Prototype Engineer Avery Louie tore down a pair of Beats headphones to see what makes them tick (or thump) and what he found inside is pretty sad. Amidst "generic drivers" and the cost-reducing tricks of the trade many of you ID'ers are familiar with—designing plastic parts that snap together rather than use screws, etc.—Louie found this gem:
A little bit of weight makes the product feel solid, durable, and valuable. One way to do this cheaply is to make some components out of metal in order to add weight. In these headphones, 30% of the weight comes from four tiny metal parts that are there for the sole purpose of adding weight.
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I've got no experience with the industrial design of consumer electronics (my specialty was structural package design, where we're trying to make everything stronger but lighter). Louie mentions that adding metal weights to a product is "a somewhat common trick," although he doesn't list other examples.
But if any readership would know, it would be you guys and gals. So, ID'ers among you working in the consumer electronics space, have you seen—or god forbid, had to do—the adding-weights thing before? Anything you can tell us without violating an NDA?