If You Read This Review and Still Buy Beats Headphones, You’re An Idiot

Tasting Garbage

Worth A Thousand Words….

 

If you want to buy headphones based on who is promoting them, or because you’ve seen product placement for them in almost every recent music video… then it’s too late for you.

You’re going to over-spend on plastic-y garbage that defines ‘fashion over function’.  You’ll blow your hard earned cash on Beats by Dre… and that’s okay.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 3.45.00 AM

Don’t Think, Just Buy!

 

 

But the headphones I’m about to review are too good for you.

I know that there are droves of people who buy brands like Beats and Bose, because their high price and marketing cause them to be perceived as a ‘nice’ brand. They do the most effective advertising, and consumers typically confuse high price with high quality.

The question is whether you’re willing to fall into the same trap.

Image Credit: Reddit (http://bit.ly/1KvKCSH)

Instead of buying for fashion, try something better, like a pair of Grado headphones.  The ones I’ll be reviewing today are the Grado GR8e in-ear headphones, which retail for $300.

http://bit.ly/DMNGrado

Grado GR8e

 

Let’s quickly compare. The Beats By Dre Pro cost a whopping $400!  As you can see from their webpage, Beats claims that these are ‘the headphones used to mix in every major studio’. This is an absolute lie.  I know people at several major studios and they would not use fashion headphones for mixing.  One person who works in a major studio even told me that he bought a pair of these headphones and promptly returned them because the bass was so overpowered.  It was causing pressure on his eardrums, even at low volumes.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 8.02.08 AM

 

In contrast to that, you can get an ‘on-ear’ pair of Grado headphones for as little as $80 (SR-60 pictured below) and I’m willing to bet that these will surpass the quality of even the $400-600 offering from Beats by Dre (and the $300-400 ‘top of the line’ offerings from Bose).

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http://bit.ly/DMNGRADO60

Grado SR-60

 

I’ll buy you a beer if I’m wrong.

For a second opinion, I spoke with a real music professional, i.e., some who makes music for a living and has a certified ear for quality.  The earphones he owns and uses daily for listening are the Bose Q20i in-ear headphones with noise cancellation (retail price: $299.99).  We both did a quick A/B comparison using the same content on the same audio player for a fair comparison.

61uVjq4JH3L._SL1500_

Bose Q20i

 

Even inside the industry, there’s only partial knowledge about headphone quality.  Once my outside authority was wearing the Grados and the music was playing, he was very clearly impressed.  He told me that the quality he got from the Grados was substantial enough for him to be able to work on the music he is making outside of his studio.  He had never experienced the same feeling with any other in-ear headphones.

This simple case study is the reason that Grado should be advertising. At least getting their product distributed through electronics retailers (right now, Grado distributes through direct sales and hi-fi specialty stores).

Grados are at exactly the same price point as the Bose headphones, while offering so much more fidelity and warmth than Bose can provide.

As part of this review, I’ve been spending the past couple of months bathing my ears with the smooth, rich and creamy sounds of the GR8e headphones. I am loving every minute of it!  The content I have been listening to vinyl archives stored in 24bit-192Khz lossless files, high resolution music from HDTracks, some 320kbps MP3s and some .flac rips of CDs I own. Mostly I was playing them through an AudioQuest Dragonfly (v1.2) DAC/headphone amp.  My software setup is Audirvana+ on OS X and USB Audio Player Pro on Android.

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The earphones come with three sizes of silicone tips, intended to fit most ears.  I had a significant amount of noise caused by the cable brushing against me while walking and found the solution was to loop the cable around my ear and basically insert the earphones upside down.  Acknowledging that this was not ideal and caused me to look a damn fool, I found a new solution.  I ordered a pair of foam tips that not only stay in place more securely, but also isolate the music better and block out more external noise.

Foam Eartips

Foam Eartips

 

I do have one complaint or shortcoming that I felt could be improved on the Grados.  The rubber cable felt cheap and I think would be improved by having a fabric covered cable.  Aside from this (extremely minor) issue, I genuinely enjoy every minute with these headphones.

http://bit.ly/GRADOSTATS

Grado GR8e

 

Grado president John Chen recommended that I give them ample time to break in, although 100 hours may have been a bit more than required.  But the sound definitely opened up as time went on.  Maybe that’s part of the beauty of having a moving armature design instead of having three or more armatures jammed into a tiny package.

Comparing these to other IEMs I have tested, Grado easily outshines anything I have heard.  Even while attending the Newport Beach Home Audio Show and testing out IEMs with price tags well over $1,000. Still I found nothing that could compare with the realistic sounds that were pumping through my Grado pair.  They have great separation between instruments with powerful, booming and realistic bass tones.  I could deeply appreciate the higher quality of HD Tracks’ re-release of the self titled Red Hot Chili Peppers, and appreciate the smoother strings with more powerful choruses in orchestral music like Philip Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack.

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I challenge any other headphone makers to create the same level of quality; I’ll happily review the attempts.

http://bit.ly/GRADOSTATS

Here are some tech specs, for the serious listener:

  • Driver: Moving Armature
  • Connector: 3.5mm stereo mini-plug
  • Frequency Response: 20 -20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 118dB/1mW
  • Impedance: 120 ohms
  • Max Input Power: 20mW
  • Cable: 51″/130cm
  • Weight: 9 grams

147 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Jackson

    Beats suck. I have a great pair of Bose headphones though that I love listening to and using for reference mixes. Don’t really like how this article puts Bose and Beats on the same level because Beats are pure plastic crap.

