� The�Monster�Beats by Dre headphones are surprisingly comfortable and lightweight, making long periods of use, ahem, wear rather pedestrian and non-fatiguing.�
� The Beats by Dre headphones are fairly attractive-looking, I must admit; they are clearly designed to speak to a young, hip audience and, to that extent, they succeed. While my father would probably never buy or wear a pair, my two younger brothers will eat up the visual style.�
� The Beats by Dre headphones have impressive levels of bass output and are among the most truly full-range headphones I've ever listened to, at any price.
� The active isolation works very well with the Beats, arguably better than that of the reigning king of isolating headwear, Bose. The mute button is a nice touch and a welcome and useful addition. I also quite like that the battery unit to power the Beat's isolation is housed in the ear cups themselves, as opposed to a dongle located somewhere on the cable.
� I did my evaluation of the Beat by Dre headphones at a�Monster�Cable-sponsored event, so if they were going to sound their best, I have to imagine it was going to be in Monster's own house. This said, the Beats are atrocious. Because of their isolation, you have no escape from the ice-pick-to-the-ear drum effect the Beats are so good at reproducing.�
� The high frequencies are so glaring and harsh at moderate, never mind stupid, volume levels I didn't last but 30 seconds in my listening test before tearing the Beats from my head. I literally couldn't stand to listen much longer than that, although I went back repeatedly to prove I wasn't being a baby about auditioning these headphones.
� The midrange, normally a headphone's strong suit, is flat, lifeless and rather digital-sounding, reminding me more of a boom box's output than audiophile fare.�
� The bass output from the Beats is impressive, I won't lie. However, like everything Monster does, it is so overpowering in a "look at me" way that it becomes more a distraction and a nuisance then an attribute. Then again, the Beats' bass does mask a fair bit of its overall sonic shortcomings.�
��Monster�will have you believe, if you believe anything advertising says, that the Beats will play loud (remember, like the artist intended) without distortion, which just isn't true. In fact, if you listen to the Beats at an authorized store kiosk, there is no volume adjustment other than LOUDER available to you, just to make their point. Problem is, the starting volume at those displays is already brain-busting. Hitting the LOUDER button results in almost assured and potentially immediate hearing loss. Consider yourself warned.
To sum the experience of listening to the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones from Monster Cable: they're a bit like getting punched directly in the ear canal by a very attractive woman bejeweled in Cartier. The Beats by Dre headphones are ungodly expensive and, while stylish, do not appear nor feel solidly built. While the Beats by Dre possess good sound isolation, you never want to use it in conjunction with listening to music, turning the headphones into earmuffs more than listening devices. Would I recommend them? It all depends on how much I hate you. Seriously, look elsewhere for your iPod and beyond.
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��Read a review of the Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones by Andrew Robinson here on HomeTheaterReview.com...