May 09, 2014
Apple’s interest in Beats Electronics got me thinking about their headphones. I know Apple is probably buying Beats for their music streaming rather than their hardware, but one doesn’t come with the other and the most iconic product of Beats are their headphones.
A glance at your Twitter feed today and you would’ve seen endless comments comparing Beats customers to uninformed sheep willing to make Dr Dre rich by buying his ridiculously oversized yet mediocre sounding headphones. After that, theres the inevitable link to some headphones half the price and twice as good.
To an extent I agree with them, Beats headphones are overpriced, but I’m not sure anyone buying a pair is under the impression they’re getting a bargain, or even that they’re getting the best headphones for their money. They’re buying Beats headphones because they want them.
What Jimmy Iovine achieved is to explode a niche industry into the mainstream. How many people did you see buying £250 heaphones before Beats? That is nothing short of a miracle. This makes me think the deeper reason Apple wants Beats Electronic, is because they want Jimmy Iovine.
Yet somehow, in all this news about headphones and music streaming, they forgot about Iovine.
Written by Weiran Zhang who lives and works in Nottingham. You should follow him on Twitter.