lookwhatwemade Look out: Behringer, already a notorious rip-off artist, is taking the “first step in [the] company’s reinvention of online presence.” I shudder to think what the coming steps will look like. But yes, the new site looks a wee bit familiar. It actually gets worse as you dig into the layout.

In fairness, for over a decade now, Apple’s site has perhaps the most ripped-off Website design on the Internet. But then, Behringer is special.

Back when the blog Music Thing was publishing, it was able to do an annual series on cloned Mackie and Roland/BOSS gear, some down to colors, typography, and control layouts. (Check out the MT archives for some of this hall of shame, or lack thereof.)

And Behringer doesn’t just copy the Apple layout like other sites. They actually send out a breathless press release that brags about their pixel-perfect, color-perfect clone.

Update: Apparently, you can thank readers of the Behringer Website for the choice. Mr. Tunes notes via Twitter that this design was chosen in a survey among other mock-ups, for which you could win a blatant rip-off of the Line 6 Pod. I could comment on that, but the things I might say would not make me a team player for “Team Behringer.”

After months of hard work from a 9-person development team, BEHRINGER launched a dramatically upgraded website today. Sporting an elegant, efficient aesthetic and an intuitive interface, the new site boasts a feature-rich series of upgrades…

Indeed, an inspection of image assets and CSS reveals that the development team really did re-create the design from scratch using their own images and code. (There’s 81 months of human development time the planet will never get back.)

Here’s the great irony: Behringer’s Terms of Use for their site.

This Site is provided for your personal and non-commercial use only. The purpose of this Site is to provide information on BEHRINGER and its products. All content included in this Site, including but not limited to any text, graphics, images, logos, button icons, data compilations, software, audio and video (collectively, "Materials"), is the property of BEHRINGER or its content suppliers, and you may not distribute, exchange, modify, reproduce, perform, sell or transmit the Materials for any business, commercial or public purposes. The Materials are protected by applicable laws and international copyright and trademark laws, and any unauthorized use of any Materials may violate copyright, trademark, and other applicable laws. You may not frame or utilize framing techniques to enclose any portion of this Site or any Materials without express written consent of BEHRINGER. You are granted a revocable and nonexclusive right to create a hyperlink to this Site so long as the link does not portray BEHRINGER, its affiliates, or their products/services in a false, misleading, derogatory, or otherwise offensive manner. You may not use any BEHRINGER trademark, logo or other Materials as part of the link without express written consent of BEHRINGER or as provided herein. If you breach any of these Terms, your authorization to use this Site automatically terminates and you must immediately destroy any downloaded or printed Materials herefrom.

Of course, the idea of Behringer’s proprietary intellectual property in this case is more than a bit absurd. Here’s Apple’s Terms of Use:

All text, graphics, user interfaces, visual interfaces, photographs, trademarks, logos, sounds, music, artwork and computer code (collectively, “Content”), including but not limited to the design, structure, selection, coordination, expression, “look and feel” and arrangement of such Content, contained on the Site is owned, controlled or licensed by or to Apple, and is protected by trade dress, copyright, patent and trademark laws, and various other intellectual property rights and unfair competition laws.


By the way, wasn’t “Seeing is Believing” the tag on one of the images on Apple’s site at some point? (Why would I not be surprised if that was, you know – nine months ago?)

  • Tim

    HAHA! I actually laughed out loud. Nice.

  • 7oi

    hahaha, that's hilarious! and such a cheap looking imitation as well… that is the true spirit of behringer!

  • My jaw almost hit the floor when Peter showed me this. They even copied the little horizontal scroll widget.

    Sigh. Something tells me that Apple's legal team will soon be feasting on Uli Behringer's internal organs.

  • Ohh ooh ooh! I know what's next.. "Behringer vs Boss" ads!

  • Wilbo

    Behringer's research department consists of a copy machine and two monkeys.

  • That is freaking hilarious. I had to check the actual Behringer site to make sure this wasn't a parody. How fitting.

  • Love how they grant you a "revocable" right to hyperlink to them as long as you don't say anything bad about them.

  • When will this company just die? I made the mistake of purchasing their Pioneer DJM500 clone… worst purchase ever. The faders were horrible; noisy. The EQs were despicable. Here's a link to their website:


  • nylarch

    But they've used a completely different font.

  • Adrian Anders

    Most of Behringer stuff is crap with a few exceptions. My BCR2000 is good for what it is, but for the longest time their craptacular librarian software needed a very specific older version of java runtime to work… great. Eventually it was updated, but only after they decided to re-launch their computer product line.

    If you buy Behringer, don't count on any sort of long-term support for your purchase.

    I compare my experience with Behringer to mine with Mackie… yes Vista support took awhile for the Onyx Satellite (needed drivers for my girlfriend's computer when she wanted to record)… but they DID invest in it. Compared to Behringer who can't be bothered to recompile their java software (yuck!) for a newer version of Java Runtime… 😛

  • At least Behringer charges the right price for amateur hardware. Apple refuses to do the same. So who's the true ripoff artist? 🙂

  • mike looks much better than! 😉

  • gwenhwyfaer

    Once upon a time, DEC got wind of the fact that the Russians tended to be rather fond of copying their PDP designs. So when they were designing the silicon for the VAX, they left a little easter egg: they inscribed, in microscopic Cyrillic script, the words "VAX: for those who care enough to steal the very best". (Allegedly.)

    That's kind of how I'm looking at this. Anyone who went to Behringer's site before they redid it knows how God-awful it was; anything would have been an improvement. But at least they know quality when they lift it – at least they did care enough to steal something halfway decent. Imagine if they'd nicked, oh I dunno, the Roland or Korg site designs…

    (As regards Behringer gear itself, I note that Sound On Sound almost always gives it positive reviews, and I tend to trust their reviews more than I trust "random voices on the web". I'm with Sid Vicious re: the man on the street.)

  • Not to mention the obvious rip-off of KRK's nearfield monitor design…

  • Stij

    Wow, that's pretty blatant. You'd think they'd at least change the color scheme or something.

    @ Jaymis: Heh, I can see it now…."Hi, I'm a Behringer." "And I'm a Boss".

