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    Thread: New era of Bose?

    1. Member sonicGLI's Avatar
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      03-19-2012 03:27 PM #1
      When I was a kid, it was Bose. Our parents (middle and upper middle class) fell hook, line and sinker for Bose marketing. Audiophiles (read: those who weren't tone deaf and listened to music other than pop with boosted bass and treble) could easily hear the difference between a $3k Bose Wave (believe they were "Acoustasmass" systems or some other stupid name) and a $3K B&W setup with just about any cheapo amp (Pioneer, Sony [god forbid] etc.) running them. Add in a decent amp and the Bose system just sounded plain silly in comparison. Over the last couple decades, there have been article after article measuring frequency responses from Bose systems and other thorough tests proving that they are 99% about marketing and 1% design/material quality (paper cones, anyone? yeesh).

      And here we are in 2012. Now we have a bazillion headphone/speaker options. The new trend seems to be, find a rapper who wants to make a bunch of money [ahem: Dr. Dre] and slap his name/logo on it and watch them fly off the shelves. Looks to me like kids are falling for the same thing all over again, just in a new generation of marketing.

      The problem now, however, is two fold:

      1- Music. The kind of music kids listen to now is bass-heavy, lacking any sort of actual full band instrumentation.

      2- Kids, for some reason, equate bass response to "quality". If they hear a set of $30 "Beats" headphones that boost the hell out of low frequency, they think; "These are badass yo!" Then, you stick a $500 Sennheiser on their head and they're like '"WTF, these sound like ****, where's all the bass?"

      Sure, this is partially a rant, but it's also a sincere question. Are there ANY kids left these days who are interested in music that isn't "song of the moment, we'll be gone in five years" hop-hop/pop/vegas-club-mix crap? You know, songs where you can actually hear a guitar pick hitting a string in the mid-range? Songs where [god forbid] you can actually hear a french horn break-out from the trombones and trumpets for a magnificent solo?

      This really is a lost cause, isn't it?

      Side note:

      I shoot photography for a cheap to mid-range headphone company. ALL their products under $150 have bass frequencies boosted because that's what the target market wants, I've literally listened to the two owners bitching about having to do that, but it's what sells.
      Last edited by sonicGLI; 03-19-2012 at 03:29 PM.
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      03-20-2012 01:32 PM #2
      This is going to be one of those self-congratulatory threads isn't it? A prime example of "not me, I'm a unique butterfly" threads where we all measure our e-penis against each other and lament our peers because it's the cool thing to do.

      If you don't like Beats by Dre then don't buy them. If you know that there are better alternatives then instead of ranting about it in a thread or ripping a guys new purchase to shreds then educate the masses on why brand X is better than brand Dre. If kids today equate bass to quality then it's because they didn't have a solid foundation upon which to build a knowledge about music, and if you want to know whose fault that is then look no further than those who taught them.

    3. Member sonicGLI's Avatar
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      03-21-2012 10:54 AM #3
      Better repeat this here, seems my post is being misunderstood.

      Today 07:52 AM Edit / Delete #18

      You completely missed my point. I could care less what you listen to, I listen to rap. I'm talking strictly about perceived "quality of sound" coming out of headphones. Did you know that even 808 drums have a specific sound, they shouldn't just be a "booooooom, rattle, buzzzz" sound coming from your earphones? That's my point. Everything sounds better on the brands that have been around forever and provide hi-fidelity output, but kids these days would listen to them and think they were crap. Why do you think every performance artist has a Senn or other earplug stuck in their ear during live performances instead of "Beats by Dr. Dre"? It's only the crappy nightclub DJ's that might show up with Beats headphones (probably because they were paid to) but even the more successful DJ's are using far better stuff.

      That was my point. I don't care what you listen to or even that you choose to buy crappy headphones. I was only asking WHY it is that kids these days fall for the marketing? Is it really the rappers name on the side of the can? I would assume it is.
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    4. 03-21-2012 11:48 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by sonicGLI View Post
      Better repeat this here, seems my post is being misunderstood.
      Obviously if two people didn't understand what you were trying to explain then you pretty much didn't do a good job of explaining your point.

    5. Member sonicGLI's Avatar
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      03-21-2012 07:23 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by EvoJetta View Post
      Obviously if two people didn't understand what you were trying to explain then you pretty much didn't do a good job of explaining your point.
      Um, didn't I just explain that and then post a better explanation of what I was trying to say? You have anything useful to add to the discussion or you just wanted to jump on the "me too" bandwagon? Do you still not understand what I was getting at even with my second post?
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    6. 03-22-2012 10:06 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by sonicGLI View Post
      Um, didn't I just explain that and then post a better explanation of what I was trying to say? You have anything useful to add to the discussion or you just wanted to jump on the "me too" bandwagon? Do you still not understand what I was getting at even with my second post?
      Dude chill, yes I know now what you meant because of your second posting (look at my thread). I'm not jumping on no bandwagon, just giving you a hard time bud.

