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Appletell reviews the Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones from Monster

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod, iPod Accessories, iPod Headphones and Earbuds, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, Peripherals, Reviews

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Provides: High end over the ear sound
Developer: Monster Cable
Minimum Requirements: (high quality) audio source 1/8 or 1/4 inch
Price: $349
Availability: Now

When Monster first announced the Beats by Dre line of headphones, most of the world said “What? Why is Monster making headphones?” And it might have been a valid question at the time, as many consumers tend to view Monster as an “overpriced” cable company. But I can assure you, they are much more than a high end cable manufacturer; they clearly know what they are doing with audio and headphones. And with the Beats line, they’ve created an amazing product that is not only an example of how good consumer audio can be, but continues to influence fashion and popular culture.

Beats Studio in black

The Beats Studios technically aren’t DJ style headphones; they’re simply large, over-the-ear headphones. Essentially, the ear cups don’t spin around to allow you to listen to audio from one side, so you shouldn’t call them DJ style. That’s fine, because they weren’t intended to be. But they do everything else you’d expect them to, and some things you definitely wouldn’t. They fold up for portability and storage, and they come with a very nice black case. Though, on top of your head might be a better choice of transportation, as you won’t ever want to take them off, and you’ll likely become more fashionable as a result.

Monster Beats Studio black in case

Feature-wise, the Beats Studios are fully loaded. Obviously, great headphones begin with great audio, but let’s talk features first. The Beats Studio come in two colors, black and white. The plastic these are made out of is scratch resistant. So, while you’ll obviously be gentle with these, you are safe from minor scuffs. The foam on the ear cups and on the top for head cushion is very comfortable.

The Studio headphones come with two adapters: one for an airplane, and one to convert from the headphones’ 1/8 inch to a 1/4 inch connector. Continuing inside the box, you’ll find a cleaning cloth and two cables to connect your headphones to your audio sources: one regular red cable and a black one with iSoniTalk (iDevice controls). Both of these are nice, thicker-than-your-average-cord cords. And since this is Monster we’re talking about, these are top of the line cables. The quality here even shows in small details such as the button choice for the iSoniTalk cable. This is by far the most satisfying button I’ve used for controlling iPod playback via headphones. I know that sounds silly, but the button itself is larger than most, has a nice soft plastic texture, and depresses perfectly. If you’ve used Apple’s playback controls on iPhone headphones, you know it’s less than optimal. The button is small, doesn’t always feel like it’s being depressed (especially in cold weather) and degrades towards unusability much faster than it should. If only it had the Volume Up and Down controls on the cord. Of course, since the cord is detachable, they could still make this. Monster…please do.

Update: The upcoming Beats by Dr. Dre Spin headphones will come with ControlTalk, which does feature volume controls. Awesome.

Monster Beats Studio box contents

You’ll need two AAA batteries on hand at all times to power the headphones and noise cancellation (one set is included). Sadly, noise cancellation does need to be on whenever the headphones are on, but it’s rarely noticeable. One fresh set of batteries will run your head-mounted Studio for approximately 50 hours (or a little less than 3 days, judging by how often you’ll want to wear them). The power switch to run this show is on the right headphone. It’s just a switch with an LED, nothing too fancy. Directly above this is what I call a kill button. This mutes any audio playing and kills the noise cancellation. This is surprisingly useful, because despite your best efforts to notify the world you’re busy experiencing audio nirvana, someone will inevitably want to interact with you. Just press the kill button for a few seconds, and you can get them off of your back, and back to the music. Speaking of the music…

This is how the Monster Beats Studio will make you feel

The Beats Studio headphones are beyond mind blowing. The audio quality delivered by these headphones surpasses that of any headphone set that has yet graced my ears. I’ve never been addicted to a set of headphones before, and frankly, I didn’t even know it was possible until I turned these off for the first time. In ear headphones can deliver superb audio quality, but they deliver audio very differently. The Beats Studio headphones are an entirely different experience. You get the feeling you aren’t just listening to a song or a recording; it’s almost as if you’re in the studio with the artist performing in the next room. And so, I can see why Monster named these the Beats Studio. Actually, after this notion entered my mind, I was sent some extra PR materials from Monster about the Beats Studio headphones. For some reason, this hadn’t occurred to me earlier, but this was the goal all along, to reproduce the feeling and quality of a studio in headphone form. Clearly, they’ve succeeded.

