Gear

Studio Beats by Dr Dre review

The Studio Beats by Dr Dre is created to let the listener hear the music the way the artists and producers want it to be heard. And after spending a week with a pair of Studios I have to say that Monster Cable has managed to create what was intended. The sound is really crisp, and can make any listener move to the beats, and grooving to the riffs. The fact that they look like something taken out of the latest videos from MTV with a completely unique look is also a major draw. Actually the Studios can be seen being worn by a number of notable artists, producers and celebrities as Monster Cable has created a product people want to be seen wearing. It is hip, cool and brings superb sound.

monster_beats_dr_dre_phonesIt is easy to understand that the Studio Beats by Dr Dre is sold out at several outlets, and in Sweden they are really hard to come by. Not even Monster Cable here in Sweden had any in stock, and thankfully I got to borrow a pair from the Swedish Monster Cable distributor Interconnect Nordic AB.(thanks Tomas)

The box the Studios ship in is awesome, and probably the best presented package I have seen from any product beside Apple’s products. The large orange box is lavish, and probably totally unnecessary but to complement the $300 headphones it is perfect. You get both a Monster Cable headphone cable with very little signal loss, and a Monster iSoniTalk™ iPhone headphone cable. In this review I test the Studio Beats by Dr Dre as a set of handsfree headphones using the iSoniTalk™ cable with the integrated microphone. The microphone is looking like a rectangular box placed in height to your mouth. The microphone button is constructed like a spring from a truck. It is very easy to locate on the go, and the entire microphone feels solid. Sadly though the sound quality is appalling for the person on the other end of a conversation. This means that you can’t buy the Studios expecting to use them as your handsfree headset.

3501288346_3154a4c94b_oYou also get a rigid tour case that lets the Studios fold up nicely within. The Studios fold up in a really cool way stacking itself on top of itself. There is also a small cloth to keep the Studios clean from smudges. 2 AAA batteries are also included, and since you have to have power on to be able to use the headphones it is wise to invest in re rechargeable batteries. The batteries last quite a long time as long as you don’t forget to turn off the Studios when you aren’t going to use them for a while. There is no automatic shutoff or power save mode. To some it might be bothersome to purchase batteries but if you buy $300 headphones you should be able to afford a couple of bucks worth of batteries.

Listening to the Studio Beats by Dr Dre the first time gave me a jolt of energy. The music came alive, and I understood the pricing of the headphones. If you want to really experience your music it is certainly worth it.

Image/Style/Design

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ts232_av4The Studio Beats by Dr Dre has a distinct look not to be mistaken for any other brand. The large (b) logo found on the ear cups paired with the sleek glossy finish really attracts attention. I have not seen any headphones that look as hot and cool as the Studio Beats by Dr Dre. And quite frankly that might be the problem for many people, as they can’t match the headphones. I have already had my students laugh at me when wearing these as I lack a bit of cool apparently. The Studio Beats by Dr Dre is aimed at the urban city kid wearing them like it is nobodies’ business. I feel a bit like one of them wearing the Studios but my students brought me down to earth again from dreams of Escalades, bandanas, bling bling and thumping bass. If you are cool enough these headphones will certainly boost your cool further.

The glossy finish gets smudgy from fingerprints when handling them making them look a bit greasy up close. You get a cloth in the package to polish them, and these are the first headphones I have tried that you actually need to polish from time to time. Walking around with $300 headphones that looks like they are worn by a filth pig is no fun, but then again you have to wash your Ferrari as well to keep it shiny, right?

Portability/Comfort

4-stars_sm

ts232_av7The Studio Beats by Dr Dre is really comfortable to wear despite their size, and the fact that they contain two AAA batteries. They feel light, and once on the head it is easy to forget that you wear large headphones. They remain quite cool against the skin even after hours of wear in comparison to most other headphones I have tried. Of course if you exercise, and run they will get warm and sticky because of your perspiration. This might not be such a problem though because the Studios aren’t suited for running anyway. Sudden movements such as head movement while running, and head banging makes the Studios move on your head. The headband moves back and forth on your skull making for an unpleasant run. They don’t fall off completely though as the headphones gently hug your ears.

Of course you can’t put the studios in your pocket but they sit really nicely around the neck without disturbing the wearer. The cords, both with and without microphone, are hassle free without any tendency to tangle due to thickness and sturdiness.

The case you get for storing the Studios is really sturdy, and the Studios fold up easily. You can easily smack the case around with the Studios inside without risking any damage. The Studios themselves feels durable but this test is limited to a week, and quite frankly I wouldn’t want to torture these sleek objects of art more than necessary.

If you have a really big head the Studios might be too small. I have a moderately large head, and I have to stretch the headbands to almost full extension. For big headed people or those with a seriously massive hairdo I recommend you to try before you buy.

