Along with connected cars and smart TVs, celebrity headphone endorsements provided a lot of talk at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
They’ve just added to the deluge of celebrity-branded ‘phones that were already out there. Let’s just count them up, shall we?
- Beats by Dr. Dre
- Heartbeats Lady Gaga (via Dre)
- AKG’s Quincy Jones model
- Soul by Ludacris
- Jay-Z’s Aviator Roc Nation headphones from Skullcandy
- Earth Wind and Fire in-ear headphones from Monster
- Fifty Cent’s line of headphones from SMS Audio, a company founded and run by Fiddy hisself
- Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee’s Section8 headphones
- Snooki’s (!!!) iHip bedazzled headphones
Which of the above would I buy? Probably just the Quincy Jones model. I’ve tried most of the others and they sound like, well, crap. They’re all too bass-heavy with excessive boost around 400 Hz which makes the music sound far to thumpy and unnatural.
I tried–and I mean really tried–to objectively listen to every model of Beats. And to my ears, they all sucked. Hard.
Call me a purist snob, but I seem to be in some kind of minority. I’m not satisfied with music that sounds “good enough.” If an artist takes the time to record something in a proper recording studio, I want to hear what it is they sweated over.
Yet far too many people settle for good enough: the over-compressed mastering, the squished sound of MP3s, the crappy headphone experience.
Hell, I find it scary that so many people are satisfied with the sound of the music they get from their lapstop speakers! What the f*ck is wrong with you people? Your music experience is no better than what kids heard coming from an AM radio station broadcast over a shitty transistor radio in 1957? When did awesome sound stop becoming a priority for music fans?
Please, please let the next revolution be a rediscovery of high fidelity. Meanwhile, if you’re going to listen to music on headphones, make sure that you buy a proper-sounding pair. You’ll thank me for it.