Mobile / Hands-on Review

Holiday 2012: Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones and Portable Speakers


Beats by Dr. Dre has glamorized the marketplace of designer headphones. These days they are omnipresent. Andre Romelle Young (better known as Dr. Dre) has made his signature line of headphones both a status symbol and a fashion accessory.


The entry-level offering from Beats is known as Solo HD, a set of supra-aural headphones with an inline mic/remote for smartphone compatibility. They feature dual proprietary titanium-coated drivers in each ear, a tri-fold design and a detachable cable for easy replacement. They come in a variety of colors, ranging from standard black to bubble-gum pink.

In association with the French producer/DJ, David Guetta, Beats introduced the Mixr DJ Headphones. Designed to take a beating, as they inevitably would in the hands of a techno/house DJ, the Mixr offers durable construction with a flexible housing. To further meet the needs of this industry, the headphones are surprisingly lightweight, exceptionally loud and offer rotating ear cups for easy one-ear monitoring. The Mixr comes with two cables, including one with an inline mic/remote, to easily adapt for street use. These headphones are available in black and white.

The Beats Studio headphones feature active noise cancellation, powered by a pair of AAA batteries. These over-ear (circumaural), closed-back headphones have an ergonomic design to provide maximum comfort. The extra-large drivers give Beats Studio an edge on reproducing low frequencies, while an integrated digital amplifier ensures a precisely tailored response. Like the previous model, the Beats Studio includes two detachable cables, one with an inline smartphone mic/remote and one without. They also have a Mute button, for impromptu conversations and announcements. Beats Studio headphones are available in a wide range of colors.

The new Beats Executive headphones have the same feature set as the Beats Studio, including active noise cancellation, an over-ear closed-back design, two detachable cables (one with mic/remote) and noise cancellation powered by a pair of AAA batteries. The Beats Executive boasts a classier, top-shelf design with black-and-silver finish. They include an airline adapter and a carrying case as well.

The Pro headphones are the only Beats model that claim a flat frequency response, rather than an improved and enhanced low end. Designed for use in the studio, they offer passive isolation via high-density padded ear cups. The Beats Pro frame is made of gun-metal aluminum and the adjustable headband is made for comfort. A coiled 4.9’ cable lets you roam with plenty of slack, while the headphones’ integrated output allows you to daisy-chain with another user. The Beats Pro includes a 1/4” adapter and a carrying pouch.

The Beats Wireless Bluetooth headphones support SBC, apt-X and AAC codecs. They will pair with any Bluetooth-enabled device, including TVs. They feature ear-cup-integrated microphone/controls, ten-hour battery life and an included cable for non-wireless operation. The Beats Wireless Bluetooth headphones are available in black or white and operate using the Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR protocol. To learn more about this technology, check out our Holiday 2012: Bluetooth Wireless Headphones article.


The next logical step from manufacturing headphones is, of course, earphones, and Dr. Dre didn’t miss a beat!

The new urBeats earphones feature a flat, tangle-free cable with an inline mic/remote. They also include four sizes of ear tips, so you can find the right balance of comfort and isolation. urBeats are available in black or white and include a carrying pouch. The Beats Tour earphones have the same features, but add three extra ear tip sizes, for a total of seven.

If there’s a celebrity whose reputation for sonic precision equals Dr. Dre’s, it has to be Lady Gaga. The Beats Heartbeats 2 earphones were styled by Lady Gaga, offering gun-metal studs and a leather-like flat cable. The Heartbeats 2 feature an inline mic/remote, a leather carrying pouch and include seven sizes of ear tips.

When you’re working out and training hard, you might be better off trusting your ears to a sports star rather than a pop star. The Powerbeats earphones were designed in association with LeBron James. These earphones feature adjustable and bendable ear clips that wrap around the outside of your ears. This design holds the earphones in place while you exercise. Additionally, the Powerbeats are sweat resistant and UV protected to withstand even the toughest training regimens. They also feature a two-speaker design in each ear, providing enhanced sound reproduction. Powerbeats are available black, red or white.

Portable Speakers

The Beats by Dre product line includes two portable speakers, designed for use at home and on the go, that offer a modern replacement to the iconic 1980s boombox.

The Beats pill portable speaker features a rechargeable lithium-Ion battery and a cool, capsule-shaped design. The sound output is loud, boomy and crisp, all at once. You can connect a music player by either Bluetooth or a 1/8” (3.5mm) connector cable. It includes an AC adapter, a carrying case and also features an integrated microphone for conference calls.

The Beatbox Portable further integrates current technology with SBC, APT-X and AAC Bluetooth compatibility. It also features a built-in iPod/iPhone dock and a 1/8” (3.5mm) input for versatile connectivity. The speaker offers high-quality sonics with deep bass and detailed highs. The Beatbox Portable can be powered by six D cell batteries for use anywhere; it also includes a pocket-sized remote control, an AC adapter for stationary use, and seven iPod/iPhone dock adapters.

Full-Size Docking Speaker

The Beats by Dre flagship Beatbox speaker claims to have high enough volume and sound quality to “replace a mountain of equipment.” Its driving bass, lush midrange and soaring highs can easily fill a room with sound. The Beatbox employs high-voltage circuitry to create this rich sonic experience. Connect a music source to its 1/8” input jack or dock your iPod or iPhone to hear for yourself. It also includes five iPod/iPhone dock adapters and a remote control, so you can relax while enjoying your favorite tracks.

When shopping for someone who gives equal consideration to both function and style, consider picking up some Beats by Dr. Dre products this holiday season.

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The headphone is an obvious part of a music lover. There are lots of options available, but I think Dr. Dre is the best all of those.

Thanks a lot....