The Beats Pro are rather good (a Beats Pro Review)
May 10, 2012 at 2:42 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 42

mastershake2393

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To kick off this review, I’ll preface it with this: I started a thread, on this site, that notoriously became the “Beats hate thread” everyone is familiar with. At that point in my life, I hated everything that had the Beats branding on it (and still do, for the most part). That being said, here I am with a pair of Pros on my head and I couldn’t be happier. And in this review, I will tell you why.
 
I’ll start with the build quality and comfort. So far, I have no faults with their build. They feel very solid; very sturdy. The aluminium make of the headphone is very nice, and the overall look is striking [if you’re into looking like a ****]. However, there are some things that could be improved. The comfort is abysmal. If worn incorrectly, your ears will grow tired after a few minutes. This is because of how ******* heavy the headphones are. Grado headphones are more comfortable if you are wearing the Pros improperly. I have fixed my comfort problems by resting my ears slightly outside the inlay, so they aren’t in the cups. Oh, and isolation is great! In a busy city like Montreal, I couldn’t hear a lot of outside noise.
 
Right, now for sound. I can expect to get some flak for this, but I think they sound great. Granted, these things are roughly two years old so they have plenty of burn-in (if you believe in that sort of thing). If you aren’t in love with bass, run. Run as fast as you can away from these headphones as bass is their specialty. Oh, do these headphones ever represent bass well. For the most part, it is there when it needs to be. On some hip-hop songs, the bass does bleed into the mids, but I haven’t heard it on songs that don’t need a lot of bass.
 
The mids on the Pros are decent. They certainly aren’t the best, but the mids aren’t the worst I’ve ever heard. Detailing and texturing is done well enough. A phenomenon I have been having with the mids on these is this: they seem to adapt to songs that have more vocals than others. Take metal for instance: guitar and drums are usually more prominent than the vocals, so the Pros have a V-shaped sound signature. This isn’t the case if I were to listen to some hip-hop or pop: in those genres the vocals are pushed to the front, almost as if they are bleeding into the highs. It was a shocking discovery. The only other time I can remember this happening is with the Earsonic SM3.
 
For the treble heads out there, you will be disappointed: this is the Pros weak spot. They draw the line between sibilant and bright, with a dash of sparkle here and there. I certainly wouldn’t say they are the worse, but to say they are the best is laughable. I have had IEMs that outperform the treble on these by a mile (EX600 and e-Q5 come to mind).
Soundstage… hm. It’s good. It isn’t spectacular. Trying to describe it is hard as it changes with what I’m listening to. When I’m listening to metal, it’s in your face and quite small, but when I switch to some dream pop it’s very spacious and 3D. It’s different, to say the least. A lot like the SM3 in a lot of ways, where you are put in the middle of it all, with the instruments orbiting your head. That might sound odd, but anyone that has ever listened to the SM3 should know what I’m talking about.
 
So, would I buy these if I hadn’t purchased them for a reasonable price? Hell no. $400 is absolutely ridiculous for these. Sure, they are great for $250 or less, but in the $400 range you are looking at the likes of the HE-400 and Pro 900. But that isn’t what these are intended for. The Pros can be driven out of an iPod. Driven spectacularly, I might add. Their impedance is quite low, so most portable devices can drive them without fault. And that’s really the beauty of these headphones. External amps aren’t needed, so you don’t have to look like a terrorist when you pull a brick of electronics out of your pocket.
 
May 11, 2012 at 9:58 PM Post #7 of 42

jjacq

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Thanks for the review OP. Many people fail to give beats props for driving headphone sales up. Headphone sales for the general public at least.
 
May 11, 2012 at 10:03 PM Post #8 of 42

mastershake2393

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Quote:
But not soundwise?

 
Eh, it depends. For me, they are pretty good at that price. However, there might be better headphones. I know that some IEMs that I've had, namely the FX700, SM3, and UM3x, sounded better than the Pros. That isn't to say they don't sound good, they just don't sound better to me than those IEMs...
 
Personally, they better than most of the cans I've tried. My modded D1001's are better I think, and they cost less than half the price, but they aren't portable. That being said, I also think the D1001's sound better than the D2000's due to my mods...
 
