Samsung Enters The “Premium Audio” Market With Its Level Series
By Pranav Arora
Premium headphones seem to be the craze right now. With artists like 50 Cent and Ludacris starting their own brand of headphones, the potential of this market seems to be sky high. Now if you are thinking this is just a move by Samsung to score some of Apple’s market share following the recent Beats acquisition by Apple, you may not be completely right. These headphones started their development long before the Apple-Beats deal had ever happened. Even the announcement took place in April. So no, this isn’t just a cheap shot at Apple.
The headphones, on paper at least, look pretty impressive. The lineup is led by the Level Over (Over-ear) headphones, which are priced at $349.99. They feature 50mm drivers with neodymium magnets, to reproduce “deep, powerful and realistic sound”. These are Bluetooth headphones, so no more dangling wires. Other features include NFC pairing, Active Noise Cancellation, and touch panel controls.
These are followed by the $179.99 Level On (On-ear) headphones, a set of foldable, wired cans that promise to deliver “powerful, clear, and pure sound.” These don’t come with the fancy Bluetooth connectivity, or the touch panel controls, but Samsung is hoping that their sound quality will make up for that.
Moving further down, we have the Level In (In-ear) earphones, a pair of $149.99 earphones that aim to deliver “clear sound separation and rich, natural sound quality.”
Finally we have the Level Box, a portable Bluetooth speaker, that aims to take on a vast array of competitors from Bose, Logitech, Jawbone and unsurprisingly, Beats. It is priced moderately at $169.99, and based on early reviews, delivers nicely in the design and performance departments.
All these may seem good on paper, but Samsung still has a mountain to climb if it plans to trump the massive name that is Beats. It’s going to be pretty hard to sell a pair of headphones for $349.99 without the massive ‘b’ logo on them, and it seems like Samsung will have to use all of their advertising muscle that they’ve become known for.
The Level Series looks like a good start, and we’ll just have to wait and watch how they sell. They’re currently only on sale at luxury store Gilt in the United States, but Samsung will surely expand to a wider market soon, as they have done in the case of their smartphones.