By CHONG JINN XIUNGbytz@thestar.com.my
Headphones usually fall short in the bass department but the Beats Pro is not one of them.
IF YOU are in the market for a professional-level pair of headphones, you probably would've come across the Beats By Dr Dre range from Monster.
One of the latest from the range is Beats Pro, a hulking beast made from aluminium that does not bend or flex and is designed to withstand heavy usage and abuse. On the downside, the aluminium design also made it heavier than most other headphones we tested.
The Beats Pro is an eye catching pair of headphones - it has contrasting white and silver finishes with the brand's signature "b" in bold red on the side of each ear cup.
The rounded ear cups are meant to rest on your ears instead of over them. Even with an adjustable headband, the Beats Pro felt tight on the ears and it was uncomfortably warm when worn for long periods.
On the plus side, the ear cups are designed to be flipped up. For instance, this helps the DJ to expose one ear to monitor the music on the dance floor.
It won't take long for the white ear cups to get dirty from use - it's good that Monster designed them to be removable so that they can be washed.
The Beat Pro is big but is surprisingly portable for its size. It can be easily folded and even the audio cable can be detached and stored separately.
Being able to detach the cable is handy for another reason - when you want to walk away from the audio source, you can just unplug the cable and leave the headphones around your neck. Each of the ear cups have a 3.5mm audio jack that not only act as input but also as output to share the audio with another pair of headphones.
The detachable cable is reasonably thick and is bright red. The cable measures 1.8m and it's coiled at the bottom which allows it to be extended up to 2.1m. It goes without saying that the length allows a great amount of mobility.
The headphones also come with a gold plated ¼in audio adaptor for connecting to some types of audio equipment. Other goodies in the package include a handy carrying pouch for storing the headphones and a cleaning cloth.
The Beats Pro is designed to be used in studios which explains why it doesn't have active noise-cancelling. This is not a problem because the large padded ear cups are good enough to block out ambient noise while keeping the music in.
The sound isolation is so good that you don't have to pump up the volume when listening to music.
The audio performance was good across the board. The Beats Pro handled the low, mid and high tunes very well although the bass tended to be a little on the heavy side.
Loud and bass driven tracks like Nicki Minaj's Superbass and Gorillaz's Feel Good Inc sounded great on the headphones.
The strong percussion from the drums and low strumming bass guitar came off loud and strong without sounding too muddy.
The Beats Pro also managed to balance the mid and high frequencies and kept the vocals sounding crystal clear.
String instruments sounded good in songs like Florence + The Machine's Dog Days Are Over - the sound flowed nicely as the instruments layered on each other as the song's beat picked up.
Surprisingly, the Beats Pro performed well with instrumental music too. We tested Dream Is Collapsing from the Inception soundtrack and it was remarkable as it softly built up to the climax.
Also, you may tweak the equaliser settings to make the headphones sound the way you want.
The Beats Pro is an impressive pair of headphones that deliver great sound quality with booming bass.
However, as the bass tended to be a little on the heavy side, the headphones may not be for everyone. Also, the headphones are quite heavy and feel uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
The Beats Pro has a staggering price tag of RM1,980. Although there are cheaper alternatives in the market but the Beats Pro is worth the money if you can afford it.
Pros: Good build quality; great audio quality and strong bass; foldable design makes it portable.
Cons: Heavy; pricey.
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20,000Hz
Accessories: Carrying case, 1/4in adaptor, removable ear cups, 2.1m cable
Review unit courtesy of Hwee Seng (Electronics) Sdn Bhd, (03) 7875-4840.