  • @gwenhwyfaer: Well, you know, this is a point of view that does tend to come up any time Behringer gets mentioned. I have a different perspective. I'm the last person to be elitist and only talk about high-end gear. I believe pretty passionately that you can do this stuff on a budget. I also have no qualms whatsoever in recommending to people on a shoestring budget that they *invest wisely* what they have – however little that may be. (And believe me, I've spent a fair bit of time in that boat, and made some smart choices and some bad ones.)

    Copying can be a very healthy thing. But there's a huge gap between copying something and doing a cheaper version, or copying something and improving it, and just ripping off the thing superficially a la the fake watches and purses you can buy a few blocks from where I live in lower Manhattan.

    I'm not faulting Sound on Sound's judgment; they do a terrific job and that's important to me, because reviews aren't really a focus for CDM. Behringer makes a lot of stuff, and I suspect that SoS selects products that will be of interest and not things that won't. If you've got a piece of Behringer gear and you're happy with it, terrific! Specifically, I know people who have been really happy with the BCR2000 control surface, and I expect there may be other units that fit in similarly. Do I *generally* feel comfortable buying their stuff? No, not really. You can find random voices on the Web to say negative things about anything or anyone, but I've seen some really poor-quality stuff from Behringer, and I believe too much in the design and engineering process to buy from a maker that routinely lives in the fake Gucci realm.

    And, wait a minute, anyway – we're looking at a complete copy of Apple's site, for which they sent out a press release expecting us to buy it. Copying is one thing. Passing off someone else's work *as your own* and hoping no one will notice is plagiarism, plain and simple.

  • Will Copps

    So awesome. hahahha

  • Glass

    I actually regard Behringer as the Robin Hood of the gear industry. They're stealing from the expensive makers and selling it to the poor.

    The thing is that engineering and R&D shouldn't be as expensive as it is. If you manage to make cheaper products, you can sell more. And I'm not talking about cheap as in low quality, because their building quality isn't too bad either – their metal stompboxes are robust and strong… much better than 75% of all stompboxes out there. Hell, I've even seen broken/cracked Line6 stuff…

    And also, if they were innovative and creative, making out of this world stuff, who would buy their gear, but us, music geeks?

    They're appealing to the heavy metal guitar player who wants just a MetalZone type distortion, beginner DJs who just want to spin some records and will move onto something else next year. These people aren't shopping for innovation – they want something as close to Boss pedals, PODs and NS-10s…

    But, yeah, they sort of feel like the warez of the harware world…

  • Peter Kirn

    @Glass: Now, wait a minute. Maybe their stompboxes are great – fine, go for it. But let's carry this out to its conclusion. What would the world be like if nothing new got made, and we were stuck with crap ripoffs instead?

    The real Robin Hood scenario would be building more open source hardware. That's the absolute opposite of what Behringer is doing. Behringer is taking other designs and keeping them proprietary, whereas something ideally open source would actually *create* something new and give that back to other people to use and modify.

    Or, alternatively, you'd at least make a cheaper version of something and sell it as such – that's awesome when that happens. Trying to pass it off *as the original*, though, is something very different. That's the Gucci in the back alley.

  • kilgore_trout

    I nearly spilled my morning coffee laughing incredulously whilst reading this article and browsing the hall of shame from Music Thing. Great post, I will keep this in mind when planning my next hardware "upgrades"!

    @Peter "The real Robin Hood scenario would be building more open source hardware." Exactly!

  • Sebastian

    I think, behringer has some really great products on the list. The UltraCurve Pro is one of the most important pices in my studio – it works perfect for room correction and as frquency analyser – and its so cheap. Its not a rip off.

    But i dont like behringers rip-off-way. Do you know the behringer-city in china? terrifying !!! There is a vid out where behringer shows the production in china.

  • Christian

    @Glass: "engineering and R&D shouldn’t be as expensive as it is"?

    I find this this statement quite unreflected.

    How would you recommend to cut the costs?

    I am working as an audio (software) developer, and development just takes a huge amount of time if you want to do it right.

    (Just try and build an open source thing for yourself, for example a Midi controller, and see how much work it is. And then when you are finished you can think about that all the actual work has been already done for you from the people who developed the open source "framework")

  • m

    haha i knew that most behringer gear was a complete rip off..but the website is just over the top..haha far out 😛

    yeah u would think they would at least modify it in some way lol

  • Typical Macintosh Us

    Behringer coppied Apple?!


  • Siem

    Behringer isn't the only one:

    Many respectful gear manufacturers are copying old Neve EQ's, SSL compressors, Fairchild compressors and Pultec EQ's.

    However quality wise I think Behringer is doing a bad job.

  • Rotten Core


    I love how you assume that a)i`ve visited the Apple website and b)i`d care about this "rip-off".

    OK, not all of Behringer`s output is of the highest quality but then it`s not the most expensive either.

    You tend to get what you pay for to some degree in this game, and i think that for a long time Behringer have done a great job of supplying inexpensive equipment to both people just getting into music/production and those working on a lower budget.

    Btw, can i ask at what threshhold will Apple join the other hugely successful American corporations and become viewed by the public there as inherently evil?

    You have been consumed by consumerism people.

    You are gripped by brand loyalty at it`s most amusing and saddest – when you are prepared to defend a company that you have nothing invested in you are officially sucked-in, don`t believe the hype.

    Perhaps some retail-therapy is required?

    How about something small, shiny and expensive with apples all over it?

  • Actually it's a poor rip-off.

    Everything beyond the upper 1/3 of the screen is pretty shitty.

    Take "Products" for example.

    It starts withe "tabbed products" – these suggest that this are really all products. It took me a while to realize that the real catalog is down below. That is really shitty made. Spacing is horrible. On the "lowest" catagory there is a line extending downwards (as if a another category is mising) – this is just sluggish.

    That goes on and on.

    So no sweat – it's a rip-off. It's a poorly made rip-off. So it's consitent with Behringer. We shouldn't really bother.

  • Alex

    I don't care about the rip off…it looks better than the previous site and that's it.- Why are you trying to make a soap opera / tragedy about this?

    Behringer might make copies but they have made some good ones too and they sell them in very competitive prices. I had one of their small mixers for years and when i finally replaced it with a similar Mackie, i found out that the noise was at the same levels..(with proper balanced cables etc..) Who else made a great quality high resolution encoder midi controller like BCR2000 and BCF2000 at this price? I think that there aren't other controllers like this on the market except one from Mackie…Their speakers have served me excellently for 5-6 years…they were not the best, but they helped me on various tasks without having to spend a fortune for similar specifications on other companies..

