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Why Beats headphones are so ridiculously overpriced

Published Sep 1st, 2014 5:30PM EDT
Why Are Beats So Expensive

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Beats headphones aren’t exactly beloved in the audiophile community and yet Dr. Dre’s company still gets away with charging an obscene $300 per pair for its Beats Studio Headphones. Why? A new MKBHD video that went viral over the weekend does a nice job of breaking things down: Basically, Beats can get away with charging so much more for its headphones thanks to the magic of branding.

MKBHD sharply observes that Beats was the first headphones company to really take branding and packaging seriously, which is appropriate enough seeing as how the company that just bought Beats for $3 billion is also well known for its branding and packaging prowess. Having Beats founded by Dr. Dre is also obviously a huge help — after all, he’s a legendary hip-hop producer who obviously knows how to get the best sound out of the studio, so the headphones that he designs and uses must be something special… right?

MKBHD also notes that Beats does an outstanding job of getting celebrity endorsements for their headphones, which only adds to their prestige as a high-quality product that people of true taste will shell out extra cash for.

None of this means that Beats headphones are the best, however. In fact, MKBHD says that Audio Technica’s flagship headphones deliver superior quality to Beats Studio Headphones and cost a full $100 less.

Watch the full video below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.