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

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 87
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member

    I'm still not sure what value Apple saw in Beats, their music subscription is not very good, especially when compared to Spotify, their headphones are ugly, clunky, uncomfortable, poorly built and nowhere near the sound quality of say a similarly priced Bowers & Wilkins model. Beats is just a hipster brand in which any self respecting audiophile wouldn't be caught dead having anything to do with. I caved in two Christmas's ago and bought both my kids a pair of their cans, in a little under two months both headphone cables frayed and one blew a speaker, just garbage. Kids now have Marshall headphones, so far they've lasted 6 months without incident and where half the price.

  • Reply 22 of 87
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    relic wrote: »
    I'm still not sure what value Apple saw in Beats, their music subscription is not very good, especially when compared to Spotify, their headphones are ugly, clunky, uncomfortable, poorly built and nowhere near the sound quality of say a similarly priced Bowers & Wilkins model. Beats is just a hipster brand in which any self respecting audiophile wouldn't be caught dead having anything to do with. I caved in two Christmas's ago and bought both my kids a pair of their cans, in a little under two months both headphone cables frayed and one blew a speaker, just garbage. Kids now have Marshall headphones, so far they've lasted 6 months without incident and where half the price.

    "I hear ya!"
  • Reply 23 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Relic View Post

     

    I'm still not sure what value Apple saw in Beats, their music subscription is not very good, especially when compared to Spotify, their headphones are ugly, clunky, uncomfortable, poorly built and nowhere near the sound quality of say a similarly priced Bowers & Wilkins model. Beats is just a hipster brand in which any self respecting audiophile wouldn't be caught dead having anything to do with. I caved in two Christmas's ago and bought both my kids a pair of their cans, in a little under two months both headphone cables frayed and one blew a speaker, just garbage. Kids now have Marshall headphones, so far they've lasted 6 months without incident and where half the price.


     

    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.

     

    The problem is making something that's really accurate and affordable.  It's just very difficult to do due to material, parts and labor costs to mfg high end products.  They just can't spit them out like mass marketed products and keep the price down.

     

    The other aspect is getting a good DAC/headphone preamp/amp which is the other half of the setup.  At least in that area, the price has come down considerably while still keeping the performance levels high, so that's at least somewhat encouraging.

     

    The average kid can't drop $3000K or more on a high end headphone integrated DAC setup unless their parents are rich or the kids deal drugs. 

     

    I did check out Beats Music just to see what the big deal is.  It's UI is awful.  It took me a couple of minutes to get through the signup BS, and then I saw the UI and it was FUGLY.  Just a mistake.  I think they blew it by buying them out.  The only redeeming thing they are getting is a lot of free publicity out of it, but for Cue, and the others to try to convince me that this was a great deal for Apple? NOPE. Sorry, I can only see this as a big waste of money and if Cue couldn't figure out how to do it without buying Beats, then Cue is out of his league and they should get someone else to run iTunes.   I don't think Iovine  and Dre are going to add value only a PR headache.   I personally think that this upcoming WWDC is going to either be a major fiasco with dragging these guys on stage.  I'm not worried about what products they will announce. I'm hoping there won't be any disappointments on that end, but the Beats buyout is a joke.  $3 Billion for a line of pretty mediocre sound and a crappy subscription service that was losing money and not getting many subscribers was a waste.

     

    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.

  • Reply 24 of 87
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    drblank wrote: »
    relic wrote: »

    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.

    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">The problem is making something that's really accurate and affordable.  It's just very difficult to do due to material, parts and labor costs to mfg high end products.  They just can't spit them out like mass marketed products and keep the price down.</span>


    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">The other aspect is getting a good DAC/headphone preamp/amp which is the other half of the setup.  At least in that area, the price has come down considerably while still keeping the performance levels high, so that's at least somewhat encouraging.</span>


    The average kid can't drop $3000K or more on a high end headphone integrated DAC setup unless their parents are rich or the kids deal drugs. 

    I did check out Beats Music just to see what the big deal is.  It's UI is awful.  It took me a couple of minutes to get through the signup BS, and then I saw the UI and it was FUGLY.  Just a mistake.  I think they blew it by buying them out.  The only redeeming thing they are getting is a lot of free publicity out of it, but for Cue, and the others to try to convince me that this was a great deal for Apple? NOPE. Sorry, I can only see this as a big waste of money and if Cue couldn't figure out how to do it without buying Beats, then Cue is out of his league and they should get someone else to run iTunes.   I don't think Iovine  and Dre are going to add value only a PR headache.   I personally think that this upcoming WWDC is going to either be a major fiasco with dragging these guys on stage.  I'm not worried about what products they will announce. I'm hoping there won't be any disappointments on that end, but the Beats buyout is a joke.  $3 Billion for a line of pretty mediocre sound and a crappy subscription service that was losing money and not getting many subscribers was a waste.

    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.

    That is one hell of an expensive high end gear for the average kid there, @ $3000K but I presume you mean $3k / $3000.