    You all became critics…it seems that you don't know nothing about music technology or you have plenty of money to just ignore all the cheap companies.

    Its a shame to blame a company for making music technology affordable to most musicians / engineers…no one is going to prefer Behringer if he can afford some better products at the same price…the point is that most popular companies sell "air" instead of technology and they don't accept to reduce their prices…

  • gwenhwyfaer

    What would the world be like if nothing new got made, and we were stuck with crap ripoffs instead?

    Isn't that basically a pretty good description of the film and TV industries for about the last 20 years…?

    And since you clearly have very strong feelings on the subject of Behringer, and I really don't, I'll bow out of this one now – except to note that the words "blatant rip-off" could be replaced by "suspiciously similar substitute", which convey the same message with less libel.

  • gwenhwyfaer

    …of the mainstream film and TV…

  • Thanks for the Open Source hardware comment Peter. That is what we need, and sites like yours promoting this idea are why I bother reading about "stuff" in the first place. One thing I have wondered about is why companies don't open up the source on their "legacy" products (read: forget about that old stuff, buy THIS NEW STUFF). I mean there's got to be thousands of multi fx pedals alone that could be put to good interesting use if one of the HIGHLY GIFTED ahem prop heads here could get a-holt of some code. I have one I am using for a door stop now, and if anybody is interested…

    @ Siem: great comment re sftware models of Fairchild, Neve etc. As though anyone knows what a Fairchild comp does in the first place, let alone how one sounds and why anyone would use it…which leads me to:

    @RottenCore: thanks for the crapple disection..the smoke blown up 'merikan consumers collective non critical thinking apparatus' (apparat-i?) by the great and benevolent Jobs is a never ending source of amusement/bewilderment for a few of us po' folk who wonder just why anyone would..other than for the fashion statement..

    I was thinking when I saw this today that maybe behringer had started making I gots to have one or Ja knows what will happen to me phones for the "rest" of "us", or maybe I (you b) Mackeds but naw, just a new KRK speaker clone that will hopefully sound as bad as the original, and a semi ripped off qsc monitor. jebus, they must be slowing down..

  • Peter Kirn

    Okay… some of these comments are getting really bizarre.

    Behringer makes some stuff people like — fine, like I said, more power to you. But they're certainly not the only company making cheap gear. I just don't get the Behringer as folk hero, me as the champion of consumerist elitism argument.

    And if you really don't like Apple that much, why would you want their site design?

    But yes, honestly, if you've found a piece of gear of theirs and it's great – terrific. I have no problem with that and no problem with anyone who buys Behringer. I do have a problem *with Behringer, though.*

    Here's the thing – I care about originality. I care about design. I know and am friends with web designers, developers, programmers, producers, musicians, visualists, artists… for any of those roles to be meaningful, you have to differentiate on things like originality. That doesn't mean I'm a champion of Consumerism or Market Capitalism or Things That Are Expensive or White Things in Bright White Boxes. But I do believe in, on a fundamental level, *attribution.* You can read any Creative Commons license, any of the dozens of major open source licenses, and attribution is built into the terms – even of the Copyleft agreements.

    Let's look at the *prize* for this design contest (which ultimately determined that the site should look like It's the V-AMP3, which is built to look and sound like Line 6's POD series.

    How much does this save you? Well, you can buy Behringer's fake-Gucci knockoff from Zzounds for $129:–BEHVAMP3

    Or you could buy Line 6's Pocket POD, from the elite, evil, price gouging original maker, for… uh…


    Hell, I don't know, maybe the Behringer actually sounds better or something, but generally what I've found is that their quality is highly *variable* – it's hit or miss. So if the quality is variable, the product isn't original, there are aesthetic rip-offs that insult your intelligence, and you have other choices that are either worth spending a little more or can be acquired for the same amount of cash… yeah, it's just hard to be a big fan of Behringer.

  • How do you sleep at night, Uli?

  • Rotten Core

    You missed my point though i think,which is just that Apple are big, powerful and rich enough to to get through this "ordeal" without the need for the moral support of it`s loyal consumers coming to their defense.

    You can`t be at the top and not expect people to take pot-shots at you.

    The two companies obviously have differing models for the way they work, and are both succesful in their own right, even if they got their by different means.

    No biggy.

  • Okay, that makes sense — but yeah, I'm not particularly concerned about Apple being the victim here. I think they'll do okay. Their site has been copied countless times, as I said, going back to the late 90s when they unveiled this basic structure… sometimes it's actually kind of mystifying. I mean, it's a good design, but does every site online need to look like it?

  • @domtak

    Ha! Fantastic though not surprising – almost every large corporate client I've ever had the (un)pleasure to work with has asked their site to be like Apple's.

    Naughty naughty.

  • Our reactions here are exacerbated by Behringer's earlier association to copying hardware — compounding it makes their website lookalike more pronounced. The most Apple-esque elements here include:

    * White-gray gradients

    * Spotlight search in upper-right

    * Rounded corners and neatly-segmented product line (on the surface, anyway)

    (Ad blurbs themselves aren't unique to Apple but seem Apple-esque when placed within the above graphical elements.)

    So a question I ask is (related to what Peter said): what purpose does Behringer's lookalike design serve? Even as a copy, the familiarity could breed comfort. But there's also the risk of disorientation, when one doesn't have a memorable identity. (Ableton is one of the better companies in this area, from typefaces to attitude.) For individual artists, it also brings to light those who work as imitators or impersonators — it pays the bills! — rather than risk going out on a creative limb to innovate and be copied in turn.

    Also remember: Mac app devs are encouraged to follow Apple's UI guidelines. The same principles extend to the web. For instance, while Acrylic's website doesn't ape the look-and-feel to a letter, there's the Apple "convention" of clear headlines with benefits explained underneath, plus clean graphical layout to emphasize points:

    But speaking of that, OH HEY! Have you seen Access Music's site lately?

    And — perhaps it's telling there aren't more software emulations of Behringer's stuff? 😉

  • Joe

    Hilarious! Thanks Peter, great commentary too! Hooray 4 Interntz!

