Apple just purchased Beats Electronics for $US3 billion, making it the company’s biggest acquisition to date.
In a press release, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the deal aligns with the company’s focus on music. Cook also said that the partnership would help Apple “continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”
However, anyone who knows a thing or two about headphones knows that Beats’ line of premium devices aren’t that great.
Apple is likely more interested in Beats’ recently launched streaming service, which has received generally positive reviews since it was unveiled earlier this year. Still, the Beats brand is more widely known for its headphones — which have received sub-par ratings when compared to its competitors.
Out of 18 headphone brands, Beats was ranked the second worst. The website issues each brand a rating between 1 and 100, with Beats scoring 58. Plantronics was rated as the worst headphone brand with a score of 57, while Shure was rated the highest with a score of 90. Apple even placed higher than Beats with a score of 74.
Both CNET and PCMag have left Beats’ headphones completely out of their top picks roundups. Specifically, PCMag gave Beats by Dr. Dre Studio an overall “good” rating, but did mention that they are overpriced. Lifehacker’s Whitson Gordon reprimanded a pair of Beats Studios for being too heavy on low-quality bass, writing that “they really aren’t very good.”
It’s not just professional reviewers that have openly criticised Beats headphones. In a lengthy Reddit thread published about eight months ago titled “Why exactly do Dre Beats suck so bad?” some audiophiles concluded that the headphones are overpriced.
The general consensus appears to be that Beats headphones aren’t horrible — you can just find headphones that offer better sound quality at a cheaper price.
The move to buy Beats initially confused some tech industry critics, especially since Apple’s mantra has always been to create the best products in the world. Apple is known for its ridiculously high standards when it comes to products and design, and Beats’ headphones aren’t the best according to user and expert reviews.
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