Marques Brownlee talks about Beats headphones in his latest video.

Now I know how the internet works. Despite the general misconception that it is made up of intelligent people, there is an inherent sheep mentality here, where people will blindly hate something others hate on and like what others like. You can see this in the hatred for Justin Bieber or Chetan Bhagat or the overwhelming love for Jennifer Lawrence or bacon. I’m not saying the reasons for this love/hate are unwarranted, but most people don’t actually know the reasons and do it just because everyone else does it.

The hate for Beats is also quite universal on the internet but never have I felt it was more appropriate than in this case. I have heard a few Beats headphones and in most cases they have been terrible to average at best. Now, I have no problem with mediocre headphones; many of the other companies such as Sennheiser and Sony too have some mediocre products in their product range. But Beats’ entire range consists of mediocre products.

That would still be fine but then you realize how expensive most of its products are. And then worst of all, just how popular they are. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said Beats is the most popular brand of headphones in the world. And why is that the case? Simple: marketing.

Marques talks about marketing in his video but one can’t stress enough the brilliance of Beats’ marketing machine. Other than actual advertisements, the company also heavily invests in celebrity to endorse its products, not just in their videos but to just wear them in the public. This is how the brand gained visibility and people who don’t know better are fooled into buying these products because they saw their favorite celebrity using them.

Quite simply, Beats paid its way into people’s mind, not by making great products, which is what miffs a lot of people about the brand. While other companies have spent millions in R&D to improve the audio quality of their drivers and headphone structure, Beats instead pays that money to celebrities to use its products in public and probably spends a sliver of its profits on the actual sound quality of its headphones.

So if you are buying a pair of Beats, know that most of your money is going into the design and marketing of the product and not in the audio quality. If you care about audio quality, there are other brands out there, such as Sennheiser, Audio Technica, AKG, Grado, Shure, Klipsch, Denon, Beyerdynamic, Koss, and others who will give you better audio quality for your money and won’t insult your intelligence.

P.S. Comparisons to Apple are inevitable, especially now that it has acquired Beats. Admittedly, Apple products are also overpriced and the company does spend a lot on marketing. But in its defense, Apple also makes great products, unlike Beats.