Shure SRH1840 and SRH1440 Unveiled!
Jan 12, 2012 at 7:50 PM Post #649 of 2,274
Quote:
Could doesn't mean would.  Businesses are out there to maximize profits and if the high-end market is willing to pay the price, then why should they lower it?


Well a pretty good argument could be made that they would make more money by lowering the price since they'd sell more units.  The marginal costs on the HD800 have to be fairly low.  That doesn't necessarily mean they're gouging since the R&D is where all the money goes on something like the HD800.  They do need to make back that R&D money regardless of marginal cost.
 
The arguments for lower costs come from the fact that many manufacturers of products front loaded with high R&D but low marginal cost of production often underestimate demand at lower prices and conservatively set a higher than optimal (for their own profits) price.
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 7:50 PM Post #650 of 2,274


Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
Well no one said you should use an EQ if you can't get a decent one.  There are certainly plenty of crappy ones but there are good ones as well.  You don't judge the HD800s by Sennheiser's cheap IEMs do you?
 
 



Can u pls read carefully? 
wink.gif

 
-->   Originally Posted by ac500
 
 
The closest way to have "the original sound" is in fact WITH an equalizer, not without -- and you would have to tune your EQ for every single individual song you have, because they're all different slightly.

 
 
 
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 8:23 PM Post #651 of 2,274
Yeah, they just don't have yet enough success/ popularity for full size headphones.
But it's obvious to me, that step by step, they'd try to increase prices to maximize profits.
 
 


Shure iems are nice and compared to the headphones, they seem a bit more overpriced. I think these open backs will start the era of overpriced shure headphones. Let's just hope my feekings are wrong
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 8:33 PM Post #652 of 2,274
Quote:
Can u pls read carefully? 
wink.gif


You're going to have to explain how that implies a crappy EQ is always preferable, better, and/or more accurate than no EQ.
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 8:46 PM Post #653 of 2,274


Quote:
Well a pretty good argument could be made that they would make more money by lowering the price since they'd sell more units.  The marginal costs on the HD800 have to be fairly low.  That doesn't necessarily mean they're gouging since the R&D is where all the money goes on something like the HD800.  They do need to make back that R&D money regardless of marginal cost.
 
The arguments for lower costs come from the fact that many manufacturers of products front loaded with high R&D but low marginal cost of production often underestimate demand at lower prices and conservatively set a higher than optimal (for their own profits) price.

 
It is a possibility that Sennheiser is underestimating demand at lower prices but you have to realize that their strategy reflects their best approximation of the market conditions.  The way they have things set up is optimal to them and they will not spontaneously drop the price of HD800 to test whether they've been in fact underestimating demand at lower prices and thus not truly maximizing profit.
 
Also, demand for the HD800 is not very elastic in that those who are head-over-heels into high end audio will not be steered away by a few hundred dollars.  By the same token, a decrease in price, unless drastic, will not increase quantity demanded so much that total profits increase because even at $1000, a 33% drop from MSRP, it will still be a product only the high-end enthusiasts will consider.
 
This leaves the option of a drastic price decrease which is even more out of the question.  Such a decrease will put their prices too close to that of the HD6xx series and will actually eat away at Sennheiser's overall profits since mid-fi users will forgo the HD6xx for the marginally more expensive HD800.  The way to circumvent this problem is then to decrease the price of the HD6xx series in order to maintain an appropriately large price gap between them and the HD800, but that would bring their prices to unreasonably low levels.
 
All in all, I think the way that Sennheiser has things set up right now is optimal for them as a profit-maximizing business.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 9:23 PM Post #654 of 2,274
Can't this headphone just exist on its own without such an omnipresent comparison with the HD 700?  And I am totally not saying this to distract from my assertion that its driver were based on the HD 650 (when they actually aren't).  
 
But about this phone, I rather like the design, it would be pretty much perfect had they used something other than plastic for the housings.  Also, I believe someone mentioned that the headband looks like it might catch people's hair, has anyone who has tried them mentioned this?  I wouldn't trust this with Jude considering that his hair is far too short.  
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 9:35 PM Post #655 of 2,274
Quote:
All in all, I think the way that Sennheiser has things set up right now is optimal for them as a profit-maximizing business.


I'm not saying I know for sure that they'd make a better profit if they lowered the price and I know they're doing what they think is best but its just that those sorts of decisions turn out wrong fairly often.
 
Given how different the HD800 is from the rest of Senn's product line up until the early impressions of the HD700 were reveled it not like its going to poach from their own product line much.  The 800 and the rest of Senn's audiophile 'phones are apples and oranges.
 
Second is elasticity of demand.  Given how many people I see complaining about the price and saying they like it I'd imagine there's a fair bit of elasticity.
 
How far it has to drop has to do with my next point.  Senn's price fixing scheme.  The HD650's MSRP was until recently $650 and routinely sold new for just over half that from reputable and authorized retailers.  The margins for the retailer and manufacturer still seam to be about the same though.  I noticed that on their B-stock page Headroom used to have used/returned HD800s that were still sold at MSRP but included several hundred dollars of "free" extras like a Headroom Micro Amp or Micro DAC.  In a similar fashion they also sell some bundles that include other price fixed headphones with accessories for considerably less that separate total.  The savings was suspiciously close to the MAP required to be an "authorized" dealer and qualify your purchase for a warranty.
 