Sound quality

4pt5-stars_sm

ts232_av6I feel like I am on stage at a concert wearing the Studio Beats by Dr Dre. The sound focus around the user making for a really intense experience. A bit bass heavy but at the right level enhancing the music instead of ruining it. I have listened to all kinds of music wearing the Studios, and the result is always the same but the reaction depends on the surroundings. Listening to In Flames at home turns me into an air guitarist kneeling in front of my hall mirrors playing like crazy. At work listening to some big band it turns into some soft chair dancing not to disturb my colleagues. Worst of course is being out walking listening to Jay Z or Eminem as it turns into my totally own impression of hip hop dance. Needless to say the Studios does what Apple says about their own in-ear headphones, it lets you rediscover your music.

I have to mention the poor microphone as well as it is completely useless, and this drags the sound quality rating down. I have yet to complete a phone call without having to unplug the Studios because the person at the other end has had trouble hearing me. The sound is tinny, and really muted for the recipient making them useless as your handsfree headset. This is a shame as it would be really cool to have both headphones, and decent handsfree in the same product. The microphone lets you control the play/pause, and Voice Control making it really useful anyway. But please don’t buy the Studios expecting to use them as your handsfree headset.

Noise isolation

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ts232_av1The noise cancellation of the Studios is a mixed bag. On the one hand it works quite well blocking out unwanted sounds such as computers humming, fans whirring and chairs moving. On the other hand it can’t be turned off, the headphones are either powered or completely silent. Voices and high pitched sounds still filter through although somewhat muted which is ok.

When used with my Macbook the Studios hum when I don’t play any audio. This background hum is drowned easily by music, but if you for example listen to classical music with silent parts I can’t recommend the Studios.

You can easily interact with people around you pressing the (b) on the right headphone to mute the music. I can hear both myself, and the person I talk to clearly using this feature. But since the button needs to be held you can just as well take the Studios off as you look silly standing around holding the button. I think this function should have a proper on/off switch to make it useful. Standing at the supermarket handling the wallet with one hand, and holding the (b) with the other is not practical at all.

Gaming

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The Studio Beats by Dr Dre also available in white.

The Studio Beats by Dr Dre is also available in white.

The Studio Beats by Dr Dre has got some issues with interference from Edge/3G usage. It is not as bad as I have experience with other noise cancellation headphones but it is annoying enough to take note of. Walking near my high speed cable modem at home makes the Studios go haywire with noise. As the noise cancellation can’t be turned off some environments, and heavy Edge/3G gaming becomes less fun but still tolerable. I would like to have the ability to turn off the noise cancellation to play some Eliminate on the go without interference but sadly I can’t.

Final rating

4-stars

At www.colorwarepc.com you can get your Studios with a custom paintjob to your own liking.

At www.colorwarepc.com you can get your Studios with a custom paintjob to your own liking.

There is no denying that the Studio Beats by Dr Dre are among the coolest, best looking headphones out there. With great sound quality, good sound cancellation and comfortable fit they are easy to recommend for most users. Do not expect them to meet your expectations when it comes to the microphone that is really poor making them useless as handsfree for your iPhone. The occasional interference from Edge/3G and surrounding radios and modems also drags the final rating down. Still clearly the Studios is a good purchase if you are looking for some of the best headphones out there.

Beats by Dr Dre Studio at the US Apple Store $299.95

Beats by Dr Dre Studio Official Site

Colourware custom Studio Beats by Dr Dre

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  • Angus

    I think i’ll stick with my AKG’s :p

  • legend.inc

    By the way, i wanted to let ya know that i like these reviews of the iphone accessories. hopefully we will have controllers soon.

  • http://www.designisgrowth.com DannyV

    These are SEXY! I want these so badly.

  • Nick

    why is this coming up on an iphone gaming website????

    unsubscribed…

  • Munk

    Really appreciate the peripheral branching. From a business perspective it’s a smart decision, but I’m not sure what your demographic focus is.

    Those of us who would actually consider dropping $300.00 on inexperienced headphones require a lot more than big gold stars and prattle over how nice their packaging is.

    Take stride from HeadRoom: http://www.headphone.com/headphones/grado-ps1000.php

    I’m gonna need to see a frequency chart and an arm’s length worth of specs before I’d ever consider a +$80.00 pair of cans, and those who don’t care about a respectable signal to noise ratio, or acoustic seals also don’t care to drop $300.00 on headphones.

  • Torbjorn Kamblad, Sweden

    @Munk.
    Thanks for your input, and I understand completely what you are saying. Hopefully consumers look around at different sites for differens reviews. Specs and charts are available elsewhere, and I try to focus on the feelings conveyed by the products. I am not educated within either the field of electronics of audiophonics but rather in psychology and social science. I could take the headphones to the lab at school to really test the ranges but there are already lots of people doing that, and basing their reviews on those numbers.

