Hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing, hair-tearing, and head-shaking have abounded ever since the first celebrity-endorsed headphones encroached upon the awareness of a naive public. It is said that the headphone line Beats by Dr. Dre owns most of the over-$100 headphone market. With sales in 2011 of over $300 million through sales in 2013 of over $500 million, that is probably something around 4 million pairs of headphones sold since 2011.
Apparently, the purveyors of these celebrity headphones did not ask permission of the headphone experts on this and similar sites. Worse still, the unsuspecting public did not inquire here of the worthiness of these headphones. While we were talking Hz and dB at each other, both supplier and customer got deals going that have become a majority of that $100+ headphone market. Unbelievably, nowhere in that supplier's website are Hz or dB even mentioned! Anywhere!
Something Must Be Done!
But what? To quote another blog post, "How is the headphone market going to rid itself of Beats dominance and gain a sense of balance?"
This question was put to the heads of Sennheiser, Skullcandy, and Philips, and each company was proceeding on its own clear path to address this concern.
So they are doing their part. But what can we do? We are not empowered as much as the heads of these major headphone companies. Or are we?
I offer a modest proposal, in the form of a Three Point Plan called, "Spank Those Celebrities' Cans!"
1) (For ALL of us) - Dissipate the hip youth panache of Beats headphones by buying these headphones ourselves and wearing them most publically. I warrant that most folks who pay $1,500 for Sennheiser HD 800 headphones and $1,800 for HiFiMan EF-6 headphone amps are not the youthful trendsetters shown in Beats ads. If we are seen wearing Beats headphones while also wearing our polyester leisure suits, lumpy spandex exercise togs, or overfilled cotton thongs, while pushing our walkers through the Depends aisle at CVS Drugstore, we will inexorably coax the image of Beats away from the youth and to the realm of the former youth. I have done my small part in this regard, having purchased not one, not two, but THREE pairs of Beats headphones (2013 Studio, 2013 Studio Wireless, and Beats Pro). I also bought a thong.
2) (For me) - To do my own extra part, I hereby announce my offering of NON-celebrity-endorsement of headphones. Since celebrity endorsements raise the hackles and ruffle the feathers of the cognicenti, then non-celebrity-endorsed headphones should delight this bunch. We will counter meaningless endorsements of headphones by celebrities with meaningful endorsements of headphones by nobodies. I am not a celebrity, nor would I ever be mistaken for one. I am a Nobody. I am old, bald, overweight, and pale. I am wearing a thong. To those same major headphone manufacturers intervewed above, I hereby offer my services as a non-celebrity endorser, encouraging them to bid against each other for my services. Thus, we will crowd out celebrity-endorsed headphones with non-celebrity-endorsed headphones! Our headphones will proudly state, "Nobody has endorsed these headphones!" And for those iconoclasts who STILL think that their headphones are better than my offering, I provide them with a handsome bumper sticker that states, "Nobody's headphones are worse than mine!"
3) (For you AND me, to really demonstrate our commitment to this Cause): I shall devise and sell at a premium price a logo sticker to add style to the top-quality non-celebrity-endorsed headphones that most folks here have. Such a logo sticker can be added to one's favorite headphone, regardless of brand, to retrofit it with the necessary "sizzle." In like manner, I'll develop and sell logo stickers of the major headphone manufacturers to folks who surreptitiously actually enjoy Beats headphones, to cover the "b" and impress those around the listener with the listener's exquisite discrimination in headphones. Hence, I will confuse endorsement and non-endorsement labels. (see footnote)
If we work together in this manner of dissipating, crowding, and confusing to help the headphone manufacturers in their approach, we can indeed rid the headphone market of Beats dominance and gain a sense of balance!
(footnote): I must credit Dr. Seuss' "The Sneetches" with this idea. The poem begins "Now the star-bellied sneetches had bellies with stars; the plain-bellied sneetches had none upon thars." The enterprising Sylvester McMonkey McBean invents one machine to put stars on the plain-bellied sneetches, for a price, and another machine to remove stars from the star-bellied sneetches, for a price. Sneetches add and remove stars until they run out of money, and the now-wealthy McBean then steals away with their loot. Inspired by Mr. McBean, I too shall empty the wallets of celebrity and non-celebrity headphone users alike!
And what, you breathlessly ask, shall I show as the logo on this sticker that I offer? Why, it will be the sign you see below! Yes, a big red ess, the end result of the spanking we are giving to those celebrities' cans!
Edited by ruthieandjohn - 5/2/14 at 6:07pm