there was the three headphone (beats pro, beats studio, beats solo) demoed in some virgin (mega ?) store . There was a kind of stand, with a built in player , and it was for me the opportunity to try them for the first time ( in Morocco , there's not too much store of that kind).
1) I tried first the beats solo.
There was was two pair of beats solo demoed :
- one looked intact, but the right driver was silent
- so I tried the other pair, that looked broken & scotched : well at least there's the sound in both side.
This gives at least an idea of built quality: the beats solo are easy to break.
Now regarding the sound :
the demo was enjoyable, too enjoyable compared to what everyone was saying.
However it was obvious too, that a nice amount of dsp was applied to give the best impression.
How could these tiny cups deliver such big soundstage, without a minimum of sound processing to trick the listener ?
Probably some heavily tweaked stereo reverb , or effects like srs labs wow.
The treble presented zero texture , and for the kind of music played it was pleasant.
I think some low pass filter was applied, because otherwise it was "too clean", and I'd say the highs "were washed".
Probably those who made the demo thought : "we don't want you to hear the top treble of the beats solo" ( unless it's naturally recessed).
Regarding the bass, I didn't notice any impact, but it wasn't bloated. I didn't notice any sub bass.
There was a pleasing warm signature , except that when I trying the different genre presented (rock, jazz, hip hop, rnb ) with different buttons,
I didn't even realize I was listening to different stuff. And the snippet of music presented were a bit short (unless there was a problem with the player of the stand).
2) then I tried the beats studio;
Built quality is frail, but obviously they resisted more than the beat solo .
Regarding sound, there wasn't too striking different with the beats solo (at least for the demo).
The "warm", pleasant, presentation of solo is gone (from what I remind).
I can hear some treble texture, but the treble details presented are not very interesting, for that kind of music.
I guess some low pass was still applied.
A bit of some "bass echo", rather than impact I'd say.
Almost same soundstage, how could it be possible without a decent amount of dsp trickery ?
I didn't pay attention to the noise cancellation stuff, I believe it was off.
3) then I tried the beats pro:
I liked the built quality, and the comfort was ok for the period of time I tried them.
Probably I need to try them more than 5 min to get an idea of how they could be uncomfortable,
but they gave a positive impression. I think the headphone provided the best isolation, because I couldn't hear what the guy near me, was saying.
haha, same soundstage.
More treble texture than with beats studio.
The treble details presented were completely uninteresting for the kind of music played, but I can guess that with a proper demo, the beats studio would be able of more refinement.
They just contributed here to give the feeling of a less clean sound.
With that demo, I was more in the mood : "give me back that low pass filter, I'd liked that over cleaned sound from the beats solo" .
I think there was some bass impact, although I didn't listen enough.
However, there was more delay in the "bass echo".
I think it's how the monster brand provide the illusion of more bass :
it's bouncing on the cup, and with deeper cup and bigger delay, you have the illusion of mooore bass.
Unless it's dsp again ?
So technically I guess it was inaccurate, but I'd lie if I say it was not enjoyable.
I guess you need long listening sessions to realize the artificiality of the bass.
So overall I got a pleasant impression of monster headphones, although I guess I would need to try them outside the store , to get a more accurate idea.
It was as if, all of them , were better than my hd25 II 1; but the flaws were masked with different kind of dsp trickery.
It only provide proof, that with the right amount of "mastering/dsp", and selected music snippets, any headphone can sound good.
The built quality of the beats pro was convincing, I'd take them if they weren't too expensive, and over-hyped (after conversion to $, they cost roughly 560$ , in that Moroccan store).