    I just hope that my reviews can help in some small way, and that people also look at other reviews before forking out $300. Often I find myself reading tech reviews of gear just to have zero clue to what the reviewed equipment really feels like and work in real life. Many reviews for example fail to mention the interference from Edge/3G when using active noice cancellation, what? Then it doesn’t matter much if you have all the charts in the world if basic knowledge like that isn’t included.

    Anyway, thanks again for your input Munk.

  • DirtyPig

    I think the reviews are dead on about this product. I was able to win a pair at my job. These are by far superior to Bose, and I rocked Bose for years. The only down side purchasing batteries. However if could create a self charging set that works like an Ipod it would more than likely jump to the next level. Overall Great job.

  • IhaveBeatsbyDrDre

    i have these headphones, and my brother has the new bose headphones. Although the bose heaphones are better with noice cancellation, these are a lot better with sound and movies.

  • Mochan

    These headphones get a lot of hate from the Audiophile community who love their AKGs and Grados and Sennheisers. As a person who lives in the Audiophile world *and* yet is an incorrigible basshead I am really looking forward to getting a pair of these.

    But to be honest I do not like the battery requirement. I am thinking of aiming for the Solo instead or maybe the Spin when it comes out. Does anyone know if the Solo measures up to the Studio in terms of bass quality? I have heard the Studio and I love them, they will replace my Bose OEs, but I rather not have the battery requirement and will opt for the Solo instead if it is comparable in sound.

  • Dr dre

    If you look up on YouTube beats snap, it’s shows someone just putting it on and taking it of and it breaks easily, and there are many other videos saying that it breaks easily, and on apple it’s the same thing. So is this problem real? Because I don’t wanna spend 300$ on something that will break easily

  • a noob

    I own a pair of Grado SR80i and this Dr. Dre Studio. I have to say the clarity of the sounds are almost on the same level. The tweeter on the SR80i can be a bit high with some music but the bass can be a bit too much for some users on the Dr. Dre Studio. The designs are both great but I like the SR80i more because the design stands out of all cans most people use. (makes me look like a robot =D ) The only thing I dislike the most on the Dr. Dre is that it requires batteries or it will not work. That’s weak! aha

    IMO:

    Dr. Dre Studio:
    quality ****
    sound *****
    accessories *****

    Drado SR80i:
    quality *****
    sound *****
    accessories **

    I’d pick the SR80i any day. Great sound, quality and design. Not only that, the SR80i cost a fiction of the Dr. Dre Studio $300 price tag. =D

  • Sarah

    im actually debating about getting a pair of studio beats, solo beats, or monster in ear beats. On one hand the studio beats have soo many more features, including the 24k gold plug in. but the monster in ear beats are almost half the price at 140$, andb the solo beats at 108$ Me wondering id the in ear style will give me the same ‘music experience’seeing as im a musicien/artist. but the in ears look so much more portable/cheap. I know the in ear monsters get a sweet carrying case. But wb the solo beats. do they?
    thanks for this review it made me realize allot. Even though ive read around 12 reveiws. I wanna make sure i know the product before i invest that kinda money.

  • Evren Mijatovic

    Well i think this has convince me and I am probably buying them now.

  • Jane

    i just got the dr dre studios and their AMAZING! thats it. the bass is what makes them so amazing, i listen to rap and rap only and even with regular headphones i could’ent hear the bass as much. the only problem i have with them is the sound leaking. i have my volume barley on 50% and you can hear them from across the room. and also they were very expensive. maybe 50 dollars or so less would be a perfect price in my opinion. i wanted them for almost 2 years before i got them and overall they were worth it

  • Sako Hamilton

    They cost more than my iPod touch 

  • Nigel Wood, UK

    The BEATS SOLO HD’s are a cheaper alternative, and work great.

  • pofi

    please if you want some serious headphones get AKG or Sennheiser, forget about this over-marketed crap

  • Marie98

    these are worth the price ive tried all earphone my dad works in a record label and we have all earphones and none are as good as the beats

  • Marie98

    get the studios they are amazing i cant even tell you you have to expirence them

  • Marie98

    akg and sennheisers look like shit anyway

  • lucy

    why i cant leave comments.

  • lucy

    i bought the studio beats yeasterday at USBEATSKEY.COM spend $140 ,i wonder to know the red beats real or fake.contact me and help me .

  • cerote

    Probably fake, first off beats studio run for $300 or more. $140 to about $60 is what fakes go for.
    Check to see if the cords it came with are tied with belcro strap as only originals do. Also under cap where batteries go should have beats logo trade mark. Sorry

  • beats suck

    Yeah because it’s all about looks with headphones.
    Year are overpriced crap. Can’t even put a decent mic in them. Give me a break.

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