Beats $3.2 billion sale to Apple proves it’s great, but not necessarily at headphones

“In the weeks since Apple bought Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, I have been forced to listen to a number of audiophile friends rant about the technical superiority of other headphones, such as Sennheiser, Bose and JBL (just to name a few),” Chris Kocek writes for Entrepreneur. “Inevitably, at the end of their long-winded diatribes, they always ask me the same question: ‘Why did Apple pay so much for such an inferior product?’ In a word: branding.”

“When Apple bought Beats, they didn’t just buy a collection of products. They bought a brand. They bought street cred. They bought a beautifully wrapped up pop-culture icon that had an incalculable amount of perceived value,” Kocek writes. “From the very beginning, Beats got its product into just about every music video, mixing studio, locker room, dressing room and runway… When every major athlete and musician is wearing your product, people take notice.”

Kocek writes, “More importantly, customers didn’t ask questions about product specs and technical details. They figure if it’s good enough for Li’l Wayne or Nicki Minaj, it must be the best that’s out there and worth the $300 price tag. Right?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Beats. A triumph of marketing over sound quality.MacDailyNews Take, May 8, 2014

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16 Comments

    1. Audiophiles do not talk about Bose and JBL because they suck. Sennheiser (except the low end like the HD 40 and a few others are talked about because the sound quality is so much better than Beats.
      Go listen for your self and you will hear the difference.

      Rich

  1. Actually the Beats Studio Pro headphones are very good at playing music. I have Sennheiser and Beyers in the same price bracket and they sound “nice” and clean but cannot present music in a coherent way. The Beats are fun.

  2. The key here is that without the coolness of the brand,nobody would be caught dead wearing over the ear headphones on public. It was only for your music den and Beats singlehandedly changed that. Sure, they may not be the best in sound (those too much base is what some prefer), but they are far ahead of earbuds, and that is what really matters.

    1. Nonsensical statement. Beats headphones look cool and sound like crap. They are selling well because consumers—especially young consumers—can’t tell good from bad. They just want “cool”.

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