  • Simon Lacelle

    AHah when I saw the headline and the pic, I thought you'd talk about the blatant ripoff of the KRK Rokits' design (excellent speakers btw), then I saw the screenshot and laughed even more 😛

  • brett weldele

    As sleazy as some of the Behringer business model is, they seem to be changing the game a bit.

    Guitar pedals have always seemed a bit overpriced to me (though i love them).

    On one hand you have a $70 Memory Man clone The Vintage Time Machine competing against its $300+ original. Is the original really $250 better. Debatable for sure.

    Then almost like a response, EH announces the Sub $100 Memory Boy and Memory Toy analog delays. The marketplace is heating up.

  • Bobby

    Behringer has been making nothing but junk for decades, it's not even a secret. Their stuff sounds bad, doesn't last and is manufactured by the lowest of the low in asia. nothing, absolutely nothing, to see here, move along…

  • twilight_fish

    I like how no one wants to feed the troll… nice restraint gentlemen.

  • ehdyn

    Kudos to you Peter K. for taking this piss out of this shitty company.

    The sad fact is they end up costing budding musicians money and time.

    Sad fool buy's one of their monitors thinking they're saving some money-then the fucker blows out on you three months later.

    Now you have to buy real monitors and throw this crap in the trash.

    It's a vicious cycle.

    Would love to see the working conditions and standard of living at their factory in Asia.

  • @ehdyn

    You said it, Apple sucks. So many musicians have to buy a new macbook every year because they crap out. Then after the 3rd or 4th one, they finally get a PC, oh wait, no they don't, they still keep buying crap. I would love to see the working conditions in their factory in Asia. Oh wait, we heard about it, they're causing their workers to commit suicide.

  • Sotiris

    Take a look at the frontpage of
    Did they copy apple, too?

    Bottom line: Who cares?

    Are Apple/Behringer/Korg/etc. products good?

    That's what counts, not if they have similar webpage layout.

  • Alex

    Agaphte Sotiri 🙂 There is something you don't understand..When people buy a product and realize that other people can do similar things with a much cheaper product, they simply start arguing about the cheaper product and denying the good use of it because they feel like their money/product has not so much value anymore…the same thing happens with every device/company in music technology business for years..this is very common with "software vs hardware battles" too…

    Behringer generally doesn't produce good products. This is a fact that some of these people try to enhance because of their "complex" with better companies…The proof for this, is that no one cares about some relatively "good" products Behringer has made and they try to make Behringer look like a garbage recycling company.

    Suddenly all the people became "Defenders of Apple" without reason and worry for something that only Apple's web designers should be worried..anyway..i still don't care about the design of Behringer's or Apple's page, as long as it is good for reading and browsing..

  • Alex: Interesting theory — except you're hearing from people who have bought terrible Behringer products or seen products they know and love ripped off badly. I don't think anyone's dissing Behringer to make themselves feel good about themselves. Anyway, it's not about "cheap," not even about copying — it's about plagiarism, about skin-deep copies of another product. It's like watching an Elvis impersonator who believe that he's *actually Elvis*.

  • Alex

    @ehdyn & Simon about Behringer speakers: I understand that its funny the way Behringer copies some products, but some of these copies are very good on their own category…my old Behringers B2031 worked perfectly for 5-6 years and they were good enough for most of my work at that time. I had searched everywhere for speakers at the same price with the same specs, but i could only find smaller and useless (for me) versions of famous Behringers actually worked..i had "learnt" their sound and i believe that they helped me a lot when i didn't had more money to spend…these were not crappy speakers by anyway! They had a very basic quality as monitors but they were good at their levels of accuracy. We had even measured them with an MLS system at a laboratory where i worked and the results were much better than we expected.

  • Alex

    @Peter: so, what's the point Peter? The fake Elvis will never be like the real one, but if he can immitate him so good, then he has a real talent and some people who support him and believe that he is good at what he does…

  • Alex

    …and only the real King should care about his impersonators so much..

  • apoclypse

    Some of the comments here are rather silly.

    @Sotiris: Yes Korg did in fact rip off Apple's basic layout and design on their site. That's nothing new many sites have ripped off Apple's site design for years. Why, because it works. Its simple yet clean and elegant, easy to navigate and most layout engines on the market use this as their default. Its not a big deal. However Behringer went as far as stealing the actual look and feel of Apple's site, it basically is Apple's site without the things that actually make Apple's site good, such as javascript and all that cool css trickery they do on the site (all without requiring flash. That makes them saints in my book).

    This is nothing new for the company. They make knockoffs there is no reasonable argument against that fact. Whatever the quality of these products may be, they make money by stealing other people's designs. They did the same for Apple's site, its not a big deal really. Apple may or may not litigate. That's on them, but in this instance there is actual visible plagiarism and there is history on Behringer's part to contend with.

    No one here is defending Apple They are defending good taste. Its bad form to go this far when syphoning designs from another. It treads on the very thin line between theft and inspiration. Imo, Behringer has their foot fully planted on the theft side of things.

  • Damon

    Yep, clear clone, but if I may play devil's advocate here, how many elements need be changed before it becomes an Apple inspired site rather than an Apple cloned site? Anyone who has set up a page knows there are only so many creative choices you can make, or templates you can choose from, before a site becomes more interesting than user friendly.

    Were Behringer to change merely the colors, it may appear so unique as to invite no immediate comparison to the Apple site. But here we then have a situation where one can essentially cause a proverbial Ferrari to be confused with a proverbial Honda. And were you to paint a cloned Ferrari, Honda Green, would that be Honda ripping off Ferrari, or a difference that distinguishes Kia FROM Ferrari?

    And what if we were to superimpose this discussion over the time proven "that base line sounds KINDA familiar" bone to pick? Would we all magically begin observing conspicuous differences between the Apple and Behringer sites, or simply conclude that all your best web designers wisely clone previously proven web sites?

    Only Asking,



    And I would not conclude Behringer makes crappy gear, as has been noted by Mr. Kirn They actually make extraordinary gear if you consider what you pay for it. Does a Honda Civic suck? Not even! Well, maybe a Honda Civic sucks if you can afford a Ferrari.

  • ehdyn


    You won't find me defending Apple. I was just at this store hoping and wishing for a PC that didn't look and feel like utter crap to replace my old G4 laptop(never had a problem).

