YouTube reviewer Marques Brownlee uploaded his review of Beats by Dre headphones on Sunday, creating a viral video that has now been shared for more than 1.25 million views. Brownlee, who normally reviews individual tech products on his YouTube MKBHD channel, spent six minutes making his case against the hype machine known as Beats Audio.
In the video, he explains how margin and manufacturing costs play into the final price of Beats headphones. It's a lesson that applies to all electronics, and indeed all products sold in the open market. While other, lesser known brands are offering significantly higher quality audio, the Beats experience is what drives the cost of their headphones over $300 in some cases.
According to Brownlee, Beats headphones are well-built, but huge sums of marketing and packaging costs are factored into their final pricing. Those looking for maximum audio quality should, in his opinion, explore lesser known brands such as Audio Technica. However, if your goal is to have a premium experience, premium packaging, and a status symbol that will be recognized and admired, then Beats do make sense.
Apple officially closed their acquisition of Beats Audio over the summer, earning Dr. Dre and other company founders hundreds of millions of dollars in profit. Hoping to cut into the firm's dominant marketshare, competitor Bose has launched a youth-centric advertising campaign advertising their headphones as fun and colorful alternatives to Beats. The Bose ads promise: "Fresh Designs. Better Sound."
What kind of headphones do your prefer? Was Apple wise to purchase Beats or will it be a bust? Watch the video above and post your comments below.