Will Behringer Become ‘The Temu Of Music Gear’?

Behringer today asked its fans on social media if they’d like to be able to order directly from the company and have gear shipped directly to them.

They used a ‘D2C’ graphic (direct to customer) to illustrate the post that suggests that they may be considering creating a Behringer app or web store, where you could order synths and other electronic music gear directly from the company.

The move would cut out their ‘super-partners’, like Amazon and Sweetwater, for at least some of their sales. If Behringer cuts out the middle man, it could mean higher profits for them, or even cheaper prices for their customers.

Here’s what they shared:

“We’re exploring an additional direct-to-customer shipping model, where products would be sent straight from our factory to you. This would help ensure faster delivery and access to all our products, especially those not carried by our retailers.

We do cherish our super partner relationships and would consider this as an additional channel to ensure we can reach customers in areas currently under-served.

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Would you appreciate this direct shipping option? Let us know!”

The combination of inexpensive knockoff products, mobile ordering and direct-to-consumer shipping sounds similar to the business model of Temu, one of the fastest growing companies in the world. Temu’s sales grew from $290 million USD in 2022 to $14 billion in 2023.

This is possible because international shipping is now so good that companies can now ship products quickly and reliably from China to anywhere in the world. And technology has made it possible to manage this at scale, diminishing the value that distributors add.

By cutting out the middle men and focusing on knockoff products, Temu is able to sell ‘look alike’ products for a fraction of the price that people are used to.

While Temu is essentially trying to disintermediate Amazon, creating a platform for Chinese knockoff manufacturers to sell anything directly to consumers around the world, Behringer is more likely to look at extending their ‘vertically integrated’ business model.

Behringer has been successful by focusing largely on knockoff or ‘copycat’ products. This could also be a risk for them, though, as platforms like Temu make it easy for Chinese manufacturers to sell directly to the public, anywhere in the world.

Behringer already specializes in knockoff or ‘copycat’ style products, minimizing their design overhead. Their core business model, which they describe as a ‘market follower’ business model, is to market inexpensive copies of other company’s popular products. And, after doing this for 35 years, they’ve gotten very good at it.

They manufacturer their products in their own ‘factory town’ in China, first ‘Behringer City’ and then later ‘MusicTribe City’. And they’re big enough that they can eliminate suppliers by manufacturing many of their components in house.

For example, Behringer’s sister company CoolAudio makes clones of the integrated circuits that were used in many classic synthesizers. By doing this, they can get key parts for making synths more cost effectively than competitors.

While Behringer says that they “cherish our super partner relationships”, it’s hard to imagine the company not trying to cut out Amazon and Sweetwater down the road, if their Direct to Consumer approach is successful.

Could Temu Disintermediate Behringer?

While Behringer says that they’re ‘exploring’ this direct to consumer idea, its likely that the company will soon be under pressure from Temu itself to act. Otherwise, Temu could essentially disintermediate Behringer.

Temu already sells a wide variety of musical gear, mostly generic instruments and cheap knockoffs of popular gear. Here’s a video from musician EmmaMcGann, demonstrating a handful of instruments she got for nothing off of Temu:

These instruments are so cheap that people can buy them as a laugh. But Temu’s product offerings already are moving into Behringer’s own turf.

Here’s a video, via GtoneGuitars, that looks at Temu’s cheapest guitar pedal knockoffs:

These pedals are obviously cheap knockoffs, but they’re already alternatives to Behringer’s own line of knockoff guitar pedals.

Temu’s platform has the potential to make every cheap knockoff manufacturer in China into competition for Behringer. The risk of these bottom-of-the-line knockoffs to Behringer is minimal, for now. But it seems like Behringer knows that this won’t always be the case.

Behringer’s business model has been so disruptive because they’ve focused so intently on making inexpensive copies of other company’s gear. This is easiest to do with old analog gear, because it’s not covered by patents. But it also means that Behringer’s own product line is largely made up of gear that other companies could copy, and that this is more of a risk to Behringer than to companies that create original designs that may be covered by patents, copyright and other IP law.

Because of this, it seems inevitable that Behringer will move forward with trying a direct to consumer approach. The only question is how quickly will they do it.

What do you think about the idea of buying inexpensive synths and music gear directly from Behringer, cutting out Amazon, Sweetwater and other distributors in the process? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

59 thoughts on “Will Behringer Become ‘The Temu Of Music Gear’?

