So, about a month ago, I got bored and said to myself, let's do a little experiment. I bought a pair of fake Beats Studio, Beats Solo HD and Beats Tour. Bear with me now. :)
NOTE: 1. These have all been tested side by side with the real deals, in look and sound at my local mall. 2. I didn't take any pictures like a dummy, so sorry. :/ 3. These were all bought off of eBay, from different sellers, all from China. 4. Pictures of the headphones themselves will be available soon if anyone is interested.
Fake Tour: $3.
Looks: Almost exactly the same as the real ones. The only main differences were in the tips and the logos. The tips on the fakes have a smaller hole while the real ones have a much more defined hole. The logo on the fakes was shorter, lighter colored and the silver circle was darker than the real ones. The real ones have the "b" logo in a dark red and there is a nice brushed aluminum type finish. The Monster logo on the plug was almost dead on accurate, so no points off there. Fakes came with 3 different tips and a carrying case with the "b" logo. Total score, 6/10
Sound: Dear Lord, what an awful sound. The sound signature on these wasn't anywhere close to a "v" or a "u", no, it looks like the Swiffer "S" turned on its side! The highs were muddy, the mids were muddy and the bass was way too boomy and muddy. I would make a joke saying something like, 'they sound exactly like the real ones', but in this case, no. The real ones sound better than these. I WOULD give these to a friend just because I don't want anything to do with them, but I feel like I would be doing them a disservice. They are honestly in my top 3 WORST sounding headphones of all time. Total score, 2/10.
Overall: 3.5/10. They might look good, but they sound TERRIBLE.* I don't know but they just don't sound right to me.
*This does not reflect other/ all fakes out there, just what I have bought.
Fake Solo HD: $12.
Looks: Not much to say on the positive side. These fakes are pretty bad on the looks front. Quite a few things don't match up with the real ones. 1. The cable is not detachable, and it goes in both sides of the headphones. Also, the cable 2. There is no "beats by dr. dre" logo on the headband itself. 3. There are no monster logos on any part of the headphones. There is only the "b" logo on the backs of the earcups. 4. No 2nd layer of plastic. Look at some real Solos and see for yourself, there are 2 layers of plastic around the headphones, and the ones I have only have 1 layer. 5. The earpads are not plushy or well made at all. Very poor feeling, they allow the headphones to slide around on your ears, which is annoying. Total score, 4/10 just because the main frame is shaped like the real deal and they do fold up.
Sound: I got these out of the box about a week ago from writing this, and I have to say that I was, and still am, impressed. They sound almost EXACTLY the same as the real ones. Very impressed for $12. They sound as good as my Monoprice 8323, which is a weird comparison in itself. But anyway, if I did a blind test with these, I believe they would easily fool a true Beats user into thinking that these are the real deal. Total score, 8/10.
Overall: 6/10. While they might not look legit, they sound legit. And to me, that is what truly matters in any headphones, no matter what the brand may be.
EDIT 1/13: The wiring has split at the "Y" section and has come apart. They are no longer in use. R.I.P.
Fake Studio: $25.
Looks: Out of the box, they look almost 100% authentic apart from a few minor details. 1. The headband adjuster is plastic, not metal. 2. The earcups are very cheap feeling like the Solos and they are too small for my ears to go inside of them.* 3. The "b" logo is a light red, almost pink, but is nearly unnoticeable in direct sunlight. 4. There is no "cap switch" where the noise cancelling switch should be. 5. There are no red accent rings on the headphones. Real Studios have red accents on the black headphones, this has a plastic chrome ring. But, these are all minor. To the naked eye, these differences are almost indistinguishable. I find them very well replicated. I got a lot of looks from people. I even got fist bumped by another Beats user,and I'm still not sure what to think about that. Total score, 8/10.
*I had some Monoprice 8323 pads leftover from a recent mod of mine, and i tried them on the Studios. They are a little loose, but they stay in place, they are bigger, they are more plushy and they go around my ears, not on them. Glad I had the pads. :)
Sound: Almost like the real deal. The lows, mids and highs all matched up for the most part. Believe it or not, there is more quantity bass on the fakes than on the real ones. That was quite a shocker. They were AS muddy sounding as the real ones. It makes me wonder if they are the same drivers as in the real ones, except the real ones are made better, have more branding and are sold by a major company for 12x the money... We may never know. ;) But anyway, not really good but not bad. Pretty nice, actually. Total score, 7/10.
Overall: 7.5/10. It's a neat way to fool your friends and random strangers. They are also good for Dubstep, Hip-Hop, Electronic and Dance music. IMO, worth the money. Believe it or not, my friends.
In Conclusion: Very interesting look into Chinese build quality and craftsmanship. I have to say, there are some Chinese headphones that I have found that are very solid. Case and point, Takstar Pro80. Very, very well built. I think that the Studios are very well built as well, the Solos just had a bad wiring problem, and the Tours are nearly identical in every way to the real ones aesthetically.
EDIT: Seller of the Studios has stopped selling them.
"I hope somebody reads this..." -Anonymous
Thanks for reading! -BiggBenn
Edited by biggbenn74 - 1/20/13 at 6:32pm