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Monster Powerbeats by Dr Dre review: Monster Powerbeats by Dr Dre

If you're after a sporty, cool set of earphones for your workouts, the Monster Powerbeats by Dr Dre earbuds will be a good bet. But they're expensive and, because they don't isolate outside noise, you won't get the signature bassy Beats sound.

Luke Westaway
Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
3 min read

It's hard to look good while jogging, especially if you're a gangly, nerdy type like us. But, if you must take to the streets in the name of staving off death for a few extra years, the Monster Powerbeats by Dr Dre earphones might just help you look cooler. They'll cost you about £120, but are they any good?


Monster Powerbeats by Dr Dre

The Good

Stylish; built-in remote control; comfortable and unlikely to slip out of your ears.

The Bad

Expensive; sound quality isn't as great as that of other Beats headphones.

The Bottom Line

If you're after a sporty, cool set of earphones for your workouts, the Monster Powerbeats by Dr Dre earbuds will be a good bet. But they're expensive and, because they don't isolate outside noise, you won't get the signature bassy Beats sound.

Rad styling

The Powerbeats look pretty rad. A chunky rubber hoop fits over the back of each ear, and the earbuds slide sneakily into your lugholes.

The body section of these bodacious buds is constructed from solid-feeling plastic. They come in white, red and black versions. We had the white version and were rather fond of the styling.

Stick these earphones in your bonce and you'll be impressed by quite how much they make you look like a cyborg. The chrome detailing and lower-case 'b', a hallmark of Beats by Dr Dre headphones, add to the effect.

The Powerbeats are comfortable to wear. While we didn't find the fit entirely snug, the rubber hoops are flexible, so you can bend them according to the shape of your ears. We don't think these earbuds are likely to shake loose, even if you're exercising quite vigorously.

We have reservations about the cable, though. The skinny, red wiring feels rather flimsy, especially compared to the robust ribbon design found on other Beats earphones, like the Diddybeats. We're not convinced the cable wouldn't tear if you were to catch it under your trainers, for instance.

There's a remote control attached to the cabling of the left earpiece, for use with an iPhone or iPod. The remote control will allow you to answer incoming calls on your iPhone, as well as skip tracks and so on. 

Slap the hoop over your King Lear and you won't find the earpiece falling out when you're flailing around on the treadmill.

The remote is probably more useful on sports headphones that it is on other models -- if you fancy skipping a track while you're pounding the pavement, it's not ideal to be fishing around in your pocket like some kind of rampaging maniac with an inappropriate itch.

Pumping iron

The Powerbeats sound pretty good. All the powerful bass we've come to expect from the Beats line is present and correct, although you won't feel it pounding the inside of your skull to quite the same extent as with other Beats earphones.

The reason is that they don't fit snug with the inside of your lugholes -- instead they're designed to gently caress your inside ear, so that you can still pick up ambient noise around you. That's useful if you don't want to get mashed under a bus while out on a jog, for example.

On the other hand, it's a shame not to get the full range of sound. If you press the Powerbeats inside your ears, you can hear the oomph that they would provide if they fit more snugly.

Still, the Powerbeats are bassier than many earphones, and hip-hop songs like Snoop Dogg's Gin and Juice come through with a satisfying thump in the low end.

The high end's not massively clear, however, and many tracks will sound quite muddy. For example, rock tracks like My Chemical Romance's Bulletproof Heart don't sound as sparkly as they do through rival headphones, such as the impressively clear Diddybeats.


All things considered, the Monster Powerbeats by Dr Dre do sound good. Even if they don't sound any better than other sporty headphones that cost less, we reckon they look better, so they're a good bet if you're a fashion-conscious sporty type.

Edited by Charles Kloet


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