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Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine go in-depth on Apple's Beats acquisition and future plans - Page 2

post #41 of 88
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Originally Posted by drblank View Post

As long as Iovine and Dre are involved with this, I don't think the sound quality is going to change.  They obviously like the sound quality of artificial bass because their hearing is messed up due to the type of music and the way they engineer the music of what they do.  Thank God, there are plenty of other companies that make better sounding headphones.  too bad Apple just wasted $3 Billion on this.  Now, if the headphones were the best sounding in the world and they had patents, then I could see it, but they don't and the cost of hiring these two and the money they are going to have to dump in order to get Beats Music subscription service together?  It's going to take a LONG time before Apple gets their money back.  I see this as a bad investment.  I would have spent that money buying Nest.  Google in this case got the better of the two deals. Plus there's no damage control needed if they bought Nest instead.  Much cleaner deal IMO.  Oh well.

Seems a lot of folks out in the market miss the point that a small company, on its own worth X, in the hands of a huge company, can be worth 10X or more. Apple will multiply the value of Beats Electronics by simply amping up the marketing of those premium-price Beats headphones globally to Apple's enormous installed base of iPhone and iPod owners. Beats, on its own, doesn't have direct access to those folks and Apple would not likely give access to one external peripherals vendor over another. But as an Apple-owned brand, Beats will get top billing among Apple's marketing space. Ka-Ching! Suddenly, Beats is selling $2 billion, then 3, then 4 billion of headphones, portable speakers and in-car audio solutions. Could this be what Tim Cook has in mind when he said the Beats acquisition will be accretive in 2015? Heck, that's pretty soon given that the deal won't close until the end of 2014. I'm inclined to believe Cook when he says the deal will be accretive over someone who is clearly having a knee-jerk reaction based upon a valid, but inconsequential assessment of the headphone acoustic quality.
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post #42 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

As long as Iovine and Dre are involved with this, I don't think the sound quality is going to change.  They obviously like the sound quality of artificial bass because their hearing is messed up due to the type of music and the way they engineer the music of what they do. .

GOTCHA!!
post #43 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Cue certainly did raise the bar tonight. But **** Iovine for ripping Apple's headphones on stage. He said Apple only makes headphones to test that the audio on the phone is working right. A bit rich coming from someone who makes headphones that a lot of people feel are overpriced crap. I hope if he and Dre start to interfere in product design that Ive tells them to **** off.



I just checked out Beats Music just to see what the big deal is all about.

It's God awful.  If that's what Cook wanted to spend $3 Billion, then he's going to have to spend another $3 Billion cleaning it up.  It's HORRIBLE.

What a complete waste of money.  

I'm now waiting for WWDC to see what the response is when they bring these idiots on stage.  If there is a negative reaction from the crowd, it's going to be a PR nightmare.

What's wrong with Beats music? The interface is as good or better than spotify. They have the same catalog as every other streaming service. I think their curated lists are just ok, but I suppose they are better than not having them at all.

Haters gonna hate I suppose.
post #44 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
 

Getting good headphones for under $1000 is difficult. I'm actually saving up for a pair of HD800's myself, but I know a lot of people are liking the Audezes, Ultrasone Edition 10's, Grado, Stax, Fostex TH900's, and other ultra high end models.

 

I've been using Beyerdynamic DT770's for studio reference headphones for years now and really like them.  Well under $1000.  I haven't tried their mobile offerings though (the DT770s are a bit bulky to wear outside of the studio).  That's kinda what this is about: headphones you'd use on the go with your iPhone/iPad.  I know I certainly wouldn't take a pair of $3000 headphones out of my studio.

 
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post #45 of 88
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Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
 


I'll respectfully disagree about Apple's headphones. I find them horrible in all honesty. They never stay in my ears for more than 5 seconds before falling out and the sound quality I find to be just above mediocre.

Have you tried the new ones?  The old ones hurt my ears after being in my ears any amount of time; I can wear the new ones for hours comfortably and they sound fine.

post #46 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krawall View Post

I'm quite shocked to hear him saying that. You just don't do that. I wonder what relationship Cook and him have. This guy still has to work for Apple and I can't imagine having much positive outcome of this if that guy is so dismissive about what his parent company and employer does.

Actually, that comment was an assault on Jony Ive, not Cook.

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post #47 of 88

The iPhone EarPods may well be made to "see if the sound works", but Beats' headphones are "made to see if the sound can be distorted with excessive bass and treble".

