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“Beats by Dr. Dre” - Page 5

post #61 of 635
Cool, it comes with it's own headphone amplifier!!!!






























JUST KIDDING
post #62 of 635
Quote:
Originally Posted by m11a1 View Post
JUST KIDDING
):
post #63 of 635
A 350$ active noise cancelling FOTM endorsed by a rapper? What's the world coming to....
post #64 of 635
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic View Post
A 350$ active noise cancelling FOTM endorsed by a rapper? What's the world coming to....
More like FOTNs: Flavor of the Nanosecond.
post #65 of 635
Quote:
most advanced headphones ever developed
The next R10 people....
post #66 of 635
So how do these sound????
post #67 of 635
Hmmmm...so these are NC headphones eh? Well, that rules them out for me. I will be sticking with my Senn PXC 350's...
post #68 of 635
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oya? View Post
Why's everyone ragging on the batteries for? I thought all ANC phones use batteries or a battery pack of some kind?

Really, really curious to hear actual listening impressions. Not expecting much obviously, but still.
Because it means that unless you void the warranty and modify the headphones, they will always sound like they're being driven by a tiny little headphone amp that's driven by a couple AAA cells. Typically one based on ipod-quality chips.
post #69 of 635
Wheres Judes review??? What the heck do they sound like? Is he STILL working???!!! :O
post #70 of 635
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drag0n View Post
Wheres Judes review??? What the heck do they sound like? Is he STILL working???!!! :O
Actually, yes, I worked pretty late last night.

I'll post more about it in a new thread at some point, but here are some points about the headphone (my opinions, based on the pre-production unit I have):
  • I expected The Beats to be very bass-heavy, based on the initial CES-time press releases and the association with Dre.
    • This is very much not the case. They do seem to have deep bass extension, but the designers have been far more even-handed with its curve than I think anyone would guess based, again, on how they're described in releases and the design association with an extremely famous rapper.
    • I think most will find the tonal balance very audiophile-friendly, with what I find to be mild, acceptable bass lift.

  • It's actually a pretty articulate headphone for a closed, noise-canceling-circuit-always-on (more on this shortly) headphone. As far as active noise-canceling headphones go, it is, in my opinion, quite good, and competitive, sound-quality-wise, with any other noise-canceling headphone I have (and even ones I don't have but have used), including the Sennheiser PXC 450.

  • Though I did have some flights this past weekend, I knew I'd be engaged in conversations for most of the flights, so didn't bring The Beats with me. I haven't yet used The Beats on a plane or train, so I can't comment on how effective the noise-cancellation circuitry is in comparison to others in those environments. From what I can tell using it at home and at work, and even taking it into some of the nearby noisier places (my office is in an industrial park), the noise-cancellation seems to be quite effective; however, it's relatively low level of passive isolation may render it not as effective overall as something like a PXC-450 in louder environs (again, I haven't yet used The Beats in a train or plane, so I'm making some educated guesses here).
    • Again, The Beats do not passively isolate as effectively as most of my other closed full-size headphones. On the one hand, this doesn't matter too much, as The Beats can't be used passively (more on this shortly). I'm guessing that as a component of its acoustic tuning, very little batting was used in the earpieces. The flipside negative to all of this is that The Beats are quite audible to those around you if you play it even mildly loud.

  • My understanding of the digital amplifier bit that I'm seeing mentioned is that it's in reference only to the active noise-canceling circuit (if I'm wrong, I'll let you know), which does have to output the noise-canceling signal across whatever the frequency range of the cancellation circuitry is.

  • For the noise-canceling, there are two microphones, one inside each earpiece (which is good, as I have a set of noise-canceling headphones with the canceling circuit microphone openings on the outside of the earcups, making for some negative effects in wind, and even when walking). Wind doesn't cause any noise-canceling artifacts or pumping noises with The Beats, and, in fact, it's quite good at attenuating it.

  • The single biggest negative sonic point of The Beats is the always-on noise-canceling circuitry. You can not listen to music through The Beats without it. I can't think of an active noise-canceling headphone I've used that could be used passively that didn't sound better in passive mode--but, again, The Beats has no passive mode.
    • This will not appeal to the purists among us <raises hand>, who tend to pay bucks to keep as much out of the signal path as possible.
    • I haven't used an active noise-canceling circuit that didn't have self-noise, and The Beats hasn't broken that streak. Though it's a relatively low level of self-noise, it's still very audible during very quiet and silent passages. Relative to other active noise-canceling headphones, the self-noise is, again, on the quieter side, but still very audible to me.

  • Keeping in mind all of the above--that it's an active noise-canceling headphone that doesn't allow you to bypass its noise-canceling circuitry--how does The Beats sound? Actually, pretty darn good. Since at least half of what I'm listening to nowadays is jazz and classical, I'm probably not pumping the same music through The Beats that most Beats customers probably will. As I type this, I'm listening to the Bobo Stenson Trio's "War Orphans," and The Beats is holding up very nicely. Actually, I find its overall presentation to be versatile enough to hold up well with every type of music I listen to. Sonically, The Beats is a good headphone to these ears.
    • There is some sensitivity to recordings in which sibilance is already present (think Alanis Morrisette's vocal track in her song "Uninvited"). The Beats doesn't seem to add sibilance to recordings in which it's not already present, but can emphasize it sometimes when it is.

