Here’s Why You Never, Ever Want to Buy Cheap Earbuds

There are plenty of high-quality earbuds on the market. The catch? The good ones are north of $100.

“Wait!” you say. “There are some very decent ‘buds at Best Buy for less than $50. Why should I spend anymore than that?”

Answer: Because you’re being ripped off, that’s why. The difference between that $50 set of ‘buds and the ones that cost $25 is–wait for it–zero. In fact, they’re pretty much the same product, right down it their constituent parts. The only things that set them apart are the packaging–and the price, of course. From Gizmodo:

“What companies like Skullcandy will do is go to these shows and ask these factory guys what headphones they have this year,” said one exec at a well-known headphone company. What follows is essentially wholesale, unrepentant copying-sans the quality components. A company will select a popular reference design, tell the manufacturer to slap their logo on the side, maybe change a few colors around, order a few thousand, and call it a day.

What you end up with, of course, are earphones that have the same middling performance and are largely built in same factory.

Read the whole article here–and then save up some money for some decent headphones.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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