 

Or, perhaps, the Beats' headphones are "made to see if fools and money are easily parted".

post #48 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Actually, that comment was an assault on Jony Ive, not Cook.

 

More an assault on the electroacoustic engineers at Apple who worked on the EarPods.  Ive certainly had a hand in them from an aesthetic standpoint, but he's an industrial designer and likely doesn't have much experience in the field of acoustics.

 
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post #49 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Yeah that was not classy at all. I have my concerns about how the Beats team will fit in culturally at Apple. Of course Cook and Cue are going to say its a marriage made in heaven. Now that we know Apple is taking over Beats hardware design I hope Iovine and Dre stick to the music side of the business and leave the hardware stuff to Apple.

I hope Apple improves on the sound front - the old Apple Hi-Fi speaker did not sound good - they went for volume instead of clear sound, just like Beats goes for heavy bass instead of clear sound.

post #50 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


As much as I like expensive stuff because it's usually quality stuff I would also think that one can get a a very good, high end headphones for under a thousand bucks.
Thanks for the advise, I will indeed check out some extremely expensive headphones somewhere and see what the 'fuss' is about. I was in the market for new in-ear headphones as my 3rd pair from Apple has died on me and I think I should turn to a different brand now. It's just that the store I was in the other day didn't allow me to try a pair on, so I bought some cheapskate no name (UrbanEars) €30 useless thingy. You get what you pay for applies here: the sound isn't anything like the pair from Apple, and the supposedly silicon made plugs do not stay in my ear and feel like plastic. I was able to put the plugs from Apple on them, but the sound really is inferior.

I will also check out this app you mention, and see if there is anything left in my hearing.

Thank you.

Oh yeah, the topic, why Apple bought this company? Beats me.

You buy the same earbuds the PROFESSIONALS use.  Check out the plethora of custom molded earbuds. Ultimate Ears has some and they have  something like up to 5 or 6 drivers inside.  They insane, but they and other brand are used by probably 75% of the top professionals.  So you could wear the exact same pair that Justin Bieber or your favorite celebrity uses.   LOL... it's all about whatever floats you boat.  The custom models kick butt, but they aren't cheap.  I think they typically start at bout $1000.

post #51 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

The Apple headphone diss is pretty ironic and also pretty low class, but then again, I can't say that I'm surprised. Apple's headphones are free with certain devices, nobody is expecting Apple's earbuds to sound as good as other headphones that costs hundreds of dollars. Audiophiles who listen to music through their Apple devices are already using other high quality headphones that they own.

 

Plenty of people think that Beat's headphones are crap, so coming from them, that statement is even more hilarious.

Nobody seems to realize that Iovine was talking in general about earbuds that come with phones - not specifically Apple's earbuds.

post #52 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

Nobody seems to realize that Iovine was talking in general about earbuds that come with phones - not specifically Apple's earbuds.

Do you have a quote or a link? What I had read seems to directly apply to Apple.

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post #53 of 88
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Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post


I wonder how much the health of a person' shearing comes into play with this whole argument about headphone quality. After all, those who are really into music are likely the same set who attended rock/metal/whatever concerts in their youth and blasted music at high decimals through headphones during that same youth, leaving them with reduced hearing capacity by the time they are old enough to really appreciate sound quality and wealthy enough to consider high-end equipment. I have an easy hearing test that can tell you something (something, not everything) about your hearing capability. Go find yourself a pre-1982 penny and flip in in the air, ensuring it contacts off your fingernail when you flip it. These older pennies, due to the specific alloy they are composed of, will ring (referred to as singing). Most folks older than 40 cannot hear the ringing, but I'm 51 and have no trouble hearing it. You can blind test someone by switching between a newer penny and a pre-1982 penny having them close their eyes and by flipping the pennies in random intervals at one or the other side of their head (whichever side they indicate their hearing is better). Try it, it's quite informative. (Some 1982 pennies also sing but it's best to use a pre-1982 penny as the metal alloy was changed halfway through that mint year.)

Here's one thing I know, there is a chart about listening to loud music for certain durations.  Once the music starts hitting over 85dB continuously, it starts to cause more permanent damage.  That's why I don't normally listen through earphones.  The biggest challenge is trying to figure out what dB you're listening to when listening through earbuds and headphones, which I honestly don't know if anyone has figured that one out.  At least, I don't know of any off the top of my head.  It's just that if I wear earbuds, I try to turn them down from full volume until i know it's not ear splitting.   But when it comes to listening to my stereo, I use a SPL meter on my iPad or iPhone that I have.  And you just get a good one and see what levels you listen at so you know.    The higher end products can be less fatiguing on your ears since they'll have less distortion in the higher frequencies, so I know that distortion can cause you to have issues, but it's just turning the headphones down to a comfortable volume that's not ear splitting which is hard to do. 

