Enjoy Your Beats Headphones, Not the Quality of Music

MisterEous  |

I still can’t hear the music properly for $199.

I have my iPod and my Bose in-ear phones with me when I go out for walks, hikes or my occasional workout routines. I have a lot of music on there, the catalog ranges from Edith Piaf to Sweedish House Mafia. I have transferred most of my CDs and records into my computer and over to my portable library. I have set up my playlists based on my activities and backed it all up externally several times just in case.

Workouts at the gym have a lot of Iron Maiden and AC/DC. Walking around the beach and LA I tend more towards Depeche Mode and electronic acts. My hikes usually have some Paul Oakenfold and high energy in there too keep me moving.

When I get home I turn on my record player, or play a CD, I don’t play my iTunes library. Why? I am a music Snob, an audiophile, and picky about what I chose to listen too when I am at home. Mp3, m4a and m4p are compressed music file formats, used by iTunes, to deliver smaller files onto their iPods. They are nothing like their larger lossless compression superiors, .AIFF, ALAC and the like. The process strips the sonic structure, it dilutes the music to a flat mix. You cannot think that the small file holds all the true structure, the real audio enjoyment and quality that took an some recording engineers days to mix.  

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The Problem with Beats technology

If I purchase entry level Beats headphones will the compressed, lifeless digital file on my iPod become better? NO! This is the Air Jordans for the music listener. I bought Air Jordans thinking they would make me jump higher or make me better at basketball. This is the problem with Beats Technology: you can’t take a compressed file and make it better by adding bass, just as the Air Jordans failed to make my basketball career achievable.

Beats can add more “bass,” which generally can have a bad effect on hearing over time, but that is really just the Wizard of Oz trying to convince Dorothy that he was not the man behind the curtain. The headphones are not of great quality when compare to Sennheiser or Bang Olufssens. Yes these are pricey, too.

“I’ll buy it is has to be good!”

Here is the dilemma, $500 bass enhanced headphones still don’t make bad audio compression good. Think of putting the movie Avatar onto a VHS and playing it on an expensive tube TV. The whole experience is ruined.

Beats is a gimmick but a marketing success; it’s not based on quality. iTunes itself has changed the music industry. They have wiped out Virgin Megastores, Tower Records, and the local records. I miss those Saturdays of looking at second-hand record stores to find first pressings of Bohemian Rapsody or limited edition colored vinyls. I listen to my “One Night at the Opera” record in perfect condition and feel alive, I listen to it on iTunes and it really is not the same. Our ears don’t need to be rattled and shook, ringing for hours by the overly loud and “enhanced music quality.”

As with so many Marketing Campaigns, more money is sure to be made on this. I am sure already there are plans to dominate and convince us that we need these headphones to hear music properly, or deceive us into believing what music should sound like.

Am I just a naive child looking at the Emperor and asking why has he no clothes on?

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