Kinda quiet here again. I guess everybody's in the same boat as me with being busy and all.
Anyway, while sort of hovering between asleep and awake and listening to music I had a weird idea. If you don't mind my habit of using this thread as sort of a dry run space for my weird notions (and occasional offbeat humor), I'll lay it out for you all.
Some background. Most people around Head-Fi have, shall we sugar coat it, a less than positive opinion about the Beats brand (not breaching news there I hope). About a week ago while walking between classes on campus I was idly musing about whether or not anybody has ever ripped out the original drivers (and NC unit, if it's one of the bigger models) and used the shells as donors to create a set that actually sounds good (or at least improved).
A quick search of the DIY forum indicates that, basically, nobody really got very far with that. But here's my idea: suppose somebody managed it. What if we took that modified Beats set, then got an identical looking (unmodified) one, and had a bunch of consumer class consumers try them both out and see which one they preferred. It'd have to be some form of blind test, in order to eliminate potential bias.
What I'm interested in finding out is, once separated from the "Beats iz teh BOMB its better than ANYTHING ELSE!!!!1111!!1" effect (since the two headphones appear identical), can (and will?) average people choose the better product? I'm trying to separate out why people who buy Beats continue thinking they're good after listening to them, even after comparing them with better equipment. How much of it is marketing, brand appeal, and image (I think a substantial portion is this), and how much of it is the typical consumer tendency to associate MOAR BASS with better?
They turn up on Fleabay sometimes, busted, for cheap. Mostly it's headbands that are broken, though, which isn't what I need. I'm looking for somebody who blew the drivers, which I'm sure I've read has happened before. I also have zero experience with this sort of stuff and don't even have any tools to do it with. I'd need somebody who knows how to mod to build the set for me. I imagine it's a matter of suspending the Ax00 driver module in the proper position, then sealing the space around it. I don't know how to do either, let alone soldering the cables onto the new drivers.
Of course I'd go ahead and just borrow somebody else's working pair for the second set. Maybe I shouldn't tell them what I'm doing, though, or they'd be insulted.
Wanted to try but too expensive to get those Beats in the first place, be it real or fake. Not spending $70 on a headphone just to gut it. Even for science. For myself is a different story :D (okay, ONCE OR TWICE only) but I wouldn't wear beats in the first place, not my type of look.
Sounds like fun though.
As far as which they will rate better, in the end comes back to personal preferences. Just as we, on Head-Fi, have varied preferences, the general consumer will as well (just more gullible and have less real personal opinion on what is "good").
And, sacrilege as it is, I'll say...!
Beats don't sound terrible given the right type of music. They're just awful in a value standpoint. And mostly not particularly amazing sounding either.
If you can provide me the shells I can try to make the modified version (<--- actually, can't guarantee "good sound" so I guess maybe not)
But borrowing someone else's working pair => be prepared to reimburse him in case it breaks. you know... beats seem to excel at that if anything.
Edited by kalbee - 1/18/13 at 3:21pm