After years of using the Apple EarPods I have decided to give some other earphones a chance. I know headphones offer a way better sound but most of the headphones on the market are totally ugly and if you are a frequent reader of Expand Your View you already know that I prefer slim, light and classy products.
BEATS BY DR. DRE – urBeats
Before Apple acquired Beats Electronics the company was already famous on schoolyards and the DJ scene all around the world. Beats was founded in 2008 by rapper Dr. Dre and record producer Jimmy Iovine. They got a lot of attention for the Beats Studio and their endorsement–strategy, especially during the last World Cup.
It appears as though Beats Electronics gives great attention to detail with their packaging, similar to Apple. The urBeats come in a solid and pretty clear box with a lot of whitespace. I prefer this packaging instead of packaging with fancy messages or banners all over. I also like the fact that there isn’t plastic in the packaging.
The box contains the urBeats Special Edition earphones, a booklet about the earphones, an in-line control microphone cable, a storage pouch, and four different pairs of ear tips in an additional pouch.
The urBeats SE are your standard in-ear earphones weighing 18 grams and measuring 22,3 mm in length. The SE stands for “special edition” due to the new color arrangements of the headphones. As a result of the acquisition by Apple, Beats now offers their product in space grey, silver, and gold to match the iPhone.
Have you ever taken a closer look at the beats logo? The logo is obviously a small „b“, but the entire logo is also an abstract design of a head wearing headphones. I love those kinds of subtle detail.
As usual you can switch between three different sizes for ear tips. Unfortunately even the smallest size was still too big to have a good fit inside my ear, so I couldn’t wear them while walking around. The package also includes a pouch for the ear tips.
The housing is made of solid metal; you won’t be able to break these ones.
The material makes a really good impression and the earphones feel very good in hand. In addition to the logo, both earphones are marked with a small ‘r’ or ‘l’ for right and left.
If you take the ear tips off you can see the red filter and shiny lamination, which fits perfectly to the rest of the earphones design.
In contrast to the most other earphones, the urBeats have a flat cable instead of a round one. Not only is this a better design this allows the cable to remain tangle-free.
The outer jacket of the cable is made of rubber, which gives the cable a very nice, look and feel. The length of the cable is 1.2 meters, which should be enough for most typical uses.
THE CONTROL SYSTEM
The earphones also offer a built-in mic for phone calls, while the cable works as a control system for the music. It works with the common commands just like the EarPods from Apple.
THE INPUT PLUG
The urBeats have a 3.5 mm auxiliary input plug with a very simple but solid design. It has the same color and is made of the same material as the earphones.
The most important thing about earphones is the sound. Beats are known for having an extremely heavy bass, which I can confirm. The bad thing about this is that you can’t hear the mid- and the high-range very clearly.
The mid-range is still relatively good for earphones in this price range but sometimes the highs are killed completely.
All in all, the sound is very powerful but seems very unbalanced due to the bass.
THE STORAGE POUCH
Earphones need a storage pouch and the one that comes with the urBeats is wonderfully made–subtle and durable overall. A nice black pouch combined with silver printing and the eye-catching red of the flag with the logo. For me this is a marvelous composition of colors, forms and materials.
The opening mechanism works really well and has a good tension–your earphones definitely won’t fall out.
The urBeats are the only headphones by Beats containing the soft shell case. The Tour and the Power by Beats come with a hard shell case.
The urBeats look fantastic! From the colors to the materials, everything looks and feels so good. The whole package is of good quality and is constructed perfectly, down to every detail.
Unfortunately the sound quality isn’t as good as the design of the earphones. Another common problem is the fact that they are too big for my ear canals and I have read about this problem very often on other reviews. Here you can buy them on Amazon.com.
So if you love a bass-heavy sound and if you pay a lot of mind to the appearance of your earphones, the urBeats by Beats are your weapon of choice.
All photos were taken by myself with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 with a Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN lens.
I made this honest review for my own purpose, Beats Electronics hasn’t paid or booked me for this.