New York Times story on how brands like Beats and (somewhat randomly) Sol Republic are quite visible at the Olympics despite both their lack of official sponsorship of the games, and the active efforts of the “Olympic Police” to prevent the visibility of non-sponsor brands.
Which is interesting in and of itself, but it also makes an interesting statement about the headphone market. Sadly, Beats and Sol are really the only two brands mentioned. One might have thought that someone like Sennheiser, one of the biggest and most prestigious headphone brands, who also has a partnership with Adidas, had a chance, but nope. It’s the rap headphones and the wannabe rap headphones.
And then there’s this gem: “[Beats] did so by combining celebrity cachet and sleek design with a sound that they maintain closely matches the recording studio (though some critics disagree).”
Well, that’s an understatement.
On the one hand, Beats and their ilk have shown that there’s a market for high-priced, stylish headphones, which is great. Hopefully, eventually, the companies that make good headphones will learn this lesson. On the other hand, there are now lots of people who’ve spent lots of money on headphones and still don’t know what good sound is, and that’s sad.