Fake Beats by Dre Headphones: 5 Ways to Spot a Fake

If you're not buying Beats by Dre headphones from certified retailers, you risk wasting your money on a cheap, counterfeit product.


Jesse Sumrak
Updated 12 May 2021
Fake Beats by Dre Headphones: 5 Ways to Spot a Fake
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United States Counterfeit Goods Statistics


$1.3 billion in counterfeit items seized each year
$200 billion yearly loss to businesses

$959 billion (estimated value of the counterfeit market by 2022)

Source: Library of U.S. Congress

Sections on this page
  1. What Are Fake Beats by Dre Headphones?
  2. 5 Ways to Spot Fake Beats by Dre Headphones
  3. How to Identify Fake Beats by Dre Online Listings
  4. What to Do If You Purchased Fake Beats Headphones
  5. Where Are Fake Beats Headphones Sold?
  6. Where to Buy Real Beats by Dre Headphones
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

Beats by Dre are the epitome of high-quality headphones. Authentic pairs deliver unparalleled sound, top-notch Bluetooth connectivity, and a durable design that'll last for years. The same can't be said about fake Beats by Dre headphones. Scammers have jumped on the high-end price tag headphones to create their own knockoffs, but these cheap lookalikes fail to deliver the rich, premium sound Beats promises.

What Are Fake Beats by Dre Headphones?

Fake Beats by Dre are low-quality knockoff headphones that scammers manufacture to mimic authentic Beats. These counterfeits promise high-end performance, but they underdeliver with cheap hardware, poor software, short battery life, and overall lackluster quality.

Fake Beats headphones look almost identical to the authentic Apple-owned headphones—however, there are tiny tell-tale signs you can find that'll help you distinguish the real headphones from the fakes. We'll get into those in just a second.

5 Ways to Spot Fake Beats by Dre Headphones

Some fake Beats headphones can mimic the legitimate product quite well, but there is usually at least a couple of tell-tale signs of a fake. The top five things to pay attention to when buying a pair of Beats by Dre headphones are the:

  • Price
  • Pairing mode
  • Colors available
  • Power board
  • Headphone panel

1. Price

Beats by Dre headphones typically sell for anywhere between $50 to $350, depending on the model. Wireless earphones will usually fall to the bottom of this range, while noise-canceling, on-ear models (or newer models) will gravitate towards the higher price.

If you see Beats by Dre headphones selling for $10 to $30, then you can be confident they're fake (especially if they're the over-the-ear models). Avoid any websites or sellers listing knockoffs at these outrageously low prices—it is too good to be true.

2. Pairing Mode

Apple bought Beats Music and Beats Electronics back in 2014, and they've made it incredibly easy to sync Bluetooth devices between iOS phones and Beats products. When you put your headphones into pairing mode, they should immediately pop up to sync on your iOS device—you don't even need to open your Bluetooth devices tab in the settings.

If you try to pair fake Beats by Dre headphones, you're going to need to open your Bluetooth settings to find the device. Fakes haven't been able to replicate this pairing experience, so you can be confident you have authentic Beats if the sync window automatically pops up.

3. Colors

Check the Beats logo on the band of your headphones. Authentic headphones will use the same color scheme as the rest of the hardware. For example, if the headphone logo and hinges are gold, the text on the band will be gold, too.

Fakes often miss the details, and the colors won't align perfectly across the product. If the beats logo on your band is a different color than your hinges, then it's a fake.

4. Power Boards

The power boards are the internal technology that give authentic Beats headphones top-notch performance and high-end sound quality. Fakes attempt to replicate the design of the power board, but they can't replicate the performance.

If you’re hesitant to check your power boards—which is understandable since you’ll need to take apart your new Beats headphones to do so—pay attention to how your headphones are functioning. Fake power boards will fail on you and you’ll likely notice your headphones aren’t performing as you’d expect a high-end pair to.

Real vs. fake Beats by Dre headphone powerboards
(Source: Joe's Gaming & Electronics)

5. Headphone Panels

Fake Beats by Dre headphones use a glossy finish on the end caps to make the logo pop. Authentic pairs often have a more matte finish that looks dull and makes the logo somewhat indistinguishable.

Real vs. fake Beats by Dre headphone panel
(Source: Joe's Gaming & Electronics)

How to Identify Fake Beats by Dre Online Listings

Being able to spot fakes is great when you can see the product in person, but that's not a possibility when you're buying from an online listing. If you're buying pair of Beats by Dre headphones online, you're going to need to identify scammers by scrutinizing their listings.