 

I know that ring with the penny you're talking about.  I'm sure getting signal generator that you can download for dirt cheap or for free, have it pump through a pair of headphones at a not so damaging volume level and you might be able to figure out what your range of hearing is.  I haven't tried that...........  OR you can get your ears checked by a, eh um, a professional doctor.  :-)

post #54 of 88

I'm really looking forward to Neil Young's Pono project, set to come out later this year with high-end sound, high-quality portable players, high-resolution music downloads, and its own desktop music software. I hope they can execute all these things.

post #55 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torsten View Post

I'll be curious to see if CarPlay was a factor in any of this.

 

Exactly my thought too. Beats is pushing into the car, too. So what if Apple (after some negotiation with labels) gets their full iTunes catalogue available to stream - for those who are into the subscription model. Plus enhance iTunes Radio with Beats' praised playlists? 

 

And to think further - what if Iovine is to turn iTunes into a real publishing platform, where artists can sign up (bypassing record labels)? 

 

All speculation. But Apple is not spending 3 billion without big plans. They get a solid brand, can definitely lift sales of the headphones with their retail strength. But the true value lies in Iovine and what he might do with the whole iTunes business. He's smart. Should make for some interesting months to come :)

post #56 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

I wonder how much the health of a person' shearing comes into play with this whole argument about headphone quality. After all, those who are really into music are likely the same set who attended rock/metal/whatever concerts in their youth and blasted music at high decimals through headphones during that same youth, leaving them with reduced hearing capacity by the time they are old enough to really appreciate sound quality and wealthy enough to consider high-end equipment.

 

As with any sense (taste, smell, etc), there is a different range of experience for everyone.  And, of course, the more you learn and pay attention to details, the more you tend to obsess over them (which is where age becomes a factor).  I remember reading an article about an audiophile who paid ~$30k for a power conditioner for his home because he could hear a slight click in his music when his refrigerator turned on.  It would be classified as a form of OCD by most, but it's generally what distinguishes people who work with music/sound at a very high professional level from others.

 
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post #57 of 88
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Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post


Seems a lot of folks out in the market miss the point that a small company, on its own worth X, in the hands of a huge company, can be worth 10X or more. Apple will multiply the value of Beats Electronics by simply amping up the marketing of those premium-price Beats headphones globally to Apple's enormous installed base of iPhone and iPod owners. Beats, on its own, doesn't have direct access to those folks and Apple would not likely give access to one external peripherals vendor over another. But as an Apple-owned brand, Beats will get top billing among Apple's marketing space. Ka-Ching! Suddenly, Beats is selling $2 billion, then 3, then 4 billion of headphones, portable speakers and in-car audio solutions. Could this be what Tim Cook has in mind when he said the Beats acquisition will be accretive in 2015? Heck, that's pretty soon given that the deal won't close until the end of 2014. I'm inclined to believe Cook when he says the deal will be accretive over someone who is clearly having a knee-jerk reaction based upon a valid, but inconsequential assessment of the headphone acoustic quality.

Well, here's my take.

 

1.   I don't know how much Beats has in terms of CASH.

2.   I don't know how much Beats has in terms of Net Profits from the combined efforts.

3.   I do know that MOST companies that make a product like Beats headphones are probably running between 10 and 20% Net Profit to Gross Sales is a pretty close spread.  Obviously, the margins increase if Apple owns Beats since they sell the products in their own stores because they instantly make more money.

4.  I do know that Beats Music was losing money due to lack of paid subscribers.  How much they were losing I don't know, but they just dropped the price of the paid service, so they will need to get that much more paid subscribers to break even, at what point they will break even, I do not know and I also don't know if they have factored in this recent price drop or not.

