Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Are Celebrity-Endorsed Headphones the Best Option for Jazz Fans?

What's in a name?

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones
Beats Solo2 headphones
Beyerdynamic T 51 p headphones
Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Sony MDR7506 headphones

Every jazz fan knows best-selling doesn’t mean best. And it’s as true with audio gear as it is with music. In the last five years, one of the hottest-selling headphone brands has been given lukewarm to outright negative reviews by most of the serious audio reviewers who’ve tested its products. You may have guessed which one I’m talking about: Beats Electronics, a company that Apple reportedly acquired for $3 billion.

When others saw the success hip-hop producer Dr. Dre had with the Beats line, they rushed to endorse headphones of their own. You can buy headphones designed and/or approved by such artists as Ludacris (Soul), 50 Cent (SMS), RZA (WeSC), Quincy Jones (AKG), Daft Punk (Monster), Tim McGraw (JBL) and Jay Z (Skullcandy). There have even been headphones bearing the names of Miles Davis and Bob Marley, both of whom were obviously not consulted on the deals.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published