    If anyone knows of one please send a link.

    After Apple pulled this latest stunt attempting to outlaw modifications to Iphones so "terrorists" and "drug dealers" don't use them I'm swearing off the RDF juice. This has huge implications for all of us.

    @Other Alex

    Cool that you had a good experience with your speakers. I've never heard that about Behringer before.

  • @Damon: Copying is a continuum, sure. This would be the extreme of that continuum.

    You know, the thing that puzzles me here is the perception that Behringer offers phenomenal savings. I don't know the guitar side of things, but as far as studio / controllers / mixers / monitors, etc., I don't see it. Mackie and Line 6 *are* the Honda Civic. Sometimes they have competitive products at the same price.

    It's not hard to look around the world and see how dangerous the idea that cheaper is always better could be. But anyway, you don't even have to make that choice here. You can shop around and invest your money – even small amounts of it – in something that you can afford that will repay that investment.

  • Roger

    Ah I remember the good ol' days when you could buy Mackie Replacement parts (which where cheaper) for your Behringer and they would work perfectly.

    Should be interesting to see how the Apple Legal team reacts and how the Behringer Legal team will figure out how to get away with it like they always do.

  • Damon

    It is never my assumption that cheaper is always better, as that is an absurd premise, but you look at the gear so many very established artists had to rely on to get the job done, and you find cheap was the difference between getting somewhere or nowhere.

    And I agree with your Mackie/Honda, comparison adjustment. I had originally thought Kia before Honda. And Kia, coincidently, is starting to be compared with Honda and Toyota.

    And I should note, having read my share of recording and electronic music magazines, I have seen Behringer gear mixed in with very high end gear in at least 1 or more pro studio photos.

    But my point was less about Behringer specifically, and more about companies whose sole purpose and philosophy is to produce only budget minded gear. How can that be a bad thing?



  • Alex

    @Damon: With my job, i have been in many studios and i always see Behringer gear mixed with high end gear…for some applications you just don't need something better or more expensive.

    @Peter: No, Behringer doesn't offer phenomenal savings at all of their products line, but some of their products can do much more than what you pay them for..also, you can find them in ridiculous prices some time after their release. This doesn't happen to many companies..

  • Man oh man… they call themselves a Company, a Brand, and they can't even get a half decent website.. Are they doing the same thing with their products?

  • Pingback: Behringer die Klon-Maschine | Mururoar | audiophilosophie()

  • mike ferrell

    Well, it seems that various intellectual property laws are involved here. If Behringer is really such a rip-off, why aren't the ripped off pursuing that legally? Maybe they are actually not doing anything that would be illegal? In which case "rip-off" becomes a subjective term. One man's rip-off is another man's bargain. My definition of "rip-off" has to do with profit margins. Who makes more money per item sold? Apple or Behringer? Where does that addition markup come from? Me and you. Who is the rip-off artist?

  • I'm sorry; I think I got over-involved in the comment thread rather than allowing the discussion to evolve on its own. And my strong feelings may have come across as defensiveness or a criticism of other folks here, which I did not imply.

    That said, let me simply explain the larger context I may not have made clear in the original post.

    I'm not anti-budget. I think it's possible to make budget gear without copying the look, feel, control layout, and in the past allegedly even circuit design of your competitors. There is a history here which I may not have been clear about. There was legal action against Behringer by Mackie in 1999. Behringer ultimately prevailed, so I don't think legally – realizing how murky these things are legally – you can make a call. They were sued again in 2005/2006 by Roland Corporation, and while settlement terms are confidential, they evidently did change the look and feel of their pedals.

    Not all Behringer products are designed to look like someone else's product, but a number of higher-profile products are, as are the speakers in the screen capture from the new site. So, it's in that context that I brought up this issue of their new website, after I read a press release from them on its unveiling. As I said in the story, many, many sites copy Apple's design. I don't expect you'll see any action by Apple, and to me, that's not really the point.

    If you have strong feelings about the matter – including if you disagree with my take – then you should feel free to express them. This appears to be a divisive issue, so perhaps to pretend otherwise would be disingenuous. I think it's partly my job to bring up hot-button issues. I should have simply made a comment that explained more clearly the background against which I'm looking at the issue and then stepped aside, rather than getting in the fray, so please – feel free to discuss.

  • Torley has a good point which may have been missed further up – even Access, who do *not* make cheap gear, have decided to clone the Apple site. Now, I think if you look closer at Behringer and Apple, you'll find that exact gradient values, pixel widths, color weights all over the site get cloned, which is not true of Access. But in fairness, I find Access' site frustrating, too. I get the fascination with white and clean, but why not execute that with your own design? It implies Apple's site is some sort of model for everything else in a way I certainly can't agree with, even without the context of something like Behringer's history.


    It's been done forever.

    Hey, Peter,why aren't you asking yourself – why does CDM look like so many other blog sites?

    I think it's because designers realize that there are certain advantages in others' design that warrant being copied or at least somewhat incorporated into their own designs…

    Look at G&L guitars – Fender anyone?

    Look at Tarrantino's films – he has made a career out of copying other people's styles.

    Look at Beethoven's early work and compare it to Hayden.

    Look at pretty much any popular design and I guarantee you it's not completely original.

    All I'm saying is, Apple doesn't deserve credit for being the first because they put a grey bar at the top of the page and a couple pictures on the bottom. The cult of Apple is what offends me most about this article. As you can tell from my previous comments.

    I mean, look at every band that's come out on a major label for the past 10 years! People copy! That's what we do!

    Either way, I love your blog, even if you're copying . haha! Thanks Peter! 🙂

  • @Alex: So your music is just a banal copy of Top 40 hits? 😉

  • That was such a great read! hahahahaha! I've always wanted to find sites that said something regarding Behringer's "Photocopier" modal. I too laughed out loud, and have never found reading the legal "terms of use" so entertaining. Thanks again!

  • exbehringer

    Interesting discussion. I have worked at Behringer for around 6 years and I have to say I enjoyed the time there. I am not saying I agreed with everything in the Company but then which company is perfect?

    You might be surprised but Behringer is a very well organized company with 150 engineers (US, Germany, Philippines and China) and 3500 employees worldwide. During my time I enjoyed a great team spirit and Uli is still heavily involved as he cares about the people and products. Most engineers I have come across are musicians and yes while they look at all competitors' products, their engineers always put lots of effort in pushing the technical envelope. The company has many patents.

