Beats by Dre, a Premium Product? Look Again
Media reports bring pricey headphones down to size
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2015 2:05 PM CDT
A customer tests a pair a Beats headphones at a Best Buy store in Hialeah, Fla. on Thursday, May 29, 2014.    (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

(Newser) – So you either bought a pair of cool Beats headphones, secretly pined for them, or hated them outright as a pricey con. Looks like—bing!—option three may be correct, according to a new round of media reports. "Beats by Dre headphones are garbage," writes Mario Aguilar at Gizmodo. "Besides their crappy sound, they’re basically designed to break." For evidence, he points to a teardown of Beats by Dre Headphones at Medium, which says the product feels strong and durable partly because of a few metal pieces. "In these headphones, 30% of the weight comes from four tiny metal parts that are there for the sole purpose of adding weight," the report says.

Designers also saved installation time by using screws minimally, says Medium, and added generic drivers that likely don't deliver the promised extra bass. What's more, the parts without labor cost just $16.89, a far cry from the $199+ price tag. For audiophiles, Lifehacker reports that "Beats are ... not great," delivering less quality sound and even less bass than other more affordable products—including Sennheiser's Urbanite and Momentum lines ($85 and up), Shure's SRH750DJ ($149), and Ultrasone's HFI-580 ($183). Meanwhile, Dr. Dre has been lying low and roughly half of Beats employees have left the company since Apple acquired it, PCMag reports. Perhaps, the magazine says, Apple will cut ties with Dre and leave the headphone business entirely.