Beats are mu­sic to my ears

Financial Mail - - PATTERN RECOGNITION BY TOBY SHAPSHAK - Kate Fer­reira

Blame it on the Dr Dre brand foun­da­tions, but the Beats name re­mains a pow­er­ful one in a com­pet­i­tive au­dio mar­ket.

Beats Elec­tron­ics is an Ap­ple sub­sidiary — and their de­vices are some of the most pi­rated in the world, be­cause of that as­pi­ra­tional as­so­ci­a­tion.

The re­cently launched Beats EP head­phones are avail­able in the lo­cal is­tore in red, black and white, and make a big first im­pres­sion. At R1,999, these are at the lower end of the Beats range, but they don’t look or feel ba­sic, es­pe­cially with the brushed stain­less steel frame that wraps el­e­gantly around the soft on-ear cups.

You can ad­just the fit with ver­ti­cal slid­ers. Of course, they also carry the trendy Beats brand, which prom­ises a cer­tain level of au­dio qual­ity. The sound is great — clear and deep.

Though wired de­vices may seem a bit “old school”, it does mean that they op­er­ate bat­tery-free: no charg­ing, no limit to play­back, and it is prob­a­bly one of the ways that Beats has been able to keep the price tag smaller for these bud­get-friendly ear­phones.

They also don’t do fancy space-sav­ing fold­ing like other de­vices, or have any ma­jor new­fan­gled fea­tures. In­stead, they do what they do well, and in an at­trac­tive pack­age. Fi­nally, you can also use them to take calls, when paired with the “Re­motetalk” ca­ble with its in­cor­po­rated mi­cro­phone. The Power­beats³ in-ear buds are more ex­er­cise friendly, with over-ear hooks for a se­cure fit, and a sin­gle wire con­nect­ing them that hangs around the back of your neck.

They of­fer up to 12-hours play­back — and a handy quick charge func­tion that will give you an hour’s lis­ten­ing in five min­utes. They are sweat and water re­sis­tant, and have the “Re­motetalk” op­tion. All the ex­tra fea­tures will cost you a bit more though, at R3,499.

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