$200 Beats headphones actually cost just $18 to make

By Scorpus · 24 replies
Jun 22, 2015
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  1. beats headphones beats by dre bom cost earphones

    Beats headphones, known more for their style rather than their actual sound quality, cost significantly less to manufacture than their retail price suggests, according to a report from Bolt engineer Avery Louie that shouldn't surprise many.

    Louie decided to tear down a pair of Beats Solo HD headphones, which cost $199 when they first hit the market in 2013. From the parts found within, Louie estimated that the total materials cost, including production and tooling of individual components, for these headphones and their packaging was just $16.89, or around 8.5% of the retail cost.

    While this bill of materials (BOM) cost doesn't include the cost of research and development, labor, shipping or retailer margins, it goes to show just how expensive the actual components in a pair of headphones are. For example, the two speakers included in the Beats Solo HD headphones, arguably the most important components, cost just an estimated $1.80 in total to produce.

    beats headphones beats by dre bom cost earphones

    In his teardown, Louie also discovered a number of metal pieces that were used solely to increase the total weight of the headphones, making them feel more substantial. 30 percent of the Beats Solo HD's weight comes from four metal parts, which push the total weight of the headphones over 100 grams.

    Louie's article describes in detail some of the methods Beats used to construct the headphones, and how the company managed to keep the cost of materials as low as possible. It's well worth a read if you're interested in the materials that go into a product such as this.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Read allllllllllllllll about it... Hipster tech found to be crap....
  3. fredderf81

    fredderf81 TS Enthusiast Posts: 51   +40

    ...duh...they sound like $18 headphones too. people who say these things sound good have never worn actual decent headphones. its alllll marketing.
    RebelFlag, SirChocula and Arris like this.
  4. Capitalism at its finest! a sucker is born every minute. you can easily identify them, they have an iDevice connected to beats headphones!
    RebelFlag, SirChocula and Arris like this.
  5. More BS like this should be exposed. And those suckers born every minute that someone mentioned, usually have Apple gear to go with their Beats headphones.
    RebelFlag and Evernessince like this.
  6. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,376   +286

    Their headphones have improved in quality over the years however, for the price of $200, it's just unjustifiable. I paid £60 for my Sony XB 700, still have them today and they still sound great for my taste.
  7. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    I saw a pair of women's jeans, ripped and patched, on sale for $250. "Seriously?", I questioned my girlfriend. She said, you get any girl with daddy's credit card and they'll buy stupid stuff like that thinking it will make them look better. Most of us men, never notice the clothes. Things like these headphones are like those ripped jeans. Made for people with disposable incomes, not looking for quality.
    gamoniac and SirChocula like this.
  8. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Maniac Posts: 150   +118

    In other news, Monster and Pear audio cable companies still manage to sell cables.
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I don't believe this articles price, I'm sure they meant 18 cents give or take (mainly take) a few cents because thats all that Beats crap is worth. You never buy their products for any type of quality because you'll be savagely disappointed. You can pick up a pair of $25 headphones and be far more satisfied all around.
    RebelFlag likes this.
  10. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 683   +253

    I wonder how damaging this news will be to the 3 billion dollar deal that Apple struck with Dr. Dre? They were half way smart at least. They paid him mostly in stock if I recall correctly. Smart move Apple. :)

    "30 percent of the Beats Solo HD's weight comes from four metal parts, which push the total weight of the headphones over 100 grams." Classic move. I used to fall for this tactic in the past myself.

    However, in this day and age of technology my view of it has become that the lighter it is the more appealing it is to me. PCs, monitors, SSDs, all much more light weight than in the past.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  11. agb81

    agb81 TS Booster Posts: 78   +38

    I don't think this will affect at all. People buy them for status not for quality.
    LNCPapa likes this.
  12. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Hence the reason I never once was interested in them. I have heard music from them and I can safely say they did not sound like quality headphones. My Triton Surround gaming headphones cost about the same and gave much better quality that you could hear and feel.