Retailers are quite willing to sell the HD800 for less, they're just not allowed to.  This shows that it's likely that Senn is selling them to retailers at normal wholesale prices and not even making any extra money from the dealer's inflated and fixed prices.  Now that the HD800 is no longer brand new and wouldn't command the near MSRP prices that new products often do it would seem safe to assume that both dealer and manufacturer could still profit at a retail price closer to the 54% of MSRP that the HD650 was sold at for quite a long time.
 
My opinion is that the HD800 does not even exist to be profitable by itself.  As far as I can tell the price fixing has no benefit to Senn except to make the brand look prestigious.  Its just them saying, "Look how cool we are!"
 
There are some other possibilities that would explain their price fixing strategy but the ones I can think of rely on the marginal costs for the HD800 being much higher than I'm assuming.  I'm not convinced its likely though since this is just the sort of thing that Senn should be geared up for and the HD800 isn't that different from a traditional dynamic.
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 10:26 PM Post #656 of 2,274


Quote:
Quote:
All in all, I think the way that Sennheiser has things set up right now is optimal for them as a profit-maximizing business.


I'm not saying I know for sure that they'd make a better profit if they lowered the price and I know they're doing what they think is best but its just that those sorts of decisions turn out wrong fairly often.
 
Given how different the HD800 is from the rest of Senn's product line up until the early impressions of the HD700 were reveled it not like its going to poach from their own product line much.  The 800 and the rest of Senn's audiophile 'phones are apples and oranges.
 
Second is elasticity of demand.  Given how many people I see complaining about the price and saying they like it I'd imagine there's a fair bit of elasticity.
 
How far it has to drop has to do with my next point.  Senn's price fixing scheme.  The HD650's MSRP was until recently $650 and routinely sold new for just over half that from reputable and authorized retailers.  The margins for the retailer and manufacturer still seam to be about the same though.  I noticed that on their B-stock page Headroom used to have used/returned HD800s that were still sold at MSRP but included several hundred dollars of "free" extras like a Headroom Micro Amp or Micro DAC.  In a similar fashion they also sell some bundles that include other price fixed headphones with accessories for considerably less that separate total.  The savings was suspiciously close to the MAP required to be an "authorized" dealer and qualify your purchase for a warranty.
 
Retailers are quite willing to sell the HD800 for less, they're just not allowed to.  This shows that it's likely that Senn is selling them to retailers at normal wholesale prices and not even making any extra money from the dealer's inflated and fixed prices.  Now that the HD800 is no longer brand new and wouldn't command the near MSRP prices that new products often do it would seem safe to assume that both dealer and manufacturer could still profit at a retail price closer to the 54% of MSRP that the HD650 was sold at for quite a long time.
 
My opinion is that the HD800 does not even exist to be profitable by itself.  As far as I can tell the price fixing has no benefit to Senn except to make the brand look prestigious.  Its just them saying, "Look how cool we are!"
 
There are some other possibilities that would explain their price fixing strategy but the ones I can think of rely on the marginal costs for the HD800 being much higher than I'm assuming.  I'm not convinced its likely though since this is just the sort of thing that Senn should be geared up for and the HD800 isn't that different from a traditional dynamic.


 
 
I'm halfway convinced that a good part of Sennheiser's sales are with casual audiophiles, or non headphone obsessed ones. The type of people unwilling to look deeply into headphones brands and find out about AUdeze, HifiMan and other niche brands. Hi-Fi retailers are very likely to carry Senns, if a run the mill electronics shop carries something more than Beats and basic brands, it's likely to be Senns.
 
Likewise the standard hifi retailer is more likely to know about HD 800s than the other flagships.
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 10:36 PM Post #657 of 2,274


Quote:
Given how different the HD800 is from the rest of Senn's product line up until the early impressions of the HD700 were reveled it not like its going to poach from their own product line much.  The 800 and the rest of Senn's audiophile 'phones are apples and oranges.
 
Second is elasticity of demand.  Given how many people I see complaining about the price and saying they like it I'd imagine there's a fair bit of elasticity.
 
Retailers are quite willing to sell the HD800 for less, they're just not allowed to.  This shows that it's likely that Senn is selling them to retailers at normal wholesale prices and not even making any extra money from the dealer's inflated and fixed prices.  Now that the HD800 is no longer brand new and wouldn't command the near MSRP prices that new products often do it would seem safe to assume that both dealer and manufacturer could still profit at a retail price closer to the 54% of MSRP that the HD650 was sold at for quite a long time.
 
My opinion is that the HD800 does not even exist to be profitable by itself.  As far as I can tell the price fixing has no benefit to Senn except to make the brand look prestigious.  Its just them saying, "Look how cool we are!"
 


