Beats EP head­phones


Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Contents -

ON-EAR HEAD­PHONES are strange. You pay the size penalty and need to make room on the top of your head to ac­com­mo­date them, but then they make your ear­lobes sweat and don’t do a great job of sealing off sound. Glori­fied air­plane ear­phones, the lot of them.

Ex­cept when they cost over R2 000 and come with all the bag­gage of the Beats brand. And th­ese are the en­try level pair. And they are chained to the de­vice you’re lis­ten­ing to by a non-re­mov­able ca­ble.

Yes, in an age where Ap­ple has re­moved the head­phone jack on the iphone, Ap­ple sub­sidiary Beats Elec­tron­ics brought a corded prod­uct to mar­ket. It isn’t all folly, though. You wouldn’t want your ear­phones to fail on you at the of­fice, forc­ing you to en­dure another per­sonal anec­dote from your chatty col­league while wait­ing for a full charge. The EP is the king of the cu­bi­cle.

I passed this re­view pair to a col­league who still rocks the orig­i­nal Beats By Dr Dre in the launch black and red colour­way. She re­marked that the sound iso­la­tion is so good on the EP that she for­got she is seated next to a very busy kitchen.

Beats has tru­lyy found its stride with re­gardg to its uniqueq au­dio sig­na­ture. Warm bass that stops just short of muddy, flat mids and crisp highs may not be for the au­dio­philes, but it’s great for cur­rent ur­ban tunes. I like to think of it as made for ra­dio, as if tuned to com­ple­ment the cur­rent dom­i­nant air­wave playlist.

Build qual­ity is an al­most dra­matic im­prove­ment over the So­los and other cans from years gone by. Ac­tual metal and qual­ity plas­tics work well with the re­as­sur­ing weight.

Con­clu­sion While it is dis­ap­point­ing to see a pair of Beats that you can’t re­move the cord from – es­pe­cially when my work desk ori­en­ta­tion means that the cord runs across my key­board – you can see how the com­pany is try­ing to cater to the mass mar­ket of in­di­vid­u­als who can’t af­ford to get locked into the Ap­ple ecosys­tem. It’s a great pair of ear­phones that feel pre­mium and fit com­fort­ably. The sound qual­ity is very good and does a lot to up­scale streamed mu­sic; de­pend­ing on your DAC, of course. - LS

Price: R2 250, my­i­s­

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