The $150 Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Tour In-Ear Headphones once again prove that hip hop-branded headphones won't necessarily offer an overwhelming low-end response, and also lead us to believe Dr. Dre may have the deepest ear canals known to man.
The Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Tour In-Ear Headphones have perhaps the longest earpieces we've ever seen. The 'buds measure a full inch from end to end, and half of that length is made up of the arms that hold the eartips. Half an inch isn't that long for most gadgets, but the scale is considerably altered when you have to stick the gadget into your ear. As a result, fit can be an issue.
Although Monster includes five sets of silicone eartips (three sizes of standard and two sizes of triple flange), we found the Tour earphones to be fairly uncomfortable and could never really get a secure fit. There's also a hard-sided zippered case for storing and protecting your investment when it's not in use.
Of course, fit is highly personal. One could make that argument for style, too, but there's no denying that the Tour earphones will add quite a bit of flair to your listening setup. The entire design is unique, from the flattened, disc-shaped earbuds--decked out in the signature lowercase "b" logo--to the red ribbon of a cable and gold-plated straight plug housing.
The cord is like few we've seen; flat and thick, it appears to be more durable than most earbud cables--definitely a plus.
The Beats by Dr. Dre Tour In-Ear Headphones may not present an overwhelming low-end, but bass is not lacking and it's nice and tight. As with their full-sized siblings, these 'phones offer an impressively crisp high end with good detail. If anything, music tends to sound a bit cold for our liking, with the 'phones slightly lacking in the rich and buttery mids that add the desired warmth.
As per usual, Dr. Dre put a considerable amount of effort into the packaging, which is a high-quality red box with the words "Sound Matters" stamped on the inside. From the audio quality of these 'phones, it's clear that it does.