HTC pays $300mil for control Beats Electronics. What will consumers get out of it?

Yesterday HTC spent $300 million dollars to purchase control of Beats Electronics, makers of Beats by Dr.Dre headphones, in order to put "Beats Audio Technology" in their cell phones.

In an All Things D article Ina Freid reported:

(HTC CEO) Chou said the Beats deal should “help create an emotional connection to HTC’s brand.”

And ...

Beats CEO Iovine said the partnership with HTC is just the latest piece of his crusade to improve the sound in modern electronics.

What is "Beats Audio Technology?" This HP YouTube movie provides basic explanations of the Beats Audio technology included in some HP laptops.

Things cited are: no metal parts in headphone jack eliminates ground noise; re-routed wireing and seperate headphone amp reduces cross-talk; "souped-up" headphone amp increases dynamic range; audio components isolated on an "audio island" free from interference; and lastly an audio EQ and control app. These aren't propriety technologies. These are simply good audio electronics design practices.

Has HTC just payed $300m for a logo? Will it benefit consumers? Select the statement most true.

HTC pays $300mil for control Beats Electronics. What will consumers get out of it?
The iPhone is cooler and sounds damned good. They'll need the logo and better electronics to compete.
19% (86 votes)
Just the rapper's logo is enough ... people are sheeple. Money spent on actual improvements will eat into profits.
60% (267 votes)
They'll never put in a big enough battery to power the electronics needed to sound good.
12% (52 votes)
Dr. Dre and Monster have developed real technological advancements in secret laboratories and they rock!
8% (37 votes)
Total votes: 442

Armaegis's picture

Whoopdee doo. So now they're moving the sound circuitry away from the noisy everything-else? It's what they should have been doing in the first place, but it wasn't profitable enough until they got a logo to slap on the machine first. That's the one thing I'll give to Dre, which is raising audio quality from "afterthough" to "bottom dollar".

RudeWolf's picture

If they beef up the battery and teach the phone to output digital and line-out signal then I'll be happy. So far HTC is the Volvo of the bunch- no thrills, but gets the job done.

LFF's picture

I guess pure crap IS worth something nowadays.

lewis's picture

Its fascinating to observe the meteoric rise of the Beats brand, particularly in the respect that they have created a market where there wasn't one before. People with no interest in audio will now spend, quite literally, 15-20 times the amount on headphones that they would have before.
From my perspective,from the industry, its been a tough lesson; if dr dre says that you can only hear the music like the artist intended then that becomes gospel amongst the masses. If an acoustic engineer from grado or sennheiser were to explain what a reference headphone was to the masses from the same soap box then I suspect people would still buy beats.
What interests me is what happens after the fad subsides, will people go back to 20 dollar headphones or will they still have the mindset that you must spend £200 to hear peoperly? The logical answer would be that another marketing sensation of a brand starts to replace beats - I can't see it happening soon but nothing lasts for ever. I'm not sure if that will happen, it would be nice to think some of those beats customers will be converted to beyer or senn etc.

dalethorn's picture

I have bought quite a few things from the Apple store, and I like most of the Apple brand products. They even have a couple of decent other-brand speakers there - the B&W MM-1 and the Jawbone Jambox - both good for their respective sizes. Then come the headphones on display - the only ones you're allowed to listen to. Now first off, Apple does something most other electronics stores like Best Buy will not do - at the Apple store you can unplug the headphones from whatever they're plugged into and plug them into your own DAP with your own library of tracks.

Sennheiser 238 - heavy, but horrible quality bass. Execrable sound.
B&W P5 - smooth, almost neutral, but slightly muffled. OK for on-the-go, not so good at home.
Klipsch Image One - colorations galore, some EQ helps, not great for on-the-go IMO.
Bose QC-15 - probably as good as the QC2, which has a nice midrange, little else.
Other Bose's - never tried 'em.
V-Moda(?) - never heard 'em - ugly as sin.
Beats - never tried 'em.

Now if Apple were to replace those with better headphones in the same price range, they could start a revolution. But Apple, despite opening stores everywhere, still seems to be in a universe of its own.