  1. I think while good deals can be found, ultimately you get what you pay for. I mean… why not try something on the cheap if you have the disposable income? I would consider it, but I might not use it in a mission critical situation like a high pressure session or a live show with a major artist without lots of experience with it beforehand.

    1. Great point. People often forget that these things spend 5 years being almost useless, then spend the next 1000 years, slowly crumbling in a landfill.

  2. What happens with warranty issues?
    Do I ship the big heavy Deepmind back to China?
    I’ll think I’ll stick to using the trusted suppliers thanks.

  3. Temu ships an estimated 1.6 million parcels daily, contributing substantially to global packaging waste / co2 production. And half of that if not more is getting thrown away after a short time already, as the quality of most products is absolute rubbish. This is just plain crazy.

  4. That company is evil. This move is mostly because they want to prevent all returns. And when they will selll dicetly from factory that means that you play by the laws of (indonesia). So theres nothing fun here, just pure evil.

  5. Temu sells the exact same stuff people have already been buying for years off of
    ebay and Amazon. It’s just that now you can buy it without paying a middleman’s 200% markup. Temu stuff isn’t any more “rubbish” than the stuff that’s been sold for years. It comes from the same factories and suppliers. Temu obviously makes an effort to ship as much as they can together to maximize profit. Temu’s plastic bag packaging is as skimpy as it gets. You have no idea how much product is kept or thrown away. You sound like one of those Just Stop Oil protesters.

    1. They have single-handedly change the synth market.

      In the last 5 years, Behringer has become the most important company in the synth market, disrupting the market with their inexpensive synths, putting pressure on established companies like Moog by copying entire product lines, and quickly becoming a dominant manufacturer of electronic music gear.

      Behringer’s future plans matter to the synth industry and to people buying synth gear.

      When they said that they were going to create a complete line of synths, starting at $49, they followed up and did this. When they said that they were going to make copies of the Wasp, ARP 2600, SH-101, MS-20, 808, 303 and 909 – they did it.

      You may not care about their plans, but obviously many readers and many in the industry think otherwise.

      1. They’ve single-handedly photocopied the synth market. And the guitar FX market. And the mixer market.

        That’s not a good thing.

          1. “So should synthtopia only post news that’s good news?”

            I would say “no”, but I would also allow them to editorialize. I don’t know if they do or don’t like Behringer, but they are free to post what they want – and they can be subjective on topics, too.

        1. Most of their product line is cheap clones of expensive vintage synths. That’s a market that should be disrupted because good quality designs that people loved were totally unaffordable in hardware despite being long out of patent and simple to manufacture. Korg took a similar ‘cheap and cheerful’ approach, selling quality sounds in small packages for cheap, and it paid off big for them.

          I don’t have much sympathy for companies that just coast on the value of their brand but don’t develop anything really new. They can always sell craftsmanship at a high price point, but if they go for the luxury goods market then it should be no surprise that they lose the entry-level one.

      2. They are unethical& have brought nothing but negative vibes to the community. Who needs $49 euro modules? It’s dollar store junk. Single-handedly changing the game is creating new unique concepts to the different formats in the community, not bringing shady business tactics. You do a nice job synthhead but cover them less I get that you get more clicks and views so I guess I can’t tell you anything but as a long time reader I’d love to see coverage of what’s really changing the game it’s out there.

  6. That company is evil. This move is mostly because they want to prevent all returns. And when they will selll dicetly from factory that means that you play by the laws of (indonesia). So theres nothing fun here, just pure evil.

    1. If they want to sell in Europe they will have to accept the 14 day returns without a need for explanation. If they won’t apply this rule Musictribe won’t be able to use Europe to fill it’s pockets. So yes they’re evil but they can’t get away with everything just yet.

  7. This would depend entirely on what the return and refund policy would be.

    That’s the great part about dealing with state-side distributors when there are problems.

    1. With Amazon or Sweetwater, if it doesn’t work, I’m confident that they’ll get it resolved in a couple of days, on their dime.

      With Behringer, my understanding is that you have to ship it back, on your own dime, and that it can take weeks or even months to get issues resolved.

      Even with a cheapy synth, I wouldn’t want to have to pay to ship it back to China if it arrived broken, or if something went wrong after a few months.