I feel like you're restricting your perceived purchasing population to Head-fiers.  Most of the public do not know nearly as much about the specifics in audio and if such an individual were to be considering the HD600/650 but saw a picture of the HD800 in the shopping suggestions at only, say, $200 more, I have a feeling they would strongly consider ditching the HD6xx.  After all, the masses are pulled in by looks and status and the HD800 fulfills both of those categories with its flagship status and striking appearances.
 
The same goes for elasticity of demand.  You see a few people on Head-fi complaining about the price and conclude that the demand is elastic?  Notice that generally, those are the individuals with headphones under the $300-400 range.  $1000 is well over the budget that a typical individual would consider spending for headphones; it doesn't take $1500 to knock someone out of the game.  Like I said earlier, those who spend several thousands or even tens of thousands on their rigs will not be deterred by a few hundred dollars difference.
 
Price fixing does have a lot to do with preserving the prestige of the brand.  That prestige in turn bolsters sales and excitement for new releases. 
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 11:10 PM Post #658 of 2,274
Quote:
I'm halfway convinced that a good part of Sennheiser's sales are with casual audiophiles, or non headphone obsessed ones. The type of people unwilling to look deeply into headphones brands and find out about AUdeze, HifiMan and other niche brands. Hi-Fi retailers are very likely to carry Senns, if a run the mill electronics shop carries something more than Beats and basic brands, it's likely to be Senns.
 
Likewise the standard hifi retailer is more likely to know about HD 800s than the other flagships.


Maybe.  If we're talking about retail presence and walk-ins or what not I think more people would actually prefer the the sound of the 650s since it work with more types of music but that could just be some bias I'm not aware of.  There will also be other people who just go straight to the top model because its the top model and not even listen to the others.
 
Quote:
I feel like you're restricting your perceived purchasing population to Head-fiers.  Most of the public do not know nearly as much about the specifics in audio and if such an individual were to be considering the HD600/650 but saw a picture of the HD800 in the shopping suggestions at only, say, $200 more, I have a feeling they would strongly consider ditching the HD6xx.  After all, the masses are pulled in by looks and status and the HD800 fulfills both of those categories with its flagship status and striking appearances.
 
The same goes for elasticity of demand.  You see a few people on Head-fi complaining about the price and conclude that the demand is elastic?  Notice that generally, those are the individuals with headphones under the $300-400 range.  $1000 is well over the budget that a typical individual would consider spending for headphones; it doesn't take $1500 to knock someone out of the game.  Like I said earlier, those who spend several thousands or even tens of thousands on their rigs will not be deterred by a few hundred dollars difference.
 
Price fixing does have a lot to do with preserving the prestige of the brand.  That prestige in turn bolsters sales and excitement for new releases. 


1)  If we go with 54% of MSRP and the HD800's original $1400 MSRP it would still be $400 more than the HD650.  2) There are lots of good and popular headphones under $400 but there's a comparative no man's land between $400 or so and the kilobuck+ flagships.  A budget can fall in between but sound sig preferences will often leave you stranded on one side or the other.  For example if someone wants a large soundstage they could go AD700 > K701 > ????? > HD800.  I see a $1200 gap in the middle there without a similar sounding headphone to fill it.  Of course that could be more Head-Fi bias....
 
This is probably enough though.  I'm not trying to argue that such a view is necessarily correct.  I'm only saying that there is a reasonable chance that Senn's pricing strategy is not optimal and showing how and why another strategy could work.
 
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 11:20 PM Post #659 of 2,274
I strongly agree with maverickronin. If you were to look purely at the HD800 audio performance, it's nothing really outstanding when compared to other top dynamics. It's a very good balanced* headphone. But for speed and detail retreival it's destroyed by the SA-5000, soundstage? the K701/2 is larger. Bass? the D7000 has more. In the end it's what is preferred by the listener, but I honestly believe the MDR-SA5000 spanks the HD 800 in almost every criteria that is important to me (speed, details and resolution).

When I was a newbie audiophile I was so astonished by the HD 800, but as I climb up the ladder, the more and more I get to see, it's nothing really outstanding.
Don't get me wrong, it's great, but not $1500 great.

*not talking about headphone balancing, but about balance in performance
 
Jan 12, 2012 at 11:29 PM Post #660 of 2,274


Quote:
I strongly agree with maverickronin. If you were to look purely at the HD800 audio performance, it's nothing really outstanding when compared to other top dynamics. It's a very good balanced* headphone. But for speed and detail retreival it's destroyed by the SA-5000, soundstage? the K701/2 is larger. Bass? the D7000 has more. In the end it's what is preferred by the listener, but I honestly believe the MDR-SA5000 spanks the HD 800 in almost every criteria that is important to me (speed, details and resolution).

When I was a newbie audiophile I was so astonished by the HD 800, but as I climb up the ladder, the more and more I get to see, it's nothing really outstanding.
Don't get me wrong, it's great, but not $1500 great.

*not talking about headphone balancing, but about balance in performance


Detail retrieval bested by the SA-5000?  I beg to differ and this isn't one of the subjective areas of audio.
 
 

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