We've never reviewed a pair ourselves, but it's common knowledge that Monster's range of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones are a worthy purchase - unlike the over-priced, over-hyped (by Monster) cables the company also manufactures. Now there are six new products in the Beats line-up: five sets of headphones and, in a break from the norm an iPod speaker dock.
The headphone range is headed (ah-ha) by the Beats Pro by Dr. Dre, aimed at studio professionals and and 'prosumers.' Build from aluminium they certainly look the part, and with all-metal hinges they'll withstand the rigours of regular use, too. The £399.99 MSRP is going to dissuade all but the most dedicated of buyers - you can pick up an awesome pair of Grados for that money - but features such as dual inputs and outputs, letting multiple pairs of headphones daisy chain together show some thought has been given into what the target audience wants out of their 'phones.
At the same £399.95 price, but in a different vein, is the Beatbox iPod speaker dock. Apparently a "game changing" device, offering a "party in a box," the Beatbox is fitted with two 5.25in bass drives and a further pair of 2in tweeters, encased in a stylish black-on-black case. It's going to have to sound pretty special to justify the asking price that puts it up against the mighty Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin.
Back in headphone territory are the Justbeats headphones and in-ear 'phones, a collaboration with, of all people, Justin Bieber. The intention is good, irrespective of the amusing partnership, with the aim being to encourage the younger generation to appreciate the benefit of using higher quality headphones, so that they don't need to resort to such high listening volumes to hear their music. A sentiment we at TR fully agree with.
The £89.95 iBeats in-ear 'phones are built from metal, feature a sealed design intended to attenuate external noise and come with an in-line remote and microphone for controlling an iPhone, as well as making calls on one - some BlackBerry models are also supported, although which isn't specified as yet.
Stepping up in price a little to £139.95 are the the Powerbeats in-ear 'phones, allegedly inspired by NBA player LeBron James, featuring a dual-driver design, with an ear-hook to keep the 'phones in place during sporting activity - hence the James affiliation.
All of the new Beats 'phones will be available in November.