Dr. Dre Beats

Ok, so I really don't know where to post this question. PC Audio seemed reasonable but these are essentially speakers so it's going here.

The new Dr. Dre Beats. I had the pleasure of listening to these today at the local big-box store at ultra-high volume because I guess everyone is deaf and there was no way to turn it down. Anywho. I'm referring to the noise-cancelling headphones in particular. The on-ear headphones sounded a little dark. The around-the-ear noise cancelling ones had a bigger mid-range which was quite pleasant.

And then I walked over to the Bose noise cancelling headphones and it was a guy just talking in on the demo and wouldn't shut up so I put those down.

I have no real experience with headphones but am looking to get into them here shortly. And semi-seriously. And by that I mean I'm not spending a grand on headphones. $300-600 is my limit. I'll eventually be running them off a tube amp.

So, any input on the Beats? Are they worth it for $300? They sure sounded good. And quiet. And as comfortable as I would ever need headphones to be. But since I don't know what Ultrasone headphones sound like I'm wondering if I'd be selling myself short.

I know someone will ask what kind of music I listen to so here it is. Everything from Sia and Natalie Walker to Ludovico Einaudi and Erik Mongrain. Remember, I want to eventual pair these with a tube amp so I don't know if that really changes anything.

Thanks for any advice/input.


They sure sounded good. And quiet. And as comfortable as I would ever need headphones to be.$300-600 is my limit.
Sounds to me you found what you're looking for.

Are they worth it for $300?
The question I ask is,are they worth $300.00 to you?
Check Craigslist. Look under "Electronics" and put "headphones" in the search field. I see them there all the time for less than Best Buy prices, with all accessories.
Be careful of buying these headphones on Craigslist as there are fakes being sold all over the place and it's tough to tell the difference.
i heard 'em at the apple store and was very impressed--very dynamic and loud; much better than the comparably priced bose/b&w cans. i think you're getting good advise about avoiding the cl/ebay route, since counterfeiting is rampant.
There is good websites dedicated to headphones called Head Fi that has a forum section where you can read other peoples thoughts home and portable headphones.


In your price range you might also want to consider customs.
I like AKG 701s which fit your budget and are readily available on Amazon.com and elsewhere brand new, authentic. The latest are the 702s black instead of white, which I am told is the main difference between them. I haven't heard the newer ones so I can't confirm that statement. They are about the same price, so you want to try them too. I drive mine off a couple of different tube amps. They are a benign load of about 50-60 ohms.
There are a LOT of headphones that will be better in the $300 price range. Do yourself a BIG favor and check out head-fi.org, great people with great advice.

Also www.headphone.com is a good place for information. The company is Headroom they sell lots of good brands and give REAL un-sugar coated reviews and measurements. They also make and sell thier own line of amps. For open headphones sennhiezer grado and ultrazone (also closed) all make good stuff.

PS. Sorry for the spelling I typed this on my phone...

For what it is worh I have owned 10 or so pairs of headphone in the $300+ range (including Bose) but most of mine were open backs so I can't really recommend a model. But IEM (in ear monitors) are the way to go for portable... Ultimate Ears and Shure are a good place to start.
You can do much, much better than Bose or Dre for that kind of budget...

Another strong recommendation you spend some time at head-fi. For that kind of money you can probably get some world class headphones on the used market like the HE-5s with matching amp.
Thanks everyone for your inputs. I'll check into head-fi. I think I even started an account there awhile ago but that was as far as I got.

And yes, you are all correct when you say I should be able to get into some really good headphones for the budget. I read up a few reviews this morning and some said that the over-whelming bass began to cause headaches. I went back to the store this afternoon and put 'em on again, for about four minutes longer than I did yesterday and I almost couldn't stand it. They still sound good. Clear and undistorted which is what I think impressed me. But I'll never listen to headphones that loud.

I actually have a pair of Shure SE-110 or 115 or whatever that entry model is into their in-ear phones. I was always happy with them but I really want a good pair of around the ear style phones. Something that'll go good with a tube amp and an iPod/iPhone alike. Anywho, I'll check out those websites mentioned but if anyone still has any other recs I'd be very happy to hear them.

Thanks again for the inputs.