    Reply
    • Noah
      Noah

      I’m not trying to put them on the same level. Beats charges close to twice as much for some models and are twice as bad. I’m not saying Bose is always bad, I’m saying the same price from a different brand can get you better quality.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Jason

        Most of headphones today are completely overrated. They look damn ugly, like if i was a flying a f… plane. And those headphones make my ears sweat. And the “other ones”… like the one youre reviewing… are just plain stupid. Every time i try one of “those” i feel my f…ing. earwax going deeply to the bottom of my ear.
        I dear you motherfu…. to review the best headphones i ever had in my life….and i keep buying them till this day (ebay, amazon)….
        And those are ….. Sony MDR W014 or Sony MDR W08……..best f…. headphones since like….. ever… PERIOD. Sony should bring back those headphones.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Lee

          If you’re using fashion, sweat and earwax to determine why you should buy a pair of headphones, you shouldn’t even be reading this article, because you clearly have no idea about sound. You have a great pair of Sonys. Awesome. This article is about sound quality and why Beats is an absolute lie, not whether or not you’re comfortable in the headphones you buy.

          Also if you’re continuing to buy the same headphones consistently, they either can’t be very good, or you don’t take care of your headphones.

          Reply
          • Avatar
            Anonymous

            I love beats. I was given them for nothing cause I bought a new drill. Great drill!

          • Avatar
            woodNfish

            You are partly correct, but then the author went on to promote a pair of ridiculously overpriced ear buds. Fact: speakers do not need time to “break in”. That is audiophile BS.

            If you want the same quality of headphones used in recording studios, you will buy Sony MDRs. They are less than $100 and top quality. Everything else is overpriced noise.

          • Avatar
            epynonyous

            I love my beats headphones because they DON’T BREAK like my expensive Sony ones (MDR XB950BT) kept doing. I transport headphones to work with me every day and baby them, yet the Sony ones kept suffering from broken hangers (The y-shaped piece that keeps the cups close to your head) Yes the Sony ones sounded a lot better, yes the Sony ones were very comfortable, but what good are they if they have a mechanical design flaw that shortens their lives? I would love to able to buy headphones based on best sound, but there are other factors.

          • Avatar
            Remmy

            No this article is a grado ad, that’s slamming beats for the clicks

        • Avatar
          Nathan J.

          ATH
          Sennheiser
          Shure

          3 companies that make good products for the money.

          Reply
          • Avatar
            spongerot

            If you are looking for sound quality and not a fashion statement, there are plenty of resources on the web for headphone and earbud reviews. You can get far better sound quality than Beats for 1/2 the price, and for the same price you can get amazing.

        • Avatar
          Jay

          I agree that most headphones these days are either black or some some solid color. Most of them are ugly. Headphones By You is trying to change that. Check out their Instagram page or the site (headphonesbyyou.com). You won’t regret it.

          Reply
          • Avatar
            bob

            if the selling point for your headphones are how they look, i don’t want to buy any of your crap

    • Avatar
      Grado SR 60s... $75...

      Grado SR60s are the absolute best value in headphones. $75 for stunning quality and performance that rivals actual real studio grade headphones priced 3-4x’s as much. Beats is genius branding, that’s it.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Alan

      I was going to say the same. Bose aren’t the best available, but their sound cancellation IS the best (or was when I last investigated). They are nowhere near the same ballpark as Beats and their compact products are very good and great. It’s their larger products that leave something to be desired. My point is Bose headphones and Bluetooth speakers = good but surround sound = bad and overpriced.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Savage

        I don’t care bout explanation but you are right about this: beats good Bose or whatever is not

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Nick

          “Bose ore whatever” huh? I’d say you’re definitely in the market for some “high end” Beats.

          Reply
    • Avatar
      Lesa

      I absolutely love my Beats Studio wireless headphones. I’m 48 and I’ve listened to a lot of music through all sorts of ear buds and head sets and I find Beats to be awesome. I actually know lots of people who love Beats as a top listening device. I love Base. I love clarity. Everyone has different areas of listening abilities. I am a very loud and proud listener, always have been. So to each there own opinions. I wouldn’t care if these were made by Walmart. I love the sound quality, and mine where only $200.00 and I would have paid more if I had too. That’s how great mine sound 🙂

      Reply
      • Avatar
        rajiv

        Beat wireless i spiece of shit. I bought a pair and within 11 months the ear cushions wore off.. by then beats got acquired by apple and they said only thing i could do was buy another paid – both companies suck in terms of support and care,

        so I did nothing because I did not want to plunk another $400. Now 1 year later they suddenly stop charging.

        both beats and apple suck

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Happy Camper

          Bro what happened to each their own oppinion you ignorant piece of shit ???

          Reply
          • Avatar
            NoAnyKey

            “Bro,” that was his opinion. He didn’t claim it was anyone else’s.

          • Avatar
            ToneDeaf

            Oh… wow! A guy types up his opinion and you call him an ignorant piece of shit for it and blast him for not letting others have their own opinion.
            Congratulations, you win the internet douche-of-the-day award.

        • Avatar
          Vanessa

          Biased. Just a biased opinion. If you wanna write a review then realize that there a good qualities and bad qualities for beats headphones.

          Reply
          • Avatar
            Nick

            I’ve had them on my head, not many standout qualities to mention. They make you a favorite for muggers and thieves, if you consider that a pro, is about all I can give them. I’ve had throwaway Koss headphones that had better sound.