    I have also seen much better quality headphones for much less at stores from brands like Sony that actually give quality sound beyond these things for much cheaper.
  13. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Uh, no, those metal pieces look a little more important then he's leading us to believe. They often act as reinforcement for key points in the headphones, and if the picture with the fours metal pieces are the pieces in question they are definitely not used solely to increase the weight of the headphones and instead reinforce the hinges where the headphones fold... If he didn't realize that as he took these things apart that's just sad. Looking at the pictures and having taken apart many a headphone I know what these pieces do, some expert this guy is.

    Forgot to mention I do not endorse Beats headphones, just this article is so pointless.
  14. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +751

    This is really sad.

    Personally, I think it is unfortunate that these kinds of marketing scams exist. Bose has had substantial success with this kind of model even though those in the know regard Bose as crap, too.

    Like David Hannum said "There's a sucker born every minute."
  15. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    I have said it before. If Apple put dog poo in a bag, announced it to the world and stated it would cost $99.99, the apple dorks would line up. And after they got theirs, they would rush home and tell all on the internet that it is without a doubt THE BEST dog poo in a bag anywhere.

    bmaytum, RebelFlag, Arris and 2 others like this.
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,087   +1,266

    Lol, yep. I was able to buy a long 12 ft HDMI cable with braiding and gold plating for $8. This cable would has costed $100 from monster. Not that the gold does much but for one dollar more, was like "hell, why not". Braiding is nice so the cable isn't degraded as quick.
  17. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Maniac Posts: 150   +118

    And innovative. Don't forget innovative.
    RebelFlag likes this.
  18. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,283   +242

    Total material costs of intel/amd processor, NVidia/amd gpu?
    maybe the cost of research and development plus advertising are so huge that companies are 'forced' to sell products higher than their probable actual sane retail prices.
  19. Malt LiQ

    Malt LiQ TS Rookie

    What about the ones with Bluetooth Tech
  20. Bose has always been know for top notch noise cancellation and not for sound quality up until now. The fact that it became a style icon is just because they are expensive. And in a country which even chooses its food by its looks you can't be surprised with people's obsession with expensive devices no matter they are worth it or not.
  21. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Maniac Posts: 150   +118

    You have other factors coming into play there - the manufacturing equipment is incredibly expensive.
    misor likes this.
  22. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,272   +455

    As someone already mentioned - you don't buy Beats headphones for quality sound... it's more akin to jewelry or stylish clothing than musical headphones. I've compared the Beats Pro ($400) against my cheapest pair of headphones - Soundmagic HP100 ($150-200) and the quality was so much better on my HP100 that I wouldn't even put these two cans in the same category. I even let avid Beats users compare for themselves and they even admitted so - but they still said they would rather have their Beats because of the way they look.
  23. You have other factors coming into play there - the manufacturing equipment is incredibly expensive.
    And headphones don't?
    I don't like Beats, or any other Monster product, but to claim that an item is worth its materials only is just moronic, plastic is cheap, producing molds and melting plastic (electricity cost) is expensive, renting the warehouse where the product is made is expensive, advertising is expensive, Paying people to design headphones is expensive, even if the quality is mediocre, they still needed to make choices like "make them sound bassy". If you've ever spent money on $18 headphones you would understand what true lack of design is like, there are the rare exception like Koss KSC-75's but they are based off old designs that Monster don't have the luxury of having.

    And it also Ironic that the Beats Solo2 is a good headphone within it's price point (Innerfidelity Wall of Fame), because they now have money to do R&D.

    The anti-beats (and anti-iPhone) crowd is far more annoying and obnoxious these days.

    And with that being said, I would love to see someone do a material break down of the $1000 Sennheiser HD-800's
  24. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Maniac Posts: 150   +118

    I doubt that the fabrication costs are even on the same scale as silicon. Chip foundries run into the billions.
    The point here is that the all-told costs for Beats are very low, and that the quality, by and large, does not justify the price.
  25. bmaytum

    bmaytum TS Enthusiast Posts: 47

    They also have an I-DIOT attached
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015

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