Cyber Monday 2015 Tip - Don't Buy Beats by Dre


Beats by Dre headphones, utilizing slick marketing and celebrity endorsements (NBA players & Rappers), have created a MONSTER (get it? Because Beats were formally made by Monster Cable Products!) in the personal audio equipment world, and they are a shining example of how successful marketing can be, regardless of the quality of your brand's products!

Lil Wayne listening to Beats

5 Alternative & Better Headphones to Beats

Headphones Better than Beats (opens in a new tab)

Since their founding in 2007, Beats by Dre have become a billion dollar+ industry, with sales in 2013 of $1.5B, and with no signs of slowing on the horizon. There is no doubt that you have seen more commercials on television & online for Beats products than by every other headphone manufacturer combined...but why? Well, the answer is simple-- if they didn't spend that much money on marketing, they would never sell anything, because their headphones are objectively terrible.

Now, don't just take our word for it either! Take a look at the frequency response graph of bass heavy headphones (image courtesy of Inner Fidelity) below, and you will see that Beats by Dre headphones, represented by the RED line, offer an INSANE roller coaster across the audible spectrum, completely different from the other headphones (which, while somewhat different, are certainly more in tune with each other than the Red Line outlier). Without getting overly technical in our explanation, what can be gleaned from this graph is that Beats by Dre, in comparison to other comparable headphones, offers overly inflated bass to the point of garbled murkiness, mediocre mid-range, and almost non-existent treble, making for a horrendous listening experience.

300 Hz Square Wave Response Comparison - Beats, Skull Candy, Shure, Audio Techica ATH-M50

Luckily, if you're willing to look beyond the marketing hype, you will uncover an entire world of EXCELLENT headphones, offering not only superior sound to Beats by Dre, but at a fraction of the price! We have provided below five brands of headphones that we prefer to Beats BY FAR, including AKG, Beyerdynamic, Grado, Klipsch, and Shure! These headphone companies invest in quality products over marketing. For your convenience, we have also included lists based on price and headphone type as well, and you won't find a single pair of Beats within any of those lists!

Best Headphone Lists by Brand

VSonic GR07 Headphones

Best Headphone Lists by Type

Grado SR80e headphones

Best Headphone Lists by Price

Shure SE215 headphones

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