Below, we'll show you a few reliable ways you can identify fakes without ever seeing the actual product:

  • Seller: Check the seller's contact information to make sure it's consistent. Their name and email address should be compatible. For example, you'd want to be cautious if the seller's name was Jamie but their email address was [email protected]
  • Typos: Scam listings often have grammatical mistakes littering the page. Scammers are often located throughout the world, meaning they're rarely fluent in the local languages they're selling the products. If you see typos and other basic grammar mistakes, be cautious moving forward.
  • Plagiarism: Since scammers aren't fluent in local languages, they often copy and paste product descriptions from other websites. Run the seller's product listing copy through a plagiarism checker to see if they lifted the copy from another website.
  • Shipping: Check the estimated shipping time before purchasing a product. If your Beats by Dre headphones will take four or more weeks to arrive, you should be concerned.
  • Images: Never buy a product from an e-commerce store that doesn't use its own original photos. If someone is selling a product on eBay or Craigslist, they should take their own pictures—not copy the Beats website's images.
  • Reviews: Look at the feedback on the product listing for fake reviews or poor experiences. If it's obvious the seller has purchased or created fake reviews, don't move forward with the purchase.

What to Do If You Purchased Fake Beats Headphones

Take action immediately if you discover you've purchased fake beats by Dre headphones. The remediation process you'll want to follow varies depending on where you bought the product, but here's a list of common sellers and their recovery processes:

  • Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace doesn't offer any guarantees or money-back.
  • Craigslist: Craigslist has no protection for buyers. If you've purchased a counterfeit, report the fraud to Craigslist to prevent yourself and others from getting scammed by the seller in the future.
  • Walmart Marketplace: Request a refund via Walmart's Marketplace Promise.
  • eBay: eBay has a zero-tolerance policy for counterfeits. Reach out to eBay's customer support to initiate your money-back guarantee.
  • Amazon: Contact Amazon's customer support team to file an A-to-Z Guarantee to get your money back.
  • Wish: Wish has a 30-day return policy. Check their list of exceptions to make sure your item qualifies. Despite Wish's generous refund policy, it's best practice to avoid the platform when purchasing high-end products like headphones.

If these steps don't help you recover your money, contact the FBI's digital division to report the fraud. Talk to your bank or credit card company to see if you can cancel the transaction before it finishes processing. If it's already processed, you may need to request a chargeback.

Where Are Fake Beats Headphones Sold?

Unfortunately, scammers sell fake Beats all over the internet. If you're not shopping on BeatsbyDre.com, Apple.com, or a certified third-party seller, then you'll need to be on your toes when purchasing these headphones.

Here are few places notorious for selling fake Beats headphones:

Unfortunately, scammers have abused these platforms and damaged their reputations. Legit sellers use these platforms, too, but you'll need to be extra cautious and do your due diligence before making any purchases.

Where to Buy Real Beats by Dre Headphones

Fortunately, there are plenty of safe, legitimate sites where you can find authentic Beats by Dre headphones. Below, we've compiled a list of the most secure websites:

Beats by Dre has also compiled a complete list of authorized retailers. It includes legitimate sellers from just about every continent.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell if Beats are fake?

Scammers have refined their Beats counterfeits, but there are still tell-tale signs that give away fakes. Pay special attention to the price and specific features of the headphones.

How much are fake Beats worth?

Fake beats sell for as little as $1 in some countries. Online, this price is a dead giveaway, leading some scammers to sell counterfeit Beats at slightly discounted prices compared to authentic Beats. Genuine Beats by Dre headphones typically sell for $50 to $350, depending on the model.

Does Target sell fake Beats?

No, Target does not sell fake Beats. Target has sold knock-off headphone brands in the past, but these didn't pretend to be Beats by Dre headphones—however, they mimic the design elements.

Are fake Beats good?

Some pairs of fake Beats can deliver decent sound quality, but they don't come close to mimicking the durability and performance of authentic Beats.

Where can I buy Beats by Dre headphones for cheap?

Beats by Dre are one of the most premium headphones money can buy. This makes it incredibly difficult to find them for a low price. Most retailers will sell them at a decent discount during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other holiday sales. If you see significantly discounted Beats at any other time, be cautious moving forward. You may have luck buying second-hand Beats headphones, but that comes with its own risks.

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