Review: Monster Beats By Dre Tour High-Resolution In-Ear Headphones

In the aftermath (haha) of the bass heavy Beats by Dre Studio headphones, Monster decided to pack the Doctor’s finicky sound quality specs into two tiny earbuds. Naturally, audiophiles (including myself) were skeptical. Sure the Beats suffered from shoddy construction and fell apart after a few months of ownership, but they also provided some of the best bass we’ve ever heard in a set of cans. How could Monster transfer that performance to a speaker the size of a jellybean?

Turns out Monster has some very talented engineers on staff. Sure enough, the bass response from these things is rich and full. The lowest frequencies rumble with a force akin to the thud of a decent subwoofer. Keep in mind these are not miniaturized twelve inch Kickers designed to blow your eardrums out. But for a device that is essentially a tiny speaker with no auxiliary power, they’re superb — especially when compared to the white earcruds doled out by Apple with every iDevice.

But bass isn’t everything. What’s most shocking about these ‘buds is the absolute lack of mushiness or blurred sound. Mids and upper lows all retain their own specific glow, and the treble is so sharp, it almost slices your eardrums when the volume is cranked up. One issue: in order to squeeze the deepest bass response from the ‘buds, you need to jack the volume up to near cochlea rupturing levels.

The sound quality of the Tour’s is certainly comparable to the Ultimate Ears and Shures of the audio world, but let’s face it, most of these ‘buds are overpriced, and there are few that can deliver the same high performance results for under $200. And let’s not forget the superiority these have over Cupertino’s standard issue audio delivery tethers. Congrats Dre, you’ve found the perfect prescription for those afflicted with white earbud syndrome.

$150, beatsbydre/10

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