        • Avatar
          Savage

          XD apple sucks and beats? What phone u gonna use hawai? Apple (best phones) teamed with beats best music. Get ur facts straight.

          Reply
          • Avatar
            Edward

            IF you think Iphones are the “best phones” – Boy, is your opinion invalid LOL

          • Avatar
            Nick

            You are definitely the demographic Apple and Beats love. Keep buying their garbage.

          • Avatar
            Some boi

            Are you serious? Apple is not the best phone producer and I think you’re an extreme consumerist sheep. You definitely have an opinion when you can’t give reasons on why Apple and Beats are the best and nobody else. ecks dee!

          • Avatar
            Ye

            Apple is definitely better than a lot of companies when it comes to Phones, Tablets and Computers. For example, the iPhone Xs is more powerful than the Note 9, better camera, less lag, and overall better user experience. Do your research before blasting someone about their opinion.

          • Avatar
            Alys

            Apple is absolute garbage. They overprice with branding and looks that I find ugly, cutting off value and quality. Stereotypical consumerist sheep clichè. Also, where did you find that the Xs has a better camera, less input lag (Bullshit, their screens suck ass from my experience.) and OVERALL better experience. No. Their customer support is the worst I’ve seen from a big company.

    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      And Bose are complete garbage also. All of their components are bought from China and are assembled in Mexico. Besides that they use cheap ass parts that they buy for 10 cents, then assemble it and slap their named on it, which gives them the right to charge over 1000% of the actual value of the product.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Savage

        I don’t really like Bose but if Mr.Noah can actually compare it to beats and call THE BEATS crappy then I’m sure it’s 1.Not Better Than Beats and 2.Not Taht Poular Cos I Never Heard Of It

        Reply
      • Avatar
        Hotrodz

        I Agree Bose Or Beats Total Garbage I had Sony,Shure,And Jbl Earphones and Headphones all those three main names mention make quality audio weareables not so over price ….

        Reply
    • Avatar
      Savage

      sorry but beats don’t suck I haven’t heard of Bose so… beats vs Bose whatever that is I’m pretty sure beats wins. Plastic crap? What’s Bose? Something you found in a garbage can or something on the streets?

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Savage

      Pure Plactic Crap. PPC. Um Yeah that’s why I haven’t ever heard of crap Bose all my life till today

      Reply
      • Avatar
        WatchMan

        I bought my first pair of speakers at 16, Bose studiosound, fantastic speakers from then worlds largest speaker makers. that was 38 years ago, I now have Tannoy, but back to headphones as a professional editor for 29 years I use Sennheiser and AKG headphone. I don’t go for fashion, I go for pure sound quality. if the public want to add distortion with poor quality headphones after the fact thats their choice.

        Reply
      • Avatar
        greg OR Y

        my dude. how? probably explains your other comments and you not having any knowledge of the real world and not just consumerist culture.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      Kendrick

      If I didn’t know any better I’d say this article is completely biased and the earphones being promoted so strongly might actually be the authors product which is why he’s targeting competition like beats by Dre while probably having never owned a pair and only hearing of experiences with beats from “Friends in the music industry”

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Nick

        I highly doubt the author makes Klipsch products or has any association directly with them. Bose and Beats are easy to pick on because their sound is about the quality of the lowest possible end you can get from Sennheiser/AKG/Denon/Beyerdynamic etc. If you THINK it’s good, well, it’s objectively not but you’re free to believe what you want. These garbage producers like Apple and Beats by Butt Sniffer love you. You also get to have people like savage up there on your side, “I ain’t never no not heard of it so it must be crap and not my pea brained consumer habits.”

        Reply
    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      Some people love extra bass and aren’t interested in accurate sound, I had the Audio Technica ATH-MX50’s and will take my Beats Pro’s any day, they lacked bass and had no punch and low volume. Specs aren’t the only thing to look at. I have tried senheissers over the years and they are not for me either. I had Sony MDR-1A’s and they were amazing. As far as build is concerned the Pro’s are not plastic lol, they are steel and heavy, one of the best constructed headphones I have ever seen so not sure what you are talking about. I am not a Beats fanboy by any means, I do listen to techno/house/rap/trance/pop for the most part with some rock thrown in so for me they are awesome. And don’t get me started on Bose lol. Sound quality is a preference not always a graph.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Emmett

      They Both Suck Try; Grado , Beyerdynamic which are in just about every studio. Addtionally I’ll be willing to wager Beyerdynamic was every sound engineer first pair of headphones.. Then there is Final until you have listened to final headphone and earbuds you haven’t listened to HiFi be cause the make outstanding equipment.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      I just bought a pair of some beats from a few years ago for twenty bucks. I got Sony studio monitor headphones for the studio and apple earbuds. Headphones are gonna be colored no matter what in my opinion if you want flat response you’re gonna need studio monitors. These things would be a joke in the studio but for listening to your favorite album when you’re stoned I think they sound awesome. These things are for just listening and enjoying some tunes they sound better than earbuds. But yeah 300 is a scam these things just push the bass and probably have a mid scoop but that’s usually what makes stuff pump anyways. I’d say go for em if you find a deal but definitely not an accurate representation of the true mix. They kinda hide the ugly stuff in the mix which is probably why people like them. I like em.

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    Alvin

    I wear only Rage by Noah headphones. My ears are a little chapped, and that’s okay.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    I have ears

    I’ve always hated in-ear buds because of the cable noise, and the fact that I hear myself breathing when I use them. I never thought of the foam tips; do you still hear breathing when you use those? I’m thinking they might have a different type of seal, and, while they might insulate more, they would do so in a different way.