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      03-22-2012 11:45 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by sonicGLI
      That was my point. I don't care what you listen to or even that you choose to buy crappy headphones. I was only asking WHY it is that kids these days fall for the marketing? Is it really the rappers name on the side of the can? I would assume it is.
      If this was your point then I definitely missed it. Still, I think the premise behind your question is flawed in that this isn't a new phenomenon. Kids (and adults) have always fallen for marketing.

      When you look at brands like Sennheiser, Grado, B&O, or other makers of high end audio equipment and you look at their advertising do you notice anything in common? Simply put they don't market themselves to 'mere plebeians'. They cater to the so-called audiophiles and that's a small market that most have never heard of. Beats by Dre, Skullcandy, and others of their ilk do marketing right (in terms of getting to be well known to everyone), they get their name out there, they get their products out there to the places that are seen and to the people who will be noticed.

      This isn't just a failure of the younger generation to not desire quality sound, it's also a failure of the advertisers to not get their products out there and explain why they're better.

      As a side note I also think there is a bit of a rebellion going on here. For years audiophiles have been touting their superiority. Not only in SQ but in buying power as well. This is a chance for others to purchase expensive headphones and to be able to say "you're not the only one who overspends for a name".

      TL,DR - it has nothing to do with the rappers name

    8. Member sonicGLI's Avatar
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      03-22-2012 01:17 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by GahannaKid View Post
      If this was your point then I definitely missed it. Still, I think the premise behind your question is flawed in that this isn't a new phenomenon. Kids (and adults) have always fallen for marketing.
      I don't buy this. I bought an Android when iPhones were cool, I bought oddball cars because they were cost effective (Hell, I own a new CTS because it offered more value for less money than a comparative Bimmer or Merc, I also bought it 6 months old so I didn't take the depreciation hit). I wear clothes from discount stores (I'm not ashamed to admit it) and last month I used a $50 groupon for a teeth cleaning at a local dentist. And I make a damned good living doing what I do, there's no reason I need to do all of these things... except that doing all of these things has saved me countless money and/or provided a much better end-user experience because I researched the product I was buying).

      I'd rephrase that to "a LOT of people fall for marketing, some are a bit more diligent in researching their options instead of seeing an TV commercial and thinking; "Oooh, shiny, me want!")

      When you look at brands like Sennheiser, Grado, B&O, or other makers of high end audio equipment and you look at their advertising do you notice anything in common? Simply put they don't market themselves to 'mere plebeians'. They cater to the so-called audiophiles and that's a small market that most have never heard of.
      Where are half these kids buying their headphones from? Amazon or big box stores (like Bestbuy). It is incredibly simple to take a quick look at highest rated headphones online (at a bazillion places... like Amazon) to quickly figure out that certain higher end brands clearly outshine the blinged out, highly marketed versions. You don't even need to buy the uber expensive versions of these either, a lot of their lower end stuff is quite amazing.

      Beats by Dre, Skullcandy, and others of their ilk do marketing right (in terms of getting to be well known to everyone), they get their name out there, they get their products out there to the places that are seen and to the people who will be noticed.
      Oh I agree, but we're back to square one of the "Bose Syndrome" and my question was WHY do so many fall for this? Are they not researching? Are they just seeing "shiny commercials" and running out and buying? Is it because their friends thin they're cool? Is it because they only listen to music with a 50/50 split between low and high frequencies [read: hip-hop, rap, etc.]? What? (FYI, marketing is a large part of my job title, these things interest me )

      This isn't just a failure of the younger generation to not desire quality sound, it's also a failure of the advertisers to not get their products out there and explain why they're better.
      Agree. These are the answers I was looking for. Thank you. Can't say I understand any better why people are assumed to be retarded and need to be marketed to when the info is out there (you have the web at your fingertips people). It's such a different world than when our parents were growing up (hell, when I was growing up! I'm 35 and we didn't even have cell phones when I was a kid!) IMHO, if you buy a vacuum that sucks (er, doesn't suck) then you didn't take five minutes out of your day to look at reviews online which would have told you that it's a horrible vacuum. Same with any/all of everything else we buy. Why are we still drawn to shiny marketing to the point of blindness?