If you don't need noise canceling,and don't have room noise to
deal with,Sennheiser HD-600.[http://www.sennheiserusa.com/private_headphones_audiophile-headphones_004465]
If you must have noise canceling,I'd would try Sennheiser,but can't recommend a model.I like their products,so I would definitely give them a try.
Well that's where I come up with my most basic problem. I work in a generally noisy environment. All the fans and electronic cooling water lines and computer gear all going at once. It averages 90db in my workspace. Noise cancelling would be a nice thing to have. However, I also have to be able to hear the announcement system and my radio if something happens I need to be able to repsond quickly. So. That pretty much means no noise cancelling. More like sound isolation. I've been using earplugs or my Shure earphones for that purpose for a while now and with good results. But that makes me wonder about the open back designs because I figure a lot of noise would get in that way. Should I just go with a sound isolating, closed-back design? I know they don't sound as good but I may just go with that Blossom headphone amp and that runs $1,500. So I might just dive into this purely for the sound quality and when I'm not working I'll hide in a quieter space and do my listening there.

I was recently given a recommendation of the Blossom amp and the Grado RS1 headphones with balanced connectors. Great combo I think. But do I really need to spend $2,500+ just to get some good sound while I'm trying to pass the time on deployment? That's the primary reason for doing this. Otherwise I'd take my freakin' stereo with me. Which I could do but I don't trust the power on the ship. Too many brown-outs and power losses. And the surge protectors that are authorized for use suck and I don't trust them. Maybe I should just get an iQube and the Bose and be done with it. I stil don't know enough about this market to even start making an informed decision. The Dre beats I listened to AGAIN today sounded a bit better with the bass reducer turned on. It was almost just right. But started to lack in low end weight. Still had that thumping sound though.

I didn't realize headphones were so complicated. :-(
Grados won't provide you any isolation and will leak quite a bit into your surrounding environment (don't know if that is a problem for your co-workers). I'd suggest starting with the SR225s and maybe that hifi man hybrid tube/headamp. You'd probably clock in around $300 and have a very reasonable work system.

Your wants are a little confused to me as it seems you want isolation, but want to be able to hear important things--if isolation is your thing and your taste errs towards the analytical side, give Etymotic a listen. If you went for the er4ps you'd clock in below you budget and probably not need an amp. They'd provide great detail and tight bass--staging is on the flatter side and the signature can be on the drier side.

Triple.fi 10s are also a reasonable option. I ultimately gave my pair away to a friend as I wasn't using them (I'm a speaker guy) but they're nice though perhaps missing a little top end sparkle.

Audio Technica makes some great open headphone starting with the A or is it AD700--I owned the 900s and they were nice. They will leak and not give much isolation, but have a very musically satisfying signature.

I've owned a ton of headphones over the years and could go on with suggestions, but my strongest one will be to skip the beats. Seriously... You can do much better. No, I haven't heard the beats. Yes, I'm prejudiced against them despite.

Lol! Thanks Gopher. BTW, any and all of your thoughts or ideas/suggestions would be welcome. I'm slowly picking up on a few things from head-fi but suggestions for a person like me who doesn't know a thing about headphones and specific to what I'm looking for will get me much farther much faster. So please, fire away.

And I know it is confusing. I'm trying to figure out myself exactly what I should be aiming for as well. If I have reasonable isolation then I won't need to turn them up so I'll be able to hear things better. I use my Shure earphones for the same purpose and I hear everything I need to hear without losing my hearing and I can still listen to music and enjoy it.

So let's figure on well-isloated headphones. I don't mind spending a bit of cash on this either as long as they are worth it and provide a pleasant and articulate sound. They don't need to be able to get loud. They'll never approach the point of distortion. And I was thinking of just running off of a PS3 for my transport like I do now into a headphone amp. I'd also like to consider something that can be used to plug my iPod into.

WOW 90db in the background!!! Get IEM and save your hearing....
These cooling fans hit 102db when the cabinets are open. I go through a lot of earplugs. But the place I'd go to really do my listening is around 78db. Either way, sound isolation I think is key. Hey, it's better than no hearing protection and then turning the volume up to compensate for background noise. No it isn't an ideal environment but I've got roughly seven months to kill on a 510ft boat. I'm looking to keep myself entertained.
I would recommend going to a Guitar Center to see if you can demo some headphones, they will have a big selection of phones generally used for DJing. These will all usually cover your ear and in your price range you will get really good sound. If you find a pair you like do some comparison shopping online and give Guitar center the opportunity to match the price.
Never thought of that. Thanks for the tip!