Beats headphones are often shunned by audiophiles, who claim that the bass-heavy audio does not accurately reproduce sound. This is criticism we hear regularly from readers and tech-savvy users.
The thicker sound, which is the signature of all Beats headphones, works well for some music genres. But anyone who remembers music not produced by computers will find that the added base blurs the tonal separation of music.
Beats Studio are good-looking cans, and there’s something sexy about the red accentuations on the glossy black finish on our review model. They fit comfortably and the memory foam on the earpieces creates a snug chamber around your ears to seal in the extra bass.
These headphones offer impressive noise-cancelling support, powered by a built-in rechargeable battery. Charging is done via a supplied microUSB cable and a single charge will last about 20 hours. Power levels are indicated via a small row of LEDs on the right earphone.
One of our biggest frustrations with the Beats Studio is that the auto power-off feature only works when the 3,5mm audio jack is removed. It does not power off when it detects no audio, leaving us on numerous occasions with a flat battery. This problem is not unique to Beats, though.
The box includes both a standard and RemoteTalk audio cable. The latter is handy when listening to music on a cellphone, allowing the user to answer a call and use the headphones as a hands-free kit.
There is also a great carry case included, but there is not enough room to keep all the cables and the charger together.
One feature we really like is the mute button hidden behind the Beats logo on the left hand earphone. When pressed, all sound is muted. This is handy in public environments when someone chats to you or if you need to hear your surroundings.
Although the audio quality produced by Beats headsets is often the topic of heated debate, and although there are many that say they sound terrible, there is also an entire generation of music lovers that demand the sound they produce. It’s easy to hear the modified low frequencies that produce the fatter sound associated with electronic music. This makes some modern music sound great, while other tunes can seem less punchy.
Music genres that work well with overdubbed bass sound great on the Beats, and the thump it creates can sound beautiful if you like music genres such as drum and bass and hip hop.
We were equally intrigued at how underwhelming the Beats Studios sound with any music of the rock persuasion. As disappointing as that was, there is a reason for this. Simply put, Beats does not develop headphones for classical music or rock. The headphones are built to enhance the listener’s experience more than trying to produce technically accurate sound. This may not work for everyone, but it’s certainly part of the reason for Beats’s success.
From about R3 300 for a pair, the Beats Studios are rather pricey, and for that amount of money there are numerous other headphones that will produce more accurate audio. We’re quite impressed with The House of Marley’s TTRs (they’re not only for reggae fans), but you won’t go wrong with anything from Bose. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media