Dr Dre and Monster roll out the Beats
Cable specialist Monster and Dr Dre have teamed up once more to launch four different sets of headphones "fo yo ass". Ranging from the £399.95 at the top end to £89.95 at the bottom, the Beats By Dr Dre 2010 collection is designed to provide a little something for everybody.
The headlining act are the Beats Pro which are the upgrades of the Studio set launched in 2008. They're on-ear, closed cup headphones designed for DJ and studio use as well as anyone who can afford to pay 400 quid to plug into their media player.
Our hands-on with them certainly agrees with all that Dre and Monster have to say about them. The cushioning on the ears is very nice and comfortable, the sound isolation is excellent even in noisy environments and tones are rich, punchy at the bottom end as well as rounded in the mid-range and high notes as well.
Changed from the Studio, the collaboration has added a couple of nice features in that the ear cups can twist up and out of the way for when you're trying to mix and there's also a second 3.5mm connection so that a friend can plug into your headphones with theirs to listen to the music you're playing as well. Monster has also added its cabling know-how by combining a coiled section and a straight one to avoid tangling, but at the same time offering 7 feet of reach.
If you can't spare the pocket change for those, the iBeats are the £89.95 option. Designed for use with iPods and other MP3 players, they come with an Apple-only on-cable volume control, but all users can enjoy the solid metal finish and choice of 12 cushions. The main aim here, according to Dre's business partner - music producer Jimmy Iovine - is to get people to appreciate how things should sound.
"iBeats are to replace the free headphones and the $29 ones that sounds like they were free", said the Brooklyn-born former recording engineer for Lennon and Springsteen at the New York launch event. "Those headphones that come with the iPod are just there to test and see if the iPod actually works, that's all they're good for. These ones will sound good on MP3 players".
The third set of Beats By Dr Dre are aimed at those who exercise. The Powerbeats come in at £139.95 and with rubber over-ear hooks to keep the sweat-resistant buds just where they should be, no matter how hard you're throwing yourself about. They also happen to house two drivers, so very possibly worth considering even if you intend to use them while sitting on your bum all day.
The final collection continues on the artist series of headphones which already feature those for P Diddy and Lady Gaga. This time Beats By Dr Dre is looking to educate the youth market on why headphones matter by getting teen popper Justin Beiber to endorse two pairs, which come in the 16-year-old's favourite colour - purple.
There's an £89.95 set, which are an edition of the iBeats, and a £139.95 pair of coloured Beats By Dre Solos.
All of the 2010 Beats are out from October with a brief exclusive at Best Buy US to get the ball rolling.