If you’re a big fan of Beats headphones, turn down your bass and listen for a minute. Though HTC has been making a lot of its investment and partnership with the Beats by Dr. Dre brand, it looks like they’re going to be scaling back a bit, at least as far as pack-ins are concerned. That means no free Beats headphones with HTC smartphones, at least for the immediate future. HTC told Cnet that its research suggested that the headphones included with phone  like the HTC Sensation XL and Verizon’s Rezound weren’t a significant factor in their buying decisions, making it a fiscally responsible decision to do without them.

HTC invested $300 million into Beats Audio, acquiring 51% of its market value and effectively controlling the smaller company. While Beats still operates independently (and licenses its technology to non-competing manufacturers like Hewlett Packard) HTC has been making the most of the association, incorporating the Beats brand into new smartphones including all three of the HTC One family. Beats amplifiers, equalizers and settings are included in these phones, and the software portions of Beats are being added into older phones like the HTC Vivid as part of their Ice Cream Sandwich/Sense 3.6 update.

None of the One series phones are getting Beats headphones out of the box, though some retailers (including T-Mobile) are using the branding association to try and sell the pricey headphones separately. Beats is doing well enough on its own – the hefty profit margin and celebrity status symbol seems to be making the conglomeration quite enough independent cash. HTC wouldn’t rule out pack-in audio equipment for good, but it’s safe to say that you won’t be seeing any for the next several months at least. Rumors indicate the HTC is planning a subscription music service with MOG Music, but nothing’s come of it yet.


  1. First off, I’m going to say that Beats headphones are WAY overpriced. BUT the matter of fact is that they are still a premium brand that people buy into.

    I don’t see how they could come to a conclusion that the headphones weren’t a factor with such little data.

    Beats headphones were included on a grand total of 3 devices; one of which was a rehash of a device in the later half of it’s life cycle (Sensation), one which never made it to North America and was a rehash of a Windows Phone 7 (Sensastion XL), the last was buried in the flurry of news and rumors surrounding Google’s next flagship device the Galaxy Nexus (Rezound).
    Now how they hell could they come to a conclusion that the Headphones weren’t a factor in the purchase when there weren’t many purchases to begin with.

    That being said, fiscally I think it was too early to give up on the investment. Headphones are dirt cheap to manufacture, and with HTC owning majority stake in the company I don’t see how it adds that much overhead to the overall price.

    I think had the beats headphones be linked to a true flagship device, like the One X and word got around that you get Beats headphones with a kick ass looking and feeling HTC handset I think it would certainly factor in and sway some people.Just my 2 cents.

  2. The one included with the rezound are lowest of quality beats earphones.
    The quality is no better than a $29.99 pair of scull candies.

  3. I’d rather not have the headphones included anyways, as I like to bring my own.  That means the price of the phone doesn’t have to include the price of the headphones, either.  It only makes sense not to package something that not everyone would want; and if those who do want them, they can still buy them separately, or in a premium bundle with the phone.

  4. It’s not the beats fault the rezound didn’t sell, it’s because it launched at the same times as the razr and nexus and had little to no push from verion. Sensation XE, Idk what happened there


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