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Accessories: Monster Dr. Dre Beats Pro Unboxing/Review

| April 28, 2012 | 14 Replies

 

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)

Packaging/Box

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.

 

Build/Materials:

  • 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.
They feel solid, definitely weighty. Build wise, as mentioned I thought they would be super solid but for some reason, one of the hinges on my first pair was faulty and flopped around. I’ll get back to you on how this feels in a week. I’m even more super careful with this one now (though I already was after my error with  my first pair of BH-905).
The Beats Pro can extend to change fit for the size of your head, and they also have a hinge that allows the arms to swing.
Some people find this useful to have just one cup on an ear and the other cup bent. I have no use for this, especially since they actually bend backwards so you’d have to put the left cup on your right ear. I’m very worries that the hinge might break to quickly again. The band is in leather, thickly padded.

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.

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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.

Appearance

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.

Comfort

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)

I don’t know why, perhaps my ears have shrunk, but with this new pair, my ears sit in them better and they’re more comfy. You can still certainly tell they’re on your head unlike some other lighter headphones. When putting them on, you can kind of try to scoop your ears in so they fit inside the padded area as opposed to merely being pressed against it. I will need more time on this.

Sound

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.

Sound Isolation/Leakage

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.

Accessories:

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.


 

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Category: Accessories, Unboxing

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at mynokiablog.com and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and  Facebook.com/mynokiablog. Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@)mynokiablog.com or email me directly on jay[at]mynokiablog.com
  • S2korpio

    Want something with a bigger cup and also less sweating? Sennheiser HD 598. Unfortunately it leaks sound 100% because it’s open.

    • v57

      U should try sennheiser 448 close back+ fiio e11 headphone amplifire.best pair with my nokia n8.sound superb .better then monster.and money wise sennheiser 448 cost u£70 in uk.and fiio e11 cost u £35.total £105.and quality of sound better than monster.

      • s2korpio

        Why should I when I already got the 449? ;-)

    • Dave

      In general any sennheiser will sound massively better than anything from monster, who are justifiably reknowned for producing lousy sounding overhyped overpriced rubbish.

      I recently tried pretty much their whole range. All were dire, and the much publicised bass wasn’t anything special.

    • James

      Yup & open circumaural’s are widely known to be generally better SQ overall.
      Only downside is they’re not the best for confined public spaces.
      I’m a bigger fan of Audio-Technica’s (Japanese) but Sennheiser (German) are excellent too.
      Have a few can’s from both….

  • Hypnopottamus

    I’ve never been a fan of these. They are tuned for hip hop or any bass heavy style of music. For that I guess it would sound great. But if you listen to something like jazz or folk/acoustic or even indie rock, it’s a little muffled in the mid-high range. Just depends on what you listen to.

    • Dave

      Doesn’t matter what you listen to, they don’t flatter any style of music.

      And as for being a little muffled, you may as well listen with a thick sweater between your ears and the phones for the detail they (don’t) provide).

      Jay – sorry for the negativity about these ‘phones, but Monster/Dr Dre are nothing to do with audio quality, they’re purely a branding/rip-off exercise.

      • Mazze

        +1

  • XFCE-Desktop

    HTC bought half of the “Beats by Dre” company. I’m sure Dr. Dre is happy to have gotten all that money last year.

    • James

      And the guy that oversaw that whole initiative was recently demoted & moved ‘side-ways’ within HTC.
      Story about it the other day at Engadget….

  • stylinred

    their cans look nice (expected for fashion pieces i suppose) shame the sound is shite

  • Reonhato

    I don’t really like other people’s name written in big@ss letters on top of my headphones :(

    • Roc

      Yea, i honestly want a decent noise cancelling set that is bassy. I love my ATH M50s, but I don’t like taking them everywhere because I don’t want them to break. I don’t mind the beats (well if they were cheaper), but I honestly feel ashamed of wearing them outside if I had them. It’s the opposite for me compared to the people who buy them just to look cool. For those who buy it without the need to garner attention then that’s great as they won’t mind. But I know far too many others who bought it to look cool and don’t know a thing about audio quality. I don’t want to be grouped with them. I guess in that regard, I’m self-conscious in another direction. If these were plain and unnoticeable I would be more inclined to get them. The detox edition is a lot more low key (except it says detox on top), but doesn’t stand out like these do still. I’d even get the white ones if they didn’t have so much lettering on them either.

  • http://www.artelbowler.n.nu/ Beat by dre pas cher

    There’s definately a great deal to learn about this topic. I like all the points you have made.

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