November 18, 2009 2 min read
Monster Cable might get a bit peeved that we reviewed these headphones against the best noise cancelling cans out there because they don't promote them as such, but they are noise cancelling headphones, and I'm sure they won't mind too much because we ended up liking them a lot.
|The Beats defy simple categorization. They're not really closed headphones; they're not really noise cancellers; they're not really like any other headphone we've tested. What they are is very fun and cool ... if we had a category for that, they'd be at the top of that short list.Right off the bat we'll admit the Beats had fairly poor noise cancelling performance relative to the others reviewed in this article, but because their bass is so tight and poppin', and the highs so lively that it didn't seem to matter all that much. None the less, the Beats had the poorest isolation of the lot. Though the "b" on the earpieces stands for Beats, it should stand for BLING! Man, these are great looking headphones. Down to the smallest detail I found the Beats incorporating novel ideas and styling touches like no other headphone I've seen. You'd expect a great cable from Monster and you'd get one, but you wouldn't expect them to deliver unique, effective, and sometimes superior headphone design features with their first entry into the market. The way the head band seems continuous, simple, and elegant all the way to and including the earpiece is stunning. And the way they fold inward into a surprisingly small size, and pack into a handy hard-sided carry case which, though shaped differently, is about the same or smaller volume than the Sennheiser and Sony cases is again just stunning.|
|[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="340" caption="Frequency Response of the Monster Beats"][/caption]But the real treat for us was the sound.Noise cancelling headphones are never going to sound as good as good passive headphones driven by a headphone amp --- they're just doing too much work internally in the noise cancelling circuit --- but we found ourselves really tappin' our toes to the terrifically fun sound of the Beats. Tight, dynamic bass, good presence, and tinkling highs made every detail readily apparent through the slightly higher outside noise levels. The clincher is that they're priced well in this category too. If you're not a constant traveler and need a general purpose headphone that gives you a little refuge away from the world at your desk, around the house, or walking around town, you might just love these cans as much as we do. Highly recommended.|
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