Sunday, September 15, 2019

Monster Beats by Dre Tour Headphones Review

October 11, 2010 by · 20 Comments 

Pain.

That’s one word I can use to describe these headphones.

Beautiful.

That’s another one I could use.

However, the main feature of any headphone… sound, well.. that’s a bit more complicated…

I first caught a glimpse of these headphones when I watched the movie, ‘The Book of Eli‘.. and noticed that the main character had these really cool ‘flat cabled’ looking headphones and was wondering if they really existed.. As you may know, I hate headphones that have cable issues. Particularly those headphones (Nixons/Sennheisers) with sticky cables that act like fly-paper and catch on to anything and everything and then rip the headphones out of your ears. The promise of a tangle-free cable is a huge plus for me.

My current favorite headphones, the Altec Lansing Backbeats have great sound (deep bass for Electronica music), have cloth-wrapped cables for less tangle, and aren’t that expensive. However, after a year of hard work, they’ve started failing. Hence my quest to find a replacement worthy of the ‘best in-ear iphone compatible headphone for the money category’.

The Tour headphones by Dre are quite nice from their specs. They have a control-talk feature which basically is just volume adjustment as well as playback control, and the overall quality seems nice out of the box (although many reviewers online see to state that things start falling apart quickly). The physical dimensions of the ear canal ducts seems imposing as they are unusually large and thus a large portion of the headphone sticks out of your ear and is susceptible to dislodging by any moving activity beyond just walking (not a running headset, in other words).

However the biggest drawback to these headphones, and related to my previous point,  is the in-ear fit. Just a hours ago after experimenting with the various different bud sizes and shapes over the weekends was I able to find the set of buds the isolated the headphones enough to represent the ‘full-range’ of sound the Tour’s are capable of. The unfortunate part is that NONE of the buds I found particuarly comfortable, even these ‘winners’ which are the ones that look like swimming ear-plugs. The shape of the headphone buds is just not the typical more flattened bud, they have more of a spherical shape to them + the ones that look like swimming plugs.

Ear-Canal fit aside, and now that I have the adequate buds on the headphones to isolate the external sounds, the actual sound quality is above average. It’s a clean sound and it has a punchy but not overtly powerful bass. Details in songs that I didn’t appreciate with other headphones are more clear on these. I’d say that they sound balanced on the mids and highs and a bit enhanced on the bass, but not as much as the Koss Porta Pro’s for example, which are stellar in this area.

Regarding the control-talk functionality. It works as advertised and the larger-than-usual control buttons are a double edged sword. Whilst they are easier to find and interact with, they are also large enough to snag on collared shirts thus sometimes pulling the headphone slight out of your ear. I wish they had put the control center a bit further down the Y-cable (at the detriment of the proximity to the microphone).

I’ve had the headphones on for about an hour now with the new ‘sound isolating buds’ that fit me better than the rest and my ears are hurting. Not sure I could say these are the best out there for the money when you take into consideration how long you may be able to stand the pain. If you don’t get the right fit on these, they sound horrible as they require the complete isolated fit to reproduce the full frequency range they are capable of.

As far as build quality, I will have to let time tell.

Overall a 7.5/10

Pros – Sound pretty good once you can get them ‘in just right’, pretty, tangle-free cord, control talk buttons and function nice.

Cons – Hard to fit right, painful, large (not adequate for exercise), control talk snags on collar shirt, expensive

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