      As a side note I also think there is a bit of a rebellion going on here. For years audiophiles have been touting their superiority. Not only in SQ but in buying power as well. This is a chance for others to purchase expensive headphones and to be able to say "you're not the only one who overspends for a name".
      Audiophiles are a class of people that I equate to video game nerds. Sure, I may fall slightly into that category, but I'm not that serious about it. I'm more interested in good sound for good value, not in ultimate sound at any cost... that's an audiophile. I have headphone amps that aren't tube (audiophiles gasp at this). Hell, 99% of the music we all listen to is highly compressed digital crap, the CD was the last uncompressed version of music we had and they're going bye-bye.

      TL,DR - it has nothing to do with the rappers name
      Completely disagree. Sure, they could have marketed as well as skullcandy (which was basically rock-bottom prices and shoved into every bestbuy in the country) but slapping Dre on the side and making big commercials on the tube certainly helped drive sales (and quickly) of the "Beats" name. If it had nothing to do with the rappers name, clearly they wouldn't have spent however many $$$$$$$ on putting his name on them
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    9. 03-22-2012 04:53 PM #9
      Same game, different audience.

      To your question of why do they fall for the marketing? I think it's fairly simple. They buy based on their own 'standard'. Now, the question becomes: How do they draw their own standard? And I think a lot of it is molded by marketing pieces and the increase in popularity of music genres that take away a lot of what traditional music consists of.

      Another angle is the use of synthetic music. With this you are getting rid of some of the tactile sounds caused when playing the actual instrument (e.g., your example of the string plucks). Thus, means no need to acquire high-end equipment to pick those subtle sounds up because they simply don't exist.

      My anecdotal piece: I've noticed that people who listen to music because it's what's popular or what makes them feel 'cool' while driving with their windows down are the exact audience a company like Beats would target. They will buy it because it's cool and it's plastered all over your big box electronic stores.


    10. Member sonicGLI's Avatar
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      03-22-2012 05:26 PM #10
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    11. 03-23-2012 05:36 PM #11
      Friend just got some companion bose speakers with his new hp pc and I have to say I'm kinda unimpressed for 99.99. My 12 year old oem stock sony vaio speakers (not paper cone) sound the same or better.

    12. Member KeiCar's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 08:03 PM #12
      FWIW: My Bose bluetooth headset is actually.... ok. No, its nice! It was a gift so I don't know what the cost was (friend was given it from his job for something but had one already and gave it to me), but regardless its very comfortable. I know this sounds crazy but I think the type of earpiece design they use is THE most comfortable earbud I've ever worn, and I've owned LOTS of earbuds (my fav headphone design). I can wear it for hours and it never gets uncomfortable, I can't say the same about even the "high-end" buds with the memory foam type tips, they are not as comfortable.

      Anyway, thats the only thing positive I can say about them.

      Edit: Though you might like this...

      (oh, this is a review from the C_Net site where I got that stock foto of the headset)

      Sound quality is good and people on the other end tell me it is crisp and clear. The comfort is great, once you finally get it seated in your ear. There are three different sizes of earpieces, but none seemed to fit me perfectly. I stuck with the medium. If not seated correctly the unit will fall out easily. Controls are easy to use. All in all, it's a great unit, but really not fitting of the Bose name. I think it's overpriced at $149, but if it were under $100 it would be easier to take the shortfalls. I'm hoping Bose will make improvements and the next generation will be worthy of the Bose name.
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      Last edited by KeiCar; 03-23-2012 at 10:08 PM.
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      04-01-2012 03:09 PM #13


      Every time I fiddle with those at friends house's I am always impressed. Otherwise I hate Bose. Having just graduated high school, it started with Skull Candy head phones... WESC which is a apparel brand released some headphones which were surprisingly good but I think they have fallen to cheap production. Now as mentioned, its beats. They have battery packs just so the headphones rumble? Its not even bass tones, its legitimate vibration.

      I have never strayed from Apple white ear buds and never will, poop quality but they feel nice. Im not sure if I'll ever splurge on a studio quality set of headphones.

      Now when it comes to my home audio, I'll get what I can afford but it's gotta be good. Now that Im in my own place and can crank my turntable, I have been investigating home audio even more so. Currently in the market for a god tube pre-amp. But now Im getting off topic...


      Im 19 and from my simple observations its clear that; bright colours/repetitive marketing/"celebs"/madbazzyo determines the popularity of headphones. Don't even get me started on what popular music wise. A lot is still quality music but at least half is true garbage.
      As we all know God forged the 4.0 from a block of granite at the dawn of time.

