Cranky Geek Rant: Beats Headphones Don’t “Cost $14” to Make…

studio-black-quarterAnother round of bloggers are latching on to this story, posted a year ago on The New York Times, so I’m not sure why it’s news again, but we’re looking at some fresh outrage over claims that Beats headphones “cost as little as $14” to manufacture.

The frustrating thing about stories like these is that they force me to defend a company I don’t like. $14 sounds about right for an entry level pair of ear buds and a fashion mark up to $99, but these articles always compare that $14 figure against the price tag of the most expensive pair of headphones the company offers, which are definitely not being built for $14. From the original Times article:

And even at prices of up to $450 apiece, they quickly became fashion statements. The company’s headphones have fat profit margins. Headphone designers estimate the cost of making a fancy headset is as low as $14.

urbeats-red-quarter-905x700Notice how I used a pair of cans as the top picture? Your brain is linking that $14 figure to a pair of expensive headphones. That $14 figure instead should be linked to a pair of earbuds like these pictured to the right, but that’s not as salacious a “gotcha” story.

And we all know the parts list and manufacturing costs don’t represent the total investment of how a gadget gets built. That would discount the work done by designers, any tech that might need to be licensed, and the marketing costs which all get rolled into the price of the product.

I think there are plenty of companies producing high quality and fashionable headphones that offer up better bang for buck, like Sennheiser and V-Moda, but just as Apple is becoming less a tech company and more a “Lifestyle Brand”, Beats Headphones are a similar fashion statement.

But damn these articles. Damn them for making me defend Beats…

Long Term Review: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Bluetooth Headphones – Zee Germans Do It Again!

How do you make the excellent Momentum headphones better? Make them wireless! These beautiful headphones from Sennheiser rock a timeless design, with durable build quality, and cutting edge technology! Let’s take a look (and a listen)!

Shop the Momentum Wireless on Amazon.
More info on Sennheiser products.

Full Review: Kingston HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset with Microphone Test

Kingston’s HyperX Cloud II is an ambitious follow up to their first Cloud headset. Not only are they refining and simplifying the cabling, they’re adding a USB DAC while only charging $20 more. Is the HyperX Team biting off more than they can chew? Let’s take a listen!

Shop the HyperX Cloud II on Amazon.
More info on Kingston products.

Review: Sennheiser Urbanite XL Headphones- Sophisticated Design, Impeccable Build Quality

Sennheiser impressed last year with the high end Momentum headphones, and now they’re positioning the Urbanite line as their mid-range audio experience. A unique blend of modern design and incredible build quality, do these cans have what it takes to stand up to more established “FashionPhones” brands? Let’s take a listen!

Shop the Urbanite XL’s on Amazon.

SomeGadgetGuy’s Favorite Finds from CES 2015

CES this year saw a tremendous number of “evolution” announcements. There weren’t any mind-blowing reveals, but we saw an entire industry looking to iterate and improve on products far faster than previous entries into new territory. Where wearable tech and home automation were buzzwords last year, we saw real practical application this year.

Every show, my goal is to find something I think is cool. It might not be the most practical, or revolutionary, but I want to see a company try something different, something novel. Here are a few of my favorite finds from this year’s show floor!

Click on ANY of the pics below to watch our video coverage from the show floor!

Continue reading “SomeGadgetGuy’s Favorite Finds from CES 2015”

Top 5 Best Non-iPhone Smartphones for Audio Playback Over Headphones!

Here at SomeGadgetGuy, we have the most comprehensive collection of speaker reviews available anywhere on the internet.

However, when listening to music, playing games, or watching movies, we often listen over headphones. This video, we’re taking a look at the best non-iPhone devices to offer up the highest quality playback over their respective headphone jacks!

Continue reading “Top 5 Best Non-iPhone Smartphones for Audio Playback Over Headphones!”

Cambridge Audio’s DacMagic XS USB Headphone Amp Review

Good things come in small packages, especially if you’re an audio nut. Cambridge Audio‘s solution here is formidable, especially for those looking for the highest quality audio playback in a manageable form factor.


Continue reading “Cambridge Audio’s DacMagic XS USB Headphone Amp Review”

Cambridge Audio’s DacMagic XS USB Headphone Amp Review

Good things come in small packages, especially if you’re an audio nut. Cambridge Audio‘s solution here is formidable, especially for those looking for the highest quality audio playback in a manageable form factor.


Shop the DacMagic XS on Amazon

cambridge audio dacmagics xs banana size comparison somegadgetguy
Banana for scale…