A third of your Beats are actually empty metal

Thomas Wellburn
June 22, 2015

A teardown by Medium has revealed that the Dr. Dre Beats headphones may not be so premium after all, if you hadn’t already figured it out.

Any true audiophile will tell you that Dr. Dre Headphones are pretty awful. With a ridiculous bass-centric frequency response and muddy mid-range that fails to capture the nuances in your music, they’re plain bad. Still, this hasn’t stopped the majority of people picking them up, in-part thanks to clever marketing and obvious celebrity product placement.

Beats headphones are fairly weighty beasts, which some may construed as an indication of quality. Of course, things are rarely what they seem… A teardown by Avery Louie of Medium – part of investment company Bolt – has discovered that a third of the weight in a pair of Beats Solo headphones is actually from four cast zinc pieces of metal.

Even worse, it seems that the Beats Solo don’t cost anything to put together. Literally. The company concluded that the estimated production cost was a mere $16.90, less than a tenth of the $200+ price tag. While I understand that companies sell their products with a profit margin, this is pretty bad. Production costs are kept low by using as little screws as possible. Glueing and snapping pieces together is far cheaper, so that’s exactly what Beats has done. Even the ear cups are made from different moulds so as to avoid using more screw-holes.

The Beats headphones have managed to become an icon in pop culture, despite their less than stellar specs. If there’s one product that defines marketing success, it’s surely them. Perhaps people will now think twice when they consider purchasing a pair. Should be interesting to see how Apple or Beats responds to the issue.

For more on Apple, visit What Mobile’s dedicated Apple page.



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