Cheap vs Expensive Headphones – Why Price Matters

Cheap vs Expensive Headphones – Why Price Matters

In theory, the price of a product should reflect the quality of that product. Meaning, the more expensive it is, the better it is. And this is true to an extent. If the headphones you are looking at seem surprisingly cheap, it’s probably because they are cheaply made and not built to last.

You need to take the price into account when you are shopping. And if quality is at all important to you, you need to be ready to invest in that quality. In this article, we’ll talk about why price matters and what role it should play in your shopping decisions.

Cheap Prices Mean Cheap Products

There’s a reason they can afford to make a profit at such low prices. And it’s because they invested even less into the actual manufacturing of those headphones. For super cheap headphones, you can definitely feel the cheapness of their manufacture when you hold them or wear them.

Bad Quality Headphones

They will look, feel, and sound like cheap headphones. That is, they’ll look and feel flimsy, probably be uncomfortable to wear, and deliver subpar sound quality. And you can’t blame them for being low quality.

The fact of the matter is, the company simply cannot make a profit at that low price if they actually invested in quality materials and design. Moreover, they want your cheap headphones to break sooner so that you buy a new set sooner.

$100 And Up

This is the rule of thumb you should follow. Generally, this is in reference to over the ear and full size headphones. If you’re shopping for ear buds, you can probably find decent quality in the $50 to $100 range. However, ear buds, no matter how high end, will never be able to match the quality of a good pair of over the ear or full size headphones.

White Beats Headphones

When you are willing to spend more than $100 on your headphones, you are opening yourself up to the models that companies actually invest in. When the headphones are selling for higher prices, the company can afford to use quality materials and invest in quality design and manufacturing because they will still make a decent profit.

We recommend setting a price range of what you’re willing to spend (e.g.- $100 to $300). Then, shop around for headphones that fall within that range. Compare and contrast the different models you are considering. Read as many reviews as you can.

Be careful that you aren’t hovering toward the lower end of your price range just because you’re hesitant to spend money. Most likely, the best option for you is going to be closer to the middle or higher end of your range. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a great set of headphones at the lower end. But you shouldn’t bank on luck.

Quality Saves Money

Investing in quality is good for you and good for business. For your part, you’re going to be saving money in the long run even though you spent a little more upfront. That’s because:

Quality Headphones on Piano
  • Truly high quality headphones last longer because they are built to last longer.
  • Truly high quality headphones deliver high quality. They are more comfortable, they sound better, and they can do more.
  • You are more likely to take care of high quality products. If you invest a lot in your headphones, you’re more likely to put the effort into properly caring for them. This will, in turn, extend their life even more.

In short, you are getting a more enjoyable experience and you are saving money by virtue of the fact that you don’t have to buy a new set of headphones every few months anymore.

The Limits of Judging by Price

With all this talk of opting for the more expensive headphones, we want to make it clear that we are not telling you to simply find the most expensive headphones you can find and buying them.

Quality Grado Headphones on Table

For one, they may not even be what you need. There is more to quality than price alone. You need to look at what they actually offer and whether or not they meet your priorities. The perfect headphones for you are the ones that can handle the sound frequencies of the music you want to listen to and provide the right balance of quality and convenience.

If you want something portable, for example, a pair of super high end professional full size headphones meant to be used in sound studios is going to be bulky and inconvenient.

All this is to say is that you do want to choose a high end model (remember: $100 and up). But before you commit to a purchase, check it against your other priorities like frequency range, comfort, durability, portability, sound isolation, noise cancellation, wireless capability, etc.

Final Word

The key takeaway here is that price does matter—to an extent. What is most important is that you do your research but you can say with a pretty high level of confidence that if the price of the headphones is below $100, you’re not going to get anything with high (or even decent) quality.

Headphones in Backpack on Beach

You don’t have to spend thousands (unless you really want to). And you shouldn’t let the price blind you by assuming that the most expensive headphones are the best. But you do need to set yourself a healthy price range (that does not drop below $100) that you are willing to pay for and then do your research on headphones within that range.

Basically, price should act as your first set of parameters—the boundaries within which you focus your search for the perfect set of high quality headphones.