Ever fallen prey to an advertiser’s false promise of delivering genuine goods at an impossible price? We know what it feels like to briefly believe that you are going to be a proud owner of something as unmatched as original Beats by Dre headphones, only to realize that you have been ripped off. Here are a few effective ways to identify fake Beats by Dre, and save you the disappointment.
Beats Audio, in collaboration with major automobile giants like Fiat, Dodge, and Chrysler, has extended its superior audio technology to the sound systems that are factory-fitted in some car models of these brands. This audio system is essentially equipped with speakers, a sub-woofer, and a multichannel amplifier.
Since its inception in 2008, when the audio-video component manufacturer Monster joined hands with American hip hop celebrity, music producer, and entrepreneur, Dr. Dre, and launched their first original product, Beats by Dre, the company and its products have come a long way. Known for their innovative concept of playing music ‘as the artist hears it’, which they achieved by effectively boosting the bass of the sound played, this line of headphones, over the years, after being closely scrutinized by today’s very choosy consumers, and after even being subjected to criticism from time to time, has eventually earned its place as a symbol of both sophistication and trendiness.
Naturally, any object that is popular and in demand in spite of being very expensive (the Monster Beats Studio costs around USD 300), is bound to attract the attention of counterfeiters, who wasted no time, swooped in and established a thriving business of selling imitations.
Interestingly, many consumers consider buying a fake to be cost-effective (you get something that looks exactly like the original, probably sounds almost the same, and no one can tell the difference, so why shell out more green?) But then, there are others who prefer to pay more for a genuine product. Unfortunately, thanks to these forgers, nowadays, there is a looming possibility that you splurged on what you thought was a bona fide Beats by Dre product, but it turns out that you purchased a fake, and this generally happens when the purchase is made online.
At this point, what must you do? How do you even know whether the headphones you purchased are original or not? And more importantly, is there a way to prevent being duped before it actually happens? Don’t worry, we have all the answers here.
Start by taking a look at the packaging when you receive the box itself. Is it shoddy/dented/damaged? If yes? It is probably a fake. One thing that can be stated for sure, is that the company ensures the highest standards when it comes to the quality and construction of their products, the materials used, and the packaging. Look out for signs of bad quality packaging, such as the inner box not fitting snugly into the outer box, or the print on the box not being proper, receiving the headphones simply wrapped in plastic, and/or without any box (you can be assured that the people at Beats by Dre would NEVER under any circumstances sell original products in this form).
Assuming that the outer and inner box packaging appears to be in order, the next thing you must do is take a look at the print on the box.
☛ Check for spelling mistakes and typos. Small things, like the usage of “/” instead of “|” are ready giveaways.
☛ Look for the TM (trademark) symbol near the word ‘Studio’ printed on the front of the box. It will not be there if the headphones are not original.
☛ Also, take a look at the photograph of Dr. Dre printed on one of the sides of the box. An original’s box has a well-lit photograph, whereas a duplicate’s box has a dark or grainy photograph in which you cannot see his neck clearly.
☛ Before buying, make sure you know what colors are manufactured by Beats by Dre for that particular model of headphones (Studio, Solo, Pro or Mixr) or earphones (Powerbeats, Urbeats or Tour). This information is clearly displayed on the official website. If the box you are buying displays headphones in colors that are different, or if it states that it is a Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Ferrari, or a Lamborghini version, it is unequivocally a fake.
☛ Does the box have a serial number on the underside? It should be clearly printed. If it is faded/blurred, the headphones may be spurious. Also, this serial number is supposed to match any other serial number provided anywhere on the box and in the documentation.
☛ Firstly, the original headphones come with AAA Duracell batteries, which are ALWAYS wrapped in a plastic covering. Even if your box contain the Duracell batteries but is missing the plastic wrapping, the headphones are not genuine. Manufacturers of fake goods have a tendency to miss out on these tiny aspects, which are proprietary to the brand.
☛ Secondly, Beats by Dre headphones are always sold with an official warranty document, an official User Guide, and an official Operation Manual. If your box is missing any of these, or if you see the words “For full manual, visit beatsbydre.com/manual” or anything similar, you can be assured that the headphones are fake. Check the spacing, alignment, spelling on the printed booklets. Also check the quality and clarity of the image printed on the cover of the Operation Manual.
