The Beats Pro headphone, a better beat?

The new Monster Beats Pro vs. Studio Beats headphones, and the winner is?

The Beats Pro, in white Monster

No one can deny that the original Beats by Dr. Dre was a revolutionary headphone design. It brought style and pizazz to the headphone market, and turned on a new generation of music lovers to the joys of great sound. The Beats Studio ($350) is still selling like gangbusters, but the Beats line has expanded to include something better, the Beats Pro ($450).

The Studio Beats have a lot of bass, but the Pros have more and distinctly tighter, more visceral bass. The two headphones sound very different; the Pros have a brighter, more forward balance, and the Studio Beats sound relatively laid back. Oh, one other thing, the Studio Beats are battery-powered noise-isolating headphones; the Pro is not, so it doesn't use batteries.

The Pro's build quality is miles ahead of the plastic Beats; the Pro's metal headband and metal earcup holders feel nice and solid. This headphone should stand up to a lot more punishment than the standard Beats, or most audiophile-grade headphones for that matter. The Pros feel like they could last 10 years. The thickly padded ear cushions and headband convey a feeling of luxury, but comfort was only good, not great. These headphones put a fair amount of pressure against your ears, which can get tiresome after a few hours of use. Being a sealed headphone design it blocks outside sounds and noise. The Pro is available in black or white finishes.

The Beats Pro folds for compact storage and comes with a soft carry case. The detachable 1.8-meter Monster headphone cable is coiled at the plug end and the coil extends the cable's length to 2.1 meters. The thick cable has a 3.5mm plug, and you get a beautifully finished, all-metal 6.3 mm adapter plug. The Beat Pro is an extremely efficient design, so it can play really loud with an iPod.

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