Home > Podcast > AVRant #96.5: Rob Reviews Dre

AVRant #96.5: Rob Reviews Dre

October 3rd, 2008

Listener Rob has a review of the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. Thanks Rob for sharing this with us. Thanks for listening and don’t forget to vote for us at Podcast Alley.

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  1. October 3rd, 2008 at 15:00 | #1

    Indeed, I have just finished my review of the beats and will be posting to Audioholics.com very soon. Overall, I cannot disagree with Rob, and found his 5 minute audio review to be very good! (Hey, that might be a new direction for us. It would save me a lot of time at the keyboard!!!)

    My review will point out the hiss issue, as well as the high price tag. But I also come at things from of viewpoint of the intended audience, and there will be some people that love this product. It does color the sound and it is hissy, but most noise-canceling headphones are hissy, and I actually enjoyed the color (sonically) of these things. Now, with that being said, I did not enjoy them in a way that I want to buy them, or listen to my music that way. I prefer a much more transparent headphone or speaker.

    More to come. Look for the review. Thanks Rob – really enjoy your opinions here!

    jwc

  2. Rob
    October 3rd, 2008 at 21:21 | #2

    No problem, J! And thanks again to Tom for putting this up – very cool 🙂

    I totally agree with J that people could certainly still like these headphones. But as I said in other posts, my big disappointment with them is that they just don’t live up to their claims. It’s one thing to say, “here are some noise cancelling headphones and we think they’re pretty good and output more bass than the competition”, but it’s a totally different thing to call them “studio quality” because they aren’t.

    I bought them with the hopes that they would work well for portable audio, but also, largely in the hopes that they would work well for home theater as well. Most people know that it’s pretty tough to get really good LFE and bass with headphones, so the claims of great bass from these Beats by Dr. Dre seemed really appealing for that!

    But I just couldn’t get past having a constant hiss in the background. I could see…if your were outside, with noise all around and you were cranking some R&B and basically never had a break in the music? You’d probably not notice the background hiss that way – and I think that’s exactly the intended market that J talks about.

    So what had me upset was the claim of “studio quality” and a price tag to match! That’s just not cool and that’s why I returned them 🙂

  3. October 3rd, 2008 at 23:16 | #3

    “But I just couldn’t get past having a constant hiss in the background. I could see…if your were outside, with noise all around and you were cranking some R&B and basically never had a break in the music? You’d probably not notice the background hiss that way – and I think that’s exactly the intended market that J talks about.”

    You are spot on. And sadly, today everything is about marketing. So “studio quality” to me is typical marketing hype, much like the hype you read and hear from Bose.

    There is no way I would spend $350 on these for critical listening. I am so glad you were able to get your money back.

    (Drop me an email at [email protected] when you get a chance.)

  4. BobMac
    October 4th, 2008 at 12:15 | #4

    I tried these out a few weeks ago at the local BB. I was a little leery about putting on public headphones, but I figured I wouldn’t contaminate them too much. I didn’t notice the hiss, but then again, I didn’t have have them on too long. The sound was just too harsh. I like my music like I like my toast…warm. The Beats were anything but.

  5. October 5th, 2008 at 20:52 | #5

    Thats funny. Harsh is not how I would describe them. If anything, I feel the bass is exaggerated. But hey, that’s the thing about opinions, and why there are so many choices in headphones and speakers! Thanks for the input, BobMac.

  6. Rob
    October 5th, 2008 at 22:21 | #6

    BobMac, my first thought about your comment was that you probably were hearing the background hiss, but you just didn’t identify it as being a background hiss right away and instead, identified the overall sound as “harsh”.

    Distortion and Sound Pressure Level are interesting things. If you increase the SPL, but have virtually no distortion, the sound doesn’t subjectively seem “louder” so much as everything just sounds “closer”. Most of the time, if we subjectively identify something as “loud” it’s actually due to distortion. Distortion is more responsible for us identifying something as “loud”, “noisy” or “harsh”, so I’d be willing to bet that what sounded “harsh” to you was actually the background hiss and distortion from the Beats’ built-in amplifier.

    You know, I’ve said how I can understand how some people may still like these headphones. But the flip side is that honestly? Nobody *should. To be blunt, I just think people are doing a disservice to themselves when they use gear that is inaccurate and full of distortion. That’s why it’s so irksome to me that Monster’s marketing claims that the Beats reproduce music the way Dr. Dre hears it in the studio. There’s just no chance at all of that being true. Dr. Dre’s studio likely costs hundreds of thousands of dollars – all in the attempt to minimize distortion as much as possible! Certainly, he wouldn’t put up with a cheap, hissy amp making everything sound “harsh” when he cranks up the volume.

  7. lesser evil
    October 7th, 2008 at 17:49 | #7

    For the Doctor’s definitive review of earphones – see http://www.linkwitzlab.com/reference_earphones.htm

    It seems that the shure E2 passive earphones are a good value at about $100 if you can find them.

  8. BobMac
    October 8th, 2008 at 19:09 | #8

    I will admit I gave up on them very quickly. It could have been the source material, but I’d assume Monster would put high quality music in their kiosk. Next time I’m in Best Buy, I’ll give ’em another shot.

  9. October 13th, 2008 at 11:42 | #9

    Here’s J’s review.

  10. October 13th, 2008 at 12:00 | #10

    Let the bloodsport begin….

  11. lesser evil
    October 23rd, 2008 at 17:37 | #11

    I’ve just received a set of the Shure E2 earphones as referenced by my previous post. They seem to have a quantity of new old stock units available at http://www.audioblowouts.com I haven’t plugged them in yet but the packaging looks genuine . Assume that these have worked for me unless I make another post within 2-3 days.

  12. Raul in HD
    March 3rd, 2009 at 14:55 | #12

    Monster + Apple =

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