With all the hate towards Beats By Dre, we have started to dismiss them completely without giving them a second shot. Everyone says that Beats are not worth the money you pay. Is it actually true?? Lets find out.
It is not fair to just judge anything like this. About a year ago, Beats released their updated version of Studio headphones a.k.a Studio 2.o and some people (actually a lot) started commenting about them. Some liked them. A lot did not. They actually still sounded like Beats. But hey! That’s not why people buy Beats by Dre. Are Beats by Dre worth it?
People are not buying these for the way they sound. Beats by Dre has this reputation of being over priced and sounding like garbage among a large community of Audiophiles that you meet on internet (or in person). That is actually true, but not the point of these headphones.
Lets talk a bit about marketing. Everything that manufacturer makes and sells it, keeps a margin. The margin is usually considered as a full on 100 percent profit but usually it is not. For example a Phone might cost 200$ to manufacture but it retails for about 600$. The 400$ margin (or gap) is something where the phone manufacturing company has to fit all the other costs for building that phone including research and advertising. The gap left after all costs put into it is the profit that a company makes behind a Phone.
The same thing happens with everything, including headphones.
Audio Technica sells some great headphones and other excellent audio equipment. The difference between manufacturing cost and retail price is not very big. This is because they spend a lot in research and parts, a little in advertising and packaging, and sells them after keeping their profit.
Beats by Dre however puts a little in research and parts, puts a lot in advertising and packaging and then sells the headphones out after keeping their profit. That’s why they sound so bad as compared to other headphones sold for the same or less price.
Lets talk about the packing of Beats by Dre. You have to admit that Beats by Dre comes in the most well packaged and well presented box you find for any headphone no matter how much you hate them. They are just the best package. The presentation, colors, accessories, well, everything is perfectly done here. This is because they spent a lot of money to do that.
It’s really all about advertising. No matter how under-the-rock you love, you have heard of Beats by Dre. And probably you less techy Mom & Dad have too. But if you ask them to name another tech company they might have trouble unless they are an audio-head. This is because Beats by Dre spends a lot of money on their advertising and endorsements. They are really good at getting their name out there in public and their products in front of everyone’s eyes.
Before Beats, there was no such thing such as a musician endorsing audio products the same way we have football players endorsing shoes. They were the first to do this. It all started with Beats by Dre. Dr. Dre is a legendary producer and he made music. So if he starts a headphone brand and puts his name on it, then the headphones might sound good, right?
You can even see custom Beats headphones with Lady Gaga’s or Nicki Minaj’s name on them and designed in their favorite color. You can see other musicians or celebrities that are not musicians, wearing Beats by Dre all the time. Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding, LeBron James and many other celebrities wear them in music videos, live performances, or even when they go in public.
None of this is free. Beats by Dre pays them for music video placements. Not only that, they are often giving away free Beats By Dre headphones to celebrities so they wear them in Public and advertise those headphones so they seem on red carpet and show in events and concerts. These marketing guys behind Beats by Dre are geniuses to get these headphones out in public along people’s favorite celebrities.
So, Are Beats by Dre Really Worth it?
It is just like the kid who buys those Nikes because his favorite football player wore them. People will also buy Beats by Dre because they saw them along their favorite celebrity at an event, in public, Instagram picture, Tweet, or in their music video.
Over the multi-million dollar premium headphone industry of headphones that cost a hundred dollars or more, Beats by Dre owns 64% of that market. That is 64% of the expensive headphones that people buy all over the world. This proves that their marketing game is on point.
Beats by Dre is winning the Perceived Value game. The more people think that your product is worth, the more they are willing to pay for it. And with the celebrities wearing them all over the place, the bold design and colors that make a fashion statement, the custom spots in stores dedicated to Beats Electronics, those are all the things that makes almost anyone to pay 300$ or 400$ for Beats by Dre headphones.
Beats are not the only ones with inflated Perceived Value. Skullcandy also does the same but it is the 64% market share that Beats owns when it comes to expensive headphones. Beats is clearly doing a great job here and that’s not generally a bad thing anymore.
Here is what I think about Beats by Dre and other audiophile grade headphones. Expensive does not always mean that you will get a pair of headphones that sound great over another. It is simple, if you are going to buy a pair of headphones and all you care about is sound quality then go for something like AudioTechnica ATH-M50. You will not be very much pleased about how the way it looks but you will definitely enjoy the audio experience with it.
If all you care about is the design, accessories, fashion statement, name of the brand, and do not care about the precision and quality of sound, then go and buy any Beats headphones. They are the best looking (and famous) headphones you can buy now. They do not sound terrible or something, people complaining about them are doing it very harsh. They simply are made for audiophiles. So if you are an average regular guy/girl who loves to listen to some music then these are great. They are not accurate or flat but they do provide some decent bass that people usually love to hear in music.