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Dr. Dre Studio Beats - Impressions after 2 hours critical listening

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 

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.

 

Additional comments: 

 

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
post #2 of 99

The Ultrasone HFI 580 crowd should come in any minute.

 

Great review, but by just skimming through (pardon me, I'm a bit busy) I would have to disagree completely about the highs. Surely, if you get accustomed the basshead levels of bass, it will become more difficult to discern highs. I agree with the bass aspect as it is weak when you use your own music vs. their demo stands. However, the highs are in no way an 8.5. They have terrible resolution there.

post #3 of 99

Also, the build quality is not very good. It's actually very poor. When I bought mine (returned it in 1 day, don't worry :P) I was told by buddy at Futureshop that they've had a lot of them returned due to a broken headband. Because of that he was going to give me a 2 year warranty free (and he's my buddy lol). Long short of it - beats studio quality = non-existent.

 

And I have to agree with the Highs commented mentioned above ^. At most the highs are a "4-5" range. The bass is so overpowering on these things that it kind of makes everything muddy.

post #4 of 99
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

The Ultrasone HFI 580 crowd should come in any minute.

 

Great review, but by just skimming through (pardon me, I'm a bit busy) I would have to disagree completely about the highs. Surely, if you get accustomed the basshead levels of bass, it will become more difficult to discern highs. I agree with the bass aspect as it is weak when you use your own music vs. their demo stands. However, the highs are in no way an 8.5. They have terrible resolution there.



 

i have never tried any ultrasones so i cant comment.

 

as for the highs.. i dunno.. maybe im not a good judge of good highs.  when i find issues with highs it is typically due to drastic frequency imbalances, or roll off which i found neither of here.  They just sounded "right" to me so maybe i just wasnt being critical enough.  If i had a real high quality pair of headphones with me to do a/b ing with this would be easier, but otherwise i certainly have no complaints about the highs.

 

that is one thing i need to ad to this review though... these cans seemed to be much more effected by eq ing than most when it comes to adding bass.   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

post #5 of 99
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedv1 View Post

Also, the build quality is not very good. It's actually very poor. When I bought mine (returned it in 1 day, don't worry :P) I was told by buddy at Futureshop that they've had a lot of them returned due to a broken headband. Because of that he was going to give me a 2 year warranty free (and he's my buddy lol). Long short of it - beats studio quality = non-existent.

 

And I have to agree with the Highs commented mentioned above ^. At most the highs are a "4-5" range. The bass is so overpowering on these things that it kind of makes everything muddy.



 

well in all fairness after 2 hours of use i cant really comment on long term quality.. but they do feel solid.

 

its very interesting that some people seem to say the bass is overpowering on these ( since my post i have started reading other posts)  I can honestly say the most glaring feature of these cans is their weak bass.  I wonder if they vary from can to can or something.

If there was one thing i expected from these it was bass.   I was really shocked at how weak it was.

 

im sticking to my guns on the highs... i think they sound very solid for their price range.

post #6 of 99

Very weak bass? Whut??? Are you sure you don't have a fake pair? I've listened to them before and I can tell you, these have lots of bass. 

post #7 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by FearSC549 View Post

Very weak bass? Whut??? Are you sure you don't have a fake pair? I've listened to them before and I can tell you, these have lots of bass. 



Maybe he's comparing them to the thunderpants ph34r.gif

post #8 of 99
Thread Starter 

well if there is one thing ive learned form head-fi its that people's preference and opinion on bass is extremely varient, and you are talking to a bass head, and bass guitar player,  and a past thunderpants owner.  The thunderpants came closest to reproducing "live sound shake your body" bass that i have ever heard while maintaining a clean tight and non interfering sound.  but those were $750 orthos that are often compared with the top of the top cans currently on the market.  All i can say is that i have owned several pairs of headphones that could produce signifigantly more bass than these without sounding muddy.  Hip hop especially was just not acceptable.    Maybe for the average listener the bass is plenty, but for someone expecting big or visceral bass, i just cant imagine being fulfilled.  I am finding i have to consistently ad 5db of bass on any track, just to feel like the bass is "correct" let alone hard hitting or "big"

 

but hey.. to each their own. 

post #9 of 99
Thread Starter 

the more i listen, the more the bass issue on these cans is not that there is "too much" like many seem to say its just that the bass response on these cans is pretty crappy.  they sound a bit bloated and muffled, but the actual amount of bass produced is arguable.  I would venture to say that many of the people who try these have not heard what a pair of .. say.... thunderpants can do with bass.   its astounding.  MUCH more bass than beats, bit WAY more clarity and "real" feel to it.  

post #10 of 99

The problem is they are not similar in quality to roughly same priced phones. The Shure SRH750DJ is actually a better choice than the Studios (imo) and they only cost like $150 (versus $350 Studios in Canada). The 750djs have a good amount of bass, but it's well governed bass. The bass in the Studios is just very muddy and unclear.

 

Also have you noticed how bad they leak? Turn on some music, put the pads together and voila - at "low/moderate" levels you could disturb others in a library.

 

 

 

I have nothing against Dr Dre headphones users, but they should understand that they paid 2-3x what they're worth.

post #11 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

The Ultrasone HFI 580 crowd should come in any minute.


HFI 580's? For the $300 mark, you can get the PRO 900's which should not only "beat Beats", but destroy the Beats Studio's in every way imaginable.

 

There's no way ~$300 is a fair price for Beats...

post #12 of 99

my biggest issue with the beats is the horrendous build quality and god awful pricing for what you get

post #13 of 99
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedv1 View Post

The problem is they are not similar in quality to roughly same priced phones. The Shure SRH750DJ is actually a better choice than the Studios (imo) and they only cost like $150 (versus $350 Studios in Canada). The 750djs have a good amount of bass, but it's well governed bass. The bass in the Studios is just very muddy and unclear.

 

Also have you noticed how bad they leak? Turn on some music, put the pads together and voila - at "low/moderate" levels you could disturb others in a library.

 

 

 

I have nothing against Dr Dre headphones users, but they should understand that they paid 2-3x what they're worth.



 

i wont deny that there are probably plenty of cans/iem's in this price range that are better, but there are also those that are worse.  out of the the one's ive tried, more were worse than better... given my experience thats as far as i can take it. 

 

No i have not evaluated their leakage. 

 

Simply put, i beleive they are overpriced but only when you are not comparing them relatively to other headphone prices... you can get equal or better sound for a fraction of the price.  But this is true for MANY high priced headphones that i have tried.  it is certainly not unique to the beats. 

Unfortunately - headphones (at least IMO) are just generally overpriced.  Certainly quite often NOT producing the SQ i would expect from paying so much.  Diminishing returns is a bummer

post #14 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalowings View Post

my biggest issue with the beats is the horrendous build quality and god awful pricing for what you get

 

I like how this one sentence completely debunks the OP's entire review.

post #15 of 99
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riku540 View Post

 

I like how this one sentence completely debunks the OP's entire review.



 

umm...no...

 

my review clearly states i have demo'd them for all of 2 hours.  given my 2 hours of experience, my 10/10 build quality still stands. 

 

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