    14. 04-01-2012 07:02 PM #14
      Because at the end of the day maybe the poor ignorant sheep kid just likes the Dre Beats and doesn't feel like getting a PhD on DSP to buy some headphones he/she is plugging in to an iPhone. In your expertise what should kids buy? Also, what FLAC player out there will give the best signal?
      \
      By the way I hate marketing, it happens everywhere and it just ends up being confusing. These clowns come up with fancy names for simple things and sell them as value added \
      Last edited by gtguard; 04-01-2012 at 07:10 PM.

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      04-01-2012 10:44 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Dpaul04 View Post

      I know someone with that and it sounds pretty nice at low-medium volume. It was for an office so it never was put up loud, but it was.... ok.

      However the amount of similar radios out there that match it spec wise but at probably over 1/2 the price are numerous.
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    16. Member sonicGLI's Avatar
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      04-02-2012 10:49 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by KeiCar View Post
      However the amount of similar radios out there that match it spec wise but at probably over 1/2 the price are numerous.
      Which was always the "gotcha" with anything Bose.
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    17. Member sonicGLI's Avatar
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      04-02-2012 10:53 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by gtguard View Post
      Because at the end of the day maybe the poor ignorant sheep kid just likes the Dre Beats and doesn't feel like getting a PhD on DSP to buy some headphones he/she is plugging in to an iPhone. In your expertise what should kids buy?
      That's a whole philosophical debate we shouldn't even get into. Technically, kids should be forced to take personal finance in high school along with their parents teaching them how to manage money. I know it sounds like a different subject, but it's not. Kids learning how to make good decisions with their money is the cornerstone of becoming successful.

      You don't need a PhD to hop on Amazon to see how to save a few bucks on a great set of cans. THAT's what I recommend, and every kid is on the internet all day long anyway, so there's no PhD involved, he can simply base decisions on real-world reviews.
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      04-02-2012 03:36 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by sonicGLI View Post
      You don't need a PhD to hop on Amazon to see how to save a few bucks on a great set of cans. THAT's what I recommend, and every kid is on the internet all day long anyway, so there's no PhD involved, he can simply base decisions on real-world reviews.
      You're leaving out a whole slew of psychological & sociological factors that go way beyond a simple 5 star rating system. As any semi-educated consumer will tell you the best product isn't always the best selling; and that's assuming there even is a best product.

    19. Member sonicGLI's Avatar
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      04-02-2012 03:40 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by GahannaKid View Post
      You're leaving out a whole slew of psychological & sociological factors that go way beyond a simple 5 star rating system. As any semi-educated consumer will tell you the best product isn't always the best selling; and that's assuming there even is a best product.
      I'm not talking about star ratings, I'm talking about actual user reviews. When I read reviews, I head straight for the list of "bad reviews" and read through a lot of them. If I see a common theme starting to pop up (ie, "horrible mid-range") then I move onto the next headphone. Positive reviews tell you very little. I pay special attention to reviewers who seem to know what they're talking about, example: "Even after break-in period the problem persisted..." since speakers all need a decent break-in period to reach maximum sound potential. I tend to ignore reviews that are clearly user error or "these have no bass yo".

      All the big sites have user reviews, not just star ratings. "Most Popular" usually means "Cheapest" on the big box sites and has nothing to do with quality.
      Last edited by sonicGLI; 04-02-2012 at 03:43 PM.
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      04-03-2012 01:43 PM #20
      I don't think this is new phenomenon. For a decade now I've traveled extensively for work, which means I rent a LOT of cars. I notice how the various stereos sound, and I would say that at least 90% of the cars I rent have had the bass turned up to maximum. 90% is probably a low estimate. People equate good sound with accentuated bass, so mainstream manufacturers build what sells. In the case of Beats, style them well and put together a slick marketing machine, and you've got a 400 million dollar business.
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      04-03-2012 02:00 PM #21
      I've noticed several reviewers on Amazon on radios " just as good or better than Bose at 1/2 the price" complain about about poor quality construction, bad reception and awful customer service. I like my Bose and have had no trouble with it for seven years. My Bose Companion 20 computer speakers are a great 2.0 system.

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      04-03-2012 02:02 PM #22
      IMHO you'd be impressed with the Companion 20 series. But they aren't 99.99.

    23. Member sonicGLI's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 03:20 PM #23
      Bose owners defending Bose... never gets old
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      04-04-2012 12:34 AM #24
      Old tired reply from a Bose hater. I will admit I've never liked a Bose car radio.
      Last edited by Hybridowner; 04-04-2012 at 12:44 AM.

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      04-04-2012 02:01 PM #25
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