Beats By Dre Studio Wireless Headphones (Matte Black)

A headphone is going to be a lot like a restaurant - subjective. We don't all like our steaks cooked the same. We don't all like our music to sound the same. Same raw ingredients. Different end result.
With that said, I simply love these headphones. Not only is their product design (in matte black) sleek, but to my ear they're the best headphone I've ever heard. And, I don't listen to hip hop and the usual genres you'd associate with Beats. Make no mistake: this is a grown-up headphone. I've been rediscovering old Neil Young and Jackson Browne records ever since I put them on my head. The sound is so rich and warm. Of course it's bassy - but not in a muddy overpowering way like in cheaper headphones (including many of Beats other models). The bass is tight, clean and counterpoints the sparkling highs.
As for the infamous 'hiss' reviewers mention. Yes, it's there. It's part of the noise canceling system. Listening to Bill Evans quietly on a Sunday morning at home I notice it. But, most of my listening is in a noisy open office during the week where I don't notice the hiss - or the throng of people around me. These headphones do an admirable job in that situation. If you want reference-grade headphones purely for listening to jazz at home, perhaps look elsewhere. For good allrounders, look no further.
I've read some negative reviews regarding durability. Finger's crossed I didn't get a lemon. They're only a few days old, so only time will tell. Meanwhile, they come with a nice case to protect them. I realize packaging doesn't make a headphone sound better, but Beats have taken a page out the Apple playbook. Their product packaging -and the customer's experience in unboxing it- is excellent. It feels less like a piece of plastic consumer electronics (here's looking at you Sony) and more like an experience. What is does - and this is great marketing/branding - is make you recall that feeling every time you don these headphones. Make no mistake, you're not just buying a product - you're buying into a brand.
Wired version vs. Wireless
It's worth noting that I bought both versions with the intent of returning one - and I returned the wireless.
Some say there's no noticeable loss of sound quality over the bluetooth - and they may be right when comparing the Wireless model in wired/wireless modes. But, to my ears at least, the wired mode of the wireless didn't sound as clean as the regular wired model. Perhaps the signal processing chip inside the cans is slightly different.
Add to that, the fact they didn't play as nice with my MacBook as they did with my iOS devices - and I really needed them to work with the laptop for skype calls as well as music - and back they went.

Robere A Haidar, 04/10/2015
£329.95 £219.98-33%