    Also the quality efforts in their own factory is pretty high and they apply lots of Toyota quality systems. I think there are some YouTube videos around.

    I agree that some of the older products where too close to the competitors' models but look what they have released recently? There is no other product in the market that competes with the BCR2000/BCF2000 as these are truly unique products. Also the DEQ2496 is a great piece with no comparison. Uli's philosophy has always been to provide good and inexpensive equipment to musicians and knowing him, I can tell you that he means it as he is a musician himself.

    Everyone is entitled to his/her opionion but I believe this discussion is somewhat over the top. Look how many companies get inspired by the Apple site and using grey background just makes lot of sense as it is a clean design and the colored products stick out. I find the new site much better than the old crappy one. Best of all it's now ten times faster.

    Sorry I might be a bit biased as I truly liked working there. Just my 2 cents:-)

  • math

    what is the point of this article ?

    did you code your weblog yourself?

    or did you use an open source script?

    webdesign is about copying ,

    art is about creative stealing.

    who are you to point the finger at anyone?

    did apple invented their own design ? no they stole it too …

    This is the stupidest article i've ever red.

    what it has to do with music and creation?

    you dont like behringer ? just dont buy their product.

    But in some countries , southern countries , poor musicians can olny afford low cost gear made by behringer.

    Have you thought about them before critisizing that brand ? have you thought about the chinese people that have a job thanks to behringer so they can at least feed their family ?

    the hell no , typicall dumb nothern folk point of view…

    i wont read that blog anymore , it disgusts me…

  • math

    by the way apple is using bsd and unix structure in the osx , i'd like you to make an article about how apple is stealing linux to sell some crappy computers to nerds , cause that is the apple business model , we take some freebees , we invest all the RandD in packaging , and we sell the gear twice the price it is worth.

    it would be yet anothe nice article on your so called blog…

  • math

    all in all i was used to more constructive articles on that blog.

    critisizing a brand leads to nothing and is very stupid.

    berhinger may have bad products , but has very good products too…

    a brand is not all good or all bad , apple is not all good (exploding iphones ) , maudio ( midiman used to do very bad products oxygen controllers for exemple ) , akai controllers are crappy yet they used to make good samplers , and bashing an entire brand , says more about the stupidity of the author of the article than the brand itself…

  • drongo

    I operate a website that is popular in it's niche, and we have been ripped off again and again. As we're a small company there's not much we can do about it, and the culprits know this. The real irritating thing is almost of the consumers of the various sites know about ours and have used it for years – and they have NO PROBLEM accepting these sites which have clearly stolen lots from us. On the other hand, when people imitate their own creations they get all up in arms – it would seem like they'd know how we feel, but they don't care. And it's a lot more personal for us than a company like Apple.

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  • Timo

    I agree with Math. What a stupid article.

    Does Apple own white and grey? What has Behringer copied? A white page with grey background?

    Why are so many using white and grey? Because it's what people want as we're all tired of cluttered pages and noisy colors.

    Look up the Behringer product pages and they have nothing to do with Apple. Complete different layout, fonts, icons etc. Get real…

  • Franko

    I like Behringer. I have a full studio of Behringer and the gear always worked fine for many years. I think some of the people here are Behringer's competitors and try to smear them. That's not the first time I have seen this.

    And I actually love the design of the new website:-)

  • ToneOfMouth

    Behringer copied Apple???? This discussion is hilarious. Their old site was shite as it had way too many colors.

    The new design is spot on and I like it a lot. More power to Behringer as they enabled me have a great studio.

    A happy user of their gear.

  • clement

    i agree with toneofmouth,

    if it's more user-friendly, then why not?

    anyway, everybody copied apple's graphics,

    because it's good…(and sober so everybody can appreciate it)

    we could give tons of examples of others brands taking that shiny white & grey look…

    that said

    Behringer should find a new logo too

    cause the actual is quite ugly looking…

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  • Patrick

    I won't comment on the site redesign. Who cares?

    Regarding Behringer quality, I imagine it's variable across their (many, many) products. But they certainly don't uniformly produce crap. I have a DEQ2496 Digital Audio Processor that is a highly sophisticated piece of gear and an amazing value. It also performs flawlessly. So thank you, Behringer. Well done.

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  • If ony behringer didn't rip off other companies. I use a bcr-2000, it didn't seem like a rip-off. I like it a lot.

    I have a virtualizer effect unit, a mixing board from them. They work properly but aren't high end.

    I liked them back then. Products seemed inspired from other brands but were way cheaper. The mackie board similar to my behringer one was twice the price…

    Nowadays… I don't know what to think. On one hand, they enable people to make music while on a budget. On the other, making money of other people's designs isn't acceptable to me.

    I wonder if they rebuild products that do the same thing or if they carbon copy the internals of such products…

    Their website's copy of Apple's design might be a bad move. I don't think people will forget this one anytime soon.

    Still, it's funny !

  • I've recently purchased two pieces of recent Behringer gear. The first was the UMA25s Audio/Midi controller (about $130) because of its positive reviews and the value/cost over similar controllers. I've been extremely happy with this purchase so with my new-found confidence in Behringer, I purchased a Xenyx 8 input-2 bus mixer next (about $70).

    Why purchase such inexpensive gear? Because I can't really afford anything else. With a wife, a kid and a mortgage, I have to buy things very carefully. Also, I only use a debit card rather than buying on credit.

    My "studio" consists of an EEEpc 901 HA (about $350) for my computer an external monitor ($100). I use Cakewalk Music Creator 4 (about $35) for my DAW. The Cakewalk software came with a couple of very nice VST instruments and I've found tons of free instruments on-line or through Computer Music magazine, though the bulk of the stuff on their DVDs does not really work that well on my computer.

    I also have one of those inexpensive M-Audio 49 key controllers you can get at Best Buy on sale for about $79. Finally, I monitor my mixes using a pair of headphones that came with the Behringer UMA25s.

    With this setup, I've been able to create music that keeps me happy and that my friends and family have enjoyed. And this music making fun cost me about $750.

