Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Headphones for less

Since the recent acquisition of Beats Audio by Apple (a perfect marriage of too-expensive, overhyped consumer products!), Beats is once again in the public consciousness.

A great Lifehacker article (link at the bottom) suggests some bass-heavy alternatives to the expensive (and not-so-great-quality) Beats headphones that many young people seem to own these days. However, even these alternatives are pretty expensive; there are better-value alternatives that I've listed here.

This blog is geared toward college students and young adults, so pretty much any American in that demographic knows what Beats headphones are, and has probably seen more than one person wearing a pair. You may have even wanted your own pair!

Ready for the inevitable lecture? Okay, here goes:

You're going to spend HOW MUCH on headphones? Have you even read about The Millionaire Mindset?

People actually want to spend $200 for crappy headphones? Jackie Chan doesn't understand...

Can you justify the cost?

Seriously, unless you work in audio or video production, or need noise-cancelling headphones to help block out constant distractions--spending $200 or more for a pair of headphones is ridiculous! (In fact, most noise-cancelling headphones don't even cost that much!)

Headphones with high-quality sound are available for less than $100; there are $20 headphones with enough sound quality for most people's needs.

Depending on your usage and preferences, there are a variety of options available, from $7 earbuds to $50 studio-style on-ear or over-ear headphones. There are stylish options, well-known brand names, bass-heavy products, cans with high-fidelity sound reproduction...something for everyone! And there's really no need to go over $50.

What Beats does

Beats markets their headphones well. They set up deals with superstars like Lil Wayne to appear in public with their product, which gives these headphones the 'mystique' of being used by musicians. But successful music producers wouldn't even consider using Beats while working, because these headphones are basically well-styled, well-marketed $10 headphones that are heavy on bass at the expense of everything else. People think Beats are cool because they're popular, or because celebrities wear them, or because they're expensive. But, of course, it's all marketing hype.

A lot of other people hate Beats headphones, because they distort the sound, yet cost the same as high-end studio monitors. Sennheiser, Sony, Audio Technica, Shure, V-Moda, Grado, and other manufacturers make more faithful headphones for the same $200--or less! So when you look at it that way, buying Beats headphones seems pretty silly, doesn't it?

Paying $200 for the "style" of Beats is pretty much announcing to the world that you have extra money that you'd like to throw away on over-hyped, inferior products. It's like driving a Jaguar to convince people that you have money and class. I'll let you in on a secret: that won't work, because the 'cool' people--the charismatic trendsetters--think for themselves!

Do yourself a favor, do a little research before you buy headphones--you'll get better sound, save a ton of money, and look like you actually think for yourself!

Along those lines, I plan to compile a list of Froogal headphones in the near future.

Here's the link to the Lifehacker article I mentioned at the beginning: http://lifehacker.com/are-beats-by-dre-headphones-any-good-1509805994

Here's a well-regarded bass-heavy alternative to Beats that runs under $20: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KZIRQ54/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00KZIRQ54&linkCode=as2&tag=thefroostoo-20&linkId=AYWRUFMJMAU4CV7S