    Reply
    • Noah
      Noah

      The foam did improve the cable noise and the breathing noise but it’s also more like wearing earplugs. It feel weird to talk while wearing them using Skype for example

      Reply
      • Avatar
        I have ears

        I wouldn’t use them with Skype. I record a podcast every week, and I can’t use on-ear headphones that isolate too much; it’s like I’m talking under water. So I imagine it’s the same. But if I didn’t hear myself breathing, that’d be an improvement over standard in-ear headphones. I actually never thought of trying something other than the silicone plugs. I may try foam; thanks.

        Reply
        • Noah
          Noah

          I’m happy I could help! The ones I got are made by a company called Comply and they shipped and arrived pretty quick so I was happy with them.

          Reply
      • Avatar
        Craig

        Tell me why on the box in microscopic words,they say not compatible with Android phones . Thanks $200 down drain .1 speaker works bla bla bla yes I returned the junky headphones. Beware of dr. Dre scam. Lost all respect for ya

        Reply
    • Avatar
      asdf

      Most ear buds come stock with silicone tips. These create an uncomfortable suction of air and amplify all kinds of unwanted ambient noise, like breathing or chewing. I switched to Comply foam tips (http://www.complyfoam.com) years ago and never looked back. They’re great. More comfortable, no unwanted noise, and way better sound isolation etc. I think it’s because the porous nature of the foam prevents the suction of air and doesn’t carry, and in fact absorbs, unwanted ambient noise. I can’t recommend foam tips enough.

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    Neil

    Comapring Grado Sr60s to Bose seems silly to me. Grados are are fantastic earphones but their on ears are open back and are no use when your anywhere but in your home. Bose make the best noise cancelling phones one the market and are the only set I take when traveling. Hey have very different use cases.
    Personally hate all in ears…they lack any spacial depth compared to on and over ears. But that’s said grado is where I would go if I did.
    I speak as an owner of Grado sr80,sr325 Bose Qc15

    Reply
    • Noah
      Noah

      I know what you mean, they are different in what they are going for. But on paper, the sr60’s provide a lot more bang for the buck than any bose could just on a fidelity/price comparison. I also have the bose over the ear noise canceling headphones and they’re good for what they are but they also make other headphones that are not noise canceling and I would generally recommend something like Sennheiser for closed back.

      Also, I use the Grado open back’s while walking around in the traffic-y streets on my daily commute sometimes. I use the RS1i’s and I feel that they can get loud enough to use comfortably outdoors as long as you are using a headphone amp.

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    ng

    i love grados. i think they are definitely the best for the money. the only problem with the “on-ear” grados is that they are not “enclosed” and thus not made for listening outside of the home and/or studio….i.e. the subway, streets, etc…because they are not enclosed, outside noise very easily gets in the way of/drowns out the music and you need to make them very loud (and sometime they don’t go loud enough in noisy places like the subway), and vice-versa, the music you are listening to leaks out of the phones to the person sitting next to you…

    Reply
    • Noah
      Noah

      I totally agree that they are more ideal for home and studio use with their on ear models (though I’m okay with wearing the on ear models around outside as long as you use a headphone amp). But this review is for their in ear models, which still sound amazing. I recommend checking them out if you’re already a fan of Grado.

      Reply
  6. Avatar
    Btmkrs

    Dumb article . Now we have headphone snobs ?
    It was a DEAD WEAK segment & now the popularity given to it by Beats has dummies writing snobbish articles.
    How many of you own Grado btw ? Maybe 3 of you .

    Beats brought in a new customer that will learn & upgrade to better headphones over time .
    Similar to the Moscato craze a few years ago that helped spark the spirits industry

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Noah

      Maybe I’m a headphone snob but I’m really just trying to advocate for consumer rights…

      Marketing with an endless budget and placing misleading advertisements like Beats does (see the Web page from beats in the article) and telling them that they are producing studio standard quality for $400 per unit. The fact is that beats would never be used in major studios. Meanwhile, you CAN get a good quality starter set for studios from Grado for 80 bucks.

      This review is meant to inform consumers about getting more for their money, whether they are starting a studio or just like listening through quality headphones and save them hundreds of dollars.

      In fact, I think we have the same goal here. You mentioned, Moscato. Imagine paying hundreds of dollars for a bottle when they’re are good ones for 20 per bottle. That’s an accurate comparison to how Beats is approaching pricing.
      Why not inform consumers about better products that cost less?

      Best,
      A headphone snob (I guess)

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        The case study around Beats is an interesting one, not unlike Budweiser. Budweiser isn’t the greatest beer, but traditionally it has outsold competitors through intense, blanketed advertising. Their advertising budgets are massive but their success proves that taste and the actual beer itself are just a small part of the overall sales equation.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Justin

          There is a fundamental difference between a product like beer and products like headphones.

          The satisfaction one realizes from consuming a product like beer is derived from their tastes. While the quality of ingredients that go into a given batch of beer might vary, most people aren’t really concerned because ultimately what tastes good to them is what they will purchase. “There is no accounting for taste”, as they say.

          This doesn’t really apply to an item like headphones, where quantifiable evidence can be used to determine the quality of the product. This quality typically dictates the price of the product, e.g. an all-wheel-drive Lexus with leather interior will cost more than a front-wheel-drive, no-options Kia because of the inclusion of technology and amount and quality of materials used. While one person might prefer a Kia over a Lexus, nobody can deny that the increased price tag of the Lexus is justified.