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but Behringer’s warranty seems like it’s only as good as the distributor you buy it from, because Behringer doesn’t have a presence in the US like most other synth companies.

  8. What about import fees / customs duty?
    Will this be calculated at checkout, or will you have to pay an extra fee to have your gear released from customs?

    1. If you’re in the USA, there is no tax/duty charged on under $800 shipments. Elsewhere, there are consolidated shippers that send pallets of packages internationally duty and tax prepaid and then split the shipment to be delivered by the local postal service or courier company.

      1. That’s a good deal if your in the USA.
        Unfortunately, not the case if you’re in the UK. It’s even worse now since Brexit as even items from the EU are subject to 20% tax.
        I’ve had to pay quite a lot in taxes for things I had pre-ordered.
        Now it’s not worth bothering unless you can get them from Thomann or similar.

  9. Could get complicate with repairing then if it needs to get shipped out to china back…
    So hopefully Behringer is thinking of having custom service in Europe, USA..
    Otherwise it would be a real downer!

  10. Hey, as a longtime reader of this blog, I gotta come out and say it, all the little jabs and sneak dissing of Behringer is making you look extra wack.

    I’m just a humble musician some of my hardware are made by Arturia, Roland, Yamaha, Akai Pro, and Korg, and others made by Behringer.

    I never had a problem with their products or had to return or sell them. They are of good quality and work as they should.

    It would be dope to come to this site and read something positive about Behringer without seeing any negative insults or hate towards them.

    I don’t see you doing this with any other brand except them which indicates that it’s personal for you and that is lame.

    Isn’t journalism supposed to be objective?

    1. Thanks for being a long-time reader, and also for posting your first comment after all this time.

      Let us know what in this article you consider ‘negative insults or hate’ towards Behringer What we see is that some readers are triggered by actual objective coverage of Behringer’s products and practices.

      If we call a product like the Behringer Swing a ‘knockoff’, a handful of people, like you, will post their first comment ever, complaining about bias, when it’s a statement of fact that the Swing is a knockoff of the Arturia Keystep, and it’s a statement of fact that making knockoffs is a core part of Behringer’s stated business model.

      If objective coverage and facts are too harsh for some readers, it’s a reflection of their bias, not Synthopia’s.

  11. I think it comes down to people’s pain threshold. So, if for example I bought the something directly from Behringer and the install went bad and they took 4-7 days to get back to me and I couldn’t deal with a person, that’s when the customer says to hell with saving a couple bucks, this is too disruptive. In many cases, a reseller is the only army on the front lines we have against issues with manufactures who are less than capable of supporting their products. So, as Clint Eastwood once said, “you have to ask yourself one question”. Is the added value of a reseller worth it? For myself, a resounding yes.

  12. Ok then, Let’s see an Oberhiem type or a modular 303 or a Neutron/Proton synth or a real squidgy filtered Roland MS-7 or dare I say a Jupiter remake crop up on Temu.
    Take any synth remake or not and let’s see how long it functions and lasts from that website

  13. I’m not sure the packaging concern is really worse than the current system with Amazon or Sweetwater. The items are in some form of packaging to get to Amazon or Sweetwater where they are separated and then repackaged for individual shipping to the final destination. Is this worse than a single package going from the factory to the end consumer? I don’t know the answer to that for sure but it seems like it wouldn’t be. Buying directly from a local dealer would be more eco-friendly but for a lot of people that isn’t an option.

    What I would be concerned about is the customer service. I have ordered quite a few items from Sweetwater and the one time I did have an issue, it was so easy to resolve with them that they won me over as a customer. If I can’t find what I want locally from our mom and pop shops, I go to them just because of this. I’m a bit skeptical that Behringer can offer up the same level of customer service.

  14. Remember kiddos, famous synth designer Ray Kurzweil has just recently said that some time in the 2030’s, all consumer goods will be essentially free! So, Temu is fighting the good fight for the future, straight from the mouth of our bestest prognosticator. I’m sure this means that Ray will shortly be releasing all his source code and design documents so we can start getting our free k2700’s from Teminger as soon as robotically possible!

  15. “People seem really annoyed that we officially announce products before we’ve even purchased a vintage synth to knock off and steal the circuit, so we thought that instead of announcing our products when they are closer to release, we could shave a few days off our years of development by cutting out the middle man and profiting directly from the customer. There will, of course, be no customer support and obtaining a return will be next to impossible.”

