I saw this the other week snarkitecture creates marble pillow for limited edition beats studio headphones and it made me wonder about beats after ammunition and if the $3b apple paid for them was paid to the wrong people (beats instead of ammunition). I don’t doubt that apple can use them for something worthwhile but I just can’t see the value in the company when seperated from the designers.
I have a feeling Apple didn’t buy Beats for the design but rather the brand and technology. Imagine if iPhone6 came with beats earphones / headphones. I don’t own a pair of beats, but I could see how it could work with Apple, better than HP.
“Lamar also claims that Brunner, who co-founded Ammunition in 2007, ‘surreptitiously negotiated’ a separate agreement with Iovine and Dre, and cut Lamar out of the royalty stream. Lamar says he only discovered this at the end of last year… Brunner and Ammunition are being sued for intentional interference with contractual negotiations, negligent interference with contractual relations, intentional interference with a prospective economic advantage and negligent interference with a prospective economic advantage. Brunner is additionally being sued for breach of fiduciary duties.”
I guess I just don’t value the brand as much as I value the way it was built up (which I assume the designers had a big hand to play in). The HP comment is spot on, I remember the first time I saw it on a laptop and thought it was odd because of the association I had with the company being a headphone brand not an audio one. I also don’t have beats but played with them in a shop to look at the details a few months ago and was actually really surprised at how uncomfortable they were for me after all I heard.
The price they paid had more to do with Apple’s lack of direction than the value of Beats. Beats is almost over. It’s trendy and they don’t sound as good as they cost. Trends change. Dre and Iovine sold high.
“But football world governing body FIFA’s licensing agreement with rival electronics maker Sony means players have to take them off when they are in World Cup stadiums for official matches and media events.
Marketing experts say that probably only amplifies their appeal.
“When fans see World Cup athletes wearing Beats in their downtime, by choice, it has as much impact as seeing them lace their Adidas (boots) or sip a sponsored beverage,” said strategist Ellen Petry Leanse, a former Apple and Google executive.”
I’ve never tried or even seen Astro Gaming headsets in the wild, but they do look great. Do you have first hand experience with them? I’d imagine they are tuned for games rather than music.
The brand appeal of Beats isn’t surprising, but the nearly irrational popularity of the headsets vs nearly any other brand was surprising, to me anyway. The icon of musicians or athletes wearing headphones didn’t start with Beats; DJs, wannabes, and athletes have had huge headphones hanging around their necks for decades. Dre’s clout in hanging them around the right people and then promoting the heck out of that image really accelerated the appeal and sales.
For my money there are (and always have been) better alternatives that look just as good, albeit without diamond encrusting. The price/value/visual appeal ratio for Beats doesn’t add-up, for me anyway…just too plasticky. Next time in Tokyo, take a trip to the Yodobashi Camera store and the headphones ‘floor’.
I’ve heard great things about some Sennheiser models. If I still had time to concentrate on music, I would definitely drop $200-400 on a pair of great headphones. Right now, my life can only fit some $10 ear buds
As a design, I’m disappointed by Beats that I’ve played with in the store. They are far more flimsy feeling than they look in photos. The plastic feels cheap too, even though I suppose it’s properly speced. Shiny plastic is hard to pull off.
BTW: Did see a POP for the Polk Camden Square the other day. That felt solid. I don’t know what happened over there, but they have some interesting stuff lately