We see Beats headphones all over town, but up until this point, have never had a pair on our ears for review. Our time has come, though, with a new pair of Studio cans with noise cancelling delivering music to our head for the past few days.
Arriving in a big box, the Beats Studio by Dr. Dre headphones are noise cancelling headphones designed to work best with smartphones and media players, such as the iPod Touch and iPhone, and other devices including those running Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and 8.
Designed to be compact, the headphones are fashioned in plastic and feature a hinged design making them fold up on each side, with two types of detachable cable, one of which features a remote with microphone.
There’s more than just headphones and cable in the box, with a quarter inch headphone jack converter, two AAA batteries needed for operating the headphones, and a carrying bag, as well as several small manuals, cleaning cloth, Beats headphone catalogue, and a sticker or two.
The Beats brand has certainly done a lot to improve the look of headphones over the years, taking them from the basic black pads to something a little more deserving of the eye catchers that everyone is now trying to make, and in the 2013 edition of the Beats Studio, it’s more of what we’ve seen on the heads of the fashionable.
Our review unit came in a massive red box that weighed more than the headphones ever could.
Once you pulled this apart – and it really is a nicely packed box – we found the shiny metallic blue headphones with matt vinyl black padding on the neck and of course the ears.
The Beats logo on the outside of each ear is in a shiny brushed metal, with the left ear revealing a battery compartment underneath and the right ear a noise cancellation switch.
Style is always a matter of personal taste, but we’re certainly not offended by the look of these. We liked the yellow of the Monster Purity Pro, and we like the blue here too, but they’re very different from the traditional black that most headphones come with.
The Beats headphones are also quite comfortable, which is surprising since the slant of the ear pads is a little sharper than we’re used to.
Despite this, they feature a reasonable amount of give, and fit snugly around part of our ears. This probably makes them closer to supra-aural cans rather than the larger circumaural designs, but they’re still comfortable without making your ears sweat.
Which is good, because nobody likes ear sweat. Nobody.
Switch the headphones on and you’ll actually get the chance to hear them, which is a requirement for these headphones. These aren’t passive cans, so you need to have two AAA batteries inside, flip the switch and see the tiny red LED light up, otherwise there’ll be no sound for your ears.
Once you do, the music can start flowing, provided you have one of the two cables attached: either the straight cable without a remote, or the one with.
The aforementioned cable is one area where these headphones win praise, with extremely solid build that feels like it can take some good solid tugs. It really is your standard cable, so there is unfortunately no flattening here to stop the cable from becoming a wound up mess, but it does feel better and thicker than your average headphone cord, so expect it so last longer.
Even if it doesn’t, the headphone cord is detachable from the cans, so you can always bring your own if the case may be.
Unless you have an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), the remote is more or less useless, only serving to work as pause, play, and picking up phone calls for those of us with Android or Windows Phone, or anything else for that matter. You can use the microphone on it, but that’s about it.