Powerbeats by Dr. Dre earphones

Dr. Dre Powerbeats review: 'Sports' headphones that are sturdy but sometimes uncomfortable

Monster Powerbeats by Dr. Dre
  • Monster Powerbeats by Dr. Dre
  • Monster Powerbeats by Dr. Dre
  • Monster Powerbeats by Dr. Dre
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Good design and build quality
  • Clear sound quality
  • Good on-ear clamping force

Cons

  • Uncomfortable and stiff earpieces
  • Bass is a little weak

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: headphones, Monster, sports headphones, Dr. Dre
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?