Beats By Dre has been a huge fashion statement in the last couple of years. If you walk around sporting one of these, it signals that you are willing to drop a couple of bills ($300+ for studios, $180 for earphones) on music while pirating the songs that you’re listening too!
The price itself is a bit crazy. $180 is a ridiculous amount to charge for earphones, you can get earphones for ~$1 shipped from China! A 18000% markup is beyond Monster ripoff territory (and I’m sure they contributed their marketing expertise in addition to their technical expertise to this project). The price is one of the reasons why there are a lot of counterfeit Beats, such as those seized in this raid in China (of course).
I don’t need Beats but I set out to get a pair (fake of course) for fun. The question is, how much would I have to pay. On Craigslist, there are many being sold for $60-$80 range – more than a 50% discount, but still expensive. Online, you can get Beats (with the box and etc) for $10-$20 shipped. Great, that’s more affordable! I ended up getting a pair for $4.20USD shipped (no box) which is about a 98% discount on the actual price+tax (actually this is my second try buying them online, as my first try, for ~$10, never got shipped to me).
I tried them out and they seem alright. I have had other pairs of in-ear earphones, and this one is comparable (the fit in my ear seems to be better). I don’t know if there is truly a sound quality difference between fake and real Beats but to my ear, the fake ones seem fine! If you inspect it closely, you can tell that they are fake, the paint is not as precise nor complete, but as long as someone isn’t in your intimate space, they can’t tell that you only spent $5 on a set of $180 Tours!