

"Beats Tour earphones are among the first earbuds to hold their own against over ear headphones"

 

Cleverly used "among".

 

"The Beats Audio tuning process holds the highest respect for the artist - never interfering with the track"

 

What is "The Beats Audio tuning process". They certainly did not say the headphones themselves "never" interfere with the track. It's really up to them to define the "tuning process".

 

"The Headphones Used To Mix In Every Major Studio"

 

Other than punctuation mistakes, this statement can hardly be proven to be false. "Every" can be a dangerous assertion, but "Used To Mix" again adds the ambiguity. How are these headphones "Used"? In the traditional way? Up to them to define, again.


Edited by LouisLoh - 7/24/12 at 2:44pm
post #150 of 436

any lawyers here want to comment on how closely this stuff treads the line between "marketing fluff" and fraud?  honestly, if I made a purchase based on these quotes, I would be outraged when I found out it was BS.  I do not believe the average layman would realize just how insane these statements are! 

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