  • As for its physical appearance/characteristics:
    • I personally think it's a very nice looking headphone. The photos don't do it justice. You have to see it in person and hold it to appreciate it. The fit-and-finish is really impressive, to my eyes and hands. Though they use a nice glossy material on the outside, they use what feels like a grippy hard rubber material to make it easy to hold (and that, with its matte surface, looks nice in contrast to the shiny stuff). To my eyes, there's something both retro-ish and very modern about the lines. The color combination looks good to me, too. Again, to my eyes, these are very attractive headphones to look at (and, to my hands, very nice to hold).
      • I have no doubt that many audiophile types will be put off by the "beats by dr. dre" print on the top of the headband.
      • I have no doubt that many audiophile types will be put off by The Beats' very distinctive appearance, not because they don't like how it looks, but because it will make it obvious that you're wearing The Beats by Dr. Dre / Monster Cable. I feel confident that it won't be long before The Beats are as easily recognized by the masses as the Bose QC series is. With its own unique design, the masses will soon recognize The Beats as easily as we audiophile types can spot a pair of Grados in the crowd for their different brand of physical distinctiveness. Personally, I'll gladly wear The Beats out and about when I think that a noise-canceling headphone that sounds good is in order (like when I want isolation, but don't want the ultra-isolation of my favorite in-ear monitors).
      • If not for the two points immediately above, I think many audiophile types would actually be very welcoming of its physical appearance (they also, in my opinion, look good when worn). In other words, imagine it didn't say "beats by dr. dre" on them and they were instead the latest design by AKG or Sennheiser--I think this design would be welcomed by many of us, from an aesthetic standpoint.
    • The earpiece gimbals don't have enough range, which means that the earcups don't sit as flat on the ears as, in my opinion, they should.
    • It doesn't fold flat. This is due to the choice they made to achieve a certain look, for which big fold-flat hinges wouldn't have worked. I personally appreciate a headphone that is made for travel that can fold flat.
I'll say more about it later, as there's more to say. I'll say this for now, though: The Beats is surprising, especially given the expectations that might have been set up by Monster Cable's first foray into headphones, the sonic tuning association with someone like Dr. Dre, and the fact that Monster Cable seems to lack some street cred with many audiophile types. I actually think some of the customers who will see this in the stores wanting bloated bass are going to be sorely disappointed, and many audiophile types pleasantly surprised, even if most of the audiophile types won't be buying The Beats.

Again, I'll say more in a separate thread at some other point.
post #71 of 635
Jude, thanks for your initial impressions. I still have to wonder though who this is being marketed to. $349.95 is still a lot of money for the average person to be spending on headphones.
post #72 of 635
Quote:
Originally Posted by zotjen View Post
Jude, thanks for your initial impressions. I still have to wonder though who this is being marketed to. $349.95 is still a lot of money for the average person to be spending on headphones.
You're right, it is a lot of money for a headphone to most, but I think they're going to sell a bunch of them. Why? If I read correctly, the stores selling it (Apple and Best Buy) will have demo stands to try The Beats, and, again, to my ears, it sounds quite good for what it is. The Beats is also very distinctive looking, and wearing full-size headphones (although I consider The Beats a bit smaller than full full-size) is sort of an in-thing right now--nobody will mistake The Beats for anything else (until design knock-offs start being produced), and a lot of people like to make it very clear that they've spent a lot of money on whatever it is they're wearing (young people especially).

Remember also that the Monster Cable brand is valued to a different degree in the larger market than it might be here or on Audio Asylum, etc. In other words, the Monster Cable brand rings very positively with a lot of people around the world. Also, Dr. Dre has mass-market appeal.

Will Head-Fi'ers be the typical Beats customer? Nope. I think, however, The Beats sound good enough to show the many who'll likely buy it that there's substantially better sound to be had than what they're generally used to--and some of these people will be curious to know if there's anything better still.

There are other things that will sweeten the deal for the folks who go to the Apple Store and Best Buy who listen to it, other than the looks, the Monster Cable brand and the Dre association. The Beats comes with the cool added feature of an included mobile phone cable (complete with a microphone on that cable) that allows The Beats to be used as a mobile phone headset (that is, by the way, compatible with the first-gen iPhones weird recessed headphone jack). I have a BlackBerry 8830 (with the dopey mini-mini jack that requires an adapter to use with a standard mini plug), so I haven't tried that feature yet. Think outside of our community for a sec--that's probably a big selling point for many in our mobile-phone-crazy society.

I could end up being very wrong, but I think The Beats will probably be the best selling headphone in its price range.
post #73 of 635
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
I actually think some of the customers who will see this in the stores wanting bloated bass are going to be sorely disappointed, and many audiophile types pleasantly surprised, even if most of the audiophile types won't be buying The Beats.
Interesting. Maybe the whole reasoning of this is for the people who DO want the huge bloated bass will get these and see that "this is what it's supposed to sound like, because Dr. Dre designed it...." And finally, a more level sound curve will finally get appreciated?

I dunno....but it just seems too "coincidental" for it to be marketed as a "hip hop can with massive bass" and it be MUCH MUCH more neutral than expected. I.E. a more true, even if misleading, introduction into hi-fi. Which, isn't necessarily a bad thing ya know.

I'm interested.
post #74 of 635
I would expect many hip-hop listeners who buy this to be dissatisfied with the bass, especially if they're used to brain-blasting thumping bass, like those in their pimped-out cars (or if they've been using muddy Bose products :P). Who knows, a few might even end up here.
post #75 of 635
Quote:
Originally Posted by robojack View Post
I would expect many hip-hop listeners who buy this to be dissatisfied with the bass, especially if they're used to brain-blasting thumping bass, like those in their pimped-out cars....
Actually, I think you're right.

For those folks, however, this headphone does respond well to bass being jacked up via an equalizer (if you're into that sort of sound--I'm not).
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