Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones Review
Comfortable design and interesting aesthetic, Monster Beats by Dr. Dre are a solid option for mainstream listeners.
One of the most striking features about the Beats is their glossy black outer shell.
The inside of the band is metal and non-glossy black plastic. At the top of the band's inside is a small pad covered in a soft, faux-leather material. Part way down the band are some hinges, which allow the cups to flip up and nestle against the band.
The ear cups are glossy black plastic with red detailing and a metal ring between the bulk of the cup and the padding. The back of each ear cup has a silver disk with a red 'b' in it as well as a unique feature. The 'b' panel on the left cup can twist off, revealing the battery cavity. The right 'b' panel will mute playback when pressed. The right ear cup also has an on/off switch: when it's turned on, an LED in the center will glow red. The cup padding again uses the faux-leather material and has a cloth to block the inside from invading dust and grossness.
In the Box
In the Beats' elaborate box, you'll find two sets of cables, one of which has a headset microphone on it, a 1/4-inch adapter, an airplane adapter, a case, and a red cloth, which you can use to control the fingerprint population on the Beats' glossy black plastic.
The Beats had a few durability issues. First of all, the plastic used seems cheap; when you twist it around it creaks, and it we weren't able to bend it very far without getting the sensation they were going to break. The ear cups were particularly troubling, since they were so loosely attached to the band. The other area of concern was in regards to the cables: we can see many a cable breaking at the point where the cord meets the plug. The reason for this is a total lack of cord guard. A cord guard prevents the wire from bending in on itself too much. At the plug, the wire can bend very sharply, conforming to the plug's edge. This means the wire is more susceptible to shearing, since the wire will be bending and rubbing up against a sharpish 90-degree angle. Also, we noticed the cord's case came untucked from the plug more easily than we would've expected.
The Beats have a unique aesthetic, which means many people will have a strong love/hate reaction towards it. We noticed that, initially, people tended to think they looked cool -- the 'b' branding was a particular favorite. A few viewers noted that, once they'd handled the Beats for a while, heard the plastic click against itself, and thoroughly greased the outside with fingerprints, they thought much less of them. Some said the Beats looked a bit chinsy, or like a prop from an 80s movie. The general consensus around the office placed these headphones towards the good-looking side of the spectrum. We wouldn't necessarily recommend wearing the Beats at your desk job, but that's partially because we don't think Dr. Dre would necessarily want you wearing the Beats at your desk job.
In summary, the Beats look nice (providing you keep them clean), but aren't necessarily professional.
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