☆ On the pouch, there should be an embossed Beats logo, and the zip should not have a poor quality finish.
☆ The cables and the adapter are branded, and carry the brand name either inscribed in the rubber itself or printed on it.
☆ It has been reported that the cleaning cloth provided with fake headphones is much smaller than the one provided with the original ones, so take note of the size of the cloth.
☆ The cloth and the headphones inside the case must also be wrapped in plastic which fits them properly.
- Each earpiece MUST have the Beats logo, and that too, again, carefully observe the finish to ensure that it is of good quality.
- Open the battery cover, and scrutinize it. On the underside, you should find the date code of manufacturing, which should also have a good-quality finish.
- The warranty number printed on the battery cover can be verified with Monster if you are in doubt.
- Also, check for Dr. Dre’s signature on the battery cover, although it is unlikely that the counterfeiter has missed out this obvious a marker.
- Check the battery compartment itself for markings that are clear and of superior-quality finish, and also do not forget to carefully verify the quality of the coil springs.
- The inside of the headband should have the Beats logo printed across it, and also, a whole bunch of certification logos printed should be printed on it just above the right earpiece. Apart from making sure that they are actually present, check their print quality, level and spacing as well.
☛ Assuming you have bought the headphones online, you can notify eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist that the dealer is unreliable. You can also stop the payment if PayPal was used.
☛ If you paid by credit card, you can call the company and ask for a reversal of charges immediately. Also, keep monitoring your credit card for unusual activity, because it is quite possible that the counterfeiter was trying to acquire your personal information.
☛ You can report the online sale of counterfeit goods to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which is a partnership between the FBI and the NW3C. If it was shipped to you via U.S. Mail, you could also report the vendor to the U.S. Postal Inspectors. You could also visit the website of the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy, a group of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to get the latest information about what steps the government is taking to protect the interests of people who are victims of such scams. You have the right to file a small claims suit if you have paid full price for the product thinking that it is original, and you want a refund.
☛ If you purchased the headphones from a dealer who claimed that they were original and later you came to know they weren’t, try to go back to him, ask him for a full refund, and return the counterfeit product.
● First of all, do NOT purchase your headphones from any supposedly “official” website which features discounts or offers, or new and previously-unheard-of limited-edition designs, or displays any other such marketing gimmicks, EVEN IF the name of the website is similar to Beats by Dre.
● Be warned, that these rip-off sites even have a similar color scheme in their design, and look very similar to the actual Beats by Dre website. ALWAYS, under all circumstances, verify that if you are shopping from the official website, the home page of the website has the address; www.beatsbydre.com.
● An ‘official-looking’ page having any other address is a clever hoax. Further, the purchase of products from the official website happens through the Apple Store. If your purchase is being routed through a different channel, and you believe you are on the official website, you have reason to worry.
Now, suppose you decided to purchase these headphones through a different channel, say, on an online shopping portal such as Amazon, Craigslist, or eBay, these are the things you have to keep an eye out for:
- Since you are selecting the product you want, and even making the final decision about whether or not to buy, on the basis of pictures, try to recognize whether the pictures on display are stock photos from the Beats by Dre website or actual photographs of the item for sale. If it is a stock photo, you may have reason to be suspicious.
- Check if the person/company/dealer you are purchasing from is an authorized retailer of Beats by Dre. This can be verified on their official website, and this is a handy trick even if you are physically shopping at a store for these headphones.
- If you are being offered an unbelievable price (for example, Monster Beats Pro is being sold at USD 60, which is actually more than even a 50% reduction on the known price), you can be sure that the product being sold to you is not genuine, because even a secondhand dealer would not sell the original Beats by Dre headphones at such a low price.
Of course, prevention is always better than cure. Rather than regretting your hasty decision and undergoing numerous hassles to get justice, it would be wiser to be completely sure that you are buying genuine goods from a legitimate dealer. Do not get carried away by schemes that promise you a deal that is too good to be true. Do your research carefully beforehand about both the product and the vendor, and be one of the proud owners of authentic Beats by Dre headphones.