UPDATE: after careful consideration and some feedback on this review, i have made some updates to my ratings and descriptions to better reflect my own experience within the grand scheme things, and to make my review more consistent. I am definitely still an amateur at reviewing. sorry for any confusion
I spent nearly 2 hours critical listening with some dr dre studio beats recently. Please keep this in mind when reading the review. I have not had time to use these over a long period of time
I have not read any other reviews on these cans, and did not buy them - They are being loaned to me b/c i was curious about how they sounded.
They are brand new at the time of this review.
here is a short review - i am basing my ratings on the price point of these cans. For example, giving the mids an 8/10 would not be equal to giving cans like thunderpants an 8/10. They are in 2 seperate leagues.
sources apple iPod touch 4g with equ and equalizer app and sansa clip+ rockboxed
metal, hip hop, acoustic folk, jazz, rock, and more... all lossless files
I have owned or spent time with everything from klipsch s4 to x10, thunderpants, stax 404's, ath w1000x, Denon d2000, Sennheiser px100, and more.
At the moment I only have klipsch s4 to compare them to. This review may be different If i had a pair of thunderpants or the like to A/B them with.
Let’s get right to it.
Build - seems like 10/10- they feel solid in every way. I should make it clear that this is simply my observation after 2 hours. That is - they feel very well made and solid. It seems that many people disagree with this statement after owning them for longer periods. so my asessment is probably not reliable here.
nice removable cables (2 included) - the cable feels well made and has nice pliability
Comfort 10/10 - very comfy, fit well. Felt great for an hour of uninterrupted wearing. easily some of the most comfortable cans ive worn
Isolation - 8/10 isolated very well for my purposes, even in a loud car ride i heard no outside noise when the music was playing at a moderate volume.
Bass - 5/10 of all things the bass was very weak. Im really suprised by this. It is rolled off substantially. Otherwise it was ok but quite lacking. Nothing special. Not muddy. With 5-10 db added (depending on the genre) from 110 Hz down to 25 Hz, the bass went much deeper and sounded pretty good, yet still felt quite lacking. for most music i needed to ad about 3-4db of bass just to get by.
Mids - 6/10- average mids. Not amazing, but not bad. Clear and neither too forward or too far back. Very similar to my klipsch S4 (which costed me $$50)
Highs - 6/10 - slight peak but no sibilance - again very average sounding. nothing to write home about, but didnt sound "bad" to me either.
Frequency balance - 9/10 - I used a sine wave sweep and spectrum analyzer as with all cans - surprisingly flat besides the bass roll off. Compared to most headphones these were quite flat and actually sounded good with no eq which i rarely say. all other imbalances were not noticible until using the sine wave sweep
presentation 6/10- very middle of the road. not dark, not bright. Not distant or lush nor crushing or in your face. again very similar to my klipsch S4
value for the money: - 3/10
Overall 5/10 - these cans sound quite average in every way but given their price point, they dont cut it. They have a pretty neutral sound signature. Definitely more neutral than some of the more expensive cans ive tried. They sounded pretty average for every genre except rap and hip hop which was just amazing to me. Even with 10db bass added from 110 Hz down, they were bass light and just didn’t have much impact.
Compared to thunderpants’ or even klipsch s4 bass for example, the beats didn’t stand a chance.
These cans perform about as well as the average $50 can/iem that I have tried. Though after A/Bing I feel that my klipsch S4’s which cost me about $50 are very comparable in overall sound quality and have a very similar sound signature to the studio beats in nearly every way. The S4’s have superior Bass and a lot more of it. They are also capable of a helluva lot more bass than the beats when eq is added. If I had to keep only one id go with the S4 and save myself nearly $250.
these cans seemed to be much more effected by eq ing than most when it comes to added bass causing rolloff in the mids and highs. adding bass caused a very noticable decrease in sparkle and clarity from both the highs and the mids, which i have not noticed to nearly such extremes when trying this on other cans/IEM's
At the time of creating this reviewI had not checked the beats studio actual price. I see that they cost Nearly $300. In the grand scheme of what decent headphones cost, i simply cannot recommend them in any way. Unless they are very cheap or free.
Edited by Br777 - 2/20/11 at 4:00pm