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Beats by Dr. Dre urBeats Review
With a tangle-resistant cable, slick design, and solid audio quality, the Urbeats by Dr. Dre earbuds are a good value for travels, runners, and office workers.
By: WOM Electronics
If you haven't noticed the literal ocean of people every which way wearing Beats by Dr. Dre, then maybe you should have your eyeballs checked (or maybe you don't review electronics for a living).
Design & Features
Not much changes in the land of Beats designs. The urBeats features the trademark red, flat, linguini-like cable, coupled with black accents and the lowercase-B logo on each earpiece, that just about every other Beats model is graced with. (There is also a white model available.) The housing is a lightweight brushed metal that has a nice matte look to it. Along the left ear's cable, there's an inline microphone and remote for making calls on mobile devices and controlling playback and volume.
Beats claims that whether you're careful with your urBeats or carelessly toss them in a bag after use, it won't matter—they are made to be durable and tough. However, the cable is usually the first thing to malfunction on earphones, which makes any pair that has a detachable cable, like the Shure SE215 $99.00 at Amazon, more likely to last a long time, since you can just swap out bad cables rather than buy a replacement pair. The urBeats' cable is not detachable, and the earphones are neither waterproof nor weatherproof. Unfortunately, durability is not something we can test in the Labs, as it would require long-term regular use of every product, so I will begrudgingly give Beats the benefit of the doubt. But there is little to back up the company's durability claim, and the urBeats' overall construction seems more normal than rugged.
The urBeats ships with a small black protective pouch that is also emblazoned with the Beats logo, and a set of four pairs of black silicon ear tips in various sizes. However, getting a secure fit, and a fit that is consistent from ear-to-ear, which is essential in preserving an accurate stereo image, is not always easy and may require some fiddling, even if you are wearing the appropriate ear tip size.
When I unwrapped the Urbeats and found myself confronted with the image of an unclad lady in not but a set of headphones, I felt less than optimistic. Yet this set of in-ears entered the audio lab and emerged mostly unscathed, with favorable results across the board.
Low notes get a real boost, so that hip hop and dub offer the rumbling bass that so many young consumers love.Beats fans love big bass, and the Urbeats by Dr. Dre don't withhold the booty: Low notes get a real boost, so that hip hop and dub offer the rumbling bass that so many young consumers love. Hooligans. Better still, the mid and high notes aren't left in the dust. Often, bass boosters fail to properly emphasize the rest of the scale and music loses its texture and detail, but not so with the Urbeats: Snare drums, guitar notes, flutes, and the rest come through loud and clear. The volume isn't perfect—certain notes in the high end of the middle range are too quiet, so you may lose a high note on strings, woodwinds, and the like, now and again. But this is a mild error that many people will never even notice.
From there, it's really just roses, sunshine, and unicorns. Unless you're just blasting your tunes—which is bad for your health—you won't find a single portion of the scale that suffers audible distortion, not even in the often-flawed sub-bass range. Next, volume between the left and right speakers wavered so little that it's practically undetectable across the board—a rare feat. And to top it all off with a big cherry, the Urbeats showed wonderful noise-blocking ability and barely leaked a drop of noise. Your horrible taste in music need not bother your neighbors. For under 100 bucks, these results look mighty fine.
Powerful audio performance with deep bass. No distortion at top volumes. In-line microphone and remote for phone calls, playback control. Solid, alluring design.
Highly sculpted frequency response isn't for everyone. Getting a consistent fit can be difficult. Ear tips can be uncomfortable over long listening sessions.
The Beats by Dr. Dre urBeat delivers the typical Beats bass-heavy sound, distortion-free and at a reasonable price.
Page Updated Last on: Aug 12, 2014