5.  Can Beats continue at the growth rate they are at and for how long?  I don't know.

6.  What the company is worth is only as much as someone is going to pay.

 

What Tim Cook says and what is reality is anyone's guess because unless Tim Cook is releasing the numbers to run our own what if's, I have a gut feeling he's not telling us everything.   If he was honest enough to disclose the facts about Beats, then we could validate, and I can't stand it when they don't disclose everything when there is a large acquisition like this when Beats isn't a publicly traded company.  Between Cook and Cue, they seem to be doing a lot of damage control and don't you think it was odd that no one has been confronting them with the burning question of what Apple thought of the video that was posted by Dr. Dre's idiot friend?  Dr. Dre has been pretty quiet.  Are they going to hide him from being interviewed by the media on this?  When people escape the media, it's obvious they are hiding something especially when what they are hiding from is already public.  It's just suspicious to me. My trust in Cook is not at an all time high right now for various reasons, so I'm just being skeptical until PROVEN otherwise.  

 

Beats hasn't been in business all that long and I quite honestly don't know how much cash they had, but i don't think they were rolling in it.

 

If Beats Electronics did $1.4 last year in gross sales, that means they might have made in Net Profits around $140 to $280 Million at most.  I highly doubt they made any more than that.  Apple, as well run as they are, made about 20% Net Profits, but something tells me Beats isn't as well run as Apple.   Now, how much money is Apple going to have to dump into Beats Music to get their s/w redesigned, because just because Apple bought them doesn't mean that I will automatically use it. I do have an iTunes account and I have in the past bought songs from iTunes and I have iTunes Match, but from trying Beats Music, it's an awful app.   It looks like Google and Microsoft join forces to hack out a subscription app and this is what happened when they got together with their reject UI designers..  To me, it's that bad.  You may think otherwise, but I wouldn't use it. But I can understand why Beats had a problem getting paid subscribers and why Apple dropped the yearly subscription rate.

 

Either way, most companies get bought at a fairly large multiple of around 10X or more of their earnings.  That's typical, unless someone's stupid. HP bought Autonomy and paid considerably more than 10x their earnings and they later found out there was a huge possibility of strange accounting, which I could believe..  So, if it's not a publicly traded company 10x or more is typical.  That means, if the company continues at the same Net Profit, it can take 10 years to recoup.  I am a little suspicious that they can recoup their money in 1 year.  I just highly doubt that unless Apples' factoring in a HUGE increase in Beats Music users or something they aren't telling us.

 

I like full disclosure on things like this, without, it sounds fishy, that's all.

post #58 of 88
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Originally Posted by cali View Post


GOTCHA!!

Huh? What are you talking about?

post #59 of 88
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Originally Posted by Wovel View Post


What's wrong with Beats music? The interface is as good or better than spotify. They have the same catalog as every other streaming service. I think their curated lists are just ok, but I suppose they are better than not having them at all.

Haters gonna hate I suppose.

I didn't dig it.   I tried it, I hated it, and i'm not going to use it.   I'm not comparing to Spotify, which I also don't use.

 

And likers are going to like.  

post #60 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post
 

 

I've been using Beyerdynamic DT770's for studio reference headphones for years now and really like them.  Well under $1000.  I haven't tried their mobile offerings though (the DT770s are a bit bulky to wear outside of the studio).  That's kinda what this is about: headphones you'd use on the go with your iPhone/iPad.  I know I certainly wouldn't take a pair of $3000 headphones out of my studio.

I understand. I haven't heard or compared the Beyer to the other high end models.  But I've run into various high end audio mfg that make super expensive equipment and they do a lot of critical listening to their prototypes on HD800's.   All of the people that I know that have heard those say they are the most detailed. but the new Audeze are getting more detailed, but they use planar instead of a typical driver.  Beyer has been known to make some decent products, but I just haven't tried any recently.

 

I did run into a site that has sound recordings of some headphones but I haven't listened to it.  Check it out if you are interested.    They have the Audeze and other models compared to a few Beyer, but they don't have the HD800's listed.  As far as taking outside, I know some people that don't have a problem bringing expensive headphones when traveling.  Some people do.  So that's a personal choice.

 

 

http://www.sonicsense.com/wp/headphone-shootouts/premium-closed-back-headphones-ultrasone-edition-8-fostex-th-900-audeze-lcd-xc

post #61 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicwalmsley View Post

Surprised they aren't rolling Beats Music into iTunes. Yeah the regulatory stuff, but long term there's got to be efficiencies developing one service only.

Wait until the deal is approved.  Can't make huge changes until it's signed off on.  Until then, its business as usual...

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post #62 of 88
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Originally Posted by drblank View Post
 

Have you seen the videos of ReCode with Cue and Iovine?  Cue looks like he had an all-nighter. Very unprofessional in his appearance.  Maybe he was out partying with Dre the night before.

