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Earpiece and Headphone overload: CES 2018

Discussion in 'Headphones & Amps' started by Flint, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    While making my rounds at CES 2018, I don't think I've ever seen more "me too" Bluetooth headphones, earphones, IEMs, and health monitoring earphones in my life. I cannot believe how much investment has gone into this category of products.

    How many different versions of a small, in-ear, Bluetooth earphone do consumers need? I love competition, but aside from the several dozen major name brands, there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of damn near identical earphone products which were comparable to the Apple Airpod, or similary featured earphones with added heartrate monitoring capabilities. Some were water resistant for athletic use, but how many are needed for the marketplace? The same was true for on-ear and over the ear Bluetooth headphones / headsets which have very few differentiators other than a few which added 3D placement capabilities for AR/VR applications. Ultimately, when looking as a catalog of potentially thousands of wireless headphones, what are consumers going to buy?

    It is shocking how many companies have invested in this space hoping to turn a profit.
  2. mzpro5

    mzpro5 Well-Known Member Famous

    Considering the average American consumer most will opt for the cheapest. But a small status conscious number will opt for the most expensive.
  3. Zing

    Zing Retired Admin Famous

    Does one have to be “status conscious” to opt for the most expensive? Can’t someone simply choose the expensive option because of its quality, features, warranty or some other perceived value?
  4. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Currently one of the highest rated NC Bluetooth headset is made by Sony. It even gets better reviews than the Nose Quiet Comfort cans. My point is that established brands are not asleep at the wheel in this space and are usually making the best products for the money. So, why do we need 75 options for a $100 on-air Bluetooth headset?
  5. mzpro5

    mzpro5 Well-Known Member Famous

    If the expensive ones did have the characteristics you mention then yes some would buy them for that reason. , "perceived value" is the key.

    We are all aware that some people will buy a product because the price is high and therefore must be the best.

    Monster Cables anyone?
  6. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    Nope, nope. Only status-conscious posers go for THE most expensive. It's a rule.

  7. Haywood

    Haywood Well-Known Member Famous

    So CES is a bit earie this year, eh?
    Flint likes this.
  8. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    bmwuk likes this.
  9. jomari

    jomari War Never Changes

    speaking of iem's i remember most of y'all use these.

    can someone recommend the replacement ear tips, i have a sony extra bass i use primarily because i cant carry my cans as much, and for 26 bucks im happy with them. but want to know most of you use replacement ones.

    kindly point and i shall follow your guidance.

    many thanks!
  10. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Most folk swear by Comply replacement tips and they have models for most of the brands out there. That said, in the US a set of three pair of Comply tips costs between $15 and $25, which is almost as much as your Sony's. You could just buy new IEMs.
  11. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Yup ... Comply
  12. jomari

    jomari War Never Changes

    got it, will purchase comply replacement tips.

    true, i can get new iems, but with a couple of headphones around the house, and the fact that the little one will chew on it, i have to get something i can easily replace.

    if i DO get a new pair, shure ones right?
  13. Randy

    Randy Well-Known Member Famous

    Hell, Monster Cables can be considered a bargain compared to some of the stuff that's out there. In the recent "Technics High End" thread the speaker cables Technics recommended using for that stuff was like $1200 for 15 feet. Kimber Cables Monocle XL, and I have seen a lot worse than that as I am sure we all have.

    I guess as long as the purchasers "perceived value" is there then they can be happy. You know the old saying Ignorance is Bliss!!!
  14. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    This gets to an important aspect of this hobby, and that is value and performance over the sky is the limit to achieving the best possible results.

    If you are a devoted enthusiast with a dedicated two channel room with good acoustics, the best speakers possible for your taste and room, the best amplifier for the purpose, and so on, and you still want to invest more of your time and money into the hobby, what's wrong with getting a pair of handmade silver lead speaker wires? I see nothing wrong with that at all. Same for replacing a $10,000 amp with a $20,000 amp. Who cares? That sounds like a person spending their disposable income on their hobby and finding joy in it.

    Where I get crazy is when someone with a limited budget is steered to buying a $1,000 set of speaker cables when they are struggling to afford the $500 receiver they have been told they need. It is about balance, goals, and results the owner can enjoy.

    Many people buying these Technics products, or over the top cables, are happy to state the different might not be perceptible, or even real, as long as it doesn't take away from the performance they were getting before. Many of these folk would never advise a newbie to buy a $5,000 replacement power cable for their $600 Oppo Disc player. Many people understand relative value and return on investment.

    My ranting and raving is about the insane nonsense I hear from people in this hobby who arrogantly tell eager newcomers to focus on entirely the wrong things from the start.

    Using the watch analogy again, no one who owns a $50,000 watch will tell a person who just saved up enough to get a good $300 Citizen watch that they cannot get the proper time from the cheaper watch. But that doesn't make owning a $50,000 watch completely stupid and waste of money. The same should be applied to audio as well. Maybe a stretch of 12 gauge speaker wire cut off a spool with budget banana plugs on it will do a great job for most people, but that doesn't mean it is completely insane in the right situation for an enthusiast to spend $5,000 on custom cut and terminated esoteric speaker cables. It is about priorities and advice.
  15. Randy

    Randy Well-Known Member Famous

    Sure, if someone has the budget, go for it. Do you.

    Many people think buying a Ferrari or a Lambo is a complete waste of money when a Prius will get you to the store and back. No biggie.

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