Why Do People Slate Behringer?

Over the years, i have owned loads of Behringer's gear from studio monitors, mixers, FX units, synths and so on and i have never had any problems with any of them.

Yeah, sometimes the quality may be a bit suspect but really, cost is a big issue with a lot of composers/musicians so where's the problem with them?

Just curious.

Comments

  • There was a time where the quality control there was rather relaxed, and so lots of kit was going wrong quite quickly or sometimes wasn't even working to begin with. I think a good deal of the criticism probably stems from that, but it's certainly less of an issue these days and they have some genuinely decent kit at very low prices.

    The bigger issue for me personally, is more of a moral one. They have "borrowed" lots and lots of designs over the years, and continue to do so on a fairly regular basis, and even in cases where what they are doing is technically legal, it doesn't make it right in my opinion. I totally understand that for a lot of people then a bit of kit doing its job at "X" price is enough, and that's fine. I'd rather avoid them for now myself and support companies that I like, and there's not really anything they do that's on my list anyway so it's not much of a bother, but I'll admit their journey into making synths has made me stop and think a few times...

  • I recently bought their Pro 1 analogue synth and at £214 i love it.

    If i had money coming out my ears, i would buy the big'named' gear but for me, Behringer does it.

    I am now looking into the X Touch midi controller and from what i have read, it's great.

  • I've had good Behringer stuff, and I've had bad Behringer stuff. I think that's why some are a bit leary of Behringer quality. They have some fantastic gear at amazing prices. It doesn't have the longevity of some better brands, but that's part of the trade-off for the low prices. At the end of the day, if it works and sounds good, why not? I think if you can afford the better brands that most professionals trust, then it's worth the investment. But if you're on a shoestring budget and still need something that can pass for professional...Behringer's a good place to look. I trust Behringer way more than a lot of the Chinese knock-offs out there.

  • Fundamentally Behringer have made a career out of cheapening other peoples ideas and IP. In some cases I've read about even down to following the schematics just rebuilding products with cheaper components. Whilst a lot of Audio gear manufacturers were using long standing production lines in Europe etc, Behringer were one of the first to source production lines in China where quality control was pretty non-existent. This led to two issues, 1 unreliable products and 2 the undercutting in prices on a lot of product lines. It's just a way of doing business that rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way.

    Furthermore, their main product line was across Live Sound products. In a studio if a unit your using stops working, annoying but no issue, you'll just hire another one in to get you through the record etc. If this happens in a live scenario it's potentially gig-over territory. In the early days when still trying to forge a career in Live Sound, I did gigs at venues with Behinger gear that constantly broke. It's incredibly stressful if you're 4-way gate on your drums dies mid-show, likewise if the Graphic EQ across the main PA mix powers off or the Crossover driving the PA decides to burst white noise out, that's going to cause mayhem and it did.

    Granted, they've come a long way in recent years since buying out Midas & Klark Teknik and gaining access to their R&D departments in the process and the subsequent buy out from Music Group, but the damage to their reputation has been significant and long standing. A few years ago I did a gig on a brand new M32 out the box. Mid-show a fader bank died following a bank of 8 inputs that had failed with digital noise on the lines. They've still got a way to go.

  • Boycott them. Never forget, among the most egregious things they have done, they attempted to sue anonymous GearSlutz posters for libel, etc. Luckily, here in the great state of California USA, we have some protection against frivolous lawsuits. See link for more details.

  • Keith,

    I believe their reputation is fairly well deserved and for the most part a self inflicted wound. I say this as someone who does own a few select pieces of Behringer kit and I work in several venues where I use and I would say most days even enjoy working on a variety of the X32/M32 product line from Behringer and Midas. Most of my personal equipment from them is control surfaces. I have several B Control generations of products as well as three X Touch products. Personally I avoid supporting them or any of their brands when I can but I'm also not going to shoot myself in the foot, so to speak when something like an X touch exists and no one that I've found so far makes a control surface with ethernet support at anywhere near that price range. I used to own a large supply of ADA8000s as well, luckily I was able to part ways with all of those quite some time ago. Here is my synopsis, largely echoing what others have said:

