It's not always easy to get excited about a pair of headphones on 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 headphones, a sweet-looking set that will relieve you of $350. While 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 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 cushy leatherette material. (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 rings of deep red accenting. The outside of the earcups also feature 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.
In addition to the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, Monster includes a variety of accessories in the slick, red packaging. There are two, thick 3.5mm audio cables--one red for standard MP3 players and one black with a built-in mic for music phones--each measuring 4 feet long. You also get a dual-pronged airplane adapter and a quarter-inch adapter for use with your home audio system, as well as a hardshell carrying case with a carabiner attached. In addition, the Beats come with a cleaning cloth, and you'll need it--these headphones are highly smudge-prone. Also necessary are the included AAA batteries; the headphones are noise-canceling (activated via a switch on the right earcup) and need power to work.