It’s no secret that Beats by Dr. Dre headphones have become a world wide phenomenon. On average you will probably spot at minimum of two people a day sporting them. This isn’t just on a national level, but an international level as well. Just recently on a trip abroad, I observed it as the headphone of choice by average people walking up and down the street – in multiple countries. Some weren’t even using them, just wearing it around their neck as an accessory. The beats generation of fanboys and fangirls has definitely been born.
The Beats Pro are not new headphones, but were actually launched over a year ago, but only recently did we finally get a chance to review them and give them a good audio thrashing.
*6″ Cord with Short Coil
*Gold-Plated Stereo Adapter, 1/8″ Jack to 1/4″ Plug
Solid. Versatile. Durable. Impressive. Those are just a few adjectives that best describe the Beats Pro. This massive pair of headphones will engulf your ears with its padded ear cups. The metal housing of the Beats Pro almost guarantees that these headphones won’t easily break, even if dropped from a significant height or thrown into a bag.
However with this kind of durability comes weight, and the Beats Pro are heavy. The headphones are not super heavy in your hands, but more so on your head. After wearing them for significant periods of time, the headband tends to grow uncomfortable and a bit top heavy resulting in the headphones slipping forwards or backwards.
But besides for their impressive exterior, the Beats Pro has another trick up its sleeve and that is the flip-up car cups. While a great idea in theory, the flip-up cups weren’t all that practical when actually put to use. The entire pair of headphones would slip off when I tried to flip the cup up. The only work around was to hold the headband while flipping the cup upwards. It also has a tendency of getting my hair caught in it upon flipping up. It seemed like more work than it was worth, but when I did flip up the cup, I did hear a few “ooh’s and aah’s.” So I assume that’s the whole point.
Lastly, the Beats Pro have dual input/output cable ports that enable your friends to join in when you are listening to a favorite song or mixes. The Beats Pro do not have any ControlTalk features, they are simply just headphones for listening to music, and not taking phone calls.
So they look impressive and would probably survive a mosh pit, but do the Beats Pro sound good? Where the forefather Beats Studio required batteries to juice those headphones, and bring out its full potential. The Beats Pro relies solely on the power of your device to make it sound good. Your everyday audio devices will suffice, but the smaller and probably cheaper MP3 players are not a good paring for these beats and do not unleash the headphones full potential.
The Beats Pro are similar to the other Beats by Dr. Dre headphones as they are heavily low-end driven. Mids and treble are relevant, but are certainly not exuded on these headphones. While the Beats Pro will probably get your heart thumping, they aren’t all that special out of the box when it comes to sound. In fact we had to turn the volume up quite a bit to really experience its full potential. To really bring the drivers to life we were compelled to do some tweaking of the EQ settings in order to get that wow factor and once we did, it was a whole lot better with well rounded sound and the low-end still shinned through. Listening to higher bit rates are also a must with these headphones, and if you spent a chunk of change on these and aren’t listening to anything higher than 320kbps, then shame on you.
The Beats Pro are certainly an impressive looking pair of headphones. There hasn’t been one person who hasn’t commentated on them when I take them out of my bag or travel with them. This time around Beats got it right by constructing a pair of headphones with a solid build. The flip-up ear cups are kitschy at best, but they do add to the over allure of these beasts.
While the low-end reigns supreme on the Beats Pro its mids and highs do pretty well, especially if you are willing to play around with your EQ settings. Beats Pro loves the Rock, Pop, and Hip-Hop genres, but requires a little bit of EQ help when it comes to the instrumentals.
It also appears that all the money was spent on constructing the headphones and there was no money left over to make a better carrying case which is just a drawstring pouch that really won’t protect anything.
Many will scoff at the price of the Beats Pro that are currently at $399. Certainly you can buy an almost equally sounding pair of headphones for that money, but you won’t be getting the ‘life’ that also goes along with wearing a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.
The Good: Low-end is alive and well; solid construction down to the cable; dual input/output audio ports; comfy ear cups that can also be easily wiped clean.
The Bad: Could be too heavy to wear for some; Flip-up ear cups are a nice touch but don’t work to well in practical use; carrying case is a bit disappointing.