    I wish I had unlimited funds to purchase the kind of stuff the big boys use but I just don't. So I shop wisely and frugally. I love music and I love writing my silly instrumental pieces and my reasonably cheap gear has worked really well for me!


  • Gringo
  • Tranic

    please don't forget to call out (really)! I was pretty surprised at how blatantly they copied Apple's site

  • Tom Hilwirth

    I love Behringer. My studio is full of it and I never had a problem with the products.

    All the ranting comes either from competitors or people who have never tried the stuff.

    More power to Behringer!

  • Bassbuzz
    Behringer is hiring lots of people. Their biz must be pretty good in times when everyone is downsizing.

  • Mário

    Well. after reading all of this, Behringer does remind me of someone that did ripoffs in is early years (i think he still does it), it sounds like Behringer if following the example of Bill Gates in ripping off other people stuff.

    Well i guess that the next ripoff will be the monome, or some equipment that is not made by a big organisation.

  • apoclypse

    @Math: Do you even know what OXS is? BSD is NOT Linux. Linux is just a kernel just like OSX uses its own mach variant kernel with some BSD systems thrown in. OSX doesn't remotely resemble Linux in any way shape or form except maybe in some command line tools which ARE NOT LINUX SPECIFIC. It just happens that there are Linux equivalents of the same tools, which you could find equivalents across all unices.

    Hardware wise, you may be right, but in the operating system front you are dead wrong. OXS is not a repackaged Linux, and imo is superior in architecture in almost every way to Linux in certain fronts (audio, windows server, application install, UI).

  • @apoclypse: yeah, people need to learn their acronyms. 😉

    GNU = GNU's Not Unix.

    XNU (the actual name for the kernel architecture on OS X) = XNU's Not UNIX. (They didn't say it's not Linux, but… that goes without saying.)

    OS X isn't really BSD, either – while it has BSD bits in it, so do most Linux distros.

    Now, actually, I think even some Mac users might question your superiority argument; the Mac *does* inherit the nightmarish Ports system for app installs that aren't Mac packages. 😉 Mac's app installers are great, but uninstall isn't. Linux packaging has its own problems, of course. Core Audio is terrific, but Linux does some things right – and Mac OS works even better when you add JACK.

    And all of this is off-topic. 😉

  • Mark Tremble

    I like sotiris' comment as he hit the nail

    Take a look at the frontpage of
    Did they copy apple, too?

    Bottom line: Who cares?

    Are Apple/Behringer/Korg/etc. products good?

    That’s what counts, not if they have similar webpage layout.

  • Sotiris

    After reading all these, i'm puzzled:

    If i buy a shiny new Apple computer and connect a shiny new pair of Behringer audio monitors to its audio outputs, would you label me "classy" or "cheap" ?

  • Luanmon

    I just laughed my ass off. This whole thread is hilarious and I have hardly read more stupid comments. Beringer is a cool company and I have lot of their gear.

    Why would I care about their website? Feel free to kick my shiny ass…

  • BadBass

    How many fender strat copies are out there in the market? What is all this noise about?
    I love my Behringer stuff as it has always exceeded my expectations. It may not the best but it works just fine for me and has never failed even after many years of tough use.
    But if you don’t like the brand, buy something else.

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  • Tonemaster

    I have a DDX3216 which is a killer digital mixer which is better than Yamaha. Even after 5 years it works like a charm. Behringer has helped me to build my studio without breaking the bank. The people form the customer service have always been helpful and friendly.

    Thank you Behringer!

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  • wow, pretty interesting man lol.

    But you gotta admit, it looks good. I'm used to seeing websites that have the same designs, I think this one is a little different because apple is such a popular site the everyone will immediately notice.

    It's a good design, and fits for showing of the product.

    But yes, they copied it lol…they definitely didn't "design" it.

  • and speaking of copying, why do their new monitors look very similar to the krk rokit series? lol.

  • Towerofpower

    Soundsofgear have you heard of Kevlar? It is only available in two colors black and yellow. Aside from the yellow kevlar diaphragm, what is similar to KRK?

    How about adam studio monitors?

  • Towerofpower

    Yellow kevlar disphragms? B&W

  • Mark Rupnet

    Isn't it the other way around that KRK ripped off Behringer's yellow color which they owned for 20 years? Give me a break.

  • Mark Rupnet

    Just looked at Does that look like Apple?

  • Lord Xenu Save Us!

    Long time reader here. Whats the name of this site again? Create digital – waaa? Maybe I fail to see how this post is related to music production in general, but it would be nice to see some posts about music making, tools, and things of this nature.

  • PooPoo the Korruptah

    i think peter kirn one ups Behringer in tragickness just for pointing this out to me. 1 i dont care for behringer and 2 neither do i for Apple!

    Apple are big boys and im sure they can handle it, and if Behringer can make a working copy of a product and sell it at a quarter of the price then good luck to them.

    Whats the problem here?

    I think all the BigBoys of business need more underdogs biting at their heels! Maybe then they'll go all out to give us better products cheaper. Shit like this keeps the fuckers real!

  • John

    So there's a tough dilemma to the Behringer Problem that I've yet to resolve for myself: The inexpensiveness of their products offers realistic options for folks who simply are unable to shell out the (and let's be real here) sometimes astronomically-priced pieces that are being copied. HOWEVER, the price of DEVELOPING (as in having an original idea and making it real) something is an intangible cost that will always be exponentially more valuable than ripping that idea off. Not to mention the cheap, destined-to-break-in-a-month materials they use for said copies.

    I personally have never owned a Behringer product, but as I said before, I suppose that some folks either don't know, don't care, or don't have any other options. Who I really feel sad for are the EMPLOYEES of the company who have to live with the fact that the sum of their life work is nothing but a cheap plastic punchline.

  • Hein Zwala

    Sorry Peter, but you lost on me on that one..americans seem to love to hate Behringer for some reason, i've followed this thread for for many years now. i think it had originally mostly to with them offering a real competitive alternative to Mackie gear..stores like Sam Ash even refused to carry their stuff since it destroyed their crappy Sampson gear.

    I think their price value ratio remains unmatched to this day and they offer a great choice to anybody who wants to save money..eventually something might break, but then i will happily go and buy a new one.

  • Heiner Weimar

    John, technology is availabel to anyone except if it is patented. That's how the world runs otherwise we would be still living in the trees. Companies who produce mixers never invented them.