          Likewise, while one might like the way Beats headphones look, or perhaps even the way they sound, over any other studio-grade headphone, there is no arguing that the Beats headphone is of lesser quality (based on it’s use of technology or quality of materials) compared to the majority of other products in the Beats price range.

          So what does this mean for us as consumers? Essentially the same thing it does anytime a product of lesser quality is being marketed and sold for the same amount of money as a higher-quality product: you are being ripped off. Beats parent company is banking on the ignorance of the consumer in order to reap outstanding profits.

          It’s virtually impossible for the average consumer to have an expert-level knowledge about every product that exists. For that reason, it’s important for us to do as much research as we can in order that we feel confident that we haven’t wasted our hard-earned dollars on products that are of inferior quality compared to others in the same price range. The author of this article sought to inform us, as consumers, about this particular product. I feel he has done a decent job of that, for which I commend him.

          Reply
    • Avatar
      Savage

      Exactly what I thought.Headphones are lit but beats is just so good [Magnetic Earphones to stick over your chest, Wonderful music sound, Ya don’t get mugged holding ur phone and listening to music or having to go with ,ugh, wired headphones (they are good but not for music). Beats also has a very nice looking cover and will catch your friends eye and it lets you feel relaxed in the gym. Also they only cost £250 Max.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Larry

      The point is shop around. If you want great sound, you can have it for less cash than Beats from Grado, Senheiser, or AKG for a lot less cash. If you want to make a fashion statement, then by all means, buy Beats. No one ever bought Beats for the sound quality.

      Reply
  7. Avatar
    Wazza

    Nice Grado infomercial.

    Well, I’m a “professional” musician and mixer and :

    1- No one in the world uses in-ear headphones for mixing.
    2- No one uses Beats or Bose headphones either. Those are consumer headphones, and that’s not a negative thing actually. Consumer headphones have a frequency curve that is often skewed in favor of a more “exciting” tone, where pro headphones tend to have as flat a frequency as possible ( wich sometimes makes them sound unexciting compared to the consumer ones )
    3- There isn’t any one headphone model that is standard in pro studio. There are several favorites from several brands. Akg (K720/240), Senheiser (HD600/650/800), AudioTechnica ( Ath m50) , BeyerDynamic (dt770 pro), Sony, Grado, Ultrasone, Focal, etc.. Many of these models are over 400$ ( 1000$ for the outstanding Sennheiser HD-800 for example ).

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jesse B

      Yeah. I love the Q701’s (my current cans) from AKG. They’re kinda like more stylish K720’s. And you’re right, this is basically a Grado infomercial…

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Jesse B

      Yeah. My current cans are a pair of Q701’s. They’re basically more stylish K720’s. And you’re right, this is basically a Grado infomercial…

      Oh, also. Awesome sound stage on these as well <3

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Mojo Bone

      +Wazza; mostly correct. I have heard from a few mix engineers who use custom-molded in-ears, but it’s pretty rare. Beats imo, are a fashion product, not an audio product and as a consumer brand, they are designed to hide audio flaws and make everything sound good, NOT to accurately reproduce recorded music. My work requires flat frequency response and accurate time-domain/phase response, and in my immodest opinion, the most expensive headphones that are actually worth the price are the $150 [street] Audio-Technica ATH M50s. They’re closed back and over the ear but comfortable enough for very long sessions and have field replaceable cables/earcups. Semi-open designs can be a smidge more accurate, but you can’t use them for tracking, cause they’ll bleed into any open microphones, meaning you can mix but don’t put them on the singer. You;re welcome to spend more, but past this point, you get diminishing returns on your investment,

      Reply
  8. Avatar
    Cameron

    I suffered from owning a pair of beats for about 2 years (were initially a gift). When they finally shit the bed for good (they kept failing, one ear would cut out, bass would drop), I just wanted something worth my money. Not trying to spend a ton, but something I can run/workout with. I bought a set of JBL’s and am quite happy with them. I am interested to find a pair of these Grado’s though, or any of the aforementioned, and give a listen.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Savage

      That’s where your corrected and wrong. Wrong is that there are many beats and beatsx never falls out of your ears (just example) and corrected is all you gotta do is change the muffs or that’s soft end of the headphone/earphone and change it to a firm one

      Reply
  9. Avatar
    danwriter

    “a certified ear for quality.” With a framed certificate from Berklee, perhaps?

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    Chris

    If I’m doing something in front of an audience I’ll use in-ears. If I’m on a airplane I’ll use a noise canceling set. However, to work on tracks in my home studio I’ve never heard anything better than Grado’s SR60s for the price. Thanks for the article….now I want to check out their in-ears.

    Reply
  11. Avatar
    Woooowwww

    Sure, beats are lame. But so is this acummy form of advertorial.

    Reply
    • Noah
      Noah

      This isn’t advertorial, it’s a review where I chose to focus on more than a singular product and it’s specs. Advertorial would mean we got paid to write it and we did not

      Reply
  12. Avatar
    Thedenmaster

    I have auditioned beats. They are possibly among the worst headphones ever made. Overhype the music so bad the things rattle. I fear for the level of crap people are willing to accept from celebrities or politicians. Use your own ear. Stop making stupid people famous.

    Reply
      • Avatar
        Savage

        You realise most people don’t agree with you and lots who do are just snobs(sorry but it’s kinda what I think) who say beats are over expensive crappy bum stuff.