    That’s essentially what they just said.

  16. B & Temu, hmm… which would I prefer on my sundae, a centipede or a rhino beetle? Decisions, decisions… I think I’ll just buy through Sweetwater and take the candy. I hate flossing out centipede legs.

  17. Well, maybe now all distributors will finally take notice and stop promoting or even selling this company’s gear via their channels, allowing the latter’s sales to dry up before they can build their own direct sales platform and reach thereof… (wishful thinking maybe). Of course, if this would happen we would also get to experience more of the playing-the-victim PR strategy we all know and like so much (not). Continuously baffled by their upper management’s approach to things…

  18. I love the idea that Behringer would bring jobs to America.

    If the customer experience is really that important to you than as customers we should demand it. Even if means through federal regulations. But I don’t want to hear about your shitty customer experience because the customers didn’t demand it nor regulated it.

    I wholeheartedly support Behringer. They are replicating products that people have been asking for for decades at a fraction of the price. And some of them were from defunct companies without Behringer people would have to resort to Reverb for secondhand market, cringe.

    I personally am glad Behringer has bridged the chasm in more ways than one. If everyone else wants to be ripped off for products MIC or MIM or anywhere else in the world, good luck to you. But you will not find me standing in that RMV line, ever, if ever possible.

    Finally to all those clones/cloners. If you are so smart why ain’t you cloning it yourself??? The answer is simple: because you ain’t smart enough.

    And to the copyists. You are upset because Behringer copied a moog or some such, but if you put them under the scope you’d see that these are homage to Dr. Moog and to all those came before. No one can do Moog like Dr. Moog, period.

    Behringer has done more for this industry than everyone here put together. I give Behringer mad credit for their contribution. If you don’t the culture significance of that than you may have completed missed the point.

    1. I’ve read this comment three times now and I still have no clue as to what your going on about.
      Seriously, what the hell are you on about?

  19. Amazon refund policy saved my ass after Behringer Customer Service stopped answering
    emails about a warranty returned item – 5 months waiting for RMA repair !

    I would never buy directly from them – it is only the respected 3rd party seller’s warranty –
    Amazon or Thomann – that gains my trust to buy Behringer .
    Behringer’s warranty is useless if they don’t reply .

  20. An excellent extra option, but as others have mentioned, return shipments for repair would be a point of concern. I just enjoy the instruments I buy from them and others and am happy to leave the hating and political grand standing to others.

  21. Behringer are not afraid to disrupt their own business model. This is something that Chinese companies do but American companies do not. I think it is great. More synths in the hands of creators. If they like the synths maybe they will buy more expensive ones.

  22. Temu is a market place, meaning, it sells what other people are making. On the other hand, Behringer, if I understood correctly, is a company that makes their own products and want to sell them directly, like any other company that sells their products on line.

  23. Seems like a few beringer trolls / employees have weighed in on this already. Always look for the “get synths in the hands of everyone”
    “Behringher, not afraid to do such and such”
    “Uli will bring jobs back to America” …. Cool!
    Wanna know who berungher is? Check Glassdoor,,, watch jorbs YouTube video on them …. Ask peter kirn

  24. There was a time when we had no internet but we did have music stores.
    Many nowadays grown up when internet and mobile crack was already a thing and maybe that’s a good thing cause F^#^ me I miss those old times! 🙁

    Musictribe will do anything to cut on costs and take every penny. Prices will only go up when they rule the entire chain. Anyone who thinks differently doesn’t understand how business these days work. If they really cared they would invest and open their own stores worldwide. Provide great knowledge and service in those stores, give lessons for free etc. They ripped enough designs off that they could easily fill giant stores with gear. They know it, we know it.

    All these posts by Behringer telling it’s in touch with the userbase is pure marketing bs but it works. If they fart the internet will stick its noose right between Behringer’s butt. Nobody gives a shit anymore including myself. I’m still gonna be a hater on how things go in music but i fully caved and bought Behringer gear making me part of the problem.

    1. Any time you see somebody say that Behringer is bringing jobs to America or that they’re fighting for the little guy, you know who’s drunk the Kool-Aid.

      Behringer is a ruthless competitor, for better and for worse.

      They’re really good at making cheap knockoffs, and if that’s all that you want, you’ll love them.