    Though I also can't grasp the statement: "Getting good headphones for under $1000 is difficult."
  • Reply 25 of 87
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    drblank wrote: »


    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.
    I get the feeling it was Cue driving this moreso than Cook. I did try the app and wasn't that impressed. I hate the UI. Spotify's is so much better IMO. And there wasn't anything with their music curation that would get me to leave Spotify. I think all this focus on curation is just marketing BS. And certainly not worth $3B IMO. Jimmy said he has no interest in getting involved with TV so this $3B really is all about music.

    I'm hoping they're not on stage at WWDC. It's a software developers conference; that's what the focus should be on,
  • Reply 26 of 87
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    relic wrote: »
    I'm still not sure what value Apple saw in Beats, their music subscription is not very good, especially when compared to Spotify, their headphones are ugly, clunky, uncomfortable, poorly built and nowhere near the sound quality of say a similarly priced Bowers & Wilkins model. Beats is just a hipster brand in which any self respecting audiophile wouldn't be caught dead having anything to do with. I caved in two Christmas's ago and bought both my kids a pair of their cans, in a little under two months both headphone cables frayed and one blew a speaker, just garbage. Kids now have Marshall headphones, so far they've lasted 6 months without incident and where half the price.
    I wonder what Ive thinks about having to add Beats headphones to his design plate. I doubt he and his teams were bored as it is and now they'll be expected to make Beats headphones good.
  • Reply 27 of 87
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post





    Why do you only suspect this?

    Because they came out and stated that?

    Sometimes I don't finish my thoughts. I was going somewhere with it, but I don't recall why I typed that, which is unusual.

  • Reply 28 of 87
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member

    Cook arrived at Apple in May 1998, so Eddy is off a year.

  • Reply 29 of 87
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    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.

     

    Ive has free reign, and Cook knows it. It was part of the deal with Steve and the Board. I believe Dre and Iovine will realize they aren't that important in decisions, especially when they really invest time in the engineering meetings, only to discover they don't know jack shit about the tech side.

  • Reply 30 of 87
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    That is one hell of an expensive high end gear for the average kid there, @ $3000K but I presume you mean $3k / $3000.



    Though I also can't grasp the statement: "Getting good headphones for under $1000 is difficult."

     

    He's high if he cannot find a quality pair of headphones under $1000k.

  • Reply 31 of 87
    peterburkpeterburk Posts: 12member
    Been in the works for a decade? Please. Beats was founded in 2008, barely 6 years ago.
  • Reply 32 of 87
    apollakapollak Posts: 14member
    "Interestingly, when Mossberg asked about Apple's foray into speakers with the now-dead iPod HiFi, Cue said the device wasn't a good idea at the time -- but it is now."

    Sounds for me they are going into SONOS business.
  • Reply 33 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    That is one hell of an expensive high end gear for the average kid there, @ $3000K but I presume you mean $3k / $3000.



    Though I also can't grasp the statement: "Getting good headphones for under $1000 is difficult."

    Yeah, I should have removed the K.  Yeah, I know $3000 is a lot for kids.  I look at it this way, how many people drop $3000 on drugs or drinking alcohol or waste that much on something in the course of a year or two?   Why not give up some guilty pleasures for a year or so to invest in something that really will last you a lot longer period of time for you to enjoy.   If you can't afford it now, at least listen to a pair just to see what they sound like and it gives you a better reference point to find a good sounding pair that will fit your budget..

     

    Go to some stores and listen to the good stuff and then see for yourself.  I can't tell you, you have to experience it.



    An a side note, Harmon International has a FREE audio listening/training app that you can basically train and test yourself on your ability to listen.    If you are interested in checking out this free app, here's the link.  I'm going through it myself, but in order to really hear things properly, I need a good set of headphones since I don't have a sound proof room with the best acoustics, which is best if you want to hear what they train you to listen for.  It's a very interesting piece of software.   http://harmanhowtolisten.blogspot.com  You can test yourself and see how well you can hear.  If you can take the test and pass it with a high grade, then you probably are getting close to being able to hear like a top mastering engineer, but without the years of experience with all of the mastering tools they use.

  • Reply 34 of 87
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,815member
    rogifan wrote: »
    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.

    All that but did you read the post above yours? About how bad Apple designed ear buds (assume he meant EarPods) were? How they didn't sound good? You'd think he was Jimmy Iovine.
  • Reply 35 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    I get the feeling it was Cue driving this moreso than Cook. I did try the app and wasn't that impressed. I hate the UI. Spotify's is so much better IMO. And there wasn't anything with their music curation that would get me to leave Spotify. I think all this focus on curation is just marketing BS. And certainly not worth $3B IMO. Jimmy said he has no interest in getting involved with TV so this $3B really is all about music.



    I'm hoping they're not on stage at WWDC. It's a software developers conference; that's what the focus should be on,

     

    I know.  I tried Spotify. I wasn't impressed with the sound quality.  I also didn't like the UI, it was a little weird when I tried it.  I know it's changed since, but I just like having my own personal collection and I am finding a lot of YouTube videos of music that I can listen to the entire album or single tracks any time I want to and it's free.  The only unfortunate thing is sometimes they don't sound very good at all, but i'm actually surprised.  There are some postings of albums and songs where they got it from these Mobile Fidelity remasters that are actually quite good.  Since I have my computer routed through my stereo, It sounds very much like I'm playing it from a CD version.

