Beats by Dre Studio (Black) review: Beats by Dre Studio (Black)

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars 22 user reviews

The Good The Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones offer a stylish and comfortable design as well as an exceptionally crisp and balanced audio response with a tight low-end and warm mids. Included are a nice carrying case and a music-phone-compatible cable.

The Bad The Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones cannot be used without batteries, they're expensive, and the glossy black design is very smudge-prone.

The Bottom Line The Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones deliver the trifecta of sleek, comfortable design, useful features, and top-notch sound quality. If you can afford them, they're a worthy investment toward an improved listening experience.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0

It's not always easy to get excited about a pair of headphones at first glance. Generally, the listening experience, which is gathered only after putting a set on and sitting down with some favorite music, is what draws people in. Not so with the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones, a sweet-looking set that will relieve you of $350 (or closer to $300 if you shop around). Though their sound quality is nothing to scoff at, their appeal as eye-candy is undeniable. For audio enthusiasts who are tired of the same old look, the Beats Studio headphones are a must.

The Monster Beats may not be all about style, but you wouldn't know that just by looking at them. If you wear these headphones in public, you will turn heads. The thick and padded glossy black headband descends seemingly seamlessly into the circles that hold each earcup, which are oblong and padded in a leatherette material that is obscenely cushy. (They also swivel slightly in their supports in order to provide a comfortable fit.)

Closer inspection of the headband discloses a seam on each side where it expands, revealing the metal support band within. This same metal accents the inside of the headband and rings thinly around each earpiece, which also features deep red accents. The outside of the earcups also have a metallic disc containing a red "b" (the one on the right will mute your music when pressed). The overall effect is a sleek and stylish design that is not ostentatious. However, the padding on the band is a bit stiff and may take some breaking in to be truly comfy.

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