Do made in USA products actually have substantially better quality than made in China products?

Hmm, it depends on which product.

You see, in China there’s a vast array of different products manufactured to meet different price points. Most people associate Made in China with low cost products and if it’s low cost, then quality control and materials is bound to be lower as well. After all, there’s a reason why the product is cheap, and its most likely because cost cutting measures were taken into place.

Now, when we come into the high end Chinese brands, or USA brands that are made in China – Huawei, Xiaomi, FiiO, Shanling, Oppo, Hifiman, DJI, Zhiyun are a few of the higher end Chinese brands, then when we look at USA brands manufactured in China like Dell, or HP, or Apple or Microsoft, then we can say the quality is pretty equivalent there. Generally the prices for USA brands manufactured in China tend to be higher than Chinese brands.

But there’s also products that are made in the USA, and these happen to be very expensive, usually boutique brands and are usually limited to some space. Examples include Gibson guitars, Martin Guitars, Fender Guitars, Ayre Acoustics or McIntosh Power Amplifiers, Wilson Audio Speakers, Grado headphones, Audioquest or Kimber Kable cables, Custom guitar pedals, Oak and Oscar or Detroit Watch Company watches, Mission Workshop or Brown Buffalo or DEFY backpacks, Empire Ears or Noble Audio IEMs etc like very high end products and these usually cost hundreds or thousands of dollars more than the equivalent made in China product. Are they better quality then made in China products? Well yes in general they are, and they should be, because the prices are much, much higher and cost of labor is a lot higher in the USA. Are they worth the thousands of dollars of price premium over made in China products? probably not. I mean, you could buy 20 made in China acoustic guitars for the price of one USA-made Martin guitar.

There’s also some bigger companies in the US that manufacture some lines that are in made in the US i.e True Religion Jeans or New Balance Sneakers – the made in USA line are their highest line and the most expensive and again – more expensive than the made in Asia versions by a considerable factor.

The money you save by buying a high end Chinese or made in China product is probably a better value than buying a made in USA product, because made in USA products, although better quality overall and in general, are usually much much more expensive and I personally don’t feel that the difference in quality is worth the price premium, but it may be to some people (out of patriotism and thats why made in USA products tend to be very premium boutique brands.