Got a couple more unboxings to go today (actually filmed yesterday). This is the first of the Monster branded headphones, the ones they’re probably most known for now, Beats. These come in various ranges, with the actual headphones starting at the Solo, Studio and then Pro.
To see what the fuss is all about we have these to try. I actually had the black one only last week, but contrary to reviews it’s not quite built like a tank as one of the hinges just became really lose, flopping around like a broken arm. With the replacement we also picked the alternative ‘white’. Oddly they seem a lot more comfortable than the black one (they didn’t squeeze my ears so much). They are heavy, a lot heavier than say the BH-905 or the Purity that you’ll see in the next post.
This was meant to be more of an unboxing but I thought I’d share some more info since I’ve had a pair of these for over a week and I’d like to concentrate more on the Purity HDs next week (and possibly some Play 360s).
These can be picked up for around £160 on eBay but I’m not sure those are real.
On Amazon they retail for £279.90 (the black was previously £230)
Clean, premium looking. The sleeve houses a box that comes in either red (for the black Pros) or white which folds open to reveal the accessories.
- Mix of metal and leather, with strong rubbery plastic for the cables, and plastic(?) for the outer cups.
- The leather will either be all black or all white. Cables always red.
The cable is awesome. This is detachable to either left or right side. It is thick and tangle free. Try to bundle it into the usual pile that would cause reverse Houdini knots to spontaneously form in lesser cables causes this to spring back. The thickness is also good for durability. They’ve also attached a 6.5mm jack which can screw over the 3.5mm if you need it. This is attached by a rubbery band that you can loop around the 3.5mm jack if you wanted to take it off. There’s also a telephone cord like portion that’s quite excellent for extending and stretching the cables slightly without pulling on them.
You can attach the cable to either left or right side, and the opposite free 3.5mm becomes a line out where you can ‘daisy chain’, i.e. attaching another headphone to listen to the same song.
They look great, certainly eye catching, if not more so simply because of the silly red b. The two main styles available are the white and black, both with the metal cups. There is a ‘Detox’ Edition that’s mostly all black.
I’m guessing most people would opt for Beats because of their brand presence. They’re the headphones people know about, and without much experience, attribute that they’re something good to consider. Furthermore, they’re more of a fashion thing. I’m seeing a lot more bright big over-ear headphones now than the past few years when it was mostly hidden away in those earphones/in-earphones. I someone like the shape of the ‘studio’ version of these better but I do also really like this outrageous huge over ear thing. In fact, I would actually like the cups to be even bigger.
Perhaps it’s something I got used to, but with the black ones, the first time I used them, they really hurt my ears after just an hour of using them. My ears felt warm and for very long periods, they got slightly sweaty. This primarily because the cups can’t fit around your ear if you just rest the headphones on (some other headphones can sit on your ears like a cloche)
Sound quality – will need to get back to you on this too. I’m not an audiophile but I can say the sound is quite alright if you’re into hip-hop/r’n'b, bassy tracks etc, though there are other options to look into if you’re really just after a particular sound of headphones. Note, also make sure the source/output of your music is high quality, e.g. 320kbps.
Some say the bass is heavy but I’d say that even cheap in-ears have more of that rumble due to the nature of passive vacuum seal. It is quite distinct enough. Mids and highs are quite ok. The overall experience to the sound is very pleasant, though purist after sound quality first may wish to steer away. You will definitely hear some good instrument separation. I haven’t been listening through decent headphones in a while so I was really surprised to hear the same track I’ve been listening too for a while sound so different/clear.
Volume differs greatly depending on what device you plug this into. With phones I can put them to about 60-70% to cut out the surroundings without being too loud. On laptops, well, let’s say Spotify is on Max, I’d put the volume at about 5%. This will again vary. Point: sufficiently loud, especially on laptops (actually painfully loud).
They work quite nicely on both my N9/800 on identical tracks (identical bitrates to desktop). The L shape of the 3.5mm jack connector is very welcome as it bends around the device and doesn’t just stick out.
Depending on how loud your surroundings are, these have very good passive sound isolation as they create a good enough seal around your ears (with the headbands pushing tightly to cup around your ears).
They aren’t as good in passive sound isolation as in ears that create that sound vacuum in your ears but they’re pretty good. If you try some in-ears and walk along busy traffic, it’s almost impossible to hear that though you would still hear some slight murmurs with these but none too distracting. A comment made by friends are that they can’t hear what I’m listening to, as opposed to others with over ears where there’s annoying sound leakage.
There is a leather bag that’s pretty much useless. I’d prefer a harder case. They don’t really fit the headphones.
There’s also a cleaning cloth and some manuals.