I've always though Eddy has the worst on-stage presence of any of the execs by a mile.  Craig is the best they have- and I like Schiller too.  Iovine will be really great if he gets stage time, and honestly- Angela Arhandts- will likely be the best of the bunch.

But Eddy... he just reminds me of a greased up italian gangster from the 80s. All he's missing is 2 less buttons on his shirt and a gold chain.

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post #63 of 88
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Originally Posted by elroth View Post
 

I'm really looking forward to Neil Young's Pono project, set to come out later this year with high-end sound, high-quality portable players, high-resolution music downloads, and its own desktop music software. I hope they can execute all these things.

Pono I see as a mass merchandised lower end version of the Astell  & Kern players. Most of what Pono gets is 16 Bit because that's the majority.  The AK products are actually better and more expensive than the Ponos.   But Apple is supposed be releasing 24 Bit content for download next week is what I've read at several Audiophile magazines.  Audiostream mentioned this only a week or two ago on their site several times. How long its going to take for streaming, I don't know.  I think Pono is going to die very quickly since they haven't gotten much more than maybe 15,000 takers, which are pathetic numbers.  If Apple releases 24 bit this year, Pono is as good as dead if you ask me.  Pono can't compete.

 

But if you want a great portable high res player, it's the Astell Kern AK 240 or whatever their top of the line model and it's something like $2000+.  It's really cool looking.

 

The problem with these high end players is they aren't anything like the iPod Touch and if Apple releases an iPod Touch with 24 Bit, I'm sure that will sell better than these others due to more functionality.

 

Just my opinion.

post #64 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post
 

I've always though Eddy has the worst on-stage presence of any of the execs by a mile.  Craig is the best they have- and I like Schiller too.  Iovine will be really great if he gets stage time, and honestly- Angela Arhandts- will likely be the best of the bunch.

But Eddy... he just reminds me of a greased up italian gangster from the 80s. All he's missing is 2 less buttons on his shirt and a gold chain.

Yeah, Eddy wasn't that bad last WWDC, but i see your point.   Eddy isn't nearly as good as Craig.  I like Craig, even though he can bring up some cliche presentation skills, I think he at least has a little sense of humor when he does it.  Angela, simply outclasses all of them in terms of professionalism.  She's just got that down pat.  I can see why Iovine is impressed by her. She's got more education and class than that guy will ever have and he's probably a little intimidated by her.  Iovine has made some stupid mistakes when he was interviewed by All Things Digital.  I though he as a little too much on the name dropping side like he was really a big part of Born to Run album,  he neglected to tell everyone that he was only 1 of 8 engineers and the mastering was done by none other than Bob Ludwig, who is the GOD  among the industry for engineering.  Bob has done over 3200 albums, tons of engineering awards, spends time helping design $100K speaker systems and he's NO BULLSHIT.  He's the real deal.  Iovine can't hold a candle to guys like Bob Ludwig when it comes to engineering a record. Iovine is too street for my tastes.  Bob is a classically trained musician, Iovine isn't.  There are a bunch of Bob Ludwig's in the music world that can run circles around Iovine, and they don't do the type of name dropping that Iovine was doing.  So, I give Iovine the award for being able to BS the ignorant, he has that ability.

 

Yeah,  Eddy looked like he pulled an allnighter at some local disco trying to pick up anything that moved.

post #65 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
 
There are a bunch of Bob Ludwig's in the music world that can run circles around Iovine, and they don't do the type of name dropping that Iovine was doing.  So, I give Iovine the award for being able to BS the ignorant, he has that ability.

I don't know enough about the industry to argue with you here.  But all that matters is who can sell the Apple brand, image, and product better? As a shareholder, that's all that matters.

Maybe if I were a musician I'd care who can engineer a record better... but I'm not, neither is Apple, and neither is 99.99% of Apple's target audience.  ;)

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post #66 of 88
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Originally Posted by Andysol View Post
 

I don't know enough about the industry to argue with you here.  But all that matters is who can sell the Apple brand, image, and product better? As a shareholder, that's all that matters.

Maybe if I were a musician I'd care who can engineer a record better... but I'm not, neither is Apple, and neither is 99.99% of Apple's target audience.  ;)

Here's the thing.  there are people in the music industry that are seen as the Leaders, the Top experts, etc.   Dr. Dre is a leading expert in the rap/hip hop, but that's not the only type of music.  And it doesn't have a lot of musicianship behind it.  Iovine caters to a slightly larger group but i quite frankly didn't know who he was until American Idol because I watch the show just to gauge what kind of talent or lack of that's coming out amongst the kids of today. 