        Reply
  13. Avatar
    StreamingIsPiracy

    Cool post. I fully agree and it’s great to see the graphs all in one place.

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    Pat

    I’ve used Beyer 770’s in studio and they’re super comfy for long listening sessions and they sound pretty flat to me. The process is usually mixing on monitors, putting on HD280’s to tweak, and then finalizing with 770’s to make sure everything sounds good on a variety of products. Then test it out over your macbook speakers because that’s 75% of how people will listen to it, haha

    Reply
  15. Avatar
    Randy

    Noah, its one thing to give a positive review for Grado. And an obvious thing to state how poor Beats are. But when you go as far and boast some challenge as if these Grado ear buds standup to any of the top brands (AKG for example has pro and studio headphones plus earbuds that leave the Grado in the dust) it makes it seem like you’ve never listened to any real headphones before. If you want to share your opinion on a brand you like go ahead. But acting as if you are any type of reliable source who did any type of research is a flat out sham and DMN should remove your article for it. (Unless this is now just a personal blog and not a news service, than I apologize and please proceed)

    Reply
  16. Avatar
    Nathan Granner

    I’ve seen the few articles that have popped up recently about Beetss being bad. I just don’t agree. It’s not that I’m a tool; I’ve gone through a number of sets of headphones, sampling them. Mind, I’m only trying out headphones I can afford (low-end Beats for example) from non music-leading stores such as Behst Bughy and the like. I enjoy Beattz and think they have a nice sound regardless of how cheaply they’re made or what metal chunk is placed in them.

    Do I have a pair? No. They were still a little too much for me, so I got a pair of Marshalls from URobB(A)iNgmeblind Outfitters, which I like quite a bit.

    I don’t mix with them, I just listen to my music with them.

    I get the feeling though that there is a kind of zeitgeist that is all about the take-down of Appleh products now, as if they are evil.

    I have my complaints about the Cupertino products Apfel Muzik for example. I love the ramifications of what they are trying to do, connect artists, music and fans. That particular connect integration is buggy, but the thing is much better than whatever the craptastic thing they had before was.

    I’d much rather connect with my fans on my own sites, but it’s cool to be able to upload a song or vid directly to Itughnes. I truly hope they get the coding worked out before the free subscription runs out because I’m still paying for the former Napster, which is for me a better option than Sporkifigh.

    This is my first post, so I cant’ wait to be called names and all of that fun stuff because I have a different opinion.

    regards, Naythun

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Savage

      I feel sorry 4 everyone who read this and the title and bought beats cos beats are lit but jerks are calling you idiots for being able to take to them very nicely. Please ,all Beats Liars And Haters, go back to your old bad rubbish wired headphones.

      Reply
  17. Avatar
    renon

    I never heard of Grado. They look really cheaply made but could make nice tracking headphones. I imagine those foam pads will get hot after a while.

    As mentioned above, noone in the world uses in ear headphones for mixing. Not in the professional world, though this article is not geared towards that. Still try leaving in ears in for hours, they start to get annoying. Even if the technology may be there.

    A better comparison would be something in the price range of Beats. Anything from Sennheiser in the $400 range is going to destroy Beats in sound and in looks. Try the HD-600 or Q701 if you want to spend $400 on headphones.

    Reply
  18. Avatar
    renon

    Guess I’m out of the loop cause I just looked up Grado and they look very popular in the video world. Anyway, these look way cooler than the Beats IMO. I’m sure they sound better as well.

    Grado RS2e

    Reply
  19. Avatar
    renon

    ok, geeking out on headphones now. Grado seem to kinda suck for tracking. They are waaay too loud. They do sound good though. —gearslutz research

    just get the HD600 s

    Reply
  20. Avatar
    gracie

    I’ll stick to my HD25 over any mentioned here.
    They are neutral and I mean K701 and UM3X neutral.
    Only quibble for studio use is a small sound stage in comparison to the HD600.

    Dj’ing though, best bang for buck you can get. I have two pairs one of which has done 25 years of gigging and still sound tight. Best part is replacement parts for everything.

    Great portable and studio and gigging / on the go headphones.

    Reply
  21. Avatar
    Versus

    Plenty of other studio standards to consider, from the inexpensive Sony 7506, to the superb Beyer 880 Pros, and the AKG K70x series, and of course Sennheiser.

    Reply
  22. Avatar
    Þorsteinn Halldórsson

    I have to agree on all fronts – Beats are only good for one thing…missing beats in music. Bose are mostly loud without definition……..Grado is a great product and I would recommend them as well as this small German company that has an unbelievable reputation and high quality – BeyerDynamic Headphones which are used in studios and are a standard.

    Reply
  23. Avatar
    Ichneumon

    I’m pretty content with my Bower and Wilkins P5s for listening and actual music work. They’re not perfect hi-fi but they have a nice, warm, even frequency response and a solid soundstage that really conveys position and distance well. The only problem is when I’m walking the cord gets hooked on things, but that’s all me…

    I do think you sound a bit infomercial-y with the Grados thing, but pretty much every musician and serious listener I know has said that, while Beats have improved since Apple bought them out, they’re really not worth even a third of their price point, with the older models being truly awful.

