Beats headsets are a very divisive subject. Some people believe them to the best thing ever, while others consider the products to be overpriced and overhyped. A recent teardown of the Beats Solo headphones show that whatever people think, the company does indeed cut corners and uses the cheapest methods available during the production process.
Like most modern electronics, the main shell of Beats products is made from injection mold plastic. This is a cheap and efficient method of mass production. However, it also produces a very light weight product. To make up for this, and give the headphones extra mass for that premium feel, Beats sticks metal components in. These metal parts do nothing for the sound quality or improve structural integrity, and are there just to increase the weight.
There is also a lack of screws in the design of the headphones; which reduces the amount of manpower needed to assemble the product. Instead of the screws, Beats uses parts that snap together and glue. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the company probably doesn’t expect anyone to open up their headphones. The real kicker is the discovery that the Beats Solo headphones use generic drivers in the earcups, making the claim of enhanced bass a little suspect.
While there is no way of telling just how much the parts actually cost Beats, there is a reasonable way to estimate the price using standard market values; which the teardown by Bolt did. The headphones in question were purchased for US$199 (about RM740), but were calculated to cost only US$16.90 (about RM63) to produce. To be fair, this does not include the cost of shipping, marketing, or any markup that might exist on the components. However, unless Beats is buying everything at 10 times the market value, that estimate shouldn’t be too far off.