Every month, you provide us with your opinions about the products you use for our PCMag Readers' Choice Award surveys. This month, you provided us with sound opinions about sound, or more precisely, the products that help you listen to sound from your PC, smartphone, and other devices. Our survey asked you a series of satisfaction-related questions about your headphones, wireless speakers, speaker docks, and PC speakers, and you answered. Last year, the big news in audio was Apple's purchase of Beats Electronics for $3 billion. Analysts generally felt that Apple purchased Beats for its music-subscription service (which has evolved into Apple Music) so it could better compete with Spotify, Rdio, Google Play Music, and a host of other services, but the acquisition also let Apple enhance its cool by adding Beats's line of headphones to its arsenal. However, the big news in last year's Readers' Choice Award survey was another 'b' company: Bose. Bose has long had a cachet around its audio … [Read more...] about Readers’ Choice Awards 2015: Speakers & Headphones
Big shocker: Beats headphones cost $20 to build, and they're made to feel heavy and valuable with four completely nonfunctional pieces of metal, according to a teardown posted to Medium. At least they're actually built to spec; as Gizmodo reported in 2010, the vast majority of under-$50 earbuds are bought from a small group of suppliers. This has never been a controversial topic here at PCMag. We've long asserted that plenty of $100 headphones, such as the bass-heavy AKG Y50 and more balanced Marshall Major II, sound better than Beats, even for bass fanatics. Not a single Beats product makes it onto our "best headphones" list, even though Beats is frequently cited as owning over 70 percent of the market for premium headphones. First of all, don't get worked up over bills of materials. This meme comes out every time there's a tech teardown, especially of an Apple product: the iPhone 6 "costs" $200 to make. The Samsung Galaxy S5 "cost" $256. Both of these phones sold for $650. What are … [Read more...] about Why Apple May Dump Cheap Beats Headphones
If you're tired of Apple iPhone 7 rumours and its ilk, then it's going to be an awfully long few months—assuming the guys at Cupertino has a big fall iPhone reveal to shout about, an event that is undoubtedly in the works. Plenty has been written about Apple's product cycle in general, with many worrying over whether Apple will pack big and monumental changes into the Apple iPhone 7 or whether the device will be a smaller, incremental upgrade over the Apple iPhone 6s. Either way, the rumours are only going to grow as the day inches closer and closer to Apple's anticipated September 2016 announcement. Interestingly, there are conflicting rumours. According to a new report from Engadget—built on the back of an allegedly leaked photo of the rear of the iPhone 7—the new flagship device from Apple is rumoured to sport a larger rear camera along with a larger CMOS sensor, both of which would allow for higher-quality photos to be shot in crappier lighting conditions. … [Read more...] about iPhone 7 Rumors: Bigger Camera? Maybe A Headphone Jack?
Move over, Beats. A new branded headset could be on the horizon, and it would have the backing of a huge player in the space that could give it a popularity boost in the very places your headsets are sold. We're talking, of course, about Apple—yes, the company that Beats is a subsidiary of, and one that has a vested interest in expanding its potential for profits across a variety of categories, especially those related to music. According to a recent report from AppleInsider, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting that Apple might launch its own high-end, over-ear headphone that shares some of the wireless capabilities of the company's tinier AirPods. The goal, Kuo suggests, would be to offer a heaping dose of portability and performance—headphones that would offer a much more impressive sound than a pair of AirPods, but still be just as convenient for everyday, cord-free use. Related Articles Report: Apple AirPower Wireless Charging Mat Launching in March Report: Apple … [Read more...] about Rumor: Apple Pondering Premium Branded Headphones
High-Fidelity Audio That Goes Where You Do Audiophile. Just using the word makes some of us cringe—or think of someone who makes us cringe. It just implies an air of exclusivity or snobbery, when what it's meant to imply is someone who takes high-fidelity audio seriously. You don't have to be the stereotypical sound snob in order to enjoy good audio, and if you're looking for quality headphones, what's wrong with understanding what makes them sound good? Let's start with the acknowledgment that the world of high-fidelity audio gear knows no limits, and you can easily cobble together a list of the 10 best headphones available for $5,000 and up (search term: electrostatic headphones). We're not going there, instead, we're looking at the most audiophile-friendly headphones and earphones we've reviewed here at PCMag, where most of the $5,000 price tags we see are on high-end gaming PCs. We've done our best to accommodate tight budgets, as well as throw in some of the top-shelf pairs … [Read more...] about The Best Audiophile Headphones of 2018