Powerbeats by Dr. Dre earphones
Dr. Dre Powerbeats review: 'Sports' headphones that are sturdy but sometimes uncomfortable
- Good design and build quality
- Clear sound quality
- Good on-ear clamping force
- Uncomfortable and stiff earpieces
- Bass is a little weak
Monster's Powerbeats by Dr. Dre sports earphones stick to your ears well and are sturdy enough to survive a few accidental drops - but we found them a little uncomfortable. The headphones' sound quality isn't quite worth the $229 asking price, though - it's a little weak on bass. Outside noise isn't blocked, but if you're exercising outdoors this is a good thing.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
The Monster Powerbeats by Dr. Dre earphones are aimed at sportspeople and other active types (they are endorsed by the infamous basketballer LeBron James), and they do a good job of holding onto your ears when running or moving about quickly. They look good and are well built, but we found them a little uncomfortable when we tested them out.
Monster Powerbeats by Dr. Dre headphones: Design and comfort
The Powerbeats are over-the-ear earphones — they hang off the top of your ear with a rubber-padded hook, but their weight is evenly distributed and they don't ever feel heavy. Try as we might, we weren't able to shake them off — they even stayed on during a rather ill-advised handstand. The earphones themselves don't extend especially far into the wearer's ear canal, so there's no seal against outside noise. If you're exercising outside this is a good thing, since you can hear what's going on around you, but it does mean you'll need to turn your music up louder to compensate for ambient sounds.
Monster ships the Powerbeats by Dr. Dre with three sets of silicon ear-tips — small, medium and large. We would have liked to see a few spares included, since they're not expensive and the original set will probably get sweaty and disgusting quickly if you're exercising. The silicon ear-tips weren't as comfortable as we were hoping during exercise, and there were a few moments when we had to adjust the Powerbeats to keep them comfortable. The sturdy design is good for the headphones' longevity, but it means they are hard to adjust and some users might find them uncomfortable.
Monster Powerbeats by Dr. Dre headphones: Sound quality
The Powerbeats earphones are clear and have reasonably detailed sound. We don't think they're quite deserving of their $229 price tag, but they did a good job of representing the detail in our high-quality Apple Lossless test music. They're equally at home with iTunes-downloaded MP3 and AAC music files, which don't sound too harsh or too obviously lo-fi. Treble is forward without being fatiguing, and mid-range is strong without losing detail. Lower bass notes are largely missing, though — a side effect of the earphones' open design. The easiest way to boost bass in headphones is to seal them against outside noise, which isn't advisable if you're running on busy streets or playing sport. This does mean that the Powerbeats do occasionally sound a little flat when playing bass-heavy music — our Kanye West and Jay-Z could have done with a bit of extra kick.
The Monster Powerbeats by Dr. Dre headphones have an in-line microphone/volume control that also has a multipurpose button for answering calls or changing music tracks. We put it through its paces with an iPhone 4 on a couple of calls and plenty of music — it worked well but we did find the centre button a little hard to find occasionally, accidentally pressing a volume button instead.
Monster Powerbeats by Dr. Dre headphones: Conclusion
Monster's Powerbeats by Dr. Dre headphones are sturdy and have reasonably good sound quality. Some users might find them uncomfortable though, and they're a bit lacking on the bass we thought they'd be well endowed with. You can guarantee they'll stay on during even the most strenuous exercise, though.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 3 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 4 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPData AnalystVIC
- TPSenior Network EngineerNSW
- CCBig Data Developer - Government - 12 Month Contract - SydneyNSW
- CCICT Strategy ConsultantNSW
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- CCMultiple System Engineers - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- CCAccessability TesterNSW
- FTLife/400 Testers - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - DataQLD
- FTChange ManagerACT
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - SQLACT
- CCNetwork Architect / Lead Network EngineerACT
- FTInformation / Data Quality AnalystNSW
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTCheckpoint Firewall and VPNNSW
- CCCapacity and Performance Analyst - Mainframe - Z SystemsVIC
- FTMDM - ConsultantNSW
- FTProject Manager - Sunshine Coast LocationQLD
- TPMobile Application DeveloperWA
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- TPBusiness Project Manager IntegrationNSW
- FTERP Support ConsultantQLD
- TPIT Procurement OfficerQLD
- TPProject Manager - Data ManagementSA