For the past six years hip hop celebrity endorsed headphones have promised a better listening experience for the consumer. There's some debate among music fans about whether the sound quality is there, or whether they're more of a fashion statement than anything else, but one thing is certainly true: they continue to dominate the headphone industry.
It All Started with Dr. Dre
Teaming up with Monster in 2008, Dr. Dre set out to change the sound of hip hop music for fans everywhere with the release of Beats headphones. Since then, many other hip hop acts have teamed up with headphone manufacturers for celebrity endorsements of their products.
The Rise of the MP3
The trend began because of a major flaw in music consumption trends. When first recorded in the studio, music’s sound is at its fullest. After being compressed down into CD and MP3 format, the sound quality degrades. There was a need for fuller sound quality so that fans could hear music the way the artist hears it in the studio, and high quality headphones are a great way to improve the listening experience.
Another reason for the rise of the hip hop headphones was the rise of free downloadable music. When people began downloading songs for free, artists started losing money. Although album sales were down, listening was actually going up. Endorsements became a lucrative way for artists to make up for the lost album sales.
A Winning Deal for the Company and the Artist
If a company wants to sell more headphones with a higher price tag, or a musician wants to keep their name in the spotlight between album releases, endorsements are a win/win situation. Hip hop has a huge influence on today’s culture, and companies can contract artists to use that influence to sell their products.
Why Do People Buy Them?
People invest in celebrity endorsed products because of the trust that goes along with the recognition. It’s all about the trust they have in the artist that’s endorsing the product. They know the artist listens to music in the studio all day long, and they trust their judgement on the best way to listen to that music.
Why Does Hip Hop Dominate the Headphone Market?
Hip hop is the dominant player in the headphone endorsement market because it dominates mainstream culture the way rock music used to. However, although they are the dominating players, they aren’t the only players. Pop stars like Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga have also endorsed headphones, and so have country singer Tim McGraw and TV star and music mogul Simon Cowell.
Are they Worth the Higher Price Tag, or Are They All about the Buzz?
Whether or not these headphones are worth the money really depends on the consumer. If you wear headphones for more of a fashion statement than anything else, then they might be worth it for you. If you’re looking for long-lasting headphones, just make sure to read reviews thoroughly for information on durability – and if all else fails, invest in hip hop headphones insurance. If you're looking for audio quality above all else, then you should probably pass on these, as most audiophiles tend to find that the bass is cranked up far too high, distorting the sound. Always read reviews and specifications so that you can make an informed purchasing decision.
Hip hop headphones have definitely made their mark on the headphone industry. The question is how long they will continue to dominate the industry before another trend dominates mainstream culture and companies stop knocking at hip hop artists’ doors.