I've tried the Beats Executive in the Apple store when I went to compare the Iphone 5 to the Galaxy SIII (galaxy ftw, all the way :P), and I have to admit, they're not actually nearly as bad I expected them to be. Number one, they really look good, I mean, they're made well, all metal, genuine, really soft high quality leather, etc. They look and feel like a quality product., more so than any of the audiophile headphones in that 300-500 dollar range, at least now that the D5000's are no longer available.
As far as sound goes, and I'm a full on audiophile, very picky about my sound, that's why I have pretty much every well regarded headphone in the mid-high end level, apart from the top of the line models, simply because I rather 5 different headphones than 1 very expensive one. We're talking HD650's, K701's, Q701's, DT770's, 880's, 990's, etc, and to be honest, I think that the Executive were actually quite about on the same level as my DT770Pro 80's. Granted, they cost almost twice as much as the DT770's, but they really didn't sound bad. I mean, nobody could say they sound bad, they actually sound pretty good, very good even with electronic music.There's a fairly nice tonal balance with smooth highs and elevated bass, but no too much of it. It's very well extended though. Soundstage is decent for a closed headphone and overall sound resolution is actually not bad. Are there better sounding headphones at 400 dollars that they ask for them? Yea, of course, HD650's for example have a similar (but a more neutral and flat) sound, but they're at least 40% better sonically, for the same price. BUT, the build quality, the looks, the feel, comfort, etc. of the Executive, PLUS the active noise cancellation which I didn't even know they had at the time when I was listening to them, makes them an attractive package. I've heard them plugged into a Iphone 5 and my Galaxy SIII. I'd like to take them home and try them in my headphone setup to see how good they really sound, but out of a smartphone, they're definitely on par with DT770 Pro's. I'm actually quite tempted to pull a trigger on them.