    1. Hit or miss quality - they make some products that seem to work very well and have a reasonably decent life span for the price, but having used a lot of B gear over the years, trust me, it is hit or miss and even within the same product line. Some of my ADA8000s lasted years with no issues and then there seemed to be a handful of years of production where who knows what you were going to get.
    2. The blatant coping of others work - several lawsuits over the years, some lost, some settled out of court.. and sure lots of industries have lawsuits all the time but there is clearly a trend here. And certainly by now they could develop their own kit but look at their product line and you'll still several blatant copies. I mean how hard is it to just redesign the case and not make something that looks exactly like product X? I don't think that is that difficult. It's gotta be on purpose and frankly it's either stupid or you're purposely trying to mislead the buying public, take your pick.
    3. The worst to me is the known public attempts to silence criticism. If you made the bed, you should at least just accept what you brought on yourself and lie in it. You can look at almost any other audio equipment manufacturer or software developers, etc and find a better example of how to properly and gracefully handle criticism. Our host here, Spitfire included as a good example.
    4. Lastly their dealer and distribution schemes - I work as an audio consultant for construction projects so I work with a lot of audio vendors, installers and dealers, as I'm sure many of us have in some way over the years. I've watched as Behringer has upended their product distribution system at least two or three times over the years and when they do it, it is typically at the expense of many of their loyal dealers. Most recently I believe it was just last year, if memory serves they wanted to only distribute their product via a few very large dealers in the US. Think Sweetwater, Full Compass, B&H, etc.. the folks that sell millions of dollars in just B product every year type places. (for the record I have nothing against those dealers, and I buy from Sweetwater all the time and I have a great salesperson there) Behringer wanted these large retailers to carry every product that Music Group produced. Essentially making them a defacto distributor and warehouse for Behringer. Meanwhile smaller dealers were all being dropped from large parts of their product line. So a small AV installer could no longer be a dealer for the X32 product line. Talk about stiffing your dealer network and having even fewer installers want to install your product in a permanent install? This is not the first time they have harmed dealer and distribution networks and it's probably not the last. So why should I have any loyalty to your product if at any moment you might stiff my favorite dealer? Trust me, my relationship is with that dealer far more than with the manufacturer. Hopefully they learn that the hard way but I won't hold my breath.

    I see lots of people try to justify their ownership of the products and make excuses for Behringer and I totally get it. I basically say I only use their product when I have to because of cost or there just isn't another product with the same feature set. I am not embarrassed to own Behringer equipment nor am I proud of it (and yes I've seen some who seem proud of their Behringer gear) and I won't make any excuses for them or their behavior. When someone critiques my purchases, my response is, I'll be happy to use product X, let me tell you the address to send the check to pay for the cost difference and I'll gladly dispose of my B gear. :-) No one has taken me up on it for some reason.

    Here is the video that I link to that best describes how I feel about Music Group in general:

    Best wishes,

    Richard

  • Hmm. I'm happy with their synth remakes. It makes certain sounds and synths that are otherwise insanely expensive much more accessible. I've never had an issue with quality. I do think they had more of a negative reputation in the 90s/early 2000s in terms of quality but seems to have improved.

  • The last years it was better since Behringer bought so many companys. The old products are good in the same way, so I sometimes I use an micro preamp from 1994. But if something is broken there is no chance for a real solution. The warranty-period it's ok, but after that there is no chance to get some parts for repair or the costs are so high that a new one is a better deal.

    Normally I don't buy Behringer products now, but there was the freaking Deepmind 12... I couldn't resist - and it's fine!

    "Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn...!

  • Keith Theodosiou
    edited April 2

    Well to be honest, the bottom line with me is, i'm a composer/musician, i want this synth and that synth and this controller and that fx unit and so on but I don't own a money printing machine so I have to buy what i can afford so i'm really not interested in the politics of Behringer, i'm interested in less costley gear I can actually afford.

    That's a no brainer for me.

    If ever i do manage to get a money printing machine, then i will go out and get all the top gear my heart desires! lol

  • They have had a (I guess deserved) rap for cheap and quick-to-break gear, but these last couple of years it has much improved. For those of us with little means (or for whom music is not their main job) they simply offer a good value for money proposition. I have a Behringer 1820 sound card with an ADAT expander (also Behringer) and there is nothing to complain about build wise.

    Their synth clones might be frowned upon but they bring iconic gear into the hands of people who would otherwise NEVER have access to the sounds. I own a TB-303 but do I feel bad about the TD-3 clone? Heck no. It means more music that uses it. The only thing I'm snobbish about it that the music produced with clones needs to be good.

    The main issue, also addressed in the video linked above, is their schizophrenic marketing team. Friendly videos on YouTube to demonstrate gear and build enthusiasm for upcoming products... and incredible social media fuckups that cost them a lot of goodwill. (I saw a guy smash a TD-3 which imho is equally psychotic).

    And I think they've shelved the Arturia keystep ripoff, which really went too far.