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Beats Executive headphone review
What is it?
Beats Executive headphones are a smart reworking of the famous over-ear Beats Studio headphones produced by Dr Dre and used by everyone from spoiled teenagers to Olympians.
Best in class noise cancelling skills and rugged metal casing.
You’ll always need to carry a couple of batteries around to make them work properly.
The bottom line:
Smart, comfortable and still stylish, Beats Executive block out noise brilliantly and offer the kind of sound you’ll get used to and decide not to live without ever again.
Beats Electronics LLC
Beats Executive: Review
No one ever thought giant headphones would become a fashion statement. Technology itself is on a mission to make many gadgets smaller but when Dr Dre teamed up with headphone makers Monster, he created a market that saw everyone from Lady Gaga to Tony Bennett get in on the celebrity endorsed headphone act.
You may have seen the original Beats Studio headphones around the neck of Olympic divers, Premier League football stars and, yes, the kool kids on the street. The Beats Executive headphones take all the technology from the Beats Studio headphones and are now essentially headphones that a businessman can wear to work without looking like he’s having a mid-life crisis and embracing the gadgets of young hipsters who listen to Skrillex not Status Quo.
MSN Tech guide: The best over ear headphones
So what do you get in the box? The headphones themselves are a noticeable step-up in build quality against the original Beats Studio range. The white plastic surround has been replaced by grey metal and the soft ear cushions have extra padding for added comfort. There’s a rugged and slimline case, perfect for small bags when travelling as the Beats Executive headphones fold away neatly.
Beats Executive: Quality
The familiar red cable - one of the hangovers from the original Beats - has an inline control for iPhone and iPod Touch track and volume control and a mic too, so you can take calls. There’s a couple of adaptors too - one to fit big hi-fi systems and an airline adaptor so you can use the headphones to enjoy inflight movies. And that’s part of the crucial appeal of the Beats Studio range and why recent Olympians favoured them.
The Beat Executive headphones keep out background noise via their big over-ear cups but also use ‘active’ noise cancellation technology which means they actually repel outside noise by compensating with added sonic magic in the cups. Yes, it sounds weird but it works a treat - even when you aren’t listening to music. The result is a small hiss which lets you know you’ve entered an electronically enhanced mode of silence.
Beats Executive require two AAA batteries to power the noise cancelling function, although you won’t get any sound without the batteries so a back-up pair of batteries is always advised. Once you’ve installed the batteries in the left cup, you can turn the headphones on via the discreet switch on the right cup and you should expect a few weeks of heavy use from a single pair of batteries.
Beats Electronics LLC
Sound quality is naturally suited to the bass heavy hip-hop favoured by Dr Dre but there’s a decent balance for all kinds of music with the power and subtlety to cope with driving rock and acoustic and classical music.
If you’re used to in-ear headphones, Beats Executive headphones will seem like a revelation for your ears. Yes, there’s better headphones at higher price points but they aren’t designed to match the audio performance of your tablet, laptop or smartphone. The Beats Executive headphones are designed for your smartphone and your head - they’re extremely comfortable and, right now, you can’t buy a better pair for the price tag. The subtle enhancements and new style make the ‘Executive’ update a truly luxurious upgrade.
Beats Executive: Verdict
The price tag is high but it matches the performance. If you’re upgrading from a standard pair of Apple headphones, Beats Executive are a revelation for your smartphone but are equally suited for use with laptops, games or on a plane. The best in class noise cancelling skills may need a pair of batteries to work but once you’ve cut the background noise on your commute, it’s very hard to go back to in-ear headphones. Sonically, they’re great with pop and excel at driving rock and acoustic, MTV Unplugged style tracks.
Beats Executive: Available now - £269