Beats headphones have always had a fairly bad reputation for being very overpriced and not warranting the amount of money you end up spending on these designers headphones. Recently, a Bolt Prototype engineer named Avery Louise cracked open a pair of Beats and was shocked to find that the materials that the Beats were made of were nothing like what he had expected.
For an average pair of Beats Solo HDs you’ll pay around $150, for a pair of Beats Studios you’ll pay around $250 and then you start getting into a lot of money with the DJ editions, special editions and wireless versions. However, after popping open this pair of Beats Solo HDs, Mr Louie found that the materials used to create these headphones cost around $16.89. Unfortunately, after a week or so someone commented, letting him know that the pair he had popped open were indeed a counterfeit pair of headphones that weren’t original Beats headphones. In light of this, Mr Avery went to Target and Amazon and purchases two other pairs of guaranteed real headphones.
Upon popping this new pair of headphones open, Louie Avery was shocked to find that the materials of the real Beats Solo HDs cost $20.18, that’s a mere increase of $3.29 over the counterfeit pair. That’s an absolutely astonishing number. Now obviously you have to count in, production costs, labour costs, delivery costs and more but we find it incredibly hard to believe that these all add up to an additional $130 that the Solo HDs eventually cost.
Let’s add in labour cost and delivery cost per headphone, it’s likely to round the number to about $40-$50 at absolute most. This means they’re making over $100 worth of profit on each pair of Solo HDs they sell. If you take into account that we can’t imagine the Beats Studio pair, coming in at around $250-$300 are made of much more premium materials, Beats are making some serious profit on their headphones.
Beats have often received a reputation for not having sound quality to match the price of their headphones but they’ve now got a lot of questions to answer with this report coming out that their headphones only cost $20 to make. It will be interesting to see if Beats change their headphones line-up anytime soon to include better materials used to match the price they sell them for. There are many pairs of headphones out there that cost $150-$300 that not only sound far superior to Beats but also are made of far more premium materials.
During the teardown it was also reported that Beats simply puts sections of metals to weigh down the headphones to make them feel a little more premium. This will obviously negate any feeling of them feeling “light and cheap”. It’s a clever marketing ploy and one that has obviously worked with Beats being one of the best selling headphones out there and Apple obviously buying into that.
Whether the acquisition by Apple will force Beats to up their game with Apple’s constant talk about pride of sound quality and pride in music. Jonny Vine and Dr Dre will have a lot to think about on their plate now with this report having reached every corner of the internet. Beats1 is a radio station that Apple recently launched on its Apple Music service that obviously has expanded the Beats name from just a set of headphones or audio equipment to a worldwide 24/7 radio station. This service offers up many different music types and music cultures on one radio station.
It will be interesting to see what Beats’ move after this will be and whether they will be proactive on the matter and design some more premium built headphones for the same price. On the other hand, they could keep churning out cheaply made headphones as they have a name that is already recognised by so many and have had many celebrity endorsements to help their product reach a reputation that no other headphone has ever reached. Will people keep buying Beats headphones now this report has come out? Only time will tell.