     

    I am the type of person that likes to sample the actual song and if I find that I'm going to want to enjoy listening to it a lot, then I buy the physical CD or try to get a high res version if I can. Sometimes if it's just one song and the sound is good enough, then I'll just download a compressed version, but i prefer something closer to the original master whenever possible.

     

    I don't know what's gong to happen at WWDC, but it's likely to not be positive if/when they drag out Iovine and Dre.   I already know one Apple employee that is disgusted by the whole thing and I don't think he's the only one from the way he talked about it.  He actually doesn't listen to rap music at all and he doesn't watch TV or many movies and he watched the stupid YouTube video and was OUTRAGED that Cook would even consider dealing with Dre.  

     

    I think Iovine was looking for a new gig because Beats Music wasn't doing well, and I think he was on his way out anyway.  I don't think him starting Beats Music and being a record label executive exactly sits well with upper management.  He probably sees this as a way out of music industry, while still being involved and now he gets a boat load of money and to propel himself in the high tech world.  I think he's out of his league.  I also think Cue was realizing that he's over his head and this gives him a way to get others involved.  That's the scuttlebutt I've heard from others that will remain nameless.  Personally the iTunes player needs a lot of work and I don't think Iovine, Cue or Dre are actually capable of getting it to where I think it should be.  They can't do it with Beats, that's for sure because they don't have the technology they need to do it. I've put in my suggestions to Corporate a while ago, but it's anyone's guess if they are going to do anything about it. Maybe I'll get surprised when they announce 24 Bit downloads.  That's what I'm hoping for.

  • Reply 36 of 87
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,776moderator
    rogifan wrote: »
    I wonder what Ive thinks about having to add Beats headphones to his design plate. I doubt he and his teams were bored as it is and now they'll be expected to make Beats headphones good.

    Beats headphones design is not at issue. In fact, the design and branding need no mods. It's the sound quality and acoustic philosophy that needs tweaking. This is not a job for Ive, its a job for some audio and electronics engineers. So the Ive noise you're making is just that; noise.
  • Reply 37 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post





    Beats headphones design is not at issue. In fact, the design and branding need no mods. It's the sound quality and acoustic philosophy that needs tweaking. This is not a job for Ive, its a job for some audio and electronics engineers. So the Ive noise you're making is just that; noise.

    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.

  • Reply 38 of 87
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,776moderator
    drblank wrote: »
    Yeah, I should have removed the K.  Yeah, I know $3000 is a lot for kids.  I look at it this way, how many people drop $3000 on drugs or drinking alcohol or waste that much on something in the course of a year or two?   Why not give up some guilty pleasures for a year or so to invest in something that really will last you a lot longer period of time for you to enjoy.   If you can't afford it now, at least listen to a pair just to see what they sound like and it gives you a better reference point to find a good sounding pair that will fit your budget..

    Go to some stores and listen to the good stuff and then see for yourself.  I can't tell you, you have to experience it.


    An a side note, Harmon International has a FREE audio listening/training app that you can basically train and test yourself on your ability to listen.    If you are interested in checking out this free app, here's the link.  I'm going through it myself, but in order to really hear things properly, I need a good set of headphones since I don't have a sound proof room with the best acoustics, which is best if you want to hear what they train you to listen for.  It's a very interesting piece of software.   http://harmanhowtolisten.blogspot.com  You can test yourself and see how well you can hear.  If you can take the test and pass it with a high grade, then you probably are getting close to being able to hear like a top mastering engineer, but without the years of experience with all of the mastering tools they use.

    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.)
  • Reply 39 of 87
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    He's high if he cannot find a quality pair of headphones under $1000k.

    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.
    drblank wrote: »
    Yeah, I should have removed the K.  Yeah, I know $3000 is a lot for kids.  I look at it this way, how many people drop $3000 on drugs or drinking alcohol or waste that much on something in the course of a year or two?   Why not give up some guilty pleasures for a year or so to invest in something that really will last you a lot longer period of time for you to enjoy.   If you can't afford it now, at least listen to a pair just to see what they sound like and it gives you a better reference point to find a good sounding pair that will fit your budget..

    Go to some stores and listen to the good stuff and then see for yourself.  I can't tell you, you have to experience it.


    An a side note, Harmon International has a FREE audio listening/training app that you can basically train and test yourself on your ability to listen.    If you are interested in checking out this free app, here's the link.  I'm going through it myself, but in order to really hear things properly, I need a good set of headphones since I don't have a sound proof room with the best acoustics, which is best if you want to hear what they train you to listen for.  It's a very interesting piece of software.   http://harmanhowtolisten.blogspot.com  You can test yourself and see how well you can hear.  If you can take the test and pass it with a high grade, then you probably are getting close to being able to hear like a top mastering engineer, but without the years of experience with all of the mastering tools they use.

    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.
  • Reply 40 of 87
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,776moderator
    drblank wrote: »
    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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