Beats by Dr. Dre Studio Headphones Review

Few brands of headphones have achieved popularity and consumer adoption as quickly as Monster's Beats by Dre series. We recently purchased our own pair of the Beats' Studio Edition headphones to tell you if these are merely marketing fluff or the "real deal."

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Comparison

When we searched for other headphones to compare to the Beats, none of them were remotely similar in appearance or styling. The Beats are quite unique in those two respects.

When we searched on Amazon.com in the $300 to $350 product price ranges, one of the most popular choices listed was the well-regarded Beyer-Dynamic brand and its DT770 and DT880 series of 32 ohm closed and semi-open headphones, respectively. Both headphones can be powered adequately with MP3 players, onboard sound, and certain cell phones without issue.

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We spent two weeks with both pairs, and we have to say that without any doubt, the DT770 has better low, mid-range, and high frequency reproduction than the Beats in music, games, and movies. Our experience with the DT880 was almost as good as the DT770 with the exception of its open-backed nature. Those leak sound, but only slightly less than the Beats Studio headphones do. They also have a much wider sound stage. The only drawback we found with either pair of Beyer-Dynamic headphones was that they do not have the current "cool" factor that Monster's Beats series is so known for. Both headphones resemble silver and black pairs of ear muffs. They are both extremely durable and feel as if they would stand up to years of punishment, although we have no evidence to support that. Each pair only weighs 20 grams more than the Beats.

When we looked for headphones or headsets with similar performance, but much more affordable than the Beats, we immediately thought of the Creative Tactic3D Sigma headset that we reviewed in February. The Sigma headset has a recessed mid-range and very good impactful bass much like the Beats, but it looks like a typical, plain, black gaming headset. If you are a true gamer, we know you always demand product performance over looks.

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When we thought of the word "Studio" in the Beats' product name, we immediately thought of the Audio-Technica M50 studio monitor headphones for comparison. The M50 are respected and well-known for being true studio headphones. They have a balanced, neutral, and closed sound. The M50 had everything the Beats Studio headphones lacked: good isolation, more prominent mid-range, and durable construction. We will have the full review of those very soon.

We looked to see if Monster had any headphones in its Beats product line that felt more durable than the Beats Studio edition. We found the Beats Pro.

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Monster sells these for $449.95. The Beats Pro have solid metal construction throughout the frame and genuine leather ear pads and headband. The downside is that these are heavier and cause fatigue more quickly than the Studio edition. It's truly a shame that a consumer would have to consider paying more than $400 for a pair of Beats headphones before he would find any sort of lasting build quality or durability.

The Bottom Line

The Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones are by no means a bad product; these are truly unique in appearance and quite good in the musical genres these were created for, but these are far from a good product when you look at the overall value.

Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones' high price, flimsy construction, lack of printed specifications, and poor technical support are four reasons for us to tell you that you should definitely look elsewhere for headphones at this or any price point. There are simply better, more capable products available in the same price range or much lower than the Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones. You are wasting your money on these unless you find the branding alone to be worth a couple hundred dollars.

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