With sales of its premium smartphones failing to live up to expectations, Samsung is moving into another potentially high-margin business: premium headphones.
Tomorrow the South Korean electronics giant will launch its Samsung Level line of headphones (and a wireless speaker) on premium goods retailer Gilt, whose members will have exclusive early access to buy a pair before they become more widely available. Dedicated Samsung fans who haven’t signed up for the site don’t need to wait long, however, as the headphones will hit Amazon on July 20th.
With prices ranging from $149 for its “Level In” in-ear buds to $349 for its wireless, noise-cancelling “Level Over” headphones, Samsung is clearly going after the same premium, design-centric market as Beats, the headphone maker Apple purchased back in May for $3 billion.
Beats has shown that the combination of good-looking hardware and well-targeted marketing can make headphones a big business. While Samsung is known for throwing huge amounts of money at marketing campaigns, its lack of distinguished design is frequently cited as the reason its Galaxy S5 is losing ground to cheaper alternatives in the smartphone space.
To make the Gilt offering more enticing, Samsung is bundling its Level On headphones and Level Box speaker for $299, a $50 discount from buying them separately. While we can’t speak for the headphones, TechCrunch reviewed the Level Box back in May and found that Samsung delivered exceptional build quality and performance compared to similar-sized offerings in its price range.