That Dr Dre is putting his PhD to good use -- the Beats headphone line has proved incredibly popular, and since we reviewed the Beats Solos back in January, we've been spotting the bass-thumping bad boys destroying the eardrums of trendy teens the nation over. Building on that success, Monster is releasing a set of new Beats by Dr Dre headphones, including these -- the Beats Pro, which will set you back a monstrous £330.
Grabbing these cans, the first thing that'll strike you is the sheer size of the things -- the massive earcups will easily eclipse even the most prominent of lugs. They're not light, either. Constructed mostly of aluminium, the Beats Pros feel very substantial. The good news is, we reckon the hefty metal frame will stand up to a few knocks. The not-so-good news is that they feel really heavy on your head.
It's not necessarily a dealbreaker, though -- we never found them uncomfortably weighty. More of an issue is if you're walking around, or indeed indulging in a spot of headbanging, you might find the Pros gaining momentum and sliding off your ears. That heavy look does give the Pros a very definite style, though, and the sheer size of them will ensure they turn a few heads.
Listening for extended periods of time was comfortable enough, though because the earcups themselves are quite shallow, we did notice a little pain setting in after a few hours due to our ears pressing against the inside of the cups themselves, so that's something to watch for.
Each earcup swivels up for easy storage inside the headband, which cuts down their size if you're carting these 'phones around with you. The cable is thick and rubberised with a coiled section, which should give you a little extra freedom if you need to be further from your music source for a moment.
Chainin' and coilin'
Another neat feature is that there's a cable socket on each earcup, with the unused socket serving as an output, so you can hook up another set of headphones and 'daisy-chain' the sound from the Pros to the attached set of 'phones. We imagine this would come in handy for communal listening, or professional deejaying. We don't think it's the intended purpose, but you can also plug in two sound sources to the Pros -- one to each earcup -- if, for whatever reason, you want to listen to two songs at the same time. Cool for amateur mixing, perhaps.
Since these sound-muffs have a closed-back design, you get a good deal of sound isolation with these on your head. We tested them on the London Tube and found they did a reasonable job of blocking out the horrifying sound of our fellow man. It's still not as much sound isolation as you'd get with a set of inner-ear headphones, but it's a pretty good showing.
These are quite leaky, however. It's not so bad when you've got them attached to your head, but if you break that seal, expect everyone else on the bus to be hearing your thumping choons. Admittedly, that's not a problem for you, but if you're planning on using these in a quiet office, it's something to bear in mind.
So, in terms of design, the Pros are a little rough around the edges. But these little niggles will melt into delightful quirks when you actually pump some music through these beasts.