    Quality? Behringer produces over 2 million products per year, offers 2 years warranty and even gives you a brand new one if it brakes within the warranty period. Who else does that and how could they possibly do it if their quality was not excellent? Ask service centers and find out that their failure rate (in ratio to sold quantities) is actually way below industry average. I have visited the Behringer in Germany and they are real nice people.

    Everyone is entitled to like Behringer or dislike them but we all should have an open mind and be fair.

  • Heiner:

    Actually, depending on where you live, that statement is incorrect, and it's certainly not correct for either Germany or the United States, the context for some of this discussion.

    I'm not an intellectual property lawyer, but I can at least be certain of some of this. Circuit layout is generally covered under some sort of copyright protection. That protection, like other copyrights, is automatic – no active copyright registration or patent registration is required.

    Now, that said, there are some very good arguments for free culture, patent-free innovation, and the like. If you really believe in those principles, however, you need to opt in. The law of the land is the law of the land. If you're a free culture advocate, you should check out efforts for patent-free technology, open source licensing, and Creative Commons licensing. Note that all these efforts work *within* the current framework of laws.

    I don't say this to criticize Behringer, I say this because some of the arguments being made here (boiling down to "anyone can do whatever they want") are simply not true. And the fact that Behringer protects its own work under this system of rules implies that they believe you should play by those rules. That doesn't mean I'm right and they're wrong, but it does mean that these matters can be up for discussion — with Behringer, and with anyone else, too.

    In fact, if you believe these laws are wrong, that's even *more* reason to have a frank discussion of how they work.

  • Heiner Weimar

    Peter, thanks for your comment and you have a point. You are correct that there is a automatic protection for schematics, layouts etc. BUT this goes only for the artwork and not for the content. In other words you can't use a competitor's schematics but you can reverse engineer its product and draw out the schematic which is an absolute legitimate way to design. Google "reverse engineering" and that's how any industry works.

    The technology used in analog mixers is 30 years old and there is hardly anything new except that opamps and other parts got better over time.

    Software. You can't copy someones code but you can reverse engineer its function by writing your own code. Again perfectly legal.

    The reason why Behringer won the lawsuit against Mackie is because while they did reverse engineer some products but never used their schematics or layouts. This is perfectly legal and also ethical as written in any law book.

    Ironically many of Behringer's products are now copied as you can see with Alto, Phonic etc. And btw you can check that Behringer has a large R&D department with 160 engineers all over the world with software engineers in Germany and the US, many patents and even Uli Behringer holds some himself.

    I hope I don't come across to defend them but I know some of the people in the German R&D facility and these are fine engineers who came up with amazing products such as the DEQ2496, DCX2496, FBQ2496, DSP2024, BCR2000, BCF2000, DDX3216 which are absolutely unique. All I am trying to say is that Behringer is constantly attacked, often by competitors just to discredit them for their own benefits. Is that ethical?

    My question to you is why didn't you cry foul when Gibson or Access used the Apple design why before Behringer designed their new site? Also when you look at Behringer's product pages and its icons, you will see that these are completely different from Apple.

  • Heiner Weimar

    Actually you can see on Behringer's site that they posted around 10 different web designs ( – look at the bottom) and asked people in a poll which one they liked. The majority of the people must have voted for the Apple inspired design and hence that's what Behringer went for. At least they asked the customers.

    I believe the Apple design is one of the most used design but for a reason. It is very functional and clean. But what exactly is it? A grey navigation bar, a main and four sub windows. Everything is grey/white/subtle to make sure the colored product pictures stick out. That makes a lot of sense and I understand why people like. I like it, too:-)

  • Well, I picked up on the Website for Behringer simply because Behringer sent a newsletter item and press release about the site redesign, which seems a bit — optimistic, let's say. I was unaware of the Gibson example. I think it's less blatant, but also unfortunate. That's been discussed throughout comments, though easily to lose that in the nearly two hundred comments.

    It's possible Behringer is being attacked unethically, but I do think there was at least some case in those that I cited. Now, that was over a relatively small number of products across their product line.

  • Heiner Weimar

    Peter, why don't you do an interview with Uli Behringer and also write about the inside of the Company? I am sure this would interest your readership and also give you a chance to discuss sensitive topics. I am sure Uli would be happy to talk to you. Just a suggestion:-)

    You can reach him through the Corporate Communication department

  • Key

    Peter, I think Heiner has a point. Why don't you do an interview with Uli Behringer? Great topic.

  • ???

    "Not reinventing the wheel" might be a more positive way of putting how Behringer designed their site. =)

    I like the new site layout!

  • Ron

    Does it remind you of something?

  • Kurotenshi

    Just so you know, that was technically a Behringer fans rip of because new website designs were up for submission and voting for a long time, people like that design so thats what they made.

  • Gonheeb
  • Apple’s Ipad 2 is the fastest way to surf the Internet. I love mine! It’s much better than anything

  • Bill Grates

    Whingeing and whining Apple acolytes (Apolytes?), tell me something new!

    And on the seventh day Steve Jobs invented the mp3 player – actually it was created two decades before Apple unleashed their shiny, fragile poor quality players.
    Apple OS is basically Unix and the hardware is Intel! How original.
    I won’t touch Apple products because they are drenched in the blood of Chinese workers – killing themselves in droves at the Foxconn – but you keep fretting about plagiarism!

  • Bill Grates

    Whingeing and whining Apple acolytes (Apolytes?), tell me something new!

    And on the seventh day Steve Jobs invented the mp3 player – actually it was created two decades before Apple unleashed their shiny, fragile poor quality players.
    Apple OS is basically Unix and the hardware is Intel! How original.
    I won’t touch Apple products because they are drenched in the blood of Chinese workers – killing themselves in droves at the Foxconn – but you keep fretting about plagiarism!

  • Bill Grates

    Whingeing and whining Apple acolytes (Apolytes?), tell me something new!

    And on the seventh day Steve Jobs invented the mp3 player – actually it was created two decades before Apple unleashed their shiny, fragile poor quality players.
    Apple OS is basically Unix and the hardware is Intel! How original.
    I won’t touch Apple products because they are drenched in the blood of Chinese workers – killing themselves in droves at the Foxconn – but you keep fretting about plagiarism!