Now, if you are going to design a pair of headphones, I would, if I were Apple, get a cross section of the top experts in the mastering, engineering, and REAL artists that actually sing and play musical instruments, because they will know better as to what a good headphone sounds like because they want more accuracy in terms of sound reproduction.  So, if you have people like Peter Gabriel, Sting, Paul Simon, the Bob Ludwigs, George Martin, Herbie Hancock,  Ken Scott, George Massenburg and then a cross section of other really high quality, high end pop, jazz, classical, etc. that are musically educated far more than Iovine and Dre that have a far more educated and cultured audience, the end product will be better and you are catering to highly educated people that are more educated in music and listening to music and then it's going to promote higher quality music, etc.  Apple has worked with plenty of high quality musicians, etc. on various projects, but to bring these jokers into the corporate culture, I see nothing but problems.  These guys aren't at the level of the others mentioned in terms of what they represent and who they are marketed towards.  

 

I just would rather see better role models from the music industry to help Apple design products and promote their products rather than the lower end of the music industry.


Who would you rather have part of Apple helping them in this area?  The best of the best or the worst of the best.   I think Apple got suckered into the Worst of the Best.  That's my opinion and that's based on over 40 years of studying, listening to and researching who are considered top end players in the music industry that I would have a little more respect.

post #67 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
 

I understand. I haven't heard or compared the Beyer to the other high end models.  But I've run into various high end audio mfg that make super expensive equipment and they do a lot of critical listening to their prototypes on HD800's.

 

Yeah, Beyer doesn't get a lot of press in the US (they actually don't do a lot of marketing period).  I did compare them with equivalent models from Grado and a few others at the time (around 10 years ago) and liked them the best.  I heard about them through discussions with people on sound engineering forums and mailing lists.  Had to go out of my way to find a pair to try out, but it was worth it.  Nice flat/even response across the frequency range, a wider frequency range than most, great reduction of outside noise, and easy to wear for long periods of time.  I also have a pair of open-ear Grados I use to see how things would sound in open-air (that and a decent pair of monitors, of course).

 

My concern with a lot of these premium headphones is that they're excessively expensive due to the high-end materials they use for the casing (expensive woods and leathers).  I could care less if they used the rarest materials on earth -- it's all about the sound quality.


Edited by auxio - 5/29/14 at 12:39pm
 
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post #68 of 88
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Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Yeah, Beyer doesn't get a lot of press in the US (they actually don't do a lot of marketing period).  I did compare them with equivalent models from Grado and a few others at the time (around 10 years ago) and liked them the best.  I heard about them through discussions with people on sound engineering forums and mailing lists.  Had to go out of my way to find a pair to try out, but it was worth it.  Nice flat/even response across the frequency range, a wider frequency range than most, great reduction of outside noise, and easy to wear for long periods of time.  I also have a pair of open-ear Grados I use to see how things would sound in open-air (that and a decent pair of monitors, of course).

My concern with a lot of these premium headphones is that they're excessively expensive due to the high-end materials they use for the casing (expensive woods and leathers).  I could care less if they used the rarest materials on earth -- it's all about the sound quality.

I know, some of these companies don't have the best marketing or they just don't market to the masses. The difference I see in open vs closed is if one is listening for enjoyment and/or professional use. Open back are more for enjoyment in a quiet area and closed back more for studio when you really have to focus and be isolated. The reason why I want a pair is to analyze the different audio files and I am going to be playing around with eq, etc., and I just want to really hear the subtle detail. I also get files from different sources and I want to chose the best sounding one, so it's more of critical enjoyment listening.

It's just the market has so many different choices of headphones and they keep announcing new models and it's hard to continually try them.
post #69 of 88

Maybe the new iWhatever needs something smaller than iTunes to provide music for the masses that buy it.

iTunes itself has gotten way to big for its britches.   Perhaps Apple needed Beats Music to offer as a music service with anybody interested.  Perhaps lower the price $ 5. or so.

post #70 of 88
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Originally Posted by drblank View Post

The difference I see in open vs closed is if one is listening for enjoyment and/or professional use. Open back are more for enjoyment in a quiet area and closed back more for studio when you really have to focus and be isolated.

 

It's also useful to have both for mastering audio which is going to be played in all sorts of different environments.  I mean, you can engineer songs to sound really good in an isolated sound environment (like in closed headphones or a sound dampened studio).  But then, it may not sound so good when combined with outside noise/air.  So listening and shaping the sound to work well in both environments is important.