    Reply
  24. Avatar
    Nick

    I have a pair of pro Beats. I haven’t noticed any problems with them, even though they’ve been dropped a few times, so they seem to be durable. Also, the sound is very warm, with a powerful yet balanced bass. I have used it to write electronic music, and it works well for the purpose. I have absolutely no problems with my Beats. Am I missing something here?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Cameron Connor

      ‘Balanced bass’ All the sound from those pieces of crap is coming from two speakers. One in the left, one in the right. No surround sound – just wet, sloppy beats.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Savage

      No ur not it’s just there are fake beats haters here to tell u To get crappy headphones

      Reply
  25. Avatar
    defalt

    Beats actually sound good now and look 1 billion times better than all the other earbuds

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Cameron Connor

      Tools are fooled into thinking the earbuds are cool as they are mesmerised by the beats logo. You’re saying a red ‘b’ makes earphones look 1 billion times better?

      Reply
  26. Avatar
    Sam L

    I agree beats headphones will not deliver the performance you would expect after spending $200.

    Reply
  27. Avatar
    Pete11

    I honestly never listened to any of beats headphone so I can’t comment on them, but I really will never understand this hype for the cheap models of Grado. To me they are extremely aggressive sounding and have no bass. To a point for me they are unlistenable. I have a few pair headphones, some more expensive, but I prefer by a large margin the Koss Porta-pros which are like 40$, as opposed to SR60 which are gathering dust.

    Reply
  28. Avatar
    Radon

    Uhhhh… Noah, are you taking this too seriously? Bass is liked from some, so why say something like “you are an idiot?”

    Reply
  29. Avatar
    Doop

    This is not the same use case at all. Why are you comparing a different category of product entirely? Why would I buy in-ear phones over Beats if I hate in-ear phones? This article could have been so much better if it weren’t just an ad for a thing you like.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Doop

      Or actually if you just dropped the Beats thing entirely and wrote your review of the other phones, but that wouldn’t generate nearly as many clicks.

      Reply
  30. Avatar
    Bro

    Well, Noah is right again. Most of the commenteers above do not even have any beats sound sources, but they commnet and comment and comment…
    I have beats speakers+bass on a HP high class priced notebook and they sound as cheap as the speakers on my chinese clevo alienware copy notebook.
    But there is a “b” proudly painted in red on that HP, and I feel like there is a “s” , missing after.

    Reply
  31. Avatar
    ethan

    i use a pair of bluedio r’s there 100$ and are the best quality headphones ive ever used they make beats look like a pile of crap. the only con is that there durability is not the best

    Reply
  32. Avatar
    Dooo

    I don’t understand why people hate on Beats so much? The consensus is that they sound like complete shit which is not true at all. I’ve recently purchased a pair of Solo3’s since I was looking for something wireless and they fit the bill perfectly. Good thumpy bass, great battery life, seemless integration within the Apple environment, and fast charging. When I listen to my music I prefer a nice bass kick. Plus if you’re on the go I’d say these are the headphones to buy. I’ve owned and listened to other high end headphones like AKG , Grados, and Sennheisers. While they all sound great in their own respect I think it comes down to the type of music and environment you’re in.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Savage

      Beats are very good and some people hate on it cos they can’t afford it and others cos they wanted it but they couldn’t get (maybe mum said no) or people bought and can’t take to it nicely.Also, now that’s there is iPhone 7, removal of the jack, wireless, Bluetooth headphones are ON FIRE

      Reply
  33. Avatar
    Stan

    Beats are by no means non consumer headphones, and the main reason people have issues with them are because almost anyone with any knowledge of high quality sound or have tried out more than the just headphones on display will understand why beats are overpriced. Sure, Beats sound okay in store, and that’s because of clever marketing, and songs that are heavy in bass. Beats have ‘good’ bass because a lack of any treble accentuates the bass. Nothing about Beats is worth the price save the fashion statement.

    Reply
  34. Avatar
    ShizukesaNZ

    There seems to be a lot of Beats hate here.. I have been listening to my Beats Pro detox edition headphones for a little over 4 years now. They are completely aluminium and pu leather and have absolutely gone the mile. They don’t have a balanced sound signature which I didn’t want when I bought them. Instead they have a punchy base which is why I wanted them (not for any fashion statement in music videos which i don’t watch). Though I do like how they look as I also like the Grado style. They Have a closed back and good isolation so I can listen to them at work unlike the Grados that you suggest. They are over ears since I hate IEMs. And overall the only complaint I have is that the ear cups are a bit small for my ears. Now that I’m looking for replacements I’m actually having a hard time finding a good replacement. I would really love to know what you would suggest for a more bass heavy, closed back and reasonably high end cans that work around the 32ohm area.

    Reply
  35. Avatar
    Jerry

    Thx for the article, it’s pointing out a fallacy that i was very much aware of, but that doesn’t get adressed enough IMO : you can buy $150 earbuds that are waaaaay better than $400+ headphones. That whole huge headphone trend is a sorry excuse to make customers pay a lot more for the same thing. And no one seems to realize that.

    Reply
  36. Avatar
    Craig

    What a disappointment, look for the microscopic words on bottom of box and you’ll see not compatible with Android phones.thanks Dr . Dre hope you choke on your billion dollars . While I have to work for mine . What a waste of money.. Beware y’all.

    Reply
  37. Avatar
    Happy

    Is it necessary to insult a whole market segment to wtite a review? I buy whatever I feel like to buy, you dear Sir who wrote an article, insulting the choices of others, YOU are the idiot.

    Reply
  38. Avatar
    Don't trip

    You guys are just hating on beats cause you can’t afford them ?Get your money up bums!?
    They sound clean and clear to me . Highs are highs mids are mids and lows are lows. The bass is good no too powerful yet not too soft. Treble is good too! I hear things in songs that you normally don’t hear just listening to it off your phone or a speaker. Most times its just littke effects they add to their (the artists) songs and they leave me like ahhh ok i never heard that before. Point being beats are some good headphones and so are other headphones/earphones so stop hating on headphones if the case if you can’t afford it.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Dude get real...

