Much like the rest of the beats by dr. dre line-up, the Beats Tour received a refresh several months ago, in late 2013 to be exact. Gone are the unusually long ear tips that felt like you needed ear canals the length of the Great Wall of China. Instead, the next generation Beats Tour, sports a much more manageable v-curve design for smaller, as well as larger ears.
The overall look of the new Tour has also changed quite dramatically. This time around it’s rocking a much more subtle design right down to the housing. While some may complain that the plastic construction may leave it more susceptible to breaking, so far we haven’t experienced any trouble with our pair of Beats Tours. The cable is still tangle-free and flat, and the built-in Mic makes it easy to switch between calls and music on the fly.
Say what you will about the Beats headphones, but they really have stepped things up with their latest audio offerings. While the original Tour thumped bass in your head, enough to cause you a headache at times, the newest Beats Tour has turned that bass down a notch and instead it really amplifies the rest of the sound spectrum, effectively creating a very close to balanced listening experience.
Furthermore, all aspects of the audio are crisp and clear and just sound, dare I say it – fun! It sounds like a party in my ears, and I don’t like to stick just anything into my ears mind you. On some tunes, they sound slightly muddy, but again VERY few songs experience this. We put the Tour through an exhaustive 100 hours of audio testing, and as predicted, the best performing tracks on these in-ears are the songs from the top 100’s, eg: Katy Perry, St. Lucia, Bastille, and Shakira – the list goes on and on of hipster bands and pop-queens.
Make no mistake, bass still rules on the Beats Tour, but it is a much more subdued version of bass this time around, that I think everyone can appreciate, and might even seek out. My two biggest complaints however is how callers hear me on the other end of the in-line mic. Holding it to your mouth will give the incoming caller better odds of hearing you, otherwise you will sound distant. Secondly, if you plan on being in a stationary position for hours on end using the Beats Tour, they won’t budge out of your ears, but the minute you start walking at a normal speed, out they come. It took a lot of fiddling to finally get them to stay put, but once you find the right ear tip for you, you’ll have the most success of them staying in. That said, I do have very small ears. And some ears I’m sure won’t experience this issue, but for those with smaller ear canals, this might become an issue.
The second coming of the Beats Tour is a welcome improvement over the originals. They genuinely sound great, and while bass is prevalent, it isn’t drowning out any of the other sonics and the headphones provide a lovely bassy body that I personally enjoy very much. The mids and highs are crisp and overall amplified across the entire soundstage. The assortment of included ear tips and carrying case make this a well rounded package. These are certainly a must own for anyone who is willing to give the Tours a shot again, and the price isn’t all that ridiculous for the value you are getting either. The Beats Tour is available now for $149.95 and it comes in a choice of four different colors.
The Good: Crisp and loud with a nice amount of bass that doesn’t drown out the mids or highs. They just sound really good. Solid construction that doesn’t feel plasticky despite the plastic design. Tangle-free cable. Cute carrying case. Comfortable fit.
The Bad: Incoming callers had difficulty hearing me unless I put the mic up to my mouth. Ear tips had trouble staying put while walking.