Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, April 20, 2017

The audio maker Bose, whose wireless headphones sell for up to $350, uses an app to collect the listening habits of its customers and provide that information to third parties -- all without the knowledge and permission of the users, according to a lawsuit filed in Chicago on Tuesday. The complaint accuses Boston-based Bose of violating the WireTap Act and a variety of state privacy laws, adding that a person's audio history can include a window into a person's life and views. ... The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit is a man named Kyle Zak, who claims he followed the company's suggestion to "get the most out of your headphones" by downloading the Bose Connect app, and supplying information such as his name, phone number and email address. Zak is seeking to represent other headphone owners over allegations of illegal data mining.

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I could never understand the rationale to spend $350 on a pair of headphones. Now that they come with a side of spying on the purchasers it is even more ridiculous.

I do know people who would gladly hand over ungodly sums of money on technological equipment.

A friend used to spend thousands upon thousands every year to upgrade his stereo equipment. One time he told me that he was planning on removing a support pillar in the basement because its placement "adversely affected his listening experience". I asked him how his listening experience would be with two floors of a house laying on top of him. He just stared at me blankly.

#1 | Posted by 726 at 2017-04-19 11:13 AM | Reply | Funny: 2

Why do headphones need an "app"? This "internet of things" is a disaster. Everything, even a simple toaster has a spy chip in it. They call me a luddite, but one of these days, when people can't even change a lightbulb in a table lamp without calling a technician, people are going to say, "we should have listened to Nulli."

#2 | Posted by nullifidian at 2017-04-19 11:30 AM | Reply

I could never understand the rationale to spend $350 on a pair of headphones.

#1 | POSTED BY 726 AT 2017-04-19 11:13 AM | FLAG:

Take 2 identical headphones, same circuits, same speakers, same cord, same housing, etc. Take 1 of those and add steel weights internally. People will always pay more (10x - 20x+) for the heavy ones because heavy = quality.

#3 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-19 11:41 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

@#3 ... Take 1 of those and add steel weights internally. ...

Because of the small internal space, the weights could significantly change the acoustical characteristics of the headphones.

But, in general, I'd say your point is valid.

#4 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-04-19 12:03 PM | Reply

In Beats they're part of the "sizer" and the claim is they add strength, but all they do is transfer load to the plastic bits they're attached, which in turn makes it as weak as just using all plastic in the first place. Since the original articles and peer review dissecting this design came out, the latest models of the same headphones don't bother to use the metal at all. Beats has refused to comment (lol).

#5 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-19 12:29 PM | Reply


@#5 ... In Beats ...

Oh, Beats.

Yeah, imo, for them sound quality is a secondary concern to image quality.

#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-04-19 12:34 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

I could never understand the rationale to spend $350 on a pair of headphones.
#1 | POSTED BY 726 AT 2017-04-19 11:13 AM | FLAG:
Take 2 identical headphones, same circuits, same speakers, same cord, same housing, etc. Take 1 of those and add steel weights internally. People will always pay more (10x - 20x+) for the heavy ones because heavy = quality.

#3 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG AT 2017-04-19 11:41 AM | FLAG:

Probably so, but I was a DJ for many years, and my only criteria were good sound and lightweight, because after a while, even a little weight gets very fatiguing on your head and ears. I had a pair of Koss phones with gel ear surrounds that sounded good, but after an hour, they felt like I had jugs of water hanging on each side of my head. I have no doubt Bose makes good headphones, but this data-capture nonsense is a deal-breaker. My favorites were a pair of nice, feather-light AKG phones. Sennheiser makes some nice stuff too. The pro equipment is expensive, though.

#7 | Posted by cbob at 2017-04-20 09:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I won a pair of BOSE headphones from a radio show a few years back. They immediately went on eBay. Didn't want them. They sounded good, but not THAT good.

#8 | Posted by 726 at 2017-04-20 10:21 AM | Reply

DJs and announcers are a tiny, tiny segment of the headphone buying population. Beats is estimated to sell nearly 10 million sets per year.

I do some announcing bits at air shows. I like David Clark headsets for that.

#9 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-20 10:21 AM | Reply

The cost of increasingly better stereo equipment increases exponentially. At low volume you can get very good sound for $100 today. But a superb loud system with McIntosh electronics and Klipshorn speakers will cost $15,000. Eagles and U2 digital touring equipment must have cost tens of millions.

Bose's original engineering used design tricks using mediocre components to achieve better than average sound. Their sound canceling headphones were a first but there are many competitors today. But Bose is pricey and a careful shopper can get substantially better sound for less money.

Bose's behavior (aka business conspiracy) is depraved but hardly an industry first.

#10 | Posted by nutcase at 2017-04-20 02:25 PM | Reply

We used to have a pair of dunlavy monitors that cost 18000 new. Had about 10k of receiver equipment to power them.

House got broken into and the receiver amp and preamp got stolen. Without that the speakers were just really expensive furniture. Sold them but after 2 years of trying to get 8k for them I finally let them go for 2500.

I about cried.

Since then I just use my computer and a set of klipsch speakers total cost 400 and yeah I can tell the difference but not nearly enough to justify the price difference.

#11 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2017-04-20 02:35 PM | Reply

#10 | Posted by nutcase at 2017-04-20 02:25 PM | Reply | Flag: Mmmm, McIntosh...

#12 | Posted by cbob at 2017-04-20 05:04 PM | Reply

Headphones are essential for some studio work, but I can't stand them, except when I'm skiing. I love to feel the base in my belly.

#13 | Posted by nutcase at 2017-04-20 08:30 PM | Reply

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