The first time I heard about Beats headphones, I didn’t think too much of them. So some old rapper endorsed a pair of headphones. Who cares, right? Well before long I was getting the same migraine I get when people try to tell me that Apple products “just work”. Everytime I take my monthly excursion into the outside world I see just about everyone wearing a pair of these. So what are Beats and why do they make me want to spray people with my water hose? Let’s go into that.
Beats headphones are like no other headphones. They’re endorsed by the one and only Dr. Dre. What? No one ever said that “like no other” means “special”. Oh, and they add bass. Like a million other headphones, digital equalizers and mixamps. I’m no audiophile, but even I know that more bass isn’t always good. I’ve been near cars with the bass cranked up so high that the sound of the car vibrating is literally louder than the music. That’s not cool. That’s embarrassing to black people. Anyway, these things aren’t anything special. You can go to Bose, Sony or Logitech and get much better headphones for at least a hundred dollars less. The only reason everyone is losing their minds over these is because it’s endorsed by some guy who rapped about weed. Now I’m not going to question how relative Snoop Dog is. As much of a geek I am, the only time he’s been relevant to me is that episode of the Bernie Mac Show where he played a spy shop owner. Update: I now realize that I was thinking of Snoop Dog. You know, I’ve always wondered what it would be like if Chris Brown endorsed Beats instead of Dr. Dre.
Now this is one of those rare times when I talk about the responsibilities we have as geeks. If you overhear someone talking about getting Beats headphones, please help them out. Let them know that they can get better products at a better price elsewhere. Tell them what I told you. Direct them here. Remind them that the only thing Dr. Dre did was slap his name on these and collect a paycheck… which he promptly rolled into a joint before being tackled by his accountant. Don’t feel bad if no one listens. They’ll insist that bass is all that matters and that Dr. Dre is a millionaire and therefore smart. If they bring up the fact that his stage name is Dr. Dre, it was a lost cause from the beginning. Don’t worry, the electrical sockets will get to them eventually. And don’t think I’m looking down on anyone who listens to Dr. Dre. I love listening to Kiss, but I can still do that while at the same time knowing that Gene Simmons is an old fart who doesn’t know jack spit about the internet.
Even though Beats are a fad and a fashion statement, it really shows how powerful marketing it. With just a famous face, you can trick millions of people into believing anything you want. We’re just lucky that this time it’s selling over-hyped headphones and nothing dangerous.