      Dude you must be the one who’s trippin ??,if you want good sound quality don’t use toy’s,use shure and like to be honest I’m not a musician or anything but my SE 846 made beats sounds like some free earphones that came out of a Samsung box lmaoo

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Savage

      Thank You So Much Don’t trip! Lots are hating on Beats cos they can’t afford em.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        ay yo come thru FAM

        maybe they’re hating on them because the quality isn’t that above average as it’s made out to be?

        Reply
  39. Avatar
    Jared

    I love my beats studio wireless 2.0, have had them for about 3 years and they sound amazing.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jebus

      They sound amazing huh? Bet there all Bass No mids no mid highs nothing good. Just all low and crap. only a wanksta would think paying over 300$ for a pair of crap headphones sounds good. Try another set for 300$ from a real Audio brand. not some monkey that raps.

      Reply
  40. Avatar
    Jebus

    Sennheiser all the way. NOPE to beats NOPE to logitech and NOPE to anything that is not Sennheiser.

    Reply
  41. Avatar
    Uh Huh, lets call me... not an idiot

    So… “a real music professional, i.e., some who makes music for a living and has a certified ear for quality” yeah, uh huh. My sister just certified my ear for quality, and she just bought my song I made for a dollar. Now I make music for a living and I have a certified ear for quality, therefore I am saying that Beats by Dre are trash and so are whatever other companies you’re suggestings. The only good headphones are 2007 apple earbuds released with the original iPods. Go write an article about that and cite your source please, I don’t want you taking credit for my work.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Mark

      Love my beats got them for 197 on sales still great after a year. Comfy great sound nice connection to my apple I say your wrong and I’m not stupid you are

      Reply
  42. Avatar
    Kendrick

    Even a high school English student could tell this article is biased and more than likely a weak attempt to promote the authors earphones while simultaneously trashing other brands

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Emmett

      The author doesn’t own Grado Headphones, Lets say headphones are like different brands of cars. Grado Headphones and Earbuds fill that bill. Let say for example The Beats are Cadilac Escalade the Grado are Ferrari 458 Italia. Both good head phones but the Grada are so good The averarage guy is not going to know why and he or she is not going to spend $300 on an obsecure name like Final. Then tell all his buddies he got a rocking pair of Final Earbuds for $300 and there like; Jack’s lost his mind why didn’t he buy a pair of Beats every one has them. Because Beat Suck 😂😂😂😂 Listen Honestly these headphones are fantastic and there are a pair on Amazon for $80 that are astonishing. Emmett Good Luck 🍀

      Reply
  43. Avatar
    Remy

    You’re right about beats. Its’ sounds are decent, but not enough to be justified to buy it for a couple of hundreds. The only great thing about beats is it looks and maybe okay over ears comfort. Otherwise, I suggest getting something else. However, I completely disagree about what you said about Bose. Unless you are just trashing on a specific Bose, then that’s a different story, but if you think the brand Bose is on the same level as Beats, that’s where you are so wrong. Beats, is without doubt, more or less, for fashion use. Bose, however, is meant for practical use. When it comes to sounds alone, obviously, Bose won’t be the top competitor. Audio Technica would beat it. Sennheiser would beat it. Hell, even some Sony would beat it. However, you got to know that Bose is known for it’s noise cancelling sound and the comfort over ears. Because of these factors are in, that’s what makes them great and justifiable to get them. Look-wise, they look pretty plain. Built quality, it depends which type you’re getting. Overall, Beats is nowhere as good as Bose, so I’m not sure why you bother comparing them just because the price high. Also, another thing I want to point out is Beats is good if you’re a bass listener.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      yeeticus

      great to see you’re one of the few reasonable people on this page, i agree 100% with what you said

      Reply
  44. Avatar
    Anonymous

    I think beats by Dr. Dre are perfect for their listeners. Toss your 64 audios, your Hifiman, your earsonics, and sennheisers! Pick up some beats for that thick ass sound pimpin’. These beat headphones really shine when driven by a wa5 amp by woo audio.

    Reply
  45. Avatar
    slavazim

    to bad i found this after i bought one and was literally shocked how bad it sounds… had a lot of good reviews though.

    never gonna buy anything beats again

    Reply
  46. Avatar
    Anonymous

    I rock an Audiotechnica ATH M50x, and I went to the store to try out some Beats, and they all sucked compared to my M50x, with a way better levelling and punchiness of the bass, with much clearer vocals and instruments clarified yet still harmonic. For $200-300 less.

    Reply
  47. Avatar
    Zipadeedooda

    Anyone who says “I rock” this, that or the other is an imbecile who knows nothing.

    I work at a live gig venue for the biggest “Live” entertainment company in the world.

    I have stood and watched Slash play a 30 minute set for the MTV awards in Scotland only 12 feet away and stood next to some of the worlds best touring sound engineers during sound checks.

    Nearly all of them wore Sennheiser’s.

    If you want headphones that are quality without compromise for daily music listening for the mere mortal then you’ll be wanting a pair of HD25’s or HD25 II’s.

    That’s it. Period.

    Reply
  48. Avatar
    Manav

    They sound amazing huh? Bet there all Bass No mids no mid highs nothing good. Just all low and crap.

    Reply

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