And yet, I still feel as though I haven’t done these headphones justice. It’s quite a feat to produce amazing audio like this that’s also very easy on the eyes. You might be able to try these out for yourself by stopping by a Best Buy; many have Monster displays featuring these headphones. If you can, go listen to them now. If not, just buy them (provided you have $350 to drop on headphones, and admittedly, not many of us do). I think you’ll agree these headphones are seriously something else. The sound reproduction is top notch, and you can even feel the low end like there’s a subwoofer in here somewhere. I am amazed.

Monster Beats Studio in White

What you may not know is that Dr. Dre teamed up with Monster and Jimmy Iovine to make the Beats line of headphones. Their goal was to replicate the sound you’d expect from a professional recording studio. It took them over 3 years to realize their goal, and it truly shows. As such, I feel that the Beats by Dre Studio headphones are, without a doubt, worth every penny. If you have $350 to spend on high end headphones, you won’t feel as though you’ve wasted your money, and you certainly won’t feel like you’ve just payed for a logo, because you haven’t. For some, this is just too much to spend on headphones, and that’s fair. But the Studios will keep you coming back for more time and time again, so I feel like you’re getting more than just headphones with this purchase. I’ve never felt headphones have changed the way I listen to music before these. It’s an odd, but altogether welcomed feeling. It’s certainly a large investment, but one I think anyone who chooses to make will continue to be happy with for years to come.

Appletell Rating:
Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Studio Review

Buy Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones

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  • Daniel

    The Beats by Dr Dre headphones are definitely among the better ones i have tried, including for in-ear Tour ones, alhtough i would recommend upgrading to Solo or Studio if you can afford it.

    Visit iPodRepublic.com to win a pair of Beats by Dr Dre Tour in-ear headphones.

  • DonLoc

    I just got the Beats by Dre Studio headphones from http://www.buybeatsbydre.com They were a little expensive; regardless i would have to say at first i was a little hesitant at first like the average consumer for even thinking to spend $200+ on a set of headphones. I can honestly say that the purchase was worth every dollar I spent and im an extreme penny pincher. Nowadays you get what you pay for, and when it comes to my music and gadgets i dont mind spending the extra cash.

  • mwestf

    Can you just use the control cord and connect to Bose headphones?

  • Gary

    OH MY GOSH. OH MY GOSH. I am quite simply astonished and speechless at the incredible sound quality of these amazing headphones. Incredible. I saw these some time ago and baulked at the price and like a dick went for a pair of sennheiser HD 215's at £70. Big mistake. I'm not here to tell you how bad my Senns are but how good these Beats Studios are. For anyone out there thinking of buying a pair of these headphones and are a little scared by the price, don't be is all I can tell you. Don't be scared by the price they are worth the money. You've heard it said that you get what you pay for well here is proof of that. These are without any shadow of a doubt the best high end headphones that money can buy, shop around though because I managed to get mine for £250 at the carphone warehouse. I have had these now for a full twenty four hours and I am ploughing my way through my music collection just because the sound that these babies give off is phenomenal all my music sounds new and fresh and vibrant it's like hearing for the first time and I don't mean the music I mean hearing in general. I just finished listening to " Mashed up Skool mix Lazy Lazy" WOW. It actually felt like that banging bass you get in nightclub big fat and round. Sorry if I sound all gushy it's because I am. To understand fully what it is I'm talking about get yourself down to your nearest stockist and test drive a pair of these badboys for yourself. Word of warning don't do what I nearly did which was to try and get these on the cheap it's just not worth it and it could cost you more long term. There are loads of fake ones on a certain auction website and the prices might seem attractive but don't be fooled the components used in the fakes will be of an inferior quality and you definitely won't have warranty so my advice is pay the money get the real deal and start loving your music collection again. The only real downside if you want to be snippy about something is sound leak but that's not enough to stop you from buying a pair. Definitely worth it. Bite the bullet go out and treat yourself.

  • anyone who has ever tried them

    These headphones are worth $50, maybe $75 dollars. And yes, you ARE buying them for the label, I'm curious what you got in return for writing this review.

  • Austin smith

    I really love these beats!! They were even more amazing then I thought! But I scratched them when I waz walkin along the sidewalk. I dropped them. Now I can not figure out how to get the scratches out. Luckily I could still listen to music.