Walls of Sound
The Pro Beats Headphones reproduces unbelievable bass frequencies and does it without adding circuitry that could color or degrade the sound. The headphones are tuned to rival studio-monitor speakers in frequency response and clarity. I listened to all kinds of programming through these beauties, from classic rock and soul to the most heart-pounding, booty-shaking, room-rattling beats I could feed into them - and was stunned by the feeling of live sound I was getting from a pair of headphones.
The Beats Pro gives music a new dimension, whether you're listening to material from 40 years ago or today's breaking releases. There's a slight dip in midrange frequencies that cleans up harsh tones from older recordings and smoothes out some digital artifacts from newer ones - you know, those occasional, irritating sounds that make you want to run for your turntable and vinyl. I was hardpressed to find any record in my extensive collection that I didn't prefer listening to with the Beats Pro, even when compared to similarly priced high-end studio headphones I've used on recording projects.
Eyes and Ears
With Beats by Dr. Dre, form doesn't take a backseat to function - both are topnotch. The beautiful Beats Pro headphones (cans, as they're called in the studio world) are so brilliantly designed, ingeniously equipped, and a pleasure to wear you'll wonder why headphones haven't always been like this. For starters, they come in two colors of padding and are packed in a reusable foldout case. The closed-ear design uses extrathick padding around the earcups and headband, making the Beats Pro incredibly comfortable to wear for long stretches. The headphones are substantial enough to cover your head and ears, completely blocking out unwanted sounds, yet stylish enough to be worn in public.
Beyond those basics, the Beats Pro Headphones features really begin to soar. Each earcup can be rotated away from your ear, so you can let in outside sounds when desired, yet still feel the music in the other ear. And in an utterly cool departure from convention, the Beats Pro's detachable half-straight, half-coiled cable can be plugged into either of two input jacks, one below each earcup!
And that's not even the best part. Thanks to some clever electronics inside the headphones, when you plug the cable into one earcup jack, the other jack becomes an output, which means you can connect a second set of cans from your Beats Pro, or actually chain several sets of Beats Pros together, and feed them from a single player. At first you may wonder why people would want their headphones all connected - it could become difficult during group jogging. But I imagined several scenarios for this cool feature: a studio band listening to the same MP3 mix at one time, a couple watching a televised rock concert in bed without disturbing sleeping kiddies, critical listening in a noisy environment (such as an airport lounge or fast-moving automobile) - the list goes on and on.