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Why I’ve Stopped Relying on Online Reviews for Everything I Buy

Source: http://lifehacker.com/why-ive-stopped-relying-on-online-reviews-for-everythi-709600415

Why I've Stopped Relying on Online Reviews for Everything I Buy

When it’s time to make a big purchase, most of us rush to the internet in search of reviews and comparisons, so we can spend our money wisely…but then we rush out and buy one without actually trying it. Here’s what I’ve started doing instead.

My Experience: Last year, I was on the hunt for a nice pair of headphones. I wanted something in the $200 price range with a good amount of bass, so I started hunting online. I found a lot of good contenders, but it seemed like the entire internet was enamored with the Audio Technica ATH-M50, and everything I read led me to believe I didn’t need to look any further.

Instead of just picking up that pair, though, I actually bought three different pairs of headphones and tried them all out. I found that despite their rave reviews, I couldn’t stand the ATH-M50—it just didn’t fit with my personal preferences and music taste, apparently, and ended up with a much lesser-known pair that I absolutely adore. That’s not to say the M50 isn’t a great headphone—it is—I just couldn’t have known from reviews that it wouldn’t fit what I wanted.

The Lesson: Online reviews can be great, but they’re only step one if you really want to get the best product out there for you. The best way to get the right product is to try them for yourself, at home, and compare them to one another. This is what I do now:

  1. I start by looking at reviews, comparisons, polls (like our Hive Five series), and forum posts and compile a list of two or three items that might fit my needs.
  2. I then buy all the products on my list, focusing on stores with good return policies. For headphones, HeadRoom is a great choice, and a lot of manufacturers (like Audioengine) have a 30-day guarantee that is just perfect for this. Shop around and read return policies. Clothing stores like Zappos are also really good about this.
  3. Once all the items have arrived, I give them each a short trial period. In the case of things like headphones, I try to compare them side-by-side as well, so I can really hear the differences between each model.
  4. When I’m done, I return the ones I don’t like. Simple as that.

So far, this has worked really well: I’ve gotten headphones, a mechanical keyboard, and even shoes this way.

Obviously this strategy isn’t foolproof. If you’re buying really expensive items (like laptops), things get a bit dicier, and if you live outside the US, shipping costs make this much less feasible, for example. But the bottom line is that online reviews are great—but reading them isn’t the only step to making a big purchase. When you can, try things out for yourself, and you’re much more likely to be happy with the final product.

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Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 news No Comments

Trent Reznor teases Beats-backed streaming music service, wants a personal touch

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/10/trent-reznor-teases-his-beats-backed-streaming-music-service/

Trent Reznor gives clues to his Beatsbacked streaming music service, wants a personal touch

Dr. Dre isn’t the only musician to collaborate with Beats on projects deeper than one-off headphone models. Nine Inch Nails and How To Destroy Angels creator Trent Reznor tells The New Yorker that he and Beats are developing a streaming music service, codenamed Daisy, that should go beyond just automatically suggesting related songs like with Pandora. Alongside algorithm-based picks, Daisy should introduce “intelligent curation” from humans to make musical connections that wouldn’t otherwise take place. We’ll know more when the service goes live early next year; we’re presuming the recommendations will involve more than just another spin of The Downward Spiral.

[Image credit: Nine Inch Nails and Rob Sheridan, Flickr]

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Via: Pitchfork

Source: The New Yorker (subscription required)

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Monday, December 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Beats Dumps Monster Over Headphone Spat [Audio]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5875715/beats-dumps-monster-over-headphone-spat

Beats Dumps Monster Over Headphone SpatPeanut butter and jelly, unicorns and glitter, Beats Electronics and Monster. One of these things just doesn’t belong, one of these things is not like the others. After a five-year collaboration, the two companies have terminated their relationship but do hope to remain friends.

According to Businessweek, the breakup came about due to an irreconcilable dispute between Beat’s Jimmy Iovine and Monster’s Noel Lee over which company deserved more credit for the brand’s 53-percent share of the $1 billion headphone market during the last year. As such, Beats has opted out of renewing its manufacturing contract with Monster when it expires later this year

Monster takes credit for the design and production “They wanted to do speakers and I said, ‘The new speaker is the headphone,’ ” says Lee. Beats, on the other hand believes its celebrity connections helped market the devices as high-quality status symbols. “Now a big part of what you’re paying for is the brand and fashion,” Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis for NPD, told Businessweek.

It’s still too soon to see who will ultimately come out ahead from this. Beats Electronics remains the preeminent brand for twentysomethings. Monster on the other hand will have to find a way to replace the lost revenue—reportedly 60 percent of its of privately held revenues and profit. Its recently announced partnerships with fashion brand Diesel and Radio Shack should do nicely though. Those products are expected to hit shelves later this year. [Businessweek via CNetPhoto by Elsa/Getty]


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Friday, January 13th, 2012 news No Comments

Monster and Beats Electronics discontinue partnership, audiophiles rejoice

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/12/monster-and-beats-electronics-discontinue-partnership-/

Color us surprised, but word on the street is that Monster and Beats By Dr. Dre are soon going to be a thing of the past. After years of pumping out fashion-forward, bass and treble pumping headphones that (debatably) changed the landscape of personal audio products — and spawned a slew of imitators — both companies have reportedly decided not to renew their five-year contract. Businessweek notes that two sources have confirmed that disagreements over “revenue share” and “who deserved the most credit for the line’s success” stemmed the decision between the companies — not surprisingly, Beats Electronics wanted more of both.

In the the followup, Monster will pump eight new headphone lineups featuring due out this year, Monster is also noted to have brought in 60% of its own revenue from Beats by Dre, and now plans to shift its focus on older demographics, such as executive types, which the brand never exactly catered to. Notably, Businessweek also states that Beats Electronics will retain to the rights to the headphone’s iconic design, sound-signature and branding. Considering Beats’ partnerships reign far with companies like HP and HTC, things probably won’t be all doom and gloom for the company — but the amount of time left to pick up your very own JustBeats likely just got slim. Hit up the source link below for more details.

Monster and Beats Electronics discontinue partnership, audiophiles rejoice originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 12 Jan 2012 20:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, January 13th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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