Beats Solo by Dr. Dre from Monster vs. Bose On-Ear HeadphonesMonster's Beat Solos challenge the established Bose On-Ear Headphones in the Prizefight ring. Who will bring the noise?
[ MUSIC ] ^M00:00:08 >> [Brian Tong:] What's up, Prize Fight fans? I'm Brian Tong, and we're here for a head-to-head headphone face-off. This is a prize fight between Monster's Solo Beats by Dr. Dre and Bose's On Ear headphones. Monster's the new kid on the block looking to take on the established Bose name, so we're going to bring in three big guns to judge this one: Senior Editor Donald Bell, Senior Associate Editor Jasmine France, and yours truly. Now we'll take all three judges' scores and average them out to the nearest tenth each round; the final prize fight score will be an average of all rounds using the same decimal system. If we're wearing these things, they need to feel good on our ears. First round is comfort. [bell] Monster's Solo Beats aren't the most comfy headphones that you'll find; they didn't rest nicely on my ears, we weren't fans of their weight, and there was too much pressure against our ears. Simply put, we're not fans. Now the Bose On Ears bring more comfort with their soft, pillow-like ear pads. The headset is lighter-weight. Jasmine felt some pressure on her temple, but Donald liked how the headband "glides like silk" on your hair. Those were his words and not mine. Bose strikes first [bell] with a 4.3, and Monster is slow out of the gate with a 2.7. Next round is style and [bell] portability. [music] The Solo Beats bring one of the hottest and unique designs to headphones with its clean lines and hipster style. They fold up easily, but take up a little more space compared to the Bose On Ears. Bose sticks with their established classy, low-key style. There's no risk here, just a well constructed headset. Their ability to fold and flatten into a more compact case is a plus, but at CNET, we like it hot, and the Solo Beats take this round with a 4.7, and the On Ears get a 3.7. So after averaging two rounds, Bose leads by three tenths of a point, but there's plenty of fight left to go. Round three [bell] is durability. [music] The Solo Beats have style; we really feel like they can also take a beating. [punching sound] The audio cable is thick, and the solid materials and metal hinges are built to last, the On Ears aren't fragile, but they just aren't as durable. Its plastic construction will be the first to break, and if you have small children, keep them away. Its audio cord is also really thin, which is more prone to getting tangled. [bell] Monster throws another punch with a 4.3, and Bose gets a 3.3. [punching sound] [bell] Next round is sound and science. The Solo Beats have plenty of bass; in fact, there's so much that you get muddy lows and lose detail of the highs -- just what you want in your music! Now, all the judges were disappointed, especially for a headset at this price, but we do give them props for the control talk mic and buttons to take calls and play music. Bose blows the Solo Beats out of the water with highs that are crisp and clean, a more balanced sound, and bass that is full with detail. You can purchase an add-on kit for 40 bucks to give you the call-answering feature, but even without it, there's no comparison when it comes to sound quality. Bose takes this round [bell] with a 4.3, and Monster gets a 2.3. So after averaging four rounds, the On Ear leads by four tenths of a point, with one round to go. The final round that decides it all is value. [bell] [music] The Monster Solo Beats at 199 are really pricey compared to other headsets in their class. If you're looking for style first, these might make sense, but the sound quality is almost unforgiveable. The Bose On Ears will cost you 179, and that's still pricey, but they make up for it with their super-comfy ear pads and sound quality that leaves you satisfied. Bose finishes the fight [bell] with a 3.3, and the Monster Beats get a 2.3, so let's average out all five rounds and in a prize fight, where Bose came out swinging in round one, Monster took the next two, but Bose finished off the final two rounds, taking this battle 3.8 to 3.3, and is your Prize Fight winner. [bell rings three times] I'm Brian Tong, thanks for watching, we?ll catch you guys next time on another prize fight. Whoop! [punching sound] [cheers] ^M00:04:03 [ MUSIC ]