Why Beats Headphones are Really Cheap and Overrated

How Beats Tricks You Into Thinking It Makes a Premium Headphones

The designers behind Beats by Dre are either extremely smart or extremely sneaky. According to recent reports, Beats by Dre plastic headphones trick you into thinking they are worth the premium price. Besides their crappy sound, they're basically designed to break. However, they sell millions of pairs of headphones. So how do they trick millions of people into buying pieces of crap and selling it for a fortune? In part it's marketing, and the other part is all physics. A detailed breakdown via PopMech of a pair of Beats' popular Solo headphones show how cheaply made the headphones really are. The company cuts corners everywhere it can; gluing pieces together instead of using screws, and reducing the amount of tooling wherever possible. For all the company's claims about sound design and precision, the headphones use cheap products you can buy for less than $5 dollars. But, the craziest part is that the headphones are so cheaply made that the Beats actually needs to add weight to make them feel like a premium product.
One of the great things about the solo headphones is how substantial they feel. A little bit of weight makes the product feel solid, durable, and valuable. One way to do this cheaply is to make some components out of metal in order to add weight. In these headphones, 30% of the weight comes from four tiny metal parts that are there for the sole purpose of adding weight.
Beats by Dre On the left, all of the components that actually do something. On the right, four pieces of metal designed specifically to add weight to the product. Image courtesy of Bolt. I had no idea that Beats by Dre headphones used this technique. Obviously, product designers use all sorts of design cues to make things look fancier than they really are, but in this case, it's downright sneaky. What do you think? Do you own a pair of Beats by Dre headphones? Are they overrated? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below! Image Credit: pisaphotography / Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.