My son informed me that he would like a pair of Beats headphones by Dr. Dre for Xmnas. I realize that these are over priced headphones, and you’re basically just paying for the name brand. That’s fine, if that’s what my son wants.
He said “Beats by Dr Dre.” are all beats by Dr Dre? Or do various artists sign their name to them?
Are they all wireless? Or is that a premium I have to pay for?
Any other information you think I might need to know about these things would be greatly appreciated.
They’re all by Dre, and you may want to get your son to say what kind he wants, otherwise it’s like saying “I want a pair of Nike shoes” - they’ve got several models and colors, some wired and some wireless.
But are Beats worth a shit? I know they’re stylish, but I’d hate that you pour any money into bad equipment that I assume from the brand name just loads up the bass, like a ghetto cruiser. Your kid’s ears are worth more than that.
Most audio reviews say they have an acceptable, if overpowered bass, with relatively poor mids and trebles. Oh, and the build quality is pretty poor too, and they’re not very comfortable or well fitting. But they’re meant to be worn around the neck (like a modern day scarf), not for being listened too. Seriously.
I will never understand children. We live in a magical time, when even the worst, unmusical shit is recorded beautifully. I would think that a producer like Dre would be interested in people hearing every note that he crafted into a song.
To be fair, a lot of audiophiles and “headphone enthusiasts” have a pretty vested interest in slamming Beats.
I’ve listened to a few Beats models. They ain’t bad, depending on what you’re listening to and what you’re looking for.
I mostly use Koss Portapros, famous for punching well-above their price class, and I’d say that Beats are, give or take a bit, as good or better. If price is totally taken out of the equation, I’d say they’re totally acceptable, especially for modern rock, pop, and hip hop, where really punchy bass is desired.
The problem is that my Portapros are $30-50, and Beats can top $200.
Beats are among the worst headphones you can possibly use. They hype the bass and the high end, creating a fake sense of loudness that forces the listener to turn them even louder to hear the critical mid-range frequencies. Sustained, long-term use of these type of headphones at anything above moderately-soft volumes *will *lead to hearing damage. The only worst thing to do is to have your son listen on earbuds at loud volumes.
If all your son wants is the style and aesthetic of Beats, then your hand may be forced. But there are headphones of infinitely higher sound quality that you can get for $50. A couple of recommendations include the Grado SR6 and the Sony MDR-v6. These have plenty of bass and treble and are not as harsh to listen to.
I’m an audio engineer, and teach production and engineering at a media college. Beats are unacceptable for anything but looking cool amongst a certain set. They are literally banned from school for any production work.
Grado’s are among the best cans out there. The Sony’s are pretty darn good, and you can’t go wrong with most Audio-Technica or Sennheisers.
There are different models and versions of Beats. Word on the street (specifically Inner Fidelity magazine) is that the new “2.0” versions are substantially better than the originals in sound quality.
Be aware that there are different categories of headphones. The Beats are closed. The Grado and Koss ones mentioned above are open-air headphones that provide zero isolation from outside sounds, making them useless and dangerous on a bus or airplane. They also leak noise which can annoy others as well. In that category I prefer Sennheiser over Grado. (HD518, HD558, HD600 etc)
Open headphones generally have better overall sound quality than closed phones at a given price, but they usually struggle with the very low bass range.
The Beats I heard in a store recently had greatly exaggerated bass. The overall sound quality was not great for the high price but not too bad. The comfort was good which is important; they’re useless if they hurt to wear.
V-Moda is another company that makes portable closed fashion-oriented headphones. I’ve never heard them myself. There’s a cheap $50 knockoff of the original Beats Solo called the Noontec Zoro that sounds good.
No kidding! I think I’ve had “unboxing experiences” with my Apple and some other products, and the only think I remember about the “experience” is how much packaging is wasted. I didn’t know I was supposed to be enjoying that!
Edited to add: Kids may be kids throughout time, but then my friends and I must have been weird in any time. We got audio equipment that had good performance. If you had something that you bought because it was “cool looking” but didn’t perform, you were mocked. Maybe that’s the same thing at the core, I dunno. but we had specs to back it up.