 

As for mass-market applications, open-ear is better if you want to stay more aware of your surroundings (cars and whatnot).  The downside is that everyone else can hear your music too, so they're not so good on public transportation (unless you're one of those people that thinks everyone wants to hear your music).

 

Quote:
The reason why I want a pair is to analyze the different audio files and I am going to be playing around with eq, etc., and I just want to really hear the subtle detail. I also get files from different sources and I want to chose the best sounding one, so it's more of critical enjoyment listening.

 

Closed ear is best then, because you can really pick out the details.  When I first got those DT770s, I literally had to relisten to all of my music because I could suddenly hear things I had never heard before (without mind-altering substances).

 

Quote:
It's just the market has so many different choices of headphones and they keep announcing new models and it's hard to continually try them.

 

Agreed.  I'm just a really skeptical person and so I try to ensure that I get the whole picture rather than simply being influenced by the companies which have the most marketing resources.  I'm not saying that products with a lot of marketing behind them are necessarily bad, I'm just saying that there are plenty of great products out there which aren't mass-marketed.

 
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post #71 of 88
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Originally Posted by auxio View Post
 

 

I've been using Beyerdynamic DT770's for studio reference headphones for years now and really like them.  Well under $1000.  I haven't tried their mobile offerings though (the DT770s are a bit bulky to wear outside of the studio).  That's kinda what this is about: headphones you'd use on the go with your iPhone/iPad.  I know I certainly wouldn't take a pair of $3000 headphones out of my studio.


In terms of cheap headphones that can be taken anywhere, I like PX 100s. You can sometimes find them on sale for $40 or so, and they don't break. The only annoying thing is that replacement earpads are costly relative to the headphones themselves.

post #72 of 88
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Originally Posted by hmm View Post
 

 

It's amusing to me, because he could have just as easily been talking about his own brand of headphones. You can buy better headphones for far less money. The iPod was in my opinion the last thing Apple made that was really poorly made. I liked the selection methods and itunes. The battery failures and and cheap earbuds are the reason I classify them that way. Apple did however stock a range of headphones in their retail stores and online. I suspect this was more for the streaming service, but I really do hate seeing them buy into a brand known for overpriced crap.

My Sennheiser HD 800's are much much better than any beats headphones, I would compare them to beats best and beats falls woefully short.


Edited by Mechanic - 5/29/14 at 6:28pm
post #73 of 88
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Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post
 

My Sennheiser HD 800's are much much better than any beats headphones, I would compare them to beats best and beats falls woefully short.


The HD 800s are much higher end models. I don't know of anything by Beats that goes into the $1000+ range. The person I responded to mentioned that they wouldn't take an extremely expensive pair with them. I pointed to something that costs very little yet still does a decent job, especially if you want to go jogging or something. I think I've had the same set since 2008, and they haven't broken. The foam earpads get ugly and need to be replaced. Other than that they're still fine. I've owned nicer pairs that don't leave my apartment but nothing in the HD 800 realm. I mainly wanted to make a point about value. Some headphone brands deliver better value than Beats. The interesting thing will be to hear whether the content agreements Beats has in place are transferable. I read somewhere that Spotify's agreements were not, which might explain why they weren't an option.

post #74 of 88
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Originally Posted by drblank View Post
 

Getting good headphones for under $1000 is difficult. I'm actually saving up for a pair of HD800's myself, but I know a lot of people are liking the Audezes, Ultrasone Edition 10's, Grado, Stax, Fostex TH900's, and other ultra high end models.

 

HD600s are $380 on Amazon, and Grado SR125s are $150.  I have owned both, and they are quite good - the HD580 was the top of the line model for a long time for Sennheiser, and there are some on Amazon for $190.

 

I don't think I would buy the HD800s - I have dropped my HD600s probably 20 times when they snag on the arm of my chair, really expensive headphones are a bad idea I think.

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post #75 of 88
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Originally Posted by drblank View Post

You buy the same earbuds the PROFESSIONALS use.  Check out the plethora of custom molded earbuds. Ultimate Ears has some and they have  something like up to 5 or 6 drivers inside.  They insane, but they and other brand are used by probably 75% of the top professionals.  So you could wear the exact same pair that Justin Bieber or your favorite celebrity uses.   LOL... it's all about whatever floats you boat.  The custom models kick butt, but they aren't cheap.  I think they typically start at bout $1000.

