Hands-On Review: Beats By Dre Pro Headphones

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Headphones that really rock the house

By Jon Chappell
Senior Editor, Harmony Central

Beats by Dre Pro Headphones

The portable music-player revolution made it easy to hear good music without disturbing your family, neighbors, coworkers, or even the person sitting next to you. But for anyone who wanted to hear hi-res audio that envelops and overwhelms you the way it does in a club or at a concert, there were serious trade-offs: inadequate bass response and invasion by real-world sounds, especially with run-of-the-mill earbuds. Now Monster Cable and Dr. Dre have blown away previous efforts to improve that situation, and one listen to the Beats Pro headphones from the Beats by Dr. Dre collaboration will show you you're not in budville anymore.

Eyes and ears

With Beats by Dr. Dre, form doesn't take a backseat to function—both are topnotch. The beautiful Beats Pro headphones (cans, as they're called in the studio world) are so brilliantly designed, ingeniously equipped, and a pleasure to wear you'll wonder why headphones haven't always been like this. For starters, they come in two colors of padding (black or white) and are packed in a reusable foldout case. The closed-ear design uses extra-thick padding around the earcups and headband, making the Beats Pro incredibly comfortable to wear for long stretches. The headphones are substantial enough to cover your head and ears, completely blocking out unwanted sounds, yet stylish enough to be worn in public.

Beats by Dre Pro Headphones Side

Design surprises

Beyond those basics, the Beats Pro Headphones features really begin to soar. Each earcup can be rotated away from your ear, so you can let in outside sounds when desired, yet still feel the music in the other ear (vocalists, take note!). And in an utterly cool departure from convention, the Beats Pro's detachable half-straight, half-coiled cable can be plugged into either of two input jacks, one below each earcup!

And that's not even the best part. Thanks to some clever electronics inside the headphones, when you plug the cable into one earcup jack, the other jack becomes an output, which means you can connect a second set of cans from your Beats Pro, or actually chain several sets of Beats Pros together, and feed them from a single player.

At first you may wonder why people would want their headphones all connected—it could become difficult during group jogging. But I imagined several scenarios for this cool feature: a studio band listening to the same MP3 mix at one time, a couple watching a televised rock concert in bed without disturbing sleeping kiddies, critical listening in a noisy environment (such as an airport lounge or fast-moving automobile)—the list goes on and on.

The included cable sports stereo mini-plugs at each end and a quarter-inch adapter that's tethered to one end so you don't lose it when it's not in use. The adapter screws onto the mini-plug end, and at the earcup jacks, the mini-plug twist-locks into place, making for extremely reliable audio connections.

Walls of sound

The Beats Pro Headphones reproduces unbelievable bass frequencies and does it without adding circuitry that could color or degrade the sound. The headphones are tuned to rival studio-monitor speakers in frequency response and clarity. I listened to all kinds of programming through these beauties, from classic rock and soul to the most heart-pounding, booty-shaking, room-rattling beats I could feed into them—and was stunned by the feeling of live sound I was getting from a pair of headphones.

The Beats Pro gives music a new dimension, whether you're listening to material from 40 years ago or today's breaking releases. There's a slight dip in midrange frequencies that cleans up harsh tones from older recordings and smoothes out some digital artifacts from newer ones—you know, those occasional, irritating sounds that make you want to run for your turntable and vinyl. I was hard-pressed to find any record in my extensive collection that I didn't prefer listening to with the Beats Pro, even when compared to similarly priced high-end studio headphones I've used on recording projects.

Doctor's orders

If anyone should know about burning down the house with deep bass and high gain, it's Dr. Dre, and his Beats Pro is the way to go—for anyone who insists on absolute clarity in their music listening and doesn't want to compromise when checking out mixes designed for the bass to be pumped in a club or rocked in a stadium. These headphones will blow you away—and anyone connected to you with their own set of Beats Pro cans.

Features & Specs:

  • Deep bass response and clean sound across the spectrum
  • Proprietary driver technology and materials for pro-caliber sound
  • Superior sound isolation
  • Patent-pending dual input/output cable ports
  • Unique flip-up earcups
  • Plush and washable ear cushions
  • Threaded 1/4" adapter with tether
  • Headphone cable (1.8 meters with a coil that extends it to 2.1 meters)
  • 1/8" to 1/4" adapter
  • Touring case
  • Monster clean cloth with advanced aegis microbe shield technology
  • 1-year warranty

Check out the amazing bass response, clarity, and design of Beats Pro from Beats by Dr. Dre and Monster.

Tags: Headphones DJ Equipment Harmony Central

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