May 11, 2012 at 10:45 PM Post #9 of 42

doublea71

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I don't know how these are rather good if the comfort is bad, the bass bleeds into the mids, the mids are just ok, the highs are weak, and the OP admits they are overpriced. Another YMMV moment I suppose...
 
May 11, 2012 at 10:51 PM Post #10 of 42

Pianist

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I haven't heard the Beats, but I bet it will be very hard for them to compete even in the $200-$250 range because in that price range, you can pick up a like new Beyer DT880, DT990, AKG K701/2. Hifiman HE-300 is $250 + shipping from Hifiman and is one heck of a headphone for the price. And all of these are well balanced all arounders, while the Beats apparently aren't.
 
May 11, 2012 at 11:37 PM Post #11 of 42

doublea71

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This is a dead horse - I honestly don't know why I posted. I think I needed a dose of righteous indignation or something
blink.gif

 
 
May 12, 2012 at 12:16 AM Post #12 of 42

mastershake2393

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Quote:
I don't know how these are rather good if the comfort is bad, the bass bleeds into the mids, the mids are just ok, the highs are weak, and the OP admits they are overpriced. Another YMMV moment I suppose...

 
I only said that the comfort is poor if you don't have them fitted correctly, and said that the bass bleeds into the mids on poorly recorded hip-hop tracks (if I didn't state it was poorly recorded, I'm sorry; it was getting rather late when I wrote this).
 
I did say that the mids are okay for the price, but that isn't a slight towards them. They aren't completely sucked out like some of the lower end cans I have heard, nor are they as good as Grado's.
 
Yes, they are overpriced, but I they're great if you get them for, say, $200.
 
I'm sorry that you felt so compelled to state falsities, and try to justify my review with a "YMMV"...
 
May 12, 2012 at 12:20 AM Post #13 of 42

mastershake2393

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Quote:
I haven't heard the Beats, but I bet it will be very hard for them to compete even in the $200-$250 range because in that price range, you can pick up a like new Beyer DT880, DT990, AKG K701/2. Hifiman HE-300 is $250 + shipping from Hifiman and is one heck of a headphone for the price. And all of these are well balanced all arounders, while the Beats apparently aren't.

 
Can you use any of those cans portably? The answer is no.
 
If you want to compare them purely on sound, in-doors, then yes, those headphones listed (minus the K701/2) are superior to the Pros.
 
When portability is concerned, I would go for the Pros.
 
May 12, 2012 at 12:52 AM Post #14 of 42

Lm8753

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I just finished selling my Pro's. Not due to the sound, but primarily to the extreme discomfort. I suppose the earcups did not conform to the shape of my ears. After about 30 minutes of wearing them my ears would begin to hurt to the point that I couldn't wear them anymore. I'm guessing this is not something that is happening to a lot of owners of the Pro's. I wasn't expecting the discomfort to happen due to my very small ears. Sound wise they aren't bad, but definitely not worth the $399 MSRP imho. The only reason I bought them was because I got lucky and found them factory refurbished for $180. Since I only wear them in my house I didn't see any reason to keep them considering the discomfort issue. I just purchased the Ultimate Ears TripleFI 10. Hopefully they live up to their hype. I think I'm going IEM all the way now. :)
 
 
May 12, 2012 at 1:07 AM Post #15 of 42

doublea71

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You said the comfort is abysmal if you don't wear them properly - isn't that true with all headphones? You wear them with your ears slightly outside of the cup, which suggests that they don't fit
 
you as the manufacturer intended (ears in the cup). This sounds like an ill-fitting headphone.
 
You're right about what you said about the lows - I did misquote you, so I apologize for that. However, it can be argued that most people who buy these headphones buy them for hip-hop (or as a fashion accessory
wink_face.gif
), so the bleeding of the lows on some hip-hop tracks is cause for concern for a significant segment of the target market. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.
 
If the mids are just okay for the price, then the mids' quality doesn't support your opinion that they are great sounding headphones.
 
The highs by your own estimation are easily outperformed by much cheaper IEMs, again not supporting your overall review of their sound.
 
Regarding the price, there are headphones that are sub-$250 that out-perform these, but most people who must have these will have to shell out the full $400 for the genuine article.
 
It might be helpful to include your source (ipod, zune, etc.) and also the file type (128kbps, flac, wav, etc.). These things matter to audiophiles when considering a review for headphones.
 
Once again, sorry for misquoting you - it wasn't intentional.
 
 

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