      If you want a truly great synth, though, Behringer has no interest in making them. The closest thing they’ve done is the UB-Xa, which is great as a cheap copy of a 40 year-old synth. Their only innovation is in making thing cheap.

      If you want a truly great synth, though – an instrument that’s really capable, has modern capabilities and does something new – you have to look at companies like Novation, Moog, Sequential, Arturia, ASM, Korg, UDO, Oberheim & SOMA. And they’re not introducing as many new synths as they used to, because Behringer is sucking all the oxygen out of the air.

      1. It seems like the synth market is in rude health and that there have never been so many options as today. I find it staggering the number of premium 3k+ synths available now that the manufacturers can barely make fast enough. Analogue Solutions are churning out Collosuses / Collosi (?). All the manufacturers you listed are doing just fine. I’m not a “never Behringer” (show me the studio untouched by B!) but neither am I a fan of their tactics. Their synths aren’t for me as I would rather pay a bit more to have something better sounding and longer lasting. But as for their effect on the market as a whole, I really wonder if they aren’t just expanding it – getting people on board who otherwise wouldn’t bother, and who then go on to get something a bit more substantial.

        P.S. I have to LOL at the people moaning about Synthtopia’s coverage of Behringer, as a post about B typically gets upwards of 30 comments, sometimes even breaking the 100 barrier, whereas your average post about a new boutique synth or interesting video struggles to even get up to five!

        1. I’m not sure how you can say that ‘All the manufacturers you listed are doing just fine,” when Moog just went belly up and got sold to InMusic, Novation/Sequential/Oberheim synth sales are WAY down, and a lot of these manufactures have killed off fantastic synths because sales didn’t support them (Korg Prologue, Waldorf Kyra, Moog One anyone?).

          We reached ‘peak synth’ right before the pandemic, and things have been going downhill for four years now.

          While Behringer has introduced a dozens of knockoff synths in the last few years, other companies have slowed down A LOT. Companies like Yamaha & Roland used to introduce an interesting synth at least once/year, but what have they done lately that’s exciting?

          And, there used to always be a dozen or more cool synths introduced at NAMM and Superbooth each year, but they’ve been pretty boring events the last few years.

          I do agree that there are still lots of great synths available. I just think the combination of the pandemic, and Behringer grabbing so much of the market, has resulted in a lot fewer interesting synth introductions.

          1. Who knows how much better Moog could have done, had they put out some eurorack modules themselves… they could have cleaned up.

            Yamaha and Roland have been uninspired for decades imo.

            Just glancing at the Sonic State page for this year’s SuperBooth crop, I spotted: UDO Super-8, Dreadbox Murmox, Oberheim TEO-5, Polybrute 12, Supercritical Redshift 6 and last but not least, the Korg Phase 8! And they are just the things that I personally have a passing interest in… there plenty of other cool and innovative products coming out. The last few years has even seen whole new categories appear, like hardware trackers and electromagnetic synths.

            1. Moog already has 5 of the best-selling Eurorack modules.

              If you want them to do a line of cheap Euro modules based on stuff they did 50 years ago, Dieter Doepfer already did it 20 years ago and Behringer has done it even cheaper. It doesn’t make any sense for Moog to compete there.

  25. I want to add:

    “This would help ensure faster delivery and access to all our products, especially those not carried by our retailers.”

    This is bull! Behringer chooses its retailers. The small music stores all got the big middle finger. Musictribe doesn’t care about who they sell to as long as they’re maximizing their profits.

    1. You have to think that Sweetwater is realizing that they made a devil’s bargain when they got in bed with Behringer!

  26. Business is business.
    I have my own business.
    I strive to beat my competitors
    I have racks full of Behringer synthsMary Curtis refused to allow the manufacture of replacement Curtis ICs
    Resigning great synths to the scrap heap when they couldn’t be fixed
    Korg 2600 or B2600
    Sound the same, yes Behringer 2nd lfo and midi
    No brainer saved myself thousands and dont tell me Korg doesnt have the same access to large factory production facilities.
    I saw you tube clip with a teary eyed Ty Unwin eulogising about how lucky he was to be able to afford a moog modular while the rest of us should just look on in awe, condescending tossed.
    I’d like to say thanks Uli for giving the people what they want, oh and btw f@ck you Roland. I bought a knock off Roland T shirt from Tee republic haha the irony

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