5 or 6 drivers? My goodness, how things evolve. Well, I'll be sure to try them out, if only to remind myself how crappy any $99 phones are. Tnx
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post #76 of 88
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Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


5 or 6 drivers? My goodness, how things evolve. Well, I'll be sure to try them out, if only to remind myself how crappy any $99 phones are. Tnx

What do you want me to do about it?  I know it's ridiculous, but the custom made earbuds have reached "insane" levels.  I honestly don't know how much better they can make the damn things.

 

I was trying to make the point that Beats earbuds is NOT what the Pros use (despite Iovine's BS marketing).


Edited by drblank - 5/30/14 at 8:12am
post #77 of 88

Here's what concerns me about this Beats buyout.

 

1.  Eddy Cue has not been able to get a subscription service and the numbers are proving the iTunes sales are going down as compared to App Sales.  That's proven.  So that indicates that Eddy might be over his head, which is why they bought Beats is to get into that market quicker.  Great.  I've heard rumblings from others that Eddy is over his head, so there's something to that.  Apple doesn't normally buy INTO a new market as they typically create the market themselves.

 

2.  The problem with that is that Beats Music wasn't a proven business.  They only had 250,000 paid subscribers, which isn't that great.  It was losing money so, Iovine/Dre haven't proven that Beats Music is successful.  Iovine and Dre are just the money behind it and the celebrity founders, but I don't think either of them really know what they are doing other than the marketing of the product, but in the case of the headphones (with Apple Store's help) were successful, but Beats Music isn't.

 

iTunes isn't providing as much revenue as the App Store is, and I'm concerned that this Beats buyout might backfire since neither of the players involved have proven they can make a subscription service successful.

post #78 of 88

The problem with streaming audio over cellular is the data rates they charge.  It gets expensive if you do a lot of streaming over the cellular network and you don't have an unlimited data plan.   I actually only use iTunes Match because of my own collection, which is great, but could be better if they increased the file size limits because of the larger file sizes associated with high res files, so that's the limitation of iTunes Match because I do have hour long audio files containing the entire album or a full length concert that I have in my iTunes library so iTunes match doesn't work for those files.  I also will use iTunes radio because it's easy to use and it does what I need it to do and since I have iTunes match ($25 a year) i don't get the advertisements.  So, for me the subscription service is not really needed and I think Beats Music actually compares more to a more expensive version of iTunes Radio.

 

I've only tried Spotify on my desktop and I thought it sucked, so I'm not interested in the Spotify method either.


WiMP looks interesting, but it's not available in the US yet.

 

For me, the jury is still out in terms of a subscription service and I just don't have a high confidence level in Cue, Iovine and Dre for Apple.  I think if Cue was over his head, they should have replaced him with someone else and waited to create a real solution rather than buying one that wasn't successful.  I think the headphone part might prove to be successful from a financial perspective, but the product still sucks and I certainly won't buy a pair or promote them just because Apple bought the company.  I simply think there are better headphones on the market for the same price range, but prefer to buy better  and more expensive models for my own personal use, which is different than the mass majority of headphone owners.

post #79 of 88

Cue saying that Apple has the most incredible product

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 

"I have been working with Tim since 1997. We started the online store together. Cook is extremely thorough, he has tremendous vision. He cares tremendously about building great products. Looking at the executive team, the reason we are successful is because of our focus. We are not smart enough to do 100 great things. We want to do a few incredible things, and that hasn’t changed. We’re going to keep going down that path… Later this year, we’ve got the best product pipeline that I’ve seen in my 25 years at Apple” - Eddy Cue

 

Holy shit. Apple executives don't say these kinds of things lightly. 

 

It's not as big a deal as it sounds. Even if no new products are announced, the improvements on existing products will alone make this the best product pipeline. It's kind of like announcing that the new iMac is "the fastest iMac ever." Well of course. When has any computer company released a new computer slower than the one it replaced?

post #80 of 88

Ok, I'll go ahead and say it.

 

Spending 3 billion dollars on a company that has overpriced, really crappy headphones and speakers and a crappy streaming audio service is flat out stupid. 

 

Apple made a mistake.

 

I've said for years now that there are two companies Apple needs to buy:  Adobe and Intuit.  Buying Adobe would let Apple shut Windoze out of the graphic design market, and buying Intuit would let Apple take the accounting market.  Just think, what if QuickBooks didn't run on a PC? 

 

Sure, they're more than $3b, but with those two purchases, Apple could devastate M$ in the business computing market.

 

But this?  Tim Cook has lost his mind.  This company has no product worth buying.

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