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Lady Gaga Heartbeats In-Ear Headphones Review


heartbeats4When we got up close and personal with the Lady Gaga Heartbeats back in September we were automatically drawn to the the whole fashion meets technology angle. Lets face it, Lady Gaga epitomizes that concept. We finally got our hands on a review sample of the Heartbeats and lets just say, it’s not a bad romance.

At the press conference way back in September Lady Gaga, stated the reason for the design of a triangle was to exemplify the three things she would die without: love, fashion, and writing. So the earbud is shaped as a triangle and the design inset inside that triangle is a bunch of  smaller triangles. You can also see that no detail was spared even on packaging design as well. There is an easy magnetic pull tab to open the package, just like the Beats by Dr. Dre packaging. Included with the earphones is a triangle shaped carrying case which resembles the triangle shaped earbud – just much larger. There are also two additional silicone eartips included for those that have different size ear canals.

The actual Heartbeats have details that you won’t find on other earbuds too, for instance a heart surrounds both notations for the left and right earbud. The beats logo is placed subtly on another part of the angle of the triangle bud, as is the Monster logo. Lady Gaga’s signature also adorns the center of the Heartbeats cable where the cable management hardware is. The Heartbeats cable is made of the same kind of tangle-free wire used by the Beats by Dr. Dre In-Ear Headphones.  When Monster and Lady Gaga fused this concept of music and fashion, they made sure not to leave any design aesthetic out. You could actually wear these earphones and not have to wear earrings at all, since they look a lot like a piece of jewelry hanging out of your ear.

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There is one caveat…these earphones are can not to be compared to the Monster Turbines or the Dr. Dre In-Ear Speakers. The Heartbeats are in a class of their own and honestly I do not think they are being marketed to the audiophiles who would use the Beats or Turbines.  Especially since I don’t think they would be caught dead with a shiny feminine triangle hanging out of their ear. So that being said, they can best be compared to the Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic that are near the same price range but in sound quality and style, the Heartbeats are certainly far superior.

When listening to different bitrates, the Hearbeats were pretty neutral and the sound quality throughout was balanced and liquid. The standout was how the highs performed which was very good. You could hear flutes, cymbals, and electronic instruments very well at a higher pitch that was crisp and clear.  One dim spot is the bass reproduction…surprisingly, low bass and low end detail is not very strong on output. This I found ironic, since the type of music Lady Gaga produces consists of a lot of deep bass rhythms. No matter which bitrate I tested it on, the bass level stayed the same. It only got a little better when listening to CD quality bitrates. That is not to say that this ruined the overall experience of listening to the Heartbeats – it didn’t, but to the trained ear you could tell that there was definitely something missing. Sound isolation was better than average if you squished the eartips in your ears deep enough. However you could still be aware of your surroundings because it didn’t completely drown out all the sound around you, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In comparison, the sound quality of the Apple In-Ear Headphones is definitely not as rich as the Heartbeats, which fills your ears with music and even the bass reproduction was better with the Heartbeats ( even though I still think its subpar to where it could have been). Certainly the Apple In-Ear Headphones are a vast improvement over the old fashioned white buds from Apple, but in comparison to the Heartbeats, they are still not on the same level. The one thing that the Apple buds do get a point for is the fact that they already include the Mic and remote for your iPhone, whereas you’ll have to wait and pay exponentially more when the Heartbeats with ControlTalk comes out.

The Heartbeats by Lady Gaga In-Ear Headphones are the perfect accessory for those fashionistas who are looking for a good pair of earphones but at the same time want to be hip and stylish. The Heartbeats may lack in bass reproduction but they still have an intense sound quality, and certainly the design aesthetics to match. While audiophiles would probably tear these earphones apart – the average consumer or Lady Gaga fan will certainly go ga-ga for them. On a personal note I’m just glad that these ‘fashion headphones’ were designed with the influence of a woman. These aren’t some ridiculous pink over the top thing, but a concept design that took time to cultivate and bring to the masses and for that I thank you Monster Cable, Dr. Dre, and Lady Gaga.

Currently just the simple no frills HeartBeats In-Ear Headphones are available. You can expect the Lady Gaga HeartBeats In-Ear Headphones with ControlTalk to be released soon before the year is up. Heartbeats by Lady Gaga retails for $99.95 and comes in Rose Red, Black Chrome, and Bright Chrome.

The Good: Stylish, hip, and a true example of fashion meets technology. Fans of Lady Gaga and average consumers will appreciate the fine details and above average sound quality.

The Bad: Low end detail is lacking. Would have liked a bigger selection of included eartips.

UPDATE 08/09/2011:  Looking